The Multilingual Reading Countdown

If you are interested in multiple languages, the Multilingual Reading Countdown is for you. This straightforward technique both increases the comprehensibility of a text and improves your understanding and memory of the content. Simply select a text that exists in multiple languages and read it in successive languages. For maximum comprehensibility and, therefore, maximum language acquisition, […]

Reading websites in multiple languages

As you may know from research or experience, the best thing you can do for your fluency in a language is to consume large quantities of content that you can understand. (If you are a teacher, the best thing you can do for your students’ fluency is to provide compelling content that your students can […]

Relearning a Language

My French is not what it once was. This makes me sad. Here is the story of what I’m doing about it, with some encouragement in case you, too, want to revisit a once known language. My first regular contact with French was in third grade, with a Swiss teacher in an Austrian classroom, in […]

My Favorite Language-Learning App is Temple Run 2

There are lots of language-learning apps out there—duolingo, Byki, Busuu, etc.–not to mention all the flashcard and quiz apps. But my favorite language-learning apps are these: Temple Run 2, 2048, Civilization, and FIFA 2014. “Aren’t these games,” you ask?  Yes, and they’re free, too. (Except Civilization.) “But they don’t even have spoken words!” True, and I […]

Your Language-Learning Happy Place

Your Happy Place is a mental state or a physical setting in which you are most at ease or most energized. You may have a general Happy Place, or you may have a host of Happy Places for different activities or purposes. Do you have a language-learning Happy Place? Mine are (a) just after breakfast, in […]

Party Tricks

I don’t have the best party tricks. My elbows and one thumb are double-jointed (see GIF), but I haven’t parlayed that into on-demand entertainment. I don’t do any good impressions. I can’t fold my tongue into a swan shape, although I can fold a hand towel into something like a Cornish game hen (picture below, video […]

Spare No Tupperware: Erasmus on living in the language

Like most people, I read some Erasmus this morning.  A friend had asked for a particular passage in Erasmus’s booklet De Ratione Studii (roughly, “On Study Habits”); after finding the passage, I was intrigued enough to read the book from the beginning.  Several pages in, I found a delightful, Indwelling-Language-evoking passage in which Erasmus discusses internalizing […]

On the Go, In the Language: Introducing #indwelli

You’re stuck in line at the DMV. (In other words, you’re at the DMV.) How do you you use the time? Maybe you check Facebook. That’s fine—probably better than checking it when you’ve got time to do something else. Maybe you make a shopping list. Maybe you don’t “use” the time at all; maybe you […]