Best of the Language Learning Web – 18 Great Links from January 2017


The on-line language learning scene grows day by day.

A lot of good stuff is published, but so is a lot of junk!

Sifting through all of it can be a pain.

That’s where Best of the Language Learning Web fits in. Me, as a language learning fanatic, I’ll give it my best shot every month so that you don’t have to.

The goal here, is to have last month’s best language learning links all in one place.

Here’s my first selection of 2017:

Strategies & Tactics

A family spent a month in Guatemala trying to learn Spanish. Check out this article at to find out if it worked.

Say Spaced Repetition and everyone thinks: Flashcards! But it isn’t limited to that at all. Olle from Hacking Chinese explains

Flashcards or not, learning vocabulary is what language learners are most interested in. Here are 2 Self-Study Techniques to Speed up Vocabulary Learning.

As a language learner in 2017, you have more options at your disposal than at any other time in history. As good as that sounds, it can also create overwhelm. And when it does it may be better to get back to basics.

Or…maybe try something less conventional to learn a new language, something you’re already using anyway, like Twitter.

You’ve probably noticed that gamification is huge right now when it comes to language learning apps. Travis from the Old Man and the Sí blog discusses the pros and cons of this craze, and give tips on how to minimize the negatives.


If you’re still on the fence about learning another language, check out these cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language.

If 2017 is the year in which you’ll finally start to learn that new language, make sure you check out these 10 reasons why most people fail to learn a new language.

If you’re looking to quickly burn yourself out, try to set unrealistic language learning goals. It’s way better to Start the New Year By Setting Reasonable Learning Goals.

In the same vein, never make the mistake of comparing yourself to other language learners.

Apps & Technology

Surrounding yourself with your target language is always a good idea. In this day and age, everyone seems to be addicted to their smart phone, so why not Create an Immersion Environment on Your Phone?

Duolingo, the hugely popular language app, has been evaluated by linguists.

Language Specific

Many language learners complain about the difficulty of some Asian languages. Here’s why they’re so hard to learn.

Japanese people don’t only speak with words, they also do a lot of gesturing. If you’re learning Japanese, check out: Japanese Body Language: 7 Key Gestures to Learn.

A language that’s close to your native one is easier for you to learn. So answered the question: Which Languages Are Closest to English?

Andre Klein noticed that a lot of the good German text books are expensive. That’s why he compiled a list of 5 Free German Textbooks For Beginners.

Something Different

In the new Predator movie, an autistic boy played by Jacob Tremblay will be able to figure out the Predator’s language.

And Jakob Gibbons from the Transparent Language blog, makes a great case that language learning is cultural learning.

That’s it for last month’s language links

Best of the Language Learning Web will be back next month.



  1. Hey Noel,
    Thanks for the link! I wrote the “10 reasons why most people fail to learn a new language” and I’m glad you like it.
    My site is still quite new, but I’m working on a lot of articles synthesizing my thoughts about language learning. I’m looking forward to seeing if anyone finds my site through this list!
    Which languages are you learning?

    • Noel van Vliet says:

      Hi Thomas,

      No problem. It was a great post.

      Your blog looks really good. Keep at it!

      I haven’t taken on any new languages for a while now. I’m still perfecting my Spanish. To me, it doesn’t make sense to learn languages just for the sake of it. I like to learn languages I´m gonna use.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing my post on comparisons!

    • Noel van Vliet says:

      You’re very welcome, Shannon!

      I think it’s an important subject you wrote about so I had to include it.


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