Brain dump bonanza : splurge your way to vocabulary mastery!

A plastic brain. Image from freeimages.com

This week, I’ve been rediscovering a magnificent memory boost from my student days: the brain dump! This – admittedly indelicately named – technique shares a lot with mind-mapping. It involves taking a blank page, and simply splurging onto it the… 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

Note-taking: boost your language learning with old-school style

Notebook for note-taking

Technology has transformed the day-to-day business of the language learner. Note-taking is now a matter of a few clicks and taps. Always on, vast storage, and the ability to index and edit – modern devices, apps and browser widgets take… 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

Anki, the vocab monster

Pulling out lists of words by tag in Anki

Did you think learning vocabulary in a foreign language was just about memorising lists of words? Well, there’s a science to it. And Anki, a free flashcard learning system, has it down to a tee. I’ve made frequent mention of… Continue reading

Papping your horn at Greek ducks

A duck on a riverbank

I’m sitting here imagining a duck in the middle of a big Greek road, as we drive ever closer towards it in our hire car. “It’s not moving!” I shout, panicked. “Quick! Pap ya horn and scare it out of the… Continue reading