Language learning

This article contains practical advice for Language learning. For the academic study of how humans learn second languages, see Second language acquisition.

Soft Skills

  • [[ Many obstacles to language learning are social and emotional ]]
  • [[ Most people fail to achieve their goals in language learning ]]
  • [[ Compelling input is important ]]
  • [[ If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not learning effectively ]]
  • [[ There are many valid goals in language learning ]]
  • [[ Learning a language is about keeping yourself in the language as long as possible ]]
  • [[ Speaking a language is a gradient phenomenon ]]
  • [[ Get out of your mind’s way ]]
  • [[ Learning a language is joining a speech community ]]
  • [[ Language learning is something worth doing even poorly ]]


  • [[ Mastering a language’s prosody helps listening comprehension ]]



  • [[ Anyone can pronounce any sound given the right instructions ]]
  • [[ Mastering a language’s prosody is a key to sounding natural ]]


  • [[ Grammar should be studied as a system ]]


  • [[ Learn vocabulary as paired phrases ]]
  • [[ Learn to describe objects and situations ]]

Memory aids

  • [[ Rich context is a memory aid ]]
  • [[ Relevance is a memory aid ]]

Specific techniques/methodologies

Extensive reading

  • [[ Extensive reading is effective if done properly ]]

Spaced repetition

  • coming soon

Finding resources

  • [[ Language learning materials aimed at English speakers tend to be bad ]]

Notes mentioning this note

There are no notes linking to this note.


I write a newsletter for people who love language. I write about linguistics, language learning, and writing – in other words, how languages work, how to learn them, and what to do with the ones you've learned. Sign up here:

    Here are all the notes in this garden, along with their links, visualized as a graph.