Language Love in Times of Covid : Authentic Resources in Translation

An image of someone washing their hands by maripepa m, freeimages.com. Authentic resources on health topics are easy to come by in times of Covid-19.

Authentic resources in the target language are vital exposure to improve your skills. And during a public crisis, it just so happens that topical materials are even easier to come across. Namely, there is an abundance of brief, to-the-point and… Continue reading

Lovely Leaflets: Making the most of foreign language tourist ephemera

A stash of tourist leaflets and guides in various foreign languages.

What have I been doing this week? Well, apart from obsessing over topping Duolingo’s new global leaderboards? Mostly, I’ve been hacking my way through reams of foreign language leaflets and tourist material I’ve amassed over the past few months of… Continue reading

Challenging labels : exploiting globalism for language learning

The World (image from freeimages.com)

Enjoying a cold stout from an East London microbrewery for my birthday, I glanced down at the label and caught a real treat. There was the satisfyingly short list of ingredients, repeated in multiple languages on the label. Geeking over… 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

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

Systematise your reading with Learning With Texts (LWT)

Hit upon the right system and learn languages like clockwork. (From freeimages.com)

System can be everything in language learning. This was the thrust of an excellent talk by Lýdia Machová of Language Mentoring, which I was lucky enough to catch at the recent Polyglot Conference in Ljubljana. As chance would have it,… 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

Blinkist : one-stop knowledge shop with some language-learning gems

Blinkist offers condensed summaries of hundreds of books.

If you use any social media platform, you can’t have missed them lately; those bold and brash ads, featuring ever-so-slightly smug millennials stating “I read four books a day” and similar. Yes, Blinkist has been on a marketing offensive in recent… 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