Businesspeople and others who travel to various countries frequently find it desirable to learn a new language and one of the best ways is to learn it through the Internet. Before you spend your hard-earned money on various programs, CDs, or books, it is best to look for free online language learning services first.
Online learning is also very effective because it makes use of text, photographs, audio and video to permit you to both hear and see how the language is actually used. This is very different from reading a book on a certain language in which you are usually limited to the words that you may not know how to correctly pronounce. Language courses offered over the Internet are also interactive in nature so that you can practice your vocabulary and check your grammar. Many of the lessons can also be downloaded into your laptop or MP3 player so that you bring them anywhere you go. This will permit you to listen to the lessons and practice saying the words and sentences while you are doing something else, such as exercising or driving.
How Do You Choose the Language to Learn?
If you want to learn a language because you will need it when you travel to foreign lands, it is easy to make a choice. You simply select the language of the country that you often go to. However, if your purpose is to add to your knowledge and skills, you may want to choose one of the languages that is used in various countries, such as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, or Japanese. You may also want to learn similar languages at the same time, such as Italian and Spanish.
Online Sites for Learning a Language
There are thousands of websites that can permit you to learn the language that you have chosen. There are even sites that act as portals for the various language learning sites. One of these is the website is the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies. At this particular site there are more than 100 sites that are alphabetically arranged. These include the 200 word-a-day site that helps you increase your vocabulary by learning 200 words a day in German, French, Spanish or Welsh.
Another portal is Word2Word. A table of languages is presented that you can click on to visit the site for that particular language. Another portal for language learning is the Open Culture Free Foreign Language Lessons. This particular site offers a collection of podcasts that can be downloaded using iTunes. Aside from podcasts, some of the sites may also offer suggestions on books and software that will help in the learning process.
Another useful portal that you may want to look into is the BBC Languages site. This portal is focused on Italian, Spanish, German, and French, but is also provides training and activities for other languages such as Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, and Urdu. You can also learn the UK languages, such as Gaelic, Welsh and Irish. You can also visit the World Nomads Travelers Language Guides. It contains basic phrases that you can download into your MP3 player or notebook computer so that you can bring them along while you are traveling.
Book Sites for Language Learning
Reading a book that is written using the language that you are trying to learn may also help. One important site for getting access to books in various languages is Project Gutenberg.
You can also visit the Foreign Language Book Sources site that focuses on several languages, including Bosnian, Dutch, Hungarian, Japanese, French, Danish, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, and Turkish.
Sites to Help You Practice
There are also a number of sites that can help you practice speaking, reading and writing the language that you have chosen to learn. One of these sites is the Internet Polyglot site that offers free online activities and games for those who already have a basic knowledge about a particular language. Another important practice site is Before You Know It that uses interactive flashcards. It also permits you to download a free language learning computer program.
Practicing with a Partner
It also makes sense to have a partner when you are trying to learn a language. This is because it is difficult to practice your conversational skills with software or a computer. A partner will help you hone your listening and speaking skills for that particular language.
For those who cannot find a partner who is willing to learn a language with them, there are websites that have forums and communities where you can interact with other people who are interested in other languages. One such site is Fluent Yet?. Meanwhile, the Language Learning Advisor site offers some guidelines and advice for language learners. It also contains various resources for certain learning techniques and languages.
How to Get Used to the Language
Another tool for facilitating the learning of a new language is to actually see people using the language and this could be done by reading their newspapers, watching their television programs, or listening to their radio programs. The Web-Radio site offers a way to listen to the radio programs of various countries. Thus, you can select the country that speaks the language you have chosen and try to understand what they are saying.
For television programs all over the world, you can visit the World Wide Internet TV site. It contains links to various television stations and it also has a library of recorded videos. You can pick the country and the kind of program, such as music, news, sports, or education.
Free University Courses
There are also free university courses available in the Internet. One is the Open Courseware of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Another site is the Open University Learning Space of the United Kingdom. These courses have the advantage of teaching about current issues and culture.