‘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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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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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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Healthiness and language learning – the facts

Is language learning beneficial to your health?

One of the most significant but often overlooked aspects of learning a foreign language are the health benefits. In recent years, more and more studies are showing far reaching cognitive, emotional rewards to language learning. In this article we are going to try to separate the fact from the fiction.

A cartoon brain lifting weights

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Top ten reasons to love learning a language

Our insights after 28 years of teaching

They say the first step is always the hardest and that’s especially true for something like learning a language.

It’s always so rewarding to see our students take their (usually trepidatious) first steps in language learning, before falling in love with the whole process of discovering a foreign tongue.

From what we’ve learned in 28 years of teaching, these are the top ten reasons to love learning a language:

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The top five excuses for not learning a language…

… and why you can’t use them!

It goes without saying that we’ve heard every excuse in the book in the last 28 years… and we’ve overcome every single one of them.

At the Marlow Language Centre, we come across the same reservations time and time again, but the trick to surmounting those mental blocks is to see those “reasons” for what they are – unfounded excuses that you don’t have to be guided by!

Want to know if your favourite excuse is on our list? These are the five most common reasons we hear for shying away from learning a language – and why you can’t use any of them…

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How to help your employees love learning

Perceived obstacles and how to overcome them

Learning a second language can be a smart career move, yet many employees find themselves terrified of tackling such a challenge.

This can be both frustrating and baffling for you as a manager – especially if you find language learning easy yourself – so how can you best support your employees to not shy away from the benefits of bilingualism?

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Broken your new year’s resolution yet?

How to maintain motivation for your language learning in February and beyond

Hands up if you started the year with a flurry of new year’s resolutions and career goals.

Even for the biggest procrastinators amongst us, January 1st seems like an enticing time to start developing our skillset by setting goals like learning a second language.

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