“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.”
--Czech Proverb


Companies like Rosetta Stone have convinced most people that adults learn language just like children to sell their expensive software. Scientific and linguistic research shows they couldn’t be more wrong.

Children imprint language like a baby duck imprints a mother on sight. Acquisition of primary language among children is rapid, effortless, and requires no formal training. If introduced early on, second language acquisition in children is just as seamless. Adults, on the other hand, naturally apply their structural understanding of their mother tongue to learning a second language. Although they’ll never be mistaken for a native speaker, and it doesn’t come easy, with a little work most people can become at least conversational if not fluent speakers of a new language.

Many studies have shown that this is most likely related to changes in neuroanatomy that occur as we age. Approximately 90-95% of all human brains have language functions centered in the left hemisphere between what are called Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas.

The brain is optimally prepared to acquire a language between 1 year of age through adolescence[7][8]. Brain activity studies have shown that language activity in early learners of a second language showed common areas of activation in the left temporal lobe[9] when their second language (L2) was tested, but that later learners (after the age of 7) showed activation in highly variable locations within both hemispheres of the brain[10]. Simply put children and adults’ brains are anatomically different.

If you’re beyond the basics, you have probably realized that that language learning takes some dedication, time, and effort. Loogla makes it easier to get the most out of your efforts by allowing you to study language via materials that you are interested in so you can learn more than just a language.

Language Aquisition

Loogla’s philosophy of language learning is based largely around student selection of content. Why? Because studies have shown that the success of second language acquisition is less tied to the material that you’re reading (like the ubiquitous passages about going to the dentist) than the interest you are able to show in what you read. Self-study of language takes a dedication and commitment that is difficult to maintain when you’re bored with the learning materials.

Dr. Kató Lomb, widely considered one of the world's most accomplished polyglots wrote, “We should read because it is books that provide knowledge in the most interesting way, and it is a fundamental truth of human nature to seek the pleasant and avoid the unpleasant." She goes on to endorse any reading in the target language that gains the learner’s interest. According to Dr. Lomb, "One should connect language learning with either work or leisure, and not at the expense of them but to supplement them." [1]

Motivation, perseverance and diligence are what Lomb hailed as key components to language learning, not innate ability. Motivation is born between the desire for material profit and mental attraction. She claimed that anybody could learn languages, so long as their interest level was sufficient. So if you are traveling to Latin America for business, with Loogla you can stay current on economic trends while you learn Spanish!

Major research supports that you can learn to speak a foreign language later in life, so don’t despair! Lomb’s strategies for language learning and SLA theory closely correlate with those of successful learners documented in major SLA studies of the past 25 years”[2]. Addtionally, it has been observed by other eminent linguists and researchers (Krashen & Kiss)[3] that Lomb’s work demonstrated that a high level of proficiency can be attained post-puberty and well into adulthood. Much of Lomb’s acquisition was achieved in her 30s-40s.

Influential linguist and bi-lingualism champion Stephen Krashen argues that the most important factor to second language acquisition (SLA) is the quality of input (reading materials, practice, and feedback), and went so far as to say that comprehensive input—i.e. whatever you’re interested in reading about--is all that is truly necessary[4]. What’s more, evidence from studies[5] support that large amounts of free voluntary reading have a significant positive effect on learners' vocabulary, grammar, and writing[6]. Loogla not only allows you to choose your own reading materials, but incorporates practice of the essential reading, writing, speaking and comprehension skills via a variety of integrated tools and activities that will take you off your plateau to the next level.

Research conducted by these preeminent linguists show that traditional second language teaching methods are failing learners. While cramming words or digesting the grammar outlined in a course text may satisfy a sense of obligation or duty, the pleasure of exploring on your own terms is missing. The result is frustration and slowed progress. Even new-generation products like Rosetta Stone®, Loogla circumvents these documented failures with an innovative system that will change the way you learn. Even if you don't understand everything you're reading, we provide the necessary tools to help you through it and keep you moving forward.

Want to learn more about our approach? Read our pedagogy.

[1]Foreign language education the easy way. Culver City (CA): Language Education Associates. Lomb, K. 1995. Így tanulok nyelveket. Budapest: AQUA Kiadó. Naiman, N., Fröhlich, M., Stern, H. H., and Todesco, A. 1996.

[2]Alkire, S. 2005. Kató Lomb’s strategies for language learning and SLA theory. The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, Fall. Brumit, C. 1996.

[3]Introduction to the new edition. In Naiman et al., the good language learner (pp. vii–x). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd. Krashen, S. D. and Kiss, N. 1996.

[4]Krashen, Stephen (1994). "The input hypothesis and its rivals". In Ellis, Nick. Implicit and Explicit Learning of Languages. London: Academic Press. pp. 45–77. ISBN 9780122374753

[5]The good language learner. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd. Nation, R. J. 1983 &The good language learner: A comparison of learning strategies of monolinguals, bilinguals, and multilin- guals. PhD diss. University of California, Santa Cruz. Parkvall, M. 2006.

[6]Elley, Warwick B. (1991). "Acquiring Literacy in a Second Language: the Effect of Book-Based Programs". Language Learning 41: 375. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1991.tb00611.

[7]Hakuta, K., Bialystok, E. and Wiley, E. (2003). Critical evidence: A test of the critical period hypothesis for second-language acquisition. Psychological Science, 14, 31-38.

[8]Lenneberg, E. (1984). Biological Foundations of Language. Malabar, FL: R.E. Krieger.

[9]Kim, K.H., Hirsch, J., Relkin, N., De Laz Paz, R., and Lee, K.M., (1997). Distinct cortical areas associated with native and second languages. Nature, 388, 171-174.

[10] Halsband, U., Krause, B. J., Sipila, H., Teraas, M. and Laihinen, A. (2002). PET studies on the memory processing of word pairs in bilingual Finnish–English subjects. Behavioural Brain Research, 132, 47-57