The methods of learning a foreign language undergo dynamic changes and succumb to viral trends; over the years we would collect subscription-based foreign language materials at the newsagent’s, listen to cassettes and CDs, then we would compete with our friends on various apps. The popularity of online language courses and apps is still growing; today we will learn which methods of language learning available on the Internet are the best.
More and more of our daily errands are handled virtually – and in some cases it turned out to be a blessing. Language learning is no different; a wide range of courses, classes and conversations is now at our fingertips. Just open your laptop – that’s all it takes. Still, it’s not the only way to hone your skills; a daily habit of devoting a few minutes of social media for learning in an app helps you significantly broaden the lexicon in another language.
The methods of learning English – and not only!
Most often, we seek help while learning English, focusing particularly on expanding our vocabulary and exploring the ways to hold a smooth conversation. Currently we can choose from offers of language schools and teachers from all over the country. And while we might have struggled to find anything good in the tough times of the pandemic, the possibility to take part in language classes organised across the country or even abroad is a blessing. All you have to do is to join a meeting on one of the popular platforms!
We also tend to use streaming services on a daily basis – we can also mix business with pleasure here. Just sit down comfortably, tune in to your favourite show and turn it into another opportunity to learn languages. Here plug-ins for popular browsers come in handy, as they add subtitles in a selected language to our favourite shows available on the most popular streaming services. So if you ever felt guilty after chugging a full season of a show in one sitting, it’s high time you looked at it differently and turned binge watching into binge learning.
Is there anything besides classes and conversations? Effective methods of language learning with the use of your smartphone
It’s quite challenging to imagine a day without our smartphone – so it’s worth taking a closer look at more and less popular language learning apps. Most of them offer both free and paid version (the latter one usually based on subscription); we can also make use of a free trial to see whether it suits us. Below are a few apps that will keep us productive during the daily commute or will help make better use of our screen time.
– Duolingo – undoubtedly the most popular app that has been used by millions of people across the globe. A user-friendly interface, challenges for users, regular skill testing and earning new achievements motivate the users to regularly check the app and gain new skills. There’s another great advantage to this method of foreign language learning – it takes teaching with a pinch of salt, often delivering surprising examples. Once there was even a poll to choose a phrase that would best describe the year 2020! The following sentence from the Norwegian course was voted the winner: Jeg spiser brød og gråter på gulvet, meaning „I am eating bread and crying on the floor”.
– Drops – an app to help you learn vocabulary, based on graphic representation of phrases. Words are grouped into categories, which are further divided into lessons. What’s important – these cover the most useful phrases and basic words necessary for your day-to-day communication. The free version allows you to take one 5-minute-long session per day. It has one major disadvantage – the free option does not allow the user to see the lists of the words learned.
– Memrise – one of most frequently downloaded apps. It is based on the method resembling well-known and liked flashcards. Words and phrases are introduced and then repeated up until the moment when the user is able to correctly retrieve or type them. To gain access to materials, we have to select a course; it’s worth spending a while and taking a closer look at the content. A great deal of available courses is created on the basis of chosen textbooks or the curriculum of a given language school, being rather useless for anyone not participating in their classes.
A foreign language learning method that combines one’s interests and enriches the vocabulary – podcasts?
For some time now, the popularity of podcasts has been steadily growing. Whether during your lunch break at work or while power walking in the morning, it’s worth swapping your music fix for a dose of foreign language. The advantages include not only easy access to the wide range of resources for beginner learners, but also the fact that they cover a wide range of topics: we can learn plenty about current events, cold criminal cases, as well as literature and culture created in a given language. As we can see, the Internet is brimming with effective foreign language learning methods – just a few minutes of regular learning a day can make an enormous difference!