Can Learning a Foreign Language Be a Privilege?

How many languages did you get a chance to learn while you were in school? One? Two? Could you choose between a few? Did you have the option to learn one at all? Chances are your experience with learning a foreign language as a kid depends on a number of factors that you had little … Continue reading Can Learning a Foreign Language Be a Privilege?

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Let’s Talk Language: What Do You Know About Jamaican Patois?

Hey! Wah gwaan? It’s February again, which means it’s Black History Month in the U.S. It’s been a bit quiet on the blog so far, but I want to start celebrating this month by introducing something a little different: an interview. Today's language topic is Jamaican Patois in honor of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican-born man … Continue reading Let’s Talk Language: What Do You Know About Jamaican Patois?

Help! I Can’t Get Over My Bad Language Learning Habits!

January is almost over and, so far, I’ve done a few more recordings in French for the 30-Day Speaking Challenge, studied a bit of Japanese, browsed Amazon for a new textbook, and felt embarrassingly inadequate in Spanish while purchasing Brazilian takeout. The worst part is that the takeout wasn’t even for me. The best part … Continue reading Help! I Can’t Get Over My Bad Language Learning Habits!

Feeling Discouraged by Your Language Learning Efforts?

It's a new year, which means lots of new goals are in the air along with plenty of motivation to accomplish them. Some of us have started learning new languages and some of us have decided to conquer new challenges with their current target languages. But what about those of us who haven't added a … Continue reading Feeling Discouraged by Your Language Learning Efforts?

How Does Your Cultural Identity Influence Your Language Learning?

What kind of learner are you? Most people might reply by saying "I'm a visual learner" or "I learn best with a tutor", but there are other factors that can influence your learning as well. Only, we're less likely to think of them until we're asked a different question: What defines you? For the most … Continue reading How Does Your Cultural Identity Influence Your Language Learning?

Why You Should Mix Up Your Language Goals

What do you dream of doing in your target language? Lots of people have a goal in mind when they start learning a language. They want to travel to a country where it's spoken or they want to communicate with someone new. No matter the reason, something pushes them to start learning. Along the way, … Continue reading Why You Should Mix Up Your Language Goals

Learning a New Language: Is It Better to Have a Plan?

How did you start learning your target language? Maybe you took a class and a teacher guided you through a curriculum or maybe you just got curious and started using Duolingo. Either way, you probably had a reason to begin learning and an initial goal to work towards. But what about a plan? We're often … Continue reading Learning a New Language: Is It Better to Have a Plan?

It’s Such an Easy Language – Why Can’t I Learn It?

Once upon a time, the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) created a ranking of languages based on how difficult it was for a native English speaker to learn them well enough to reach “Professional Working Proficiency”. Some languages, like Spanish, were listed as Category I, meaning it took roughly 24-30 weeks or 600-750 classroom hours to … Continue reading It’s Such an Easy Language – Why Can’t I Learn It?

Don’t Let Depression Stop You from Learning a Language

Learning a language isn’t all sunshine, rainbows, and an endless trail of Duolingo hearts. It’s forgetting words you thought you knew, mixing up grammar rules, and choking when you try to speak. It has bad days. We don't always talk about the real bad days, either. For anyone whose suffered with depression at any point, … Continue reading Don’t Let Depression Stop You from Learning a Language

How Creative Writing Can Help You Learn a Language

What's the last thing you wrote? A grocery list? An address? A date on your calendar? You might have already tried using your target language in your everyday life through writing. Maybe you've written sticky notes with vocabulary and placed them around the house. Maybe your grocery list isn't in your native language. Now, what's … Continue reading How Creative Writing Can Help You Learn a Language