Language learning blog

how to sound more fluent in a foreign language
Fluency is not just about knowing all the words and knowing how to use them. It’s not about speaking quickly either. Fluency is about feeling comfortable speaking, and speaking in a way that ‘flows’. Do you know what I mean? Whatever stage of learning a language you’re at, there are things you can do to sound more fluent. I’m about to share them with you. And don’t be put off if you’re only a beginner or an intermediate learner – you will also benefit from my tips, in the same way a more advanced learner will. Are you ready? Read on! […]

How to sound more fluent in a foreign language

6 most annoying things about language learning
Language learning is fun but it can be a little bit annoying sometimes! Don’t you agree? In the video below, I talk about the 6 most annoying things about learning a foreign language. Comment below with the things you find particularly annoying about language learning. And remember you can read the post below if you don’t fancy watching the video! 1. You always know the answer *after* somebody tells you what it is Imagine you’re saying something and you’re trying to remember a word that you already know really well. You used it yesterday but for some reason it’s gone […]

6 most annoying things about learning a language

the ultimate guide to French for beginners
Are you learning French or wondering how to learn French from scratch? This article brings together all of my top advice on why and how you should learn French. This advice is based on my own experience of learning French – things I’ve tried and tested. I decided to write this guide to give you an overview of the French language and also to give you some tips on where to start when you’re a beginner.  Are you ready? Let’s get started! Click on the section that interests you or download this guide and read it later. 1. Why should […]

Learn French from scratch: the ultimate guide to French for beginners

silly things people say about language learning 1
In the 15+ years I’ve been learning foreign languages, I’ve heard my share of silly things people say about language learning. I thought it would be fun to put this silliness together and make a video! You can watch it below or, if you prefer, scroll down to read the post! Don’t forget I’ve got tons of fun and useful language learning videos on my YouTube channel so head over there and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss any future videos! Here’s the write-up of the most silly things people say about learning foreign languages! 1. Why are you […]

Silly things people say about learning foreign languages

  Last year, I asked 18 different language learning experts and enthusiasts for their favourite tips and techniques of 2016. I published them in a massive round-up article, which became very popular with the language learning community. I was really happy I could help so many of you by relaying those 18 people’s top advice. If you didn’t see it last December, you can read it here: Language Learning Experts’ Favourite Strategies in 2016 This year, I’ve decided to do something different. I’ve looked at loads of articles about language learning published around the web in 2017 and selected 18 […]

Language learning experts’ top tips and advice of 2017

how to not forget vocabulary in a foreign language
How to remember vocabulary in a foreign language This article is not really about memorising vocabulary in a foreign language. If you’re interested in the topic of how to learn or memorise vocabulary effectively, make sure you read my three other posts on this topic: How to learn vocabulary effectively How to learn vocabulary: top tips How to use mnemonics to learn vocabulary in any language What this article is about, though, is how to make sure that you don’t forget the vocabulary you’ve already learned. Or, in other words, how to maintain the vocabulary that you have. How to […]

How to NOT forget vocabulary in a foreign language

how to learn languages from songs
How to learn a language from songs I bet you’ve tried learning a foreign language from your favourite song. ‘Despacito’ anyone? I bet you have tried translating it into English! No? Well, have a go and see what you think… Why am I talking about this anyway? Because although the title of this post is ‘how to learn languages from songs’, I’m also going to cover the topic of ‘is it a good idea to learn languages from songs’. If you’d rather watch my video on this topic, here it is! Otherwise, keep reading. Learning a language from music Don’t […]

How to learn languages from songs

How to learn two languages at the same time Some of you may remember my blog post about how to learn several languages at the same time. It’s a topic that many, many people are interested in for some reason! The post I wrote about it a couple of years ago is actually one of the most popular posts on the 5-Minute Language blog ever. And that’s great! I’m happy to see that so many people want to learn more than one language. But… There are also people who don’t care about being polyglots. They don’t want to learn multiple […]

