Have you ever wanted to learn a new language but could never find the time? Well, now could be the perfect opportunity, whether you want to improve upon the French GCSE you scraped all those years ago, learn Mandarin to impress your friends, or are simply a little bored and want to develop a new skill.
Whatever your reasons, there are so many online tools out there to help you on your way. We know that everyone learns a little differently, so we’ve come up with a few different ways on how you can learn a new language online, from using apps to taking more in-depth language courses.
Download a language learning app
They’re right when they say there is an app for everything, and learning languages is no exception! You’ll be inundated with options for learning a language using an app and depending on how you wish to learn and the language you pick, will depend on what app you choose. Some well known and popular language learning apps include Duolingo, Memrise and Babbel.
Duolingo is a brilliant app for bite size online language learning with over 30 languages to choose from. It’s great to learn multiple languages at a time (if you’re that brave). And the added goals and rewards adds a sense of fun to a sometimes frustrating skill to learn. The app is completely free and is super simple to use. But if you fancy removing ads and want to support free education, you can sign up to Duolingo Plus.
What’s great about Memrise is the availability of thousands of video clips from natives. This added element benefits your learning by enabling you to better understand listening to a new language and perceive different accents. If you’re a complete novice, start at the beginning or for those who are a little rusty and need a refresh you can pick up a course at a more advanced level.
Babbel is perfect for those who, even though they’re at home, may be short on time. Each lesson lasts between 10 and 15 minutes and it’s currently available in 13 languages. If you’re looking for an app which is easy to use, reasonably priced (there is a free option too) and will help improve your pronunciation, Babbel is the app for you.
Read short stories online
If you’re looking to develop some pre-existing language skills, or to practise your newly acquired language knowledge, short stories in a foreign language are a great option for you. Reading simple short stories, or even children’s stories online, allow you to get a feel for a new language in a fun way.
Get an online teacher
If you’re looking for a more personable experience when learning a language why not get yourself an online teacher? Italki connects both professional teachers and natives to students looking to learn a new language. These sessions are based on your own interests and goals and you can pick from over 10,00 teachers. Frequent sessions run via Skype ensure you maintain your development and ensure you’re reaching your goals.
Audio books or podcasts
For those auditory learners among you, apps and books may not be the way to go when thinking of learning a new language online. But fear not, there are plenty of audio books and podcasts out there for you to try. Coffee Break Languages is a great podcast to try if you’re looking to learn French, Italian, German, Spanish or Chinese. And if the idea of reading short stories to learn piqued your interest, there are tonnes of audio book versions online too!
Who said watching TV isn’t a productive way to spend your time? It’s actually a really useful way to learn a new language. You need to make sure it’s a movie or series that you’re super interested in and familiar with so you don’t get bored. Once you’ve found the right thing to watch, turn on the subtitles or dubbing in your target language and off you go.
Learning a language online is easy to do, with so many different methods out there available to everyone. And once you’re allowed back outside to travel, this new skill will truly come in handy!