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Adventures in urban language-learning

April 19, 2014 | Review Period
Learning Review Period

I Want to Take the Hi-LAB Test!

Maybe it can predict my language future. Or explain my past!

Yesterday afternoon I became mildly obsessed with the Hi-LAB—or High Level Language Aptitude Battery test—which I just read about in an interesting new article from language writer Michael Erard. I want to take the Hi-LAB test.…

April 19, 2014 | Review Period

Lazy Language Days of Spring

My Pimsleur Diet was an utter failure. But only so far.

The Pimsleur Diet I announced in March did not go well for me. I did some Pimsleur, but not enough, and I did not lose a single pound. But I am not going to belabor this point, as there are…

April 18, 2014 | Review Period

Field Trip: Schoenhof’s Foreign Books

In which I visit a language-learning giant in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

When I was a college student in the mid-1980s, I bought many of my coursebooks smack-dab in the middle of Harvard Square at the Harvard Coop, which was pronounced like the second half of “chicken coop” even though…

March 31, 2014 | Review Period

Memrise Binge

What has (so far) befallen my Pimsleur Diet.

My grand intentions in my last blog entry have not quite been realized, and for that I blame Memrise, which continues to entice me late at night to binge on all kinds of languages. The situation is a bit out…

March 11, 2014 | Review Period

The Pimsleur Diet

A plan to tour some languages and lose the winter pounds.

I have gained about 12 pounds over the past year, the majority of them during this unusually cold, precipitation-filled winter. This is not an acceptable development for me, and I am running out of zippable pants. Leggings keep working because they…

February 26, 2014 | Review Period

I Write With My Feet!

On lifelong language habits I have had.

When I learned to type at 13, for a long, long time I used to fake-type sentences as I heard them, moving my fingers slightly as if I was sitting at a keyboard.  I would try to type as fast…

February 10, 2014 | Review Period

Studying on Snow Days

This winter has impinged on my outdoor Pimsleur running.

It has been so cold this winter. Snow, slush, sleet, bitter winds, falling icicles, etc. I have been feeling kind of wimpy about the great outdoors, which is where I get a lot of my pimsling (i.e., the doing…

January 28, 2014 | Review Period

Lumosity Aversion

I don't want my brain trained!

When I am online, I am constantly greeted by ads for a website called Lumosity. It’s annoying. Lumosity supposedly trains your brain so you can function better. Brain Training? Ow. This is from their website: “At Lumos Labs,…

January 17, 2014 | Review Period

At Barnes & Noble, Union Square

I can't pass a bookstore without checking out its language shelves.

Whenever I pass a bookstore and have a couple of minutes to spare, I go inside and see what they have in their language section. It’s one of the best ways to find products that might not have turned…

January 14, 2014 | Review Period

Study Aspirations for 2014

An array of language temptations derail well-laid plans.

According to the 2014 schedule I put up on this website a few months back, I am supposed to be taking a closer look at English right now. The plan was to review a bunch of ESL/EFL materials for non-native…