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Noel van Vliet

Noel is the founder of Smart Language Learner. When he isn't learning languages or writing about it, you can find him enjoying the good life of Costa Rica, where he lives with his wife and 4 children.

Don’t Use Every Bit of Time You Have

“Dead” time…

An often used phrase that describes the time you have but don’t use:

Commuting to work, waiting in line, looking at stupid images on Facebook with even more stupid texts — that are always only partially true — or just watching recipe YouTube videos you never end up cooking anyway.

It’s all time you could use for language learning activities.

The Curse of Emergency Speech – and What to Do About It

You probably recognize the following scenario:

You’re in an important conversation in your target language. Then suddenly, your vocabulary seems to shrink to: Yes, No and Thank You.

Call it stress or nerves, fact is it makes you feel as if all the studying you’ve done has been worthless.

How Unrealistic Expectations Hurt Your Language Learning

It’s not your fault that you think a language should be learned quickly.

They’re all in your face about it.

In order to sell courses, the claims they make can’t get much crazier sometimes.

With so much hype, you may actually start to believe you can learn fluent Mandarin in 3 weeks…and without any effort on your part.

Vocab Wars #4 Flashcards with Images

Learning foreign words through Flashcards with images…

Sounds too basic to be effective, right?

Well, that’s what I tried to find out in the fourth and maybe last installment of Vocab Wars.

Read on to find out how the method’s worked for me.

Falling Off The Bandwagon…And Getting Back On It

I haven’t always been successful at learning languages.

When I was younger I tried to learn another language several times.

Only to fail every time…and usually faster than Donald Trump can say “tremendous”.

After each failure it would take years for me to try again.

Failure can hurt, you know. And the hurt would always lead me to the same conclusion:

The Worst Thought a Language Learner Can Have

When learning a new language many negative thoughts can plague you.

But one stands out as probably the most destructive thought a language learner can have.

Think it enough, and it could be curtains for your language dreams.

What thought it is?