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The Art and Science of Learning Languages

January 18, 2022 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST

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Join linguist and serial language learner Colin Gorrie in the third salon in a series investigating language for an exploration of how language learning works and how to do it better.

Learning a second language: Many people attempt it but few accomplish it. Despite the wide variety of books, apps, and courses promising fluency with little effort (“in only 15 minutes a day”), most language learners do not achieve their goals. But there is lots of research studying how language learning works and how to do it effectively. Unfortunately, few language learners are aware of it.

In this salon, we’ll look to the science, to the experience of polyglots, and to our own successes and failures, to come up with a plan to make our 2022 language learning resolutions stick.

Topics will include:

  • How to select materials for language learning (and which kinds to avoid!)
  • How to use language learning materials effectively
  • How to manage motivation throughout the language learning process
  • How your needs change as you progress from beginner to intermediate to advanced
  • How to learn multiple languages at once (and whether you should!)
  • How a little knowledge of how language works can save you a lot of time


  • Stephen Krashen. Language Acquisition and Comprehensible Input. Video. (15m) (it’s 80s but it’s great)
  • Bill VanPatten. Top Myths About Language Acquisition and Language Teaching. Tea with BVP. Podcast. (60m)


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January 18, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm EST
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