Could it be easy to learn another language? More than ever before, the answer is yes! Luckily, we don’t have to rely on old learning strategies anymore. Textbooks are useful, but there are SO many other opportunities right at your fingertips. Here are a few examples. The best approach is to use each in whatever combination that seem to work best for you. 

 Social Media

Did you know you can change the language while you are on Facebook to show as the one you are learning? Even if you don’t understand hardly any of the words yet, your brain is scanning them and creating new patterns.  Simply click on “settings” and choose “language.” You will see so many choices you won’t believe it, everything from Afrikaans to Español to Português to dozens of Asian languages with alphabets I cannot fathom. 

Also on FB, you can join groups of learners and have daily interaction. These can be good sources to clear up confusions and for encouragement. 

Interact more with your FB friends who speak the language. Their posts will show you what it really means to speak the language. As you improve, you will understand more and this will keep your motivation high.

Apps

The list here is limitless. No matter what, you’ll need a dictionary on your phone. As you encounter a word that seems important and you wonder about it, you can find out in an instant. 

Certain apps provide daily shorts texts while others give you lessons and levels to work through. The only language app I have personal experience with is DUOLINGO. It was perfect for me. The variety of ways the material is presented, the options to listen, speak, read, or write…all helped me tremendously in my quest to learn passable Spanish. My daughter likes to use Rosetta Stone. (I started with Duolingo because it was free.) 

Media

You can watch almost any movie in various languages and choose the subtitles you need. If you’re starting, choose subtitles in your native language and get used to the flow of this new language. If you’re getting better, start considering changing the subtitles to fit the audio. Or even taking them off!

The Language Learning with Netflix extension for Chrome can add an extra layer of flexibility. Indeed, it allows you to have 2 languages set as subtitles and even to look up words on the side. 

For nearly any language in the world you can find and tune in to an online radio station. This goes for podcasts, too.  The more you listen and stay in contact with the language, the more your unconscious absorbs and starts to adapt to the language. 

Language Partners 

The internet can connect you with people who are as eager to learn your language as you are theirs. Practicing together is a win-win.  You could get an online instructor as well, but the language partners usually are free of charge, since you are both students/teachers. Be sure and check out Hello Talk online.

Just a few minutes a day…Try these support tools and use them in combination. Be open to discovering new ways to engage with the language you wish to learn every day. You will be amazed at how fast you can improve. If you’re not enjoying the process, you’re doing it wrong. Make it fun! 

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