Have you ever wanted to learn a new language but could never find the time? Well, now could be the perfect opportunity, whether you want to improve upon your high school Spanish, learn Mandarin to impress your friends or are simply a little bored during quarantine and want to develop a new skill.
Whatever your reason, there are so many online tools out there to help you on your way. We know that everyone learns a little differently, so we’ve come up with a few different ways to get you started learning a new language online. From using apps to taking more in-depth language courses, there’s plenty of tools for every learning style!
Download a language learning app
They’re right when they say there is an app for everything. Learning languages is no exception! You’ll be inundated with options for learning a language using an app. How you want to learn and which language you pick will determine what app you choose. Some well-known and popular language learning apps include Duolingo, Memrise and Babbel.
Duolingo is a great app for bite-size online language learning with over 30 languages to choose from. It’s great for learning multiple languages at a time (if you’re that brave). The added goals and rewards in the app adds a sense of fun to a sometimes frustrating skill to learn. The app is completely free and super simple to use. If you want to remove ads and support education, you can sign up to Duolingo Plus.
What’s great about Memrise is the availability of thousands of video clips from native speakers. This added element benefits your learning by enabling you to better understand listening to a new language and pick up on different accents. If you’re a complete novice, start at the beginning. For those who are a little rusty and need a refresh, you can pick up a course at a more advanced level.
Babbel is perfect for those who, even though they’re at home, may be short on time. Each lesson lasts between 10 and 15 minutes and it’s currently available in 13 languages. If you’re looking for an app that’s easy to use, reasonably priced (or free) and will improve your pronunciation, Babbel is the app for you.
Read short stories online
If you’re looking to brush up on some pre-existing language skills or practice your newly acquired language knowledge, short stories in a foreign language are a great option. You can find simple short stories or even children’s stories online. Practicing your reading will help you get a feel for a new language in a fun way.
Get an online teacher
If you’re looking for a more personable experience when learning a language, why not get yourself an online teacher? Italki connects both professional teachers and native speakers to students looking to learn a new language. These sessions are based on your own interests and goals and you can pick from over 10,000 teachers. The teachers will run sessions via Skype to help you keep up with learning and reach your goals.
Audio books or podcasts
For auditory learners, apps and books may not be the way to go when thinking of learning a new language online. But fear not, there are plenty of audio books and podcasts out there for you to try. Coffee Break Languages is a great podcast to try if you’re looking to learn French, Italian, German, Spanish or Chinese. And if the idea of reading short stories to learn caught your interest, there are tons of audio book versions online too!
Who said watching TV isn’t a productive way to spend your time? It’s actually a really useful way to learn a new language. Make sure it’s a movie or series that you’re super interested in and familiar with so you don’t get bored. Once you’ve found the right thing to watch, turn on the subtitles or dubbing in your target language and off you go.
Learning a language online is easy to do, with so many different methods out there available to everyone. And once we’re allowed back out to travel, this new skill will truly come in handy!