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Babbel Review: Should You Get A Membership?

Recently the team at Babbel, an online language-learning system, asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their site. I was glad to. I had tried their service out before but hadn’t really spent much time with it. I’m studying German pretty intensely, so this was a good opportunity to really see whether I…

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Comprehensible Input: 10 Ways to Find It

“Comprehensible input” is a term used pretty frequently in language learning circles, and for good reason: It’s important. The basic idea goes something like this. When you’re learning a foreign language, you need to read or listen to comprehensible input–that is, stuff you can understand the basic idea of. In turn, you pick up the…

If you're traveling somewhere, it's AWESOME to be able to speak with the people there in their language.

3 Ways to Get Back on Track with Your Language Learning

I’ve been studying languages pretty much nonstop for the last two years. Honestly, though, I haven’t always been like that. When I was an Arabic translator, I became so burned out on languages that the last thing I wanted to do was get back to the grind of studying grammar and vocab. I didn’t study…

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[CLOSED] Giveaway: Free Private Beta Access to FluentU

[OFFER CLOSED - These spots went pretty fast. Thanks to everyone who replied! If you replied and don't hear anything back in the next couple days, please let me know.] Hey guys. The folks at FluentU reached out to me and asked if I would like to offer something to my readers. And since I…

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Building Foreign Language Vocabulary – The Backwards Method

Building your vocabulary is vital if you’re learning a new language. Vocab building is perhaps given too much attention at times, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. You can learn a language’s grammar inside and out, but if you only know 400 words then you’ll be lost while reading the newspaper, watching TV, or…

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Wrap Up – Spanish Project

Okay guys, so I’m wrapping up two projects today: My audio-only challenge My Spanish project I’ve cut both a little short. Let me just say that I’m not done with Spanish forever. In fact, I hope it’s a language that I have and use for the rest of my life. I’ve come to love Spanish…

"Argument Over a Card Game" - Jan Steen

The Real Reason Tone is Important in Your Writing

I’m sure all of you have taken writing classes where the teacher or professor tells you it’s important to pay attention to your tone. Is tone really that important? It is. And today I realized why exactly. What is it? In your writing, your tone isn’t so much what you’re saying, but rather how you’re…

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Stay Motivated with Your Language Learning

I’ll keep this one quick because the message is pretty simple: Keep up the good work and keep going forward! A lot of you have resolved to learn a new language this year. I know this because my site traffic went up by something like 30% on January 1. People take a lot of flak…

A scene from the opening credits of "La Teacher de Ingl├ęs." If people dancing the Charleston in a place of business doesn't clue you in that there are going to be antics, then i don't know what.

Update on Spanish Project

Okay, so I’ve been working on my listening-only Spanish project for about three weeks. Here’s a very quick post to let you know about my progress. And I seriously thought about not mentioning this, but I’m going to be up front: I cheated. I’ll explain below. Listening The listening is going well. Here’s the list…