‘I wish I paid more attention at school!’ – our advice for adult language learners

The popular assumption about learning a new skill is that when you are younger, is that it comes very naturally. This is attributed to the still developing, curious, creative and dynamic human brain – something neuroscientists refer to as ‘neuroplasticity’. However, this suggests that when you reach maturity you begin to lose the ability to learn new things, whether it is a new sport, a musical instrument. Yet, both contemporary sciences, and our own experience with over 30 years teaching foreign languages prove this to be largely false. Indeed, there is no better time to learn a language, than right now!

Our teacher Jean Michel with an adult student

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‘Phoning it in’ – the pros and cons of language learning apps

There is such a proliferation of language learning applications for your tablet, pc and phone in 2019 that it is often quite difficult to define what they actually can and can’t do. Indeed, when ads claim you can ‘learn a language in a month’ or ’spend 10 minutes a day to achieve fluency’, is this actually the case? As we know, language learning is a multifaceted exercise, so can we take advantage of technology to help make the process as enjoyable and efficient as possible? Today we will be taking a look at the pros and cons of different language learning apps in comparison to other learning methods.

woman using a smartphone

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‘The human touch’ – why we cannot rely on machine translation

With the rise of sophisticated artificial intelligence, the prevalence of personal computers and smartphones, we have seen the birth and development of a whole host of online translation engines. Services such as ‘Google Translate’ and ‘Bing Translate’ are designed to supersede the traditional methods of translating one language to another, by use of a specially designed program. The supposed benefits of these ‘machine translation’ tools include accessibility, speed and cost effectiveness, with many of these being free to use at any time online. However, are these translation engines as useful as they initially appear? Today we will be comparing the advantages and disadvantages of these tools, and where human translators stand in the modern day.

Clockwork robot

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Top five foreign language movies for language learners

We all know immersion is the best thing for language learning. But outside of the classroom, going on holiday, and meeting people, how can we really engage with languages in an exciting and stimulating way? Movies! There are a huge variety of foreign language films available through a variety of sources, and watching with or without subtitles can make it less or more of a challenge! Movies are also fantastic for vocabulary building, by allowing you to associate language and words with a visual stimulus, helping your brain make the connection and remember it with greater ease.

With this in mind, today we have decided to run through a few of our favourite foreign language movies for different languages!


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Comparing courses: 1-1 vs group tuition

One of the best parts of learning a language at the Marlow Language Centre is the variety of course options we have to suit every kind of language learner. We have recently been asked some questions about the differences between our two main kinds of course; 1-1 (private) classes, and group classes. Read on to find out more!

A group of students in a Japanese class.

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Top ten frequently asked questions about language learning

Our primer on learning a language!

Learning a foreign language at the Marlow Language Centre is a fantastic opportunity. However, people often have many questions about the process, and it’s safe to say in our 30 years providing bespoke tuition, we have heard them all! Read on for our top 10 Frequently Asked Questions about learning a language.

German teacher with student

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Top five tips for immersion – the secret key to language learning

One of the most valuable, but often most ephemeral aids to language learning is immersion. A New York Times article in 2017 revealed how 27-year-old Philadelphia ‘Phillies’ baseball shortstop Freddy Galvis from Venezuela, learned English entirely through back-to-back binging the American sitcom ‘Friends’. He would watch in English with Spanish subtitles for hours every day after practice, and within a few years, was semi-fluent in English. While we are not recommending that strategy exactly (we wouldn’t wish that amount of Ross Geller on anyone!), it is proof that immersion is a fantastic way to aid language learning. Here are our top tips for immersion.

Two men having a discussion in a Cafe

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Setting priorities – an analysis of the British Council’s ‘Languages for the Future’

Politics, Culture and Languages

In late 2017 the British Council, a globally connected charity dedicated to strengthening cultural relationships and fostering international opportunities, released an extensive study describing what it considers the ‘most important’ languages for British people to be learning. This comes at an incredibly tumultuous time; rising political and economic tensions, including the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, as well as changing relationships between the UK and nations such as China, Russia and the Arab League. This study analyses and ranks the most, and conversely the least key languages for Brits to get a hold on, and today we will be looking at and breaking down a few of their findings.

Header image from the British Council showing many different langauges

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2018 GCSE and A-Level exam results

Success on results day

This year we have received some fantastic news of results from our GCSE and A-Level students. Here at the Marlow Language Centre we provide bespoke tuition and booster courses for students of all different ages and levels studying for their school exams, and it is always wonderful to hear that their hard work has paid off on results day.

“Thank you so much for helping me achieve an A in Spanish! The commitment and hard work of your tutors helped me so much with the language – cannot thank you enough!”

Someone writing an on an exam test paper

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