Language learning is notoriously difficult for us Brits, comprende? Perhaps it’s a complacency that everywhere will speak ours. Maybe it’s our antiquated school system and syllabus. Possibly we’re just a little lazy? Whatever the reason, it’s tough, but with an increasingly globalised world and the job opportunities that come with it, as well as travel getting cheaper and more accessible than ever, never has it been more pressing to pick up some new prose.
So let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. The first step, of course, is to decide which language to choose. The best languages to learn are those which will help you progress in a career, globally, such as Mandarin Chinese or Spanish. Fortunately, these services are accessible even if you’re entering the process at beginner level; language learning can teach be taught to students wanting to build from the foundations up.
Here’s how to do so quickly and efficiently; our 5 IDEAL tips for learning a new language fast online.
CONVERSE WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS ONLINE
Let’s face it, in this day and age it’s easy to pick up a language online — all of the resources are at your fingertips and a lot of those are completely free. One of the best ways to practice your chosen language is via a ‘language exchange’ session online; you share some English conversation over Skype (other platforms do exist) with a partner, and in return they engage in a little conversation in the language you covert. Social learning at its finest, we think, and the worst thing that can happen is you’ll make a new friend. Here’s 9 of the best free language exchange websites.
INVEST IN SOME LESSONS
For non-English speakers and other language learners alike, perhaps the best and most efficient way is to take lessons online. A more serious financial commitment, sure, but one which will most likely pay dividends. It’s easy and simple to start online classes, usually involving a simple registration and connection with a tutor who specialises in video chat classes. This will give the opportunity to engage in chat and more serious theory with a native speaker who is specifically trained to nurture and improve your skills. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE LANGUAGE VIA POPULAR CULTURE
Picking up a new language online needn’t have to revolve around academia, learning and study. There is another tool in your arsenal; immersing yourself in your chosen language via the medium of popular culture. So, should you be intent on learning Catalan, listen to some Rosalia. If your heart is set on Korean, it’s time to watch some fabled Korean romantic dramas. Do you need to learn Thai? Then get stuck into their version of Masterchef. Though it won’t be a complete learning experience, when used in tandem with more conventional methods, it can really help with your natural pronunciation and rhythm of the language. You’ll probably pick up some slang, too; invaluable!
‘APPY TO HELP
Apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone have revolutionised the way we learn languages and it’s no surprise that they’ve gotten so popular in recent years; a quick, efficient way to learn the basics and pick up some useful phrases. What’s more, they have free versions, which although limited in scope and reach, provide an opportunity to get some beginner words under your belt. Unfortunately, they don’t offer much in the way of more advanced learning, like grammar and conversational skills, but if you’re looking for a simple and cost-effective way to start learning a new language, then download away.
The single best way to learn a new language starts online; booking a flight to a destination which speaks it. Because there truly is no better way than getting in the middle of it and assimilating. Stepping outside your comfort zone and into direct, necessary interaction with native speakers is like pressing the booster button on your language learning. If you can afford to, you should.