The language learning science behind our app

Are you interested in the theoretical framework and science behind our online language courses?

Professor Stephen Krashen at the University of Southern California developed an "Input Hypothesis" which is a pillar in our understanding of second language acquisition here at Language Infusion. A good introduction and references to his books can be found at


Reading and listening more important than speaking


The essence of Krashen's input-hypothesis is that the most important factor in efficient language learning is so-called "comprehensible input", i.e. reading and listening to the foreign language at a level you can understand.


For beginners this means reading and listening with the help of translation to English. As you progress with the language, you can listen and read to more advanced language without translation, because the words you don't know, you will understand from the context.

Our online courses are for beginning and intermediate learners (up to B1/B2 level), giving a vocabulary of the 2,000 most important words in your new language.

Increase your fluency by active listening

Prof. Krashen discovered that practicing producing language (speaking and writing) did not give much progress towards fluency, other than that by talking with someone, you get to practice listening at the same time. It is the active listening and not your talking itself that increases your fluency.


In one study he divided test subjects into two groups. One group of language learners should primarily read and listen (i.e. input), while the second group should spend an equal amount of time on output as input. At first, the group that spent a lot of time on talking and writing did increase their confidence in those tasks, but their vocabulary grew more slowly and they were soon surpassed by the group that focused solely on reading and listening. In the end the two groups were equally adept and confident at speaking and writing, but the input-group had acquired a larger vocabulary and was superior at reading and listening.


This is good news for everyone who is uncomfortable jumping into dialogues with strangers too early. Just relax and spend your time and energy developing your vocab through reading and listening, knowing that your speaking skills will grow by itself as your vocabulary grows. It does not hurt trying to speak early on (grammar mistakes you make as a beginner won't do any permanent damage), but it is not essential for your language infusion either.

Language intuition

Here at Language Infusion we use the terms "analytical" study of a language in contrast to training your language "intuition". Dr. Krashen used the terms "language learning" about the analytical study of grammar, and language "acquisition" about the ability to use the language practically. It is acquisition activities (listening and reading) that takes you towards fluency so you can actually use the language in real life.

In one area Dr. Krashen admitted that analytical "learning" (studying grammar) was valuable, to train your self-censorship skill. Self-censoring is your ability to correct your own grammar mistakes. "The monitor" is the term he used. That skills is less useful when you are speaking, since you don't have time to "look up" a grammar rule in your memory and select the right answer when you are speaking at full speed in real-time. It is however useful when you are writing. If your language intuition becomes unsure about what is correct grammar when you are typing a letter or document, you can pause for a few seconds and think about it. When you proof-read what you have written, "the monitor" can flag incorrect writing when it sees it.

So what is the lesson for us as we learn a new language? Spending some time on grammar is valuable and useful, but not to the excessive extent many classroom teachers do. For many, spending 10-20% of their 'language-time' on grammar rules might be a good rule of thumb. In our online course you'll find an introduction to the basics you need to know in the menu called "Grammar Reference" (short articles straight to the point, with charts and tables you can print out and memorize) and "Grammar Tips" (collection of short videos with the basic must-know grammar topics).

The vocabulary infusion activities are designed to pique your curiosity by first showing a foreign language word, then you ask yourself if you know what it means, and then you check yourself if you had it right by flipping to the meaning of the word. Your brain is bothered if it doesn't know the answer to a question it gets several times, and will quickly be motivated to learn and remember the new vocabulary. Our customers find the language infusion activities in our app fun and effective, expanding vocabulary faster than they thought they were able to.


Our app is also built around volume and review so you get the same content over and over until it sticks in your 'language intuition' so you can use the word lightening fast without having to ponder what the word means. But reviewing the same content "over and over" comes through a variety of different acitivies and games, so the learning process never gets boring.


Words that you find harder to learn, and answer incorrectly several times, will be marked in the database as critical words, and you will spend more time on those until they stick in your mind. Words you learn quickly will appear more rarely. With this algorithm, you will always spend your valuable language learning time where it is most important.


Triggering your brain to remember


Finally, our online course has two superb functions for reviewing. First of all, all content is divided up into small tasks that take about 5 minutes each. "Micro sessions" we call it. This allows you to take your language infusion with you throughout the day, using five minutes here and there throughout the day that would otherwise be lost. You get to review the same material through different micro sessions until it sticks. Some micro activities focus on comprehension, some on spelling, and some on pronunciation.

"Refresh" function


There is also a cool function for more long term reviewing called "Refresh" (a button on the right hand side when you log into the course). Words and phrases that you have learned will show up days and weeks later for a quick review before they slip out of your memory. You can se a graph of how many words you have learned, and how many of these are either "fresh" or "stale" (the latter category needs to be reviewed now). Words that you spent longer time learning (and answer incorrectly several times) will appear sooner on the Refresh-function than words you learned quickly and easily. Once again, you get to spend your time on what is most important for your personal language learning.

Group-coaching through daily email

Some years ago we discovered that many customers signed up for the language course but did not get around to using it. As humans we often tell ourselves that "I'll start next week"... Habits are hard to create or to change. Therefore we started an email-coaching program some years ago where we go through the same content together each day in the language course, on our own computers or phones. Learning is more fun together! So while we don't have to get out of the house and drive to a classroom to meet physically with our class (who has time for that in a busy schedule), we learn together by following the same daily schedule. As the language coach, I send out daily emails Monday to Friday with specific instructions to do that day (weekends give you a break, or let you catch up if you've fallen slightly behind).



Distributor in Europe for almost 25 years


We at Language Infusion have not developed the language course on our own. This is a US-made cloud software developed by Transparent Inc []. We have been the Transparent retailers in Scandinavia since 1996, and are now expanding to the UK. Back in 1996 the Transparent courses came on CD-Rom. Today everything is cloud-based. You access the language course online through your web-browser or with an app on your phone or tablet.


Reimar Vetne, PhD
your language coach 
Language Infusion UK & Norway