method

Do I need to understand everything?

6 Mar 2012

My method for learning Polish involved mainly reading and listening to books in Polish. There are many variations on this method that involve the use of movies, podcasts or even video games instead of books.

As long as the method focuses on understanding real language and there is some listening component - it will be very effective.

The main challenge is understanding this language when you are still learning (especially listening).

Lately, I've been receiving a lot of emails that say something like:

When we are listening to podcasts (for example), do you think it's worth it to try and understand as much as possible? Should we listen to the same recording over and over until we understand everything?

Read more for my response!

How to learn words with multiple meanings

21 Sep 2011
Two dragon heads
A word with two meanings is like a dragon with two heads. Photo by Art Siegel.

In all languages, there are words with several, seemingly unrelated meanings - and English is no exception.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word "get" has over 20 different meanings! It's even hard to count them all. :-)

So, what's the best way to learn words with multiple meanings?

Read more for my advice!

Heinrich Schliemann: a famous polyglot’s method

2 Aug 2011
Portrait of Heinrich Schliemann

As a language learner, it’s always interesting to hear about accomplished polyglots. One such historical figure is a 19th-century German amateur archeologist and businessman by the name of Heinrich Schliemann.

Schliemann learned at least fourteen languages during his lifetime. He claims that (after some time learning languages, of course) he could learn a new language in only six weeks!

So the question is: How could he possibly learn so many languages or learn any language so quickly? And can we learn anything from his method?

(Special thanks to skorway on YouTube - also the author of this guest post - who suggested this topic and did much of the research!)

Read more to learn about Schliemann’s language learning method and my thoughts on his techniques!

Experiment in "shadowing"

14 Jun 2011

For several years, I've heard about a mysterious technique for language learning called shadowing.

I understood that it had to do with repeating after a recording of a native speaker, however, I didn't really know more than that. But recently I've become more interested!

It all started because I want to improve my Polish pronunciation. While its strongest proponents assert that shadowing is a complete language learning technique, many people say that it's particularly great for improving pronunciation.

So, I've decide to experiment using shadowing with Polish!

In this article, I describe my plan for this experiment. I'm completely new to the technique, but I know that many readers of the blog already use it. Please give me your advice!

Read more for a short explanation of shadowing and my plan!

The three ingredients for successful language learning

15 Mar 2011
BiblioBird
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Ingredients
Some recipes have many ingredients. Language learning only has three! Photo by Anthony Georgeff

What's the difference between a successful language learner and an unsuccessful language learner?

Is it talent with languages? Nope! Last week I wrote that talent isn't necessary to learn a language. So, what then?

The three ingredients for successful language learning are time, motivation and an effective method.

With these three things, anyone can learn any language successfully.

Read on for more information!

Vlog: Jak wygląda efektywna metoda nauki języka obcego

5 Mar 2011

Po tym filmiku o trzech potrzebnych składnikach nauki języka obcego (czas, motywacja, efektywna metoda), bardzo dużo ludzi zapytało mnie o ten ostatni składnik. W tym filmiku opisuję jak wygląda efektywna metoda nauki!

Czytaj traskrypcję poniżej!

What is spaced repetition?

4 Jan 2011
BiblioBird
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Screenshot from Anki
Anki, a computer program implementing spaced repetition

Spaced repetition is a learning technique, that helps you learn and retain many facts over a long period of time.

Unless you have a photographic memory, you likely won't remember a fact you've seen just once. At least not for long! You will need to review that fact in order to keep it in your mind. But which facts should you review? And how often?

Read more to find out how spaced repetition answers these questions!

Vlog: Jak uczyć się angielskiego w ten sam sposób jak uczę się polskiego

4 Dec 2010

Dzisiaj znowu mówię o tym jak uczyłem się języka polskiego i przedstawiam BiblioBird.com, mój projekt dla nauki języków obcych (na razie tylko języka angielskiego). Też mam prezenty dla wszystkich, którzy utwarzają konto na stronie BiblioBird.com do jedenastego grudnia. Obejrzyj filmik, żeby dowiedzieć się więcej!

Czytaj transkrypcję poniżej.

Should I learn English with the Callan Method?

18 Nov 2010
Callan School sign
Photo by Shht! on Flickr

There are many different approaches to language teaching. When choosing a school or a course, it can be difficult for the student to decide which method is best. Callan Method is very popular. In this article I will explain what the method is and its advantages/disadvantages.

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