How to Learn Two Languages at the Same Time

Be less shy when speaking a foreign language
Feeling shy is something most of us have experienced before when trying to speak a foreign language. Some of us feel anxious, not too confident and sometimes even scared. It’s all natural and it’s all part of the journey. But there are some things you can do to overcome the shyness and feel more confident when speaking the language you’re learning. I’ve made a video about this topic so make sure you watch it and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, which is where I post videos like this one regularly. If you’d rather read my tips, then […]

How to be less shy when speaking a foreign language

5 books every language learner should read 1
The 23 April 2017 is World Book and Copyright Day. To mark this occasion, I’ve decided to share with you my 5 favourite books that I think you should read if you want to become a more effective language learner. I’ve also made a video in which I share some extra details about the books. Make sure you watch it as well and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel: Are you ready to look at the 5 books every language learner should read? Let’s get started! 1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People What is it? A classic in […]

5 Books Every Language Learner Should Read

overcome fear of speaking 1
Speaking – it’s tough! We’re all in the same boat, though. You’re not the only person who’s feeling that way. It takes courage to get started. It can be overwhelming. But… I’ve got good news for you – you can do it! When I moved to France in 2007, I thought I had what I needed. I’d been learning French for about four years at that point. I could easily read novels in French, including Victor Hugo and Marcel Proust, and I was also getting into graphic novels. I had a lot of vocabulary – both formal and informal – […]

Overcome the Fear of Speaking in 3 Easy Steps

sound like a native 9
How to sound like a native speaker? If you prefer to watch a video about this topic, then here it is! Don’t forget to subscribe to the 5-Minute Language Youtube channel and give this video a thumbs up – thank you! If you’d like to read my advice in detail, here it is! When I moved to England for the first time, I really wanted to sound like a native. I felt very strongly that my ability to speak without my native accent was the one and only goal to aim for. I wanted to be part of the crowd. […]

How to sound like a native speaker in a foreign language

the dark side of language learning 2
I don’t know about you but whenever I look for language learning advice online, it all seems so easy. Just do this one thing, then do this other thing, and a little bit of that, and it’ll all be good. It’s one big success story. It’s all positive, motivating and inspiring. But is that a true picture of what it’s like to learn a language? No, it’s not. And nobody seems to be talking about it. Nobody seems to be talking about the dark side of language learning. You keep learning new words and the more you think you know, […]

The Truth About Language Learning Nobody Talks About

are language courses worth your money 1
When you’re starting to learn a language, you’re probably wondering whether to sign up for a language course or classes. And these things cost money so it’s an important decision to make. Are language courses worth your money? I hope that this article will help you decide for yourself. If you’d rather watch my video on this topic, here it is. Otherwise, continue reading! Are language courses worth your money? Language learners often jump at the idea of joining a language course because it seems like the ultimate solution to their language learning problems. But often, they don’t ask themselves […]

Are language courses worth your money?

how to stop translating words in your head
How to stop translating in your head when speaking a foreign language Stop translating in your head because that’s not what language learning is about. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not that easy at all! Translating in your head – either from your native language or into your native language – when speaking or listening to a foreign language, is something many language learners struggle with. In fact, it’s a very natural thing to do when you first start learning a new language. It’s a habit that somehow develops early on and stays with you for a long, long […]

How to Stop Translating in Your Head

5 facts about language learning backed by science
What I tend to do on this blog is share with you some of the tips and techniques that have worked for me and helped me learn foreign languages effectively. They’re my tips and my opinions, though. And what works for me, won’t always work for everyone else. So, I thought it would be interesting to look into what science has to say about language learning. Here are five fun facts about language learning backed by science! 1. Spaced repetition really works Spaced repetition is a language learning technique that helps you keep the words you learn fresh in your […]

5 Facts about Language Learning Backed by Science

the biggest mistakes language learners make
I’ve written about language learning mistakes before. There are many standard mistakes that we all make at different points of our language learning journeys. But there is one big mistake that I think trumps them all. It’s a mistake that is most likely to stall your progress and prevent you from moving forward. Do you want to find out what it is? Check out the video! Or, if you’d rather read about it, scroll down and continue reading. The biggest language learning mistake I can think of is being comfortable. For many of us, being comfortable is what we strive […]

