The ability to communicate in another tongue provides a direct connection to foreign cultures. In a world where half of the population is bilingual, proficiency in over one language also helps boost career prospects. Studies even demonstrate that language learning contributes to better decision-making. And thanks to the internet, what used to be a tedious process of outdated instruction and intimidating classrooms is easier than ever. So, whether you want to strengthen your skills or tackle a new vernacular, here go three ways to use the internet as a language learning tool.
Brush up on your conversational skills with a native speaker
Practice makes perfect, and this is especially true of language learning. Of course, reading out loud is the first step to improving your accent. However, your mirror is no replacement for an actual foreign speaker. Still, putting yourself out there requires confidence. Therefore, beginners can start immersing themselves in the language on social media platforms. Reading content, including some slang now and then, hones the lexicon. A bit of social networking also goes places to connect with native speakers and eventually find the nerves to engage in real-time conversation.
Professional tutors are another effective way to enhance your speaking skills. Tutoring sessions can occur daily or weekly. And professional teachers are trained in customizing the experience to adapt to your learning style. Several language learning platforms can put you in contact with native tutors, whether for free or for a fee.
Put free resources to good use
Most language resources on the internet are up there for free. Free dictionaries, for one, are some of the handiest tools to improve your language comprehension skills in virtually any language on the planet. As for languages that use different alphabets, platforms usually include easy-to-use search boxes or specific keyboards that allow you to write in the target language. Some websites even implement handwritten recognition for users to draw Japanese or Chinese characters, for example, with their touch screen or mouse.
Free-of-charge online courses and blogs also abound on the world wide web, on top of language applications. The best language apps allow users to get started with the basics of any language, or enhance their skills in a tongue they’re already familiar with. Most apps offer beginner and advanced courses, sometimes in up to 20 languages. They rely on brief sessions for learners to practice every day, blending tried and tested teaching methods with entertaining features. Free packages facilitate trying out multiple platforms before eventually moving on to paid subscriptions.
Consume entertaining content
Flashcards and tutored lessons are a sure way to climb up the language learning tree. Yet, that is hardly exciting, contrary to the myriad of engaging content online. If your brain needs a break, listening to foreign music on platforms like Spotify or Deezer is ideal for relaxing and absorbing new information. From Netflix to Amazon Prime, streaming services also complement traditional learning approaches. So, switch on the subtitles of your favorite Spanish or Korean TV show. Some extensions like Language Reactor even allow you to add pop-up dictionaries and dual-language subtitles. As you level up, you can turn off captions altogether.
Online gaming also adds an element of fun to language learning. Indeed, video games are the perfect vessel to learn languages in context. As opposed to passive activities, gaming puts you in a proactive situation. Dialogue-heavy games, such as visual novels or narrative RPGs, are particularly constructive for building up vocabulary. Other games strongly encourage players to interact. Many new online casinos provide interactive live dealer sessions, for instance. From blackjack to poker, live games allow gamblers to communicate with human croupiers. Most new casinos are fully compatible with mobile, making it easy to play machine slots and table games on the go. Plus, they reward players with generous bonuses like welcome offers and weekly promotions. Mobile players can quickly switch their smartphone settings to their preferred language. Several games for consoles also feature various language options.
From boosting brain power to traveling, learning a foreign language comes with amazing benefits. Plus, research has shown that learning a second language smoothed the way out for picking up additional languages. If you’re intent on becoming a polyglot, then, the internet has all you need to advance your skills.