Laughs for Linguists : Polyglot Picks for Edinburgh Fringe 2019

The Edinburgh Fringe is a great opportunity for language lovers to get some target language entertainment! Image from freeimages.com.

The Edinburgh Fringe is back! And, in what has become a Polyglossic tradition, we have leafed through the flyers and brochures to compile our polyglot picks for #EdFringe 2019. There is something on offer for every language aficionado, with culturally… Continue reading

Hot Politics: cooking up language learning opportunities from election posters

Hotspot for politics: inside the cupola of the German Reichstag in Berlin

It’s European Parliament election time all over the European Union – even, perhaps, in the UK after recent developments – which means that Europe is awash with slogans and soundbites again. And politics, not always a dirty word, can be… 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

#EdFringe 2018 : Picks for Language Lovers

Edinburgh, home of EdFringe (Edinburgh Fringe Festival)

EdFringe is here again! And, as always, there is something for everyone in the festival, including us language lovers. In Polyglossic tradition, here are some picks for learners – or simply the culturally interested. The shows on offer are a… Continue reading

Metalanguage : learning to talk *about* your target language

Metalanguage helps you to talk about the cogs and wheels of language

One of the biggest challenges for language students is to maintain a 100% target-language environment during lessons. Holding everyday conversations is one thing. But when it comes to discussing the language itself, we often lack the tools. We need metalanguage.… Continue reading

Language idols: inspiration amongst friends

Surround yourself with symbols of your target language culture, like the cherry blossom of Japan

Sometimes there are people who happen upon a language learning system that just works. Sometimes it’s planned, sometimes it’s accidental. But those people are great sources of inspiration and ideas for people like us. As an example, I’ve always been… 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

Podcast essentials: mining overseas charts

Headphones - great for listening to a podcast or ten!

As a podcast junkie, I’m always looking for new sources and recommendations for foreign language programmes. So I was particularly excited to happen across the website iTunesCharts.net recently. The site provides iTunes charts across a range of regional stores, including… Continue reading

Time to learn? Fitting languages into busy lives

Time is precious

As a language geek, I’m often asked: “how do you find the time?”. My answer: most of the time, I don’t. Most self-directed learning is an imperfect process. Adults don’t have time to subdivide their day into neat lesson-shaped slots,… Continue reading

Gift ideas for language lovers

A ribbon on a gift.

OK, Christmas is gone. But I bet you’ve got a whole raft of birthdays coming up in the coming months. And some of those birthdays will be for language lovers, right? And we’re pretty hard to buy for, right? Well,… Continue reading