Recon in the course book jungle: forward loading vocab to breeze through books

Wading into the jungle of a new language course. Image from freeimages.com

You know the feeling. A shiny new course book, fresh from the bookshop. All that potential, just sitting there, between the covers. There’s a joy and anticipation at the sight of a language learning book that only linguaphiles can know.… Continue reading

Foreign language reading: books that speak to your heart

Lots of books - nice reading material!

Building fluency beyond the basics requires regular, plentiful exposure to your foreign language. And there are few easier ways to get that exposure than through reading for pleasure. As a lover of books, however, choice can pose a problem. Faced… Continue reading

Last Minute Gifts for Language Learners

Christmas is coming! Make it a language learning one.

Yes, Christmas is just around the corner! And, if you’re anything like me, you enjoy a healthy (and very human) mix of perfect prep and last-minute lunacy. However well I plan, there are always a couple of things that sneak… Continue reading

Bilingual books: tips and tricks for free online reading material 📚

Books on a bookshelf

Thanks to a recommendation from another polyglot friend, I’ve been exploring bidirectional translation as a new language learning method lately. It involves working with parallel texts in your target and native languages to strengthen vocabulary and grammar. The only snag: it… Continue reading

Grammar on a budget: CGP French handbook [review]

The French flag flying in front of a town hall

I’m a big fan of school revision materials as cheaper alternatives to expensive language textbooks. CGP’s foreign language GCSE revision guides are a case in point. The publishers may be targeting teenage students, but the material is just as effective for… Continue reading

Course books for linguists: save cash with revision guides

Study material for a course

When you commit to learning a foreign language, it’s not unusual for a first step to be seeking out good course material. There are plenty of very well established courses, the best including audio material. The staple Teach Yourself series, for example, was… Continue reading