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

Five ways to maintain variety in your language learning

Variety adds a bit of a colour to your learning. (Image from freeimages.com)

Routine and regularity are cornerstones of language learning. But if your structure is too rigid, you might find yourself tiring of the same old, same old. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to work some variety into your language learning plan… Continue reading

DIY mass sentences technique : self-made repetitions for grammar mastery

A vast array of colourful baubles, as varied as your own mass sentences can be. (Picture from freeimages.com)

I’ve talked about the utility of mass sentences previously, including the vast resources at Tatoeba and Glossika. It can be particularly helpful in drilling language patterns through high exposure to model content and multiple repetitions. However, it’s possible to replicate… Continue reading

We’re going on a resource hunt! Finding language learning freebies on educational sites

A bear hunting resources. Probably not language learning ones, though. From freeimages.com.

We’re going on a bear hunt, sing the children in Michael Rosen’s children’s book of the same name, gorgeously illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. And that’s what much of my recent language work has felt like – if the bears are… Continue reading

Textual Time Machine: Turning to the past for motivating target language texts

Alphabet Texts

Gary Barlow and Margaret Thatcher accompanied me on my language learning this week. This surprising turn of events was thanks not to celebrity friendships and psychic messages, but rather a lucky stumble across a treasure trove of motivating target language… Continue reading

Doric Scots: Treasure Trove of Nordic Gems

Shipwrecks in Scotland (from freeimages.com). Perhaps Doric was spoken aboard these vessels?

As language learners, we often focus on cultures that are far-flung. With our eyes and ears fixed on the far away, any richness around us can end up playing second fiddle. But occasionally, when you take a moment to pause,… Continue reading

Acing preparation for a good one-to-one language lesson

Like climbing a mountain, making the most of your language lesson involves preparation!

I’ve attempted Icelandic a few times in my life. That sounds ominous, that ‘attempted’, doesn’t it? Well, the truth is that I’ve found the language a real challenge each time. I’ve usually learnt it in the lead-up to a trip,… Continue reading

Rationing enthusiasm for more effective language learning

We feel enthusiasm for chocolate, but it's not healthy to gorge on it!

Some things can be moreish. Chocolate, for example. You might think you can’t get enough of it. Your enthusiasm for the sweet stuff takes over, you race through your stash of secret supplies, and before you know it, you’re feeling bleugh.… Continue reading