Pragmatics: Knowing what to say in certain situations

The Foreign Language Teaching Methods modules from the University of Texas-Austin includes a section on pragmatics – how context and situation affect meaning – which is extremely important for language students to learn, yet remains difficult to master. Learning what to say and when to say it, the appropriate use of language, varies significantly among […]


Collection of Articles & Sites Related to Languages, Learning, Education, etc. (from Twitter)

It’s been six months since I posted the last collection of links to language-related articles and sites from @ielanguages on Twitter. Here’s what I’ve been tweeting about recently: Tomorrow is the European Day of Languages (September 26) Studies on Language Learning & Acquisition Infant Brains are Hardwired for Language Preschool years can be ‘perfect storm’ for […]


The Shaping of Language on iTunes U from La Trobe University

La Trobe University in Australia is offering an interesting podcast on iTunes U that just became available this summer (or winter, depending on where you are). The Shaping of Language is about “the relationship between the structures of languages and their social, cultural, historical and natural environments.”  Looks like they’ve been updating it every week […]


Learning new words in French & English while traveling in France: Des Oiseaux / Birds

Yesterday David and I went to the Parc des Oiseaux in Villars-les-Dombes and then to the medieval city of Pérouges, both in the département of Ain. The only things I knew about Ain were its capital city (Bourg-en-Bresse) and its number (01). I had never been there before or heard much about it. Even though it’s […]


Free English as a Second Language (ESL) Lesson Plans and Activities

This weekend was the end of les grandes vacances in France because all public school students start the school year on Thursday. I actually love this time year of because it means that France is alive again. It’s not just back to school, but back to work since a lot of stores and businesses close […]


Free and/or Public Domain Materials for Listening to & Reading Languages Simultaneously

Previously I explained how reading subtitles while watching TV shows or movies helps enormously with foreign language comprehension. I wanted to expand on the Listening & Reading method – because it is what I use foremost when studying languages – and list some freely available resources where you can find text and audio in several languages. […]