Your Roadmap to Language Success: The One-Page Language Plan

It’s that time of year again: Making New Year’s resolutions. This year I’m excited to offer something I really believe will help anyone looking to make serious improvement: The One-Page Language Plan A lot of people trying to achieve goals–in business, fitness, language, whatever–don’t have any kind of written plan. I think that’s a mistake,…

By Alf van Beem [CC0], Image Source

The Radio in the Background Trick

This post is about listening to the radio, which is a pretty basic activity. So in one sense there’s no “trick” to this. But there is something specific I do to make listening to the radio more useful–and this has made a big difference in the quality of my exposure to the language. The Importance of…

There are multiple words to describe the Egyptian dish Koshari, but "delicious" is all that comes to mind for me.

Five Ways to Learn Adjectives

Adjectives–words that describe people or things–are vital parts of any language. They modify a sentence’s meaning, sometimes significantly. Take the sentence “My husband put a sock in the dishwasher,” for example. If you say, “My funny husband put a sock in the dishwasher,” the meaning changes a little. If you say, “My estranged husband put a sock…

Claudette Restaurant - Montreal, Canada
By Jeangagnon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Four Random Tips for Language Learning

I’m now in the swing of things with learning Tagalog. The nice thing about starting a new language project is that I discover (and rediscover) stuff that really helps me learn. The bad thing is that I feel a little time-crunched. I’ve been really busy lately. I started a new job, which is great but…

Swimming Pool in Luxor, Egypt
By Przemyslaw "Blueshade" Idzkiewicz [CC 2.0] - Image Source

What to Do After Duolingo

Recently, a reader named Stefan asked me in the comments, “What do I do after Duolingo?” It was a good question, and one I imagine a lot of people have. If you’ve finished a Duolingo skill tree, congratulations! That required a lot of commitment, and by now you are likely able to do some things…

Cinema Paradiso
By Markus Mitterauer from Austria aka Addicted (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

How to Choose What to Listen To – Language Learning

Listening. It’s an important skill in language learning. If you’re taking a proficiency exam, you’ll more than likely be tested on listening–along with reading, writing, and speaking. And it’s hard to hold a conversation if you can’t understand what the other person is saying. I’m of the personal belief that listening holds special importance for…

Lajos Kolzsváry [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

36 Unique Language Exchange Conversation Starters

Running out of things to say in your language exchanges? Tired of talking about the same old thing with your partner? Then you’re in luck, because here are 36 conversation starters, separated by level, that add a little variety to the old standards like, “What do you do for a living?” You can use these…

By Olybrius (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

7 Ways to Learn a Language with Your Phone

I like technology, but for some reason, I’ve always been a late adopter. I didn’t get a cell phone until 2005, an iPod until 2009, and a smart phone until 2014. In fact, my friends and coworkers used to tease me all the time about my little flip phone. I didn’t really care, since I…