The Biggest Mistake Language Learners Make

how many words do you need to speak a foreign language 1
How many bricks do you need to build a house? How many steps do you need to take from your living room to your kitchen? How many eggs do you need to make an omelette? How easy is it to answer these questions? It’s quite straightforward. They are three tasks that require a specific number of things (bricks, steps, eggs) to get them accomplished. I’d probably use three eggs to make an omelette for myself – and maybe five if I was making one for two people. Easy question – easy answer! So, how many words do you need to […]

How Many Words Do You Need to Speak a Foreign Language?

most common spelling mistakes in English
Most common spelling mistakes in English Here’s a list of the most common spelling mistakes in English. And it’s not only English learners that struggle with them. Even native speakers often find it difficult to remember how to spell these words! Enjoy the infographic! 30 Most Common Spelling Mistakes in English – INFORGRAPHIC Click To Tweet Are you learning English? Head over to the 5-Minute Language Youtube channel for free videos for English learners!  

30 Most Common Spelling Mistakes in English [infographic]

what is the easiest language to learn
What is the easiest language to learn? It’s a question many people ask me. Many people want to know what the easiest language to learn is before they start learning their first foreign language. Other people may be wondering what the easiest language to learn is when choosing their second or third foreign language. It’s a very important question. But it’s also a very difficult one to answer. Let’s have a go at answering it, though – shall we? Before we do that, though, I just want to let you know that if you prefer, you can watch the video below […]

What Is the Easiest Language to Learn?

how to start a blog 1
In February this year, my blog 5-Minute Language turned two! Time really does fly! It’s been a great couple of years of sharing my passion with you guys and interacting with you. Running the blog has also enabled me to meet a lot of interesting language learners, including other language bloggers, collaborate on projects and start new friendships. I’ve also learned a whole lot of stuff about blogging in the past two years. So, in this post I’d like to share with you everything I know about how to start a blog. Here’s your complete guide! How to Start a Blog  […]

Your Complete Guide to Starting a Blog

language learning addict 8
Are you worried that you or someone you know might be addicted to learning languages? Well, before you make your final diagnosis, use the guidance below to check their symptoms! And don’t worry – being a language learning addict is not a bad thing after all! 1. You delete holiday photos from your phone to make some space for language apps Because who cares about memories when you can get the latest version of Duolingo, right?   2. You’re happy to watch really bad films just because they’re foreign You have the time of your life and your friends be like:   […]

8 Signs You’re Addicted to Learning Languages

English Phrasal Verbs Every Learner Should Know Do you ever feel unwell when somebody mentions English phrasal verbs? Well… I know many English learners do – you’re not the only one! I want to help you become a phrasal verb pro and that’s why I’m starting a new series on the 5-Minute Language YouTube channel, focused specifically on English phrasal verbs! Are you excited? I am! In the first video in this series, I discuss 5 English phrasal verbs you need to know if you want to speak English like a native. Watch the video to find out what they are: […]

5 Phrasal Verbs You Need to Know to Speak English Like a Native

get fluent 4
If you’re really serious about making progress in the language or languages you’re learning, consider giving up all of these six things. 1.Stop thinking fluency is your only goal Fluency is a big word. It’s actually massive. Let’s face it – if fluency is your only goal, you’ll be massively overwhelmed. Imagine this: you’ve never been out for a run in your life and you want to get into running to improve your overall fitness. Do you enter a marathon straight away? What’s your answer to this? Well, mine would be – no way! I’d probably give up my dream […]

6 Things You Need to Stop Doing Immediately if You Want to Get Fluent

lose your accent
Many language learners believe that losing your foreign accent when speaking another language is a sign of fluency in that language. I know many of you are interested in this topic because my article on how to sound more like a native speaker is a very popular one! However, is losing your own accent when speaking a foreign language is really something you should be aiming for? Watch my video to find out! Don’t forget to subscribe to the 5-Minute Language YouTube channel as well – more similar videos coming soon! Should you lose your foreign accent when speaking another […]

Should You Try to Lose Your Foreign Accent?

how to be fluent in english 2
Here’s a new video for all of you language learners who are learning English! I discuss my favourite strategies for getting to fluency in English. So, if you’re wondering how to be fluent in English, make sure you check it out! Also, don’t forget to download your free sheet with the 25 most common and extremely useful English phrasal verbs! Download your free resource here Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos about learning English! 3 Things You Must Do to Be Fluent in English Click To Tweet

3 Things You Must Do to Be Fluent in English

language learning myths 5
There are so many myths when it comes to language learning that I decided to make a video to tell you guys the truth! Check it out and let me what you think in the comments below!

