30 years ago Tim Berners-Lee wrote his first proposal for what would be the World Wide Web. His idea was an open initiative that would give everybody access to a universe of information. For this reason, here at The Language Corner, we would like to celebrate the birth of the World Wide Web by listing 3 if the many ways you can learn a language for free using the internet.
As with any new skill, learning a language requires practice – lots and lots of practice! The best way to do this is to try to dedicate as much time as possible to this new activity, but also remember that consistency is more important than perfection.
Having someone who can help you learn a language is always a good idea, and our native teachers at The Language Corner in Gandhi and La Elipa in Madrid would be delighted to help guide you through this learning process and answer any questions that you may have. However, if you are looking to boost your learning, or even start learning a new language from scratch, there are so many resources readily available at your fingertips online which you don’t even have to look hard for!
Here are 3 tips to get you started:
1. Be organised:
Yes, organisation is very important. It is also very important to have clear and specific goals and targets to aim for, as well as setting reminders for yourself and having specific time-slots to dedicate to learning a new language. Services such as Google Calendar or Outlook can be extremely useful tools which can be used to schedule the time you want to use during the week to learn a new language and to set reminders for yourself. These reminders can be daily, weekly, or even monthly.
It is one thing to say ‘I am going to learn Italian‘ and another to actually follow it through. If you write down your objectives and have more specific goals in mind (e.g. ‘by the end of this year I will be reading Umberto Eco in Italian’, ‘I will have watched 20 Italian films’ or ‘I will have successfully given my presentation in English this time next year‘) you will be far more likely to conquer those goals and reach your targets.
2. Have fun while studying.
With so many resources readily available online, it should be no problem whatsoever finding the right material to learn a new language. Duolingo is an excellent example of this, as well as other sites such as this one which offers 48 different languages. The most important thing is to find a way that you like and would actually enjoy dedicating some of your time to.
3. Immersion, immersion, immersion.
It is extremely important to try to increase your exposure to the language that you are trying to learn as much as possible. On sites such as Youtube, you can find many different types of videos in different languages, as well as music to listen to in other languages, which is always an excellent way to help learn another language. On Internet Archive you can also find a large number of films to watch in other languages.
Podcasts are also a great way to learn languages, as they allow you to listen to your other language while you are carrying out different activities during your daily routine. Here you can find some of the best podcasts to learn another language.
As well as podcasts, twitter can also be a useful way to keep yourself up-to-date or simply to give you access to conversations in other languages. For example, on @TheLangCorner, you’ll see Phrasal Verbs and Idioms of the week, as well as all the news of our activities and events. You can also see all of this on our Facebook page!