The science of language learning

Hey friends,
As I have been learning Russian and the endangered language, Tsez, I have been greatly helped by paying attention to the latest research in the science of language acquisition, neuroscience, psychology and motivation theory. I have a PhD in linguistics and work at the intersection of these fields, but it’s been fascinating to discover how this information has helped me personally for my own language learning goals. I’m wondering if others would be interested in summaries of what I’m learning? I would do my best to make it jargon-free.


Hi Daniel!
I’d be interested to hear what the state-of-the-art is in this field! Maybe that would boost my motivation to finally take learning schedules and objectives more seriously :sweat_smile:
Also, I am currently a PhD student myself - I am in consumer research but I also try to link my research to linguistic matters, so I’m curious about your scientific perspective!


Hey Domi,
Nice to meet you! The things I have been reading have definitely helped me be confident that I’m not wasting my time on methods that have scientifically been demonstrated to be be less effective. The psychology of it has also been fascinating. We all know how important attitude and motivation are in reaching our goals.


I would also be fascinated, especially as I learn Russian!

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This is such a fascinating topic, I’d love to hear more about it. I, personally, don’t mind leaning in on the academic level of studies, but I totally understand that not everyone has the ability to comprehend at that level. I look forward to learning about learning languages from you.


Super keen to hear anything you wish to share!


I’m signing up to talk about this in one of the sessions during the conference, so I hope you’ll join.

Also, what is the ideal format for post-conference ongoing interaction in this space? Twitter?


You can find me on @HolisticFluent on twitter. During and after the conference, I will post content here on the science of learning languages, as well as more inspirational content to help keep me and others motivated!


Sounds really exciting! Can’t wait to learn more.

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Definitely interested in this!
I started diving into the science of learning (as a whole) last year and it’s a fascinating well without a bottom!

If you’ve got some information on interleaving for languages, I’m more than all ears. I’ve been trying to use this technique but it seems quite complicated outside of conjugation-learning.


Haha, I am a market research practitioner. Glad to meet a PhD here! :slight_smile:

Definitely interested in your topic. Can’t wait!
… and massive thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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I think the neuroscience side to language learning is so interesting, and would be so happy to learn more about it:)

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Very much interested :+1:
Can you tell yet when it’ll happen?

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Yes, It is scheduled for 22-OCT-2020 – Montréal 08:00 / London 13:00 / Tokyo 21:30

See you there!

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Excellent. I’ve really enjoyed the reading I’ve been doing. Understanding what my brain is doing gives me strange motivation and confidence in how I approach learning a language.

Wow. Thanks so much!

I hadn’t heard of interleaving until you mentioned it. The technique seems interesting. Feel free to share what you’ve been learning as well!

FYI, in part of my break-out session I will be summarizing a brand new article that was just published in August 2020 which features the first and most in-depth study of the brains of polyglots compared to monolinguials. It included fMRI-based studies by scientists from MIT and UCLA. If you’re from Boston (where they found their sample of polyglots), perhaps you participated in the study yourself? I hope you’ll join and learn what makes your brain distinct from that of monolinguals!!!


Hi @DrDan, have you uploaded your findings/video mentioned? Just wondering as I don’t seem to find it - yet. Appreciate a pointer if it’s already on the net. Thank you so much!

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