5 study hacks that are working for me right now

I’m 3 months into my Egyptian Arabic project right now, so it’s high time to write a bit about what I’ve been doing, how I’ve been learning and what’s been working for me. Just to recap, my first month learning Arabic, before I left for Egypt, was spent with a variety of beginner resources. I […]

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5 uncommon grammar games that won’t send you to sleep

Grammar, grammar, grammar. Now, if you’re still reading, then this is the post for you! 🙂 Cher Hale, who writes about learning Italian over at the Iceberg Project shares five awesomely creative grammar games that you can use to level-up your language in no time. I like this post because it forces you to get your head […]

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How To Use Dictation To Understand Native Speakers

In this post you’ll learn some great ways to improve your listening skills and understand native speakers in a foreign language using one of the oldest teaching methods of all – dictation! Dictation… seriously? You’re probably picturing a Victorian grammar school, with an old headmaster-type reading aloud lines from a Latin textbook, lines of students in caps […]

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Write a tech-savvy speech

Which is the most neglected of the four skills amongst language learners? Elementary, my dear Watson. It’s writing, of course. People tend to get so obsessed with becoming “fluent” (whatever that means) that they focus almost entirely on speaking. Next comes listening, which tends to happen automatically as you’re out on the street or watching […]

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Post-it® Heaven!

This one is nice and simple. It works on the principle of learning language that’s around you first, because you encounter it everyday, making it memorable. Level: Beginner What you’ll need: loads of Post-it® notes, a pen and a Lang-8 account/native speaker 1) Walk around the house and think about the simple, menial things you […]

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Grammar workout: Reverse Translation

This activity is the grammar equivalent of a full-body workout in the gym. It’s a meaty activity that will take you some time to do properly. But, like all good things… It will test every facet of your grammatical knowledge in the target language, highlight your weaknesses and show you in what areas you can […]

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Speaking boost for beginners

In the early stages of learning a language it makes sense to use your energies on things that have a high surrender value – language that will be genuinely useful and that you’ll be able to use over and over again. I’d love to banish the term “self-introduction” to the language learning graveyard because it […]

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Prepare for your trip with Google Street View

If you’re heading to a big city, you’ll want to eat! But in some places (Asia springs to mind), deciphering restaurant signs can be a minefield. Take advantage of modern technology to prepare for your arrival on the ground. Dive into Google Maps and take a Street View tour of a busy area like Kabukicho in the Shinjuku ward […]

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Stealth learning in the field

This practical activity helps you deal with daily situations in a foreign environment and prioritise the learning of the language being used around you. Who is this for? Any level beyond beginner. What do I need? A smartphone or any other discreet recording device. Optional: Skype. ———- This activity is beautifully simple and is directly […]

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Words you can’t live without

In this post I describe a great way to understand your own language usage and how to apply it as a tool for learning. Spanish Vocabulary Pretty, isn’t it? This word cloud represents the Spanish vocabulary that I use the most, and therefore couldn’t live without! It’s essentially an elaborate word frequency chart; the larger […]

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