Shaping targets in language learning

Most teachers, linguists, and polyglots will have been asked the same question many times: “What’s the best way to learn a language?” Answers and debate often start flowing without a full understanding of the question, which is actually much more complex than it seems at first glance.

What is the best way to learn a language? Typical answers usually involve the names of common or popular resources: Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, Memrise, or even our own Linguisticator. Other common answers include taking traditional classes or moving to another country. These are non-answers, because all beg a very important question and assume we all know and agree on what it means to learn a language.

Guest post from Aaron Ralby of online language learning provider, Linguisticator.