5 Biggest Language Learning Myths

how to learn vocabulary effectively 1
I started 2017 with a commitment to learn Japanese more consistently. I’m doing this with many of you as part of The Vocab Club – my free programme that aims to help you stick to your language learning resolutions. I’m really excited about this – thank you to those of you who have signed up already! If you haven’t sign up yet – you can still enter your name and email and I’ll let you know when the next round of the programme opens 🙂 For me, learning vocabulary is probably the most important (and the most enjoyable!) element of acquiring […]

How to Learn Vocabulary Effectively: Top Tips

Language experts reveal their top language learning strategies in 2016 I can’t believe there are only a couple of days left of 2016! It’s been an interesting year in many different ways and I’m sure you guys have made a lot of progress in at least one area of your language learning. What’s a better way to celebrate the transition to 2017 than to gather advice from some of the most interesting language learners and bloggers out there. I’ve asked 17 people what their number one language learning strategy was in 2016 and here are their answers! 18 language experts […]

Language Learning Experts’ Favourite Strategies in 2016

most popular on 5-minute language in 2016
It’s almost the end of December and it’s time to look back over 2016! This post celebrates the five most popular articles on 5-Minute Language in 2016. The five articles most read by you guys! Thank you for supporting 5-Minute Language this year – it means a lot to me! So, let’s get started! Top 5 Most Popular Language Learning Articles on 5-Minute Language in 2016 Click To Tweet 1. 10 Things Monolingual People Will Never Understand  This one is a real gem – it’s the most popular article on 5-Minute Language in 2016, and the second most popular ever! It’s […]

Your Top 5 Favourite Posts on 5-Minute Language in 2016

learning languages
Mistakes, preconceptions and limiting beliefs – we all make them and have them, and we should share them to help other people make a better start! So, here they are – the 7 things I wish I’d known before I started learning foreign languages. I hope they can help you on your journey! 1. You use 20% of words 80% of the time When people start learning foreign languages, the temptation often is to learn as many words as possible. A lot of new words often seems like a lot of progress. I was trapped in the same kind of […]

7 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Started Learning Languages

Welcome to episode 3 of the 5-Minute Language Podcast! In this episode, I discuss a technique that has really helped me improve my confidence when speaking foreign languages. I call it ‘echoing’. This technique is particularly useful when you’re feeling a little bit shy and finding it hard to join in a conversation. So, what is ‘echoing’ and how can it help you improve your speaking skills? Listen to the episode to find out! Subscribe: iTunes Thanks for supporting the 5-Minute Language podcast. If you’d like to help me out, here’s what you can do: Subscribe to the podcast on […]

5ML 003: Improve Your Speaking Skills with ‘Echoing’

learn multiple languages
Use a language you already know to learn multiple languages In this article, I’m going to show you exactly how you can make the most of any language you already know to learn another language, or to learn several languages! Think you don’t know any languages already? You do – you know your native language. And yes – you can use your native language to learn many other languages. Are you with me? Let’s look into the details of what that means.   1. Look for similarities in vocabulary More often than not, your native language (or any other language you […]

4 Ways to Use a Language You Know to Learn Another Language

is motivation important when learning a language 1
Welcome to episode 2 of the 5-Minute Language podcast! In this episode, I discuss the question of whether motivation is really important when learning a language. I’ve got a perhaps slightly controversial view on this… Listen to the podcast to find out what it is and let me know if you agree!     Subscribe: iTunes Thanks for supporting the 5-Minute Language podcast. If you’d like to help me out, here’s what you can do: Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes Ask me a question about language learning in the comments below – I’ll try to answer it in one […]

5ML 002: Is Motivation Important When Learning a Language?