How polyglot brains handle cross-language interference

Meta-learning - know your brain (Image from freeimages.com)

Paranoid polyglots beware. After years of brushing off comments like “don’t you ever get mixed up with all those languages?“, it happened to me recently: I noticed a significant interference from one language to another. The pernicious pair of languages… Continue reading

I Get So Emotional, Bébé : Using Positive Emotion to Improve Vocabulary Recall

Streamers

That positive emotion enhances learning seems intuitive to us. How much more do we learn feeling motivated and wired, compared to those times we try to cram when feeling flat and uninspired? Unsurprisingly, there is a heap of research that… 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

Be a clown! How playing the fool makes you a better linguist

Dogs dressed as clowns

Can I tell you my guilty secret? I love making a fool of myself. Before any of my friends and family organise an intervention to curb these masochistic tendencies,  I should qualify that: I love playing the fool when it comes… 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