woman language learning

Infographic: Are Women better Language Learners?

Language learning community busuu.com dug into its learner data to find out if women are better language learners and came up with an infographic.

Continue reading “Infographic: Are Women better Language Learners?”

Language Helper

What is a Language Helper?

I have talked often about using a “language helper” to learn the language and I want to take a bit of time to explain it today.  But first I will talk about what a language helper (LH) is not.

A LH is not a teacher.  They are not a tutor.  They will not be experts in grammar – at least not any more than the average American is an expert in English grammar – who can tell me what a participle phrase is?

Continue reading “What is a Language Helper?”

Skype Translator Preview

Skype Translator Preview features Connected Classrooms at Launch

Cross-published on EDUKWEST.

Skype today officially launched the Skype Translator Preview with a video showing how the technology can be used to connect classrooms across the globe. In the demo a class from Tacoma in the USA and a class from Mexico City play a game of “Mystery Skype”, asking each other questions to determine in which city they are located respectively.

Continue reading “Skype Translator Preview features Connected Classrooms at Launch”

Studying in London

Great Free Resources for Learning British English

As you know, there are different dialects of English around the world like British English, American English, Australian and so on. In most cases it does not really matter which English dialect you learn as long as you try to stick with it and don’t mix up different Englishes. When you learn English as a second language in school, in the vast majority of cases, you’re either taught British or American English.

However, the situation changes when it comes to studying in London or working in New York City. Dialects, accents, a slightly different vocabulary and grammar can play an important role as proper spelling might have an effect on your grades at university or your coworkers will simply understand you better when you talk the way they are used to, may it be in a British or American accent or the use of certain words and vocabulary .

Continue reading “Great Free Resources for Learning British English”


Are you a King or a Prisoner? The Danger of Reliance

A few months ago, I started writing an article with the stated purpose of inspiring more native English speakers to open their eyes to the potential in language study. The cause is an everlasting one, often considered peripheral by Brits and Americans, and continually overlooked. I drew the picture of monolingualism as a prison, and almost hesitated to publish the words because this is such a strong image. Prisoners are trapped because of choices they have made, or situations they have found themselves in. They are stigmatised, struggling for hope and expected to mend their ways.

Continue reading “Are you a King or a Prisoner? The Danger of Reliance”

misconceptions about language learning

Misconceptions about Language Learning #8: Without Moving Abroad, you will Forever Miss Out

A lot of prominent language learners on the internet are expats of some kind. Some have been on the road for years like Mau Buchler, others like David Mansaray are posting about their experiences of living in a different country. It’s completely reasonable to assume that language and this sort of mega-immersion of living abroad are inextricably linked, but as a learner could this mindset be putting a bit of pressure on you? Instead of busting a myth as I usually do, my aim today is to make you consider a different angle of language motivation.

Continue reading “Misconceptions about Language Learning #8: Without Moving Abroad, you will Forever Miss Out”

Italian Job Titles

Italian Job Titles and the Difficult Path to Equality

As you probably already know, the Italian language has two genders, maschile (masculin) and femminile (feminine), but is this rule always observed? If we look at Italian job titles, it is not always so.

A male doctor is a dottore, a female doctor is a dottoressa; but a female lawyer is an avvocato, like her male counterpart, and not an avvocatessa; the same holds for presidente, which is used for both female and male presidents. As you can see from these examples, not always is there in Italian a specific feminine noun to define some professions.

Continue reading “Italian Job Titles and the Difficult Path to Equality”