The Icelandic Struggle : An Adventure in Weak and Strong Adjective Endings

An Icelandic puffin. Image from freeimages.com

The struggle is real. Icelandic adjective endings can be a real pain. Granted, declining adjectives is not an exclusively Icelandic trial. Adjectives that decline for gender, number – and, where applicable, case – crop up in many languages. French, Italian, Russian… Continue reading

The Power of One Deep Breath

Sunlight through the clouds. Image from FreeImages.com

Content, content, content. So often, the sole focus is on what we study. We hear a lot less about the setting, the timing and the flow. But these can have a huge impact on learning success. And something as simple… Continue reading

Social Bookending : Scripting conversation start and end points for better flow

A row of old books. Image from freeimages.com

Tim Burton tells us that every story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Or was it Jean-Luc Godard – or even Aristotle? Anyway, whoever – and whenever – it was, they had a pretty solid, if obvious,… Continue reading

Eating my way back to Greek

The Parthenon at the Acropolis, Athens. Image from freeimages.com.

Sometimes an old, long-neglected language project will rise up and demand attention again. “Remember me, old friend?” The reasons can be many. But the call can be hard to resist. Over the past few weeks, my former passion for Greek… Continue reading

Keep tabs on your efforts with language learning report cards

A clipboard. Image from freeimages.com.

Now, if you hadn’t noticed, I am a complete control freak. But in a good way… honest! Well, most of the time. And especially when it comes to language learning. The “good way”, of course, mostly involves tracking how regularly and effectively… Continue reading

The Habit Trap: Becoming the master of your routine (and not its servant)

A wooded path - image from freeimages.com.

It was all going so swimmingly. There I was, walking that trusty path of habit, happy as a lark. You know, that path I always go for a stroll along. Know it like the back of my hand, I do! Then… Continue reading

iTalki Isolation Blitz? Here’s how to make the most!

Three plush monkeys in the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil poses. Image by freeimages.com

Armed with a bunch of loose ends and a clutch of free evenings, I have been spending quite a bit of time on iTalki over the past few weeks. In order to avoid bankruptcy, I tend to go for community… Continue reading

It’s the Little Things : Serendipity and Lockdown Learning

A picture of a little yellow flower. Image from freeimages.com

It’s the little things that keep us going in challenging times. And no exception this week, which brought a tranche of serendipitous rediscoveries that kept the housebound language learning ticking over, preserving at least a modicum of precious lockdown sanity.… Continue reading

Language Jam on Ukrainian Toast

Jars of jam. Image by freeimages.com.

What did you have for breakfast this morning? For me, it was a large dollop of Ukrainian jam on toast. I know, that makes two weeks in a row that I’ve written about food. But this time, it was purely… Continue reading