Automate iTunes for chorus repetitions of L2 pronunciation practice

That title is a mouthful! TL;DR: One approach to developing good second language pronunciation and rhythm is to repeat a sentence many times while simultaneously listening to a native speaker. If you do this while gradually reducing the source amplitude, you will be speaking on your own without help. This is an AppleScript that automates this process on the Mac platform. Background For adult learners of a second language (L2), pronunciation and prosody (the rhythm and cadence of language) can be difficult.

Awesome principles for L2 language learning

As a largely self-directed second language learner, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to improve my effectiveness. I recently ran across this excellent little book by Professor Paul Nation, an emeritus professor of lingusitics at Victoria University of Queensland If you’re learning a foreign language, this book will definitely help shape your studies.

Language word frequencies

Since one of the cornerstones of my approach to learning the Russian language has been to track how many words I’ve learned and their frequencies, I was intrigued by reading the following statistics today: The 15 most frequent words in the language account for 25% of all the words in typical texts. The first 100 words account for 60% of the words appearing in texts. 97% of the words one encounters in a ordinary text will be among the first 4000 most frequent words.