Tell me if this is a familiar scenario. You walk into your language classroom. You’re somewhat excited, but a bit tired after a day of work and commuting places. You’re thinking you should’ve probably picked up a third cup of coffee before class and instead of that bagel. You’re really not in the mood to do much, but you know that you’ll get in a learning mood once the class starts. But why wait? Your colleagues are right there. They’re also probably thinking about needing…Continue Reading “14 Tips to Practice Language Skills with Your Colleagues”

There are some things that will only take two minutes to do. You can slice a juicy tomato in two minutes. You stir milk into your steamy coffee in two minutes. You can sharpen your pencils in two minutes. Remember pencils? You can eat a sticky ice cream in two minutes. (Ok, maybe I can eat a sticky ice cream in two minutes.) You can also practice and advance your foreign language skills in two minutes. In this post I’m giving you sixteen ideas that…Continue Reading “16 Tips to Boost Your Foreign Language Skills in TWO Minutes”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of reading about how limited my willpower is, and how I should use it wisely. Preferably as early in the day as possible. Preferably on something productive, not on abstaining from a run to the bakery. See, when you’re learning a foreign language, that’s not the only thing you’re doing. You’re probably also working a job, studying full time, traveling or raising children. These are huge drains on willpower. And at the end of the day, or…Continue Reading “A Simple Formula to Improve Your Learning Skills”

I wish my students asked me this question more often. Then, I would tell them about all the ways in which learning a foreign language as an introvert is not only possible, but it can become enjoyable. About ways to turn your introversion into a superpower. About ways in which you can connect with others while still being true to your self. I’m sharing eight ways to be a successful introvert learner on the Learn Out Live blog. And yes, I reveal a few of…Continue Reading “Can You Learn a Language as an Introvert?”

I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. Douglas Adams Setting deadlines when we’re learning another language can helpful, but it can also easily turn into yet another artificial pressure we create that commands our state of mind. This, in turn, commands our feelings about the learning process. Having deadlines sets the pace, but if you let them overtake the process, you will not experience the fulfillment that comes with making progress. Instead, make a commitment to show…Continue Reading “How to Escape the Tyranny of Deadlines”

The theory of multiple intelligences, developed by Howard Garner,  is well-known among educators and learners. It states that we all are equipped with a different combination of “intelligences”, and this combination is what enables us to learn in a specific manner. Garner first outlined eight categories of intelligence, later used by teachers to convey the information to learners: visual, kinesthetic, musical, linguistic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. He later added existential (spiritual) and moral intelligences to the list. Loosely connected to Garner’s theory – in…Continue Reading “Want to Learn Better? Pay Attention to Your Energy Intelligence”

Microlearning refers to short, easily-digestible pieces of content that learners can use to expand their knowledge, fill a gap in knowledge or just for pure entertainment. It is generally used to refer to digital artifacts (videos, online quizzes, online lessons) rather than traditional ways of learning (lectures, textbooks). In traditional learning setting, the information is pushed from teacher/trainer to student/learner. Think of your typical classroom. The teacher comes to class with the material already prepared, or follows a textbook. The teacher provides the information, which…Continue Reading “What is Microlearning?”

A good 70 percent of my students are professionals. A good 70 percent of my students want to learn a foreign language as an extra skill that will advance their career. A good 70 percent of those get something more in return. How do you feel about made up statistics? I thought so. But at least my guess is informed by the years of teaching and years of asking all sorts of people “Why do you want to learn another language? What’s in it for…Continue Reading “Language and … personal development?”

Dear language learner, when was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back for learning two new words? Surely, you would be proud of yourself the first time you held your own talking about strawberry tarts in that language. But did you consider that just knowing the words for strawberry and tart meant you were making progress? According to research conducted by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, you should celebrate every little ounce of progress. Dr. Amabile, a Professor of Business Administration…Continue Reading “4 Ways the Progress Principle works in language learning”

As summer closes in, this morning I was thinking about traveling. I love the anticipation of traveling somewhere. Even the planning. I don’t like being on the road, but I like that sense of possibility when you get out of the car in a new place and you try to take everything in: the sights, the smells, the air, the way the wind blows. Then I noticed this quote staring at me from the spine of an AFAR magazine: I travel not to go anywhere,…Continue Reading “Learning a language is like traveling”

When you speak a foreign language, what is more important: fluency or pronunciation? Imagine this scenario: You are trying to have a conversation with two really interesting people. You’re using your native language, which is a foreign language for your interlocutors. Both of them speak really well, but they differ in a couple of ways. One of them, let’s call him Alex, pauses unnaturally in the middle of a phrase and repeats the same word until he gets it right. The other one, Daniel, has…Continue Reading “Should you be fluent or accurate?”