Weekly language learning roundup – September 15, 2014

Weekly language learning roundup 15 Sept 2014


Two articles and an app this week. 

I hope you find them interesting and useful 🙂


Characteristics of a good language learner

What do you think makes a good language learner?

Over on The Mezzofanti Guild site, Donovan Nagel has put together a great list of 11 unmistakable characteristics that define a good language learner, and which determine the success or failure of any language learning endeavor.

Just as there are certain characteristics of people who succeed in business and other areas of life, you can spot a pattern when you look at successful language learners as well. Nobody is born better at languages. The following characteristics of damn good language learners are simply patterns of attitude and behavior that anyone can learn to do and put into practice.

Have a look at his list and see which of the characteristics you already have, and which you could develop.


SOUNDS Pronunciation App

This app from Macmillan Education looks very useful.

Sounds helps you study, practise and play with pronunciation wherever you are.

 All wordlists also come with Macmillan Dictionary definitions that help with understanding meaning and improving vocabulary. You can increase your vocabulary, practise and improve your pronunciation skills, and practise talking about your favourite topic. You can even record and compare your own pronunciation.

There’s also an interactive phonemic chart – you can tap on a symbol to hear the sound, or tap and hold to hear an example word.


Does it take 10,000 hours to reach genius-level excellence?

How many hours do you think it takes to learn English to ‘excellent’ level? And have you heard of the 10,000 hour rule – the very popular and often-quoted idea that this is how many hours it takes to become very succesful at something?

An article on Brain Pickings discusses a book by psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, in which he says that, as you might expect, reaching excellence is much more complex than the simple 10,000 hours idea.

He says that mechanically repeating something for 10,000 hours and repeating the same mistakes is not going to help you make progress. You need focused or deliberate practice that also pushes your limits so that you make more (different) mistakes and make progress; and that a key to your success is feedback from an expert.

What do you think about the 10,000 hour rule? And how important do you think it is to get expert feedback on your progress?




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