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

It’s a date! Planning for language success with extreme calendarising

As a naturally busy (read: untidy) mind, the discovery of proper planning in recent years has been a godsend for my language learning. From happy-go-lucky, read-a-few-pages-here-and-there amorphous rambler (goodness knows how I managed to amble my way through university), an… Continue reading

Digital fatigue in language learning: blending old school for a perfect mix

The best cure for digital fatigue - paper and pen. Image from freeimages.com.

I’ve always been a big champion of digital platforms for language learning. It’s my passion – and my job. So it’s with perhaps with some sense of defeat that I admit to suffering from a bit of digital fatigue of… Continue reading

À la modal : how these little nuancing verbs can fix your fluency

Modal verbs can lend colour to your speech (image from freeimages.com)

I have a nerdish love of verbs. For me, it’s where it all comes together in language. They are sentence glue. Conjugate them, and you can hang the rest of the sentence from them like on the branches of a… Continue reading