Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

GamesforLanguage's 12 Top 2015 Blog Posts

2015 composite image 2015 has been a fun and adventurous year for GamesforLanguage. We have also realized that many learners use other programs and apps to drill conjugations and grammar rules.

They come to us, though, for practicing their language with games and a travel story (and a mystery story for German 2!). We've seen an increased stream of steady "players" who've made it a habit to engage with French, German, Italian, or Spanish frequently - to keep their brains sharp.

Learning a language as an adult is a challenge. But it's one that can give a lot of pleasure and can reap all kinds of extra benefits: when traveling abroad, applying for a job, or finding a new partner.

A key to playing effectively at GamesforLanguage is saying everything ALOUD. When you actually SAY words and expressions - rather than just reading them - you are practicing a physical skill.

You make specific movements with the muscles of your jaw, and with your tongue and lips. These mouth mechanics (the topic of one of our most read of 2012 posts) produce the sounds that are part of the foreign language you're learning.

Our Blog posts cover language learning, travel and cultural topics. Not a surprise: Our 12 most popular posts in 2015 are related to language learning. (Click on the link to read.)

1. How to Gain Confidence for Speaking and Writing a Foreign Language

CONFIDENCEYes, immersion is the fastest way to learn a language. But who can just pack up to live (and work) in another country?

The rest of us have to be more patient and build foreign language confidence step by step, as we make a foreign language part of our life. Get some tips and practical advice HERE.

2. Duolingo and Babbel: How They Differ

Duolingo (free) and Babbel (fee based) are two popular programs for language learners. We've used both for Dutch, Swedish, and Spanish. Both programs are online and have apps, and both use gamification features. But what are the differences? You can read what we've found HERE.

3. How to Overcome Your Foreign Language Anxiety anxious woman -

One of the most interesting talks at the 2015 Polyglot Conference in New York was byTaghreed Al-Saraj, whose topic was "The Anxious Language Learner - A Saudi Woman's Story."

She got us thinking about ways anyone can overcome the fear of speaking up in a foreign language. Read it HERE.

4. 20 German False Friends to Watch Out For

False language friends (or false cognates) can be a source for awkward misunderstandings. But they sure are fun to discover. English and German, for example, share many words that have different meanings.

The English word "gift" exists in German, but - oops - it means "poison" in German (das Gift). Going to Germany? Be prepared! Have a look HERE.

5. Two (2) Strategies for Relearning a Dormant Language

Recent brain imaging studies have shown that a second language - even when you seem to have forgotten it - retains a presence in your brain. However, you may want to use different strategies for relearning a language, depending on whether you learned it as a child or as an adult. Read about the strategies HERE.

6. Are You Weaving Your "Language Skills Rope"? Skill rope-Michael Erard -

Another talk at the 2015 Polyglot Conference in New York we really liked was Michael Erard's "A New Metaphor for Language Learning."

We had never before considered why the way we think about language learning is so important. So, how can "weaving a language rope" give you some insights? Read about the Language Skills Rope HERE.

7. Beyond "Learning a Language Like a Child"

Kids learn a language fast and painlessly (we think) - and we envy them for that ability. But why is learning a language harder for adults than for children? And how can we as adults overcome those hurdles? Read HERE.

8. My 5 Best Tips for Learning a Foreign Language Online and Offline

Learning beginning Dutch and practicing intermediate Spanish. HERE are my 5 best tips for learning a foreign language, based on my own experience.

hot tips - Gamesforlanguage.com9. 3 Language Learning Pitfalls to Avoid

Why do so many adults give up on learning a second or third language, even one they learned for several years during school or college?We believe there are three main reasons. Do you agree? Find out HERE.

10. 1-2-3 German Numbers Are Easy - Just know the Basics

When traveling to a foreign country, knowing the numbers is a huge asset. You'll use them for shopping at a market, for addresses and telephone numbers, for making appointments. For practice, we've added links to a couple of fun games.

Basic German Numbers HERE. (We also have blog posts and games for numbers in French, Italian, and Spanish.)

11. 5 Quick French Pronunciation Steps: Mouth Mechanics 101

french girl talking - Gamesforlanguage.comIf you want to improve your French pronunciation, you'll probably need to practice some of the difficult sounds aloud.

We've got some tips and games to get you started with the French "r", "u", and "nasal vowels." Get some "mouth mechanics" pronunciation tips HERE.

12. Why Language Games Work for Kids and Adults!

Adults as well as children learn well with games. Find out more HERE. Though it's unlikely that you'll become fluent just by playing a few language games, you can certainly use games to build basic speaking, reading, listening, and writing skills. Besides, if it's fun, you'll stay motivated.

We've come to enjoy writing blog posts on a weekly basis. We now have over 250 blog posts about language learning, travel, and culture. As a result, our readership has increased dramatically. If our topics of language learning, travel, and culture interest you, you can subscribe to our posts HERE.

Happy New Year and why not make learning a new language one of your 2016 goals!