Building in Margin as Language Learners : Restful Gains for Real-World Brains

Mountainous landscape - build some margin into your life and breathe in the fresh air. Image from freeimages.com

Do you have enough margin in your life? Margin is that bit of extra time you choose not to fill. It is the calendar slack, the breathing space, the room to manoeuvre – the opposite of ‘too busy’. It became a… Continue reading

Task Logging: Realise You’re Smashing It

Shooting Stars : Logging can help you reach for the skies with your language learning! Image from freeimages.com

If only we’d all be a little kinder to ourselves. I read it all the time on social media: fellow language learners beating themselves up for not studying harder, longer, more often. It seems like everybody feels they’re not doing enough.… Continue reading

The Power of One Deep Breath

Sunlight through the clouds. Image from FreeImages.com

Content, content, content. So often, the sole focus is on what we study. We hear a lot less about the setting, the timing and the flow. But these can have a huge impact on learning success. And something as simple… Continue reading

Keep tabs on your efforts with language learning report cards

A clipboard. Image from freeimages.com.

Now, if you hadn’t noticed, I am a complete control freak. But in a good way… honest! Well, most of the time. And especially when it comes to language learning. The “good way”, of course, mostly involves tracking how regularly and effectively… Continue reading

The Habit Trap: Becoming the master of your routine (and not its servant)

A wooded path - image from freeimages.com.

It was all going so swimmingly. There I was, walking that trusty path of habit, happy as a lark. You know, that path I always go for a stroll along. Know it like the back of my hand, I do! Then… Continue reading

Be fallible! Building resilience as a language learner

Accept yourself as a wonderful, fallible human being. Image from freeimages.com.

Human beings are fallible. We all make mistakes. But our natural instinct is often to feel shame, and try to hide those mistakes. And so, this week, I give you the pep talk I would have loved as a newcomer… Continue reading

Feel the heat: get a visual grasp on Anki with this natty plug-in

Is your learning on fire? Just check your streak! Image from freeimages.com.

Anki is an incredibly powerful tool with a heap of learning science behind it. But do you ever feel, as an Anki user, that the process is all a bit of a mystery? That, instead of being passively fed material,… Continue reading

But is it cheating? Language support tools and polyglot pride

Dictionaries - a great fallback, but is it cheating? Image from freeimages.com

You’ve prepared for this moment. You’re about to walk up to the counter and order that coffee in the language you’ve been learning for months. But it’s the heat of the moment. You’re a bit nervous. What’s the polite way… Continue reading