Language Learning Articles, Software, Websites (Link Collection from Twitter)

A collection of language learning articles, software and websites that I’ve tweeted/retweeted/discovered on Twitter over the past few months for those who don’t use that site:

Popling. Hack your Brain.
Learning, Without Studying. A website + desktop app for people who want to learn, but lack motivation.

Learn languages with your vocabulary trainer.

Rhinospike: Foreign Language Audio on Demand
Online language learning community tool that lets users around the globe connect and exchange foreign language audio files.

Up Your Bottom
Hilarious real-life stories of foreign language gone wrong. French Online
Parler français, gratuitement et facilement / Speak French with native speakers for free through Skype

Language of the Month
Interactive videos of children from Newbury Park Primary School teaching common words and phrases in their native languages.

Top Ten Internet Languages (Internet World Stats)
Statistics on the ten most used languages on the Internet.

Read the latest in Linguistics
Wiley-Blackwell is pleased to offer FREE online access to selected journal issues and book chapters.

Books Should Be Free
Your source for free audio books. Download one in mp3, iPod and iTunes format today.

World Loanword Database
It provides vocabularies (mini-dictionaries of about 1000-2000 entries) of 41 languages from around the world, with comprehensive information about the loanword status of each word. It allows users to find loanwords, source words and donor languages in each of the 41 languages, but also makes it easy to compare loanwords across languages.

Science Daily: Language Acquisition
Latest research news on learning languages, the human brain and memory.

Outsourcing Language Learning
Almost a decade ago, Drake University stirred up controversy by eliminating its foreign language departments and thereby the jobs of faculty in French, German and Italian, even those with tenure. Traditional lecture and language lab instruction was replaced with the Drake University Language Acquisition Program (DULAP): small discussion groups led by on-campus native speakers, a weekly session with a scholar of the language, a one-semester course on language acquisition and the use of several Web-based learning technologies.

First Bilingual Educational Toy Brand, Ingenio (TM), Hits the U.S. Market
Alpharetta, Ga.-based Smart Play, LLC has launched Ingenio(TM), the first entirely bilingual brand of educational toys and games in the United States.

What English sounds like to Foreigners
An Italian singer wrote this song with gibberish to sound like English. If you’ve ever wondered what other people think Americans sound like, this is it.

About World Languages
The Technology Development Group (TDG) is proud to present a one-stop information website dedicated to the world’s most important and populous languages.

Language is a Human Right
Free language learning helpware for people in need. El Book is a free primer for Spanish speakers on the bare essentials of English. It was designed for people with no certain address, little access to advanced technology, and not a lot of formal education.

Europe Commissioner for Human Rights: Bilingualism should be encouraged for all
Language rights have become an issue of contention within several European countries. Their denial undermines human rights and causes inter-communal tensions, said Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights (via

Accent on Montreal
A 5 part series on Anglophone Montrealers’ distinct way with words.

BFQS: Les expressions verbales figées de Belgique – France – Québec – Suisse
Il n’existe pas à ce jour de recueil de données fournissant un panorama comparatif complet des expressions propres aux quatre pays francophones occidentaux (Belgique, France, Québec et Suisse) établi selon des critères syntaxiques et distributionnels rigoureux. Le projet vise l’étude systématique des expressions figées dans ces quatre domaines de la francophonie (BFQS). L’objectif est de constituer un dictionnaire papier et électronique des expressions appartenant au « français commun », à chacune des variétés et/ou aux sous-ensembles de ces quatre variétés.

Review of Some Language Learning Communities: Busuu, Livemocha, LingQ, and Hello-Hello

+-*Lately I’ve been using several language learning communities online to see what they offer and how expensive their pay materials are. Personally, I was most interested in finding sites that offered free audio flashcards for learning vocabulary (preferably with pictures) and less so in finding a teacher or language exchange partner.  I just wanted to […]

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Do I still speak English?

+-*Maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t plan on teaching English much longer because I have been forgetting my own language. In my vocabulary classes, the students basically work for 90 minutes straight on learning new words and how to use them properly. They have to answer questions and write paragraphs and record themselves […]

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Eavesdropping on the French [New MP3]

+-*I’ve finally uploaded another French Listening mp3 and this one is a little different from the others. First of all, it is much harder to understand because I was basically eavesdropping on random conversations. It starts out with Mamie working on a crossword puzzle, then Parrain talking about winning the lottery and retiring, then Patricia […]

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Updates to Come Soon, I Promise!

+-*Just a short message to let you know/promise that I will update the site soon. I fully intended on adding more comparative material and French exercises and listening resources this weekend, but of course real life keeps getting in the way. I actually have some revision and translation projects to work on, as well as […]

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Informal French Vocabulary: Common Expressions (New Video)

+-*New video on informal French: Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel!

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Why French is Hard to Understand, Reason 17 of 428: Fake English Words

+-*The real reason why French is hard to understand for English-speakers is the numerous liaisons (that I mentioned recently) and lack of junctures between words. English tends to pause more often between words and exhibit open juncture, while French pauses between phrases and links sounds between certain word boundaries so that determining individual words is […]

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Staying Legal in France: More Residency Card Crap (for lack of a better word)

+-*La Préfecture, the love of my life. Immigrants in France must have a very close relationship with the préfecture. It’s the place where we have to go – every 3 months, in some cases – to obtain our residency cards and make sure we are not sans-papiers. France doesn’t exactly have a “permanent resident” status […]

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An Example of 21st Century Vocabulary

+-*How many textbooks do you think include vocabulary words like this? If you don’t speak either German or French, the vocabulary word is “homosexual couple” and the sample sentence says “The homosexual couple is going to adopt a child.” If only that were true in more than 2% of the world… The next word is […]

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A Frequency Dictionary of French

+-*A Frequency Dictionary of French: Core Vocabulary for Learners I just learned about this book today and I really wish I could go to a bookstore or library and look at it. Amazon’s Look Inside feature only includes the introduction and none of the actual content but Routledge’s site offers a few sample pages to […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.


The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 as an instant download or the paperback book for $29.95 + shipping (shipped worldwide by Purchase of the printed book includes the PDF book for free! Thank you for supporting!

French Today - Master the Modern French Language

21st century French audiobooks and audio lessons: learn to understand and speak modern French

Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and English as a Second Language with authentic videos that include subtitles and translations.