Evernote : Language Hero Sidekick

Elephants (not the Evernote elephant)

Think language learning apps, and all the specialist ones tend to come to mind first: Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise and so on. But there are a couple of general tools I use all the time in my language learning. In particular, Evernote… Continue reading

Coaching and languages: the travelling partner you need?

Language learners are used to working with others. These tend to be language specialists: teachers, conversation exchange partners or fellow students. But support in learning languages does not have to be in the target language. Not convinced? Well recently, I’ve… Continue reading

2000 words and still not fluent? My Polish Anki experiment 🇵🇱📱

Polish words in a dictionary

Would you be impressed if I told you I know over 2000 words in Polish? What about if I told you that I still can’t actually speak Polish? As crazy as it sounds, it’s true. At least, it was true –… Continue reading

Google Sheets magic tricks for language learners

Data laser

The best language partners not only open your eyes to new words, but to new techniques. It is always the case with excellent iTalki teacher and polyglot friend Marcel Balzer, for example. Never short of fantastic tips, he recently shared a… Continue reading

Mindfulness tools for language learners

A bit of mindfulness can help the study sun break through

Even if languages are your passion, everybody needs a break. Pacing learning well is the hallmark of the efficient student, and avoiding burnout should be a top priority for polyglots. Mindfulness techniques – finding balance and quiet in the now… Continue reading

Talking to yourself: tap your inner voice to be a canny language learner

A chamber of mirrors - reflective, just like talking to yourself can be!

Talking to yourself is the first sign of madness, some say. But it’s actually the hallmark of the very canny linguist, too. Ask most experienced language learners, and they will tell you that the secret is speaking, speaking, speaking. But… Continue reading

Adverbs Aware: Learn these little words to ace your speaking early on

Adverbs describe how

Hacking or bluffing is about learning efficiently. That means spending time on those elements that give you the greatest results with just a modest effort. And one great way to buff up your speech economically is to focus on using… Continue reading

Support your speaking skills with custom crib sheets

Note taking, particularly in the form of crib sheets, is a powerful way to summarise your knowledge.

If you have ever revised for exams, you are probably already familiar with the crib sheet. A condensed, one-page summary of all the major facts to remember, they have saved the academic life of many a student over the years.… Continue reading

Preparing for the unpredictable – developing flexible language thinking

Real-life language can be unpredictable, like this tangle of colourful liquorice sweeties!

We’ve all been there. You’ve learnt the tenses. Have the vocab down pat. You have a head full of model questions and answers. You are totally ready for to be unleashed onto the target language streets. But – agh – what was that… Continue reading

Just chill! Anxiety busting tips for practical language use

A man lying on the grass - a great anxiety buster!

French was never my forte. Still, I recently had the opportunity to use my French again after years of neglect. I’ve long jibed about my French being rubbish, basic and broken. Doing my French down has become a running joke… Continue reading