• Experiment: Switching Languages

    After I learned Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and a little Arabic I did not think that switching between foreign languages was very hard. The three (plus English) were all from distinctly different language families, which made the task relatively painless. Not only did they sound different but the very grammar and roots of each of the […]

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  • How to Learn to Read Novels in a Foreign Language

    I have tried reading books in foreign languages before, such as when I was learning Spanish. Like most, I found it challenging. The number of unknown words and the sheer amount of confusion made it easy to give up, even with simple books. It seemed more like a chore than anything else. This time around, […]

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  • Experiment: Study Drugs (Results, Part One)

    Sometimes experiments do not work out quite the way we expect.  The study drugs experiment is one of those cases.  It was fraught with problems, from shipping errors to technical problems to all-out hardware failures.   I do not consider the experiment to be a failure by any means.  I did manage to collect at […]

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  • Study Hack: Create a Language Bubble

    Creating a language bubble is a great way to make use of otherwise “wasted” time when learning a new language. One blogger has even used it to learn Japanese before ever arriving in Japan. The idea is to surround yourself as much as possible with the target language so the time otherwise spent in your native […]

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  • Study Hack: 5 Things Teachers wish Students Knew

    I dislike school.  This may be surprising given that, despite culminating my upper-education with a Bachelor’s degree a year ago, I have not been outside the classroom for more than a summer at any point in my life.   Schools, especially those in the formal educational system, are extraordinarily imperfect tools at best.  The vast […]

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  • Progress Update: French

    Today marks the two week (halfway) point in my experiment to learn French.  I’ve actually found the process to be surprisingly easy so far, despite the fact that I am still working full-time in English.  Below is my schedule and some tips for my fellow language students and/or productivity enthusiasts.   (to the left: the […]

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  • Experiment Setup: Which Drugs to Take?

    I do not approach the idea of taking any drug lightly, even one prescribed to me by a doctor.  So when I was setting up my experiment on the effects of different drugs on studying, I knew that I had to choose the subjects of my experiment carefully.   There are a lot of interesting […]

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  • Experiment Setup: Study Drugs

    One of the experiments I am currently carrying out is on the effects of different “brain boosters” or “study drugs” on learning.  My intention was to create something close to a “one man blind clinical trial” on the different drugs, so I had a friend remove the labels from each of the bottles.  I chose […]

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  • Language Hack: Learn Words from Natives

    Some of the best language learners advocate speaking from day one.  Even if you’re lucky enough to be living in an area where your target language is spoken, often it is pretty difficult to jump into speaking so quickly.  I developed this trick to get native speakers to act as my own personal vocabulary coach […]

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