Finally managed to find the money to go to a language course? If you're at a basic level, most of the knowledge you get there can be gleaned from the Internet from the comfort of your own home. So don't be in a hurry to part with your finances and read our article on learning foreign languages online.
A confident start as a guarantee of success
Unfortunately, after most of the non-specialized secondary schools and colleges, graduates have no command of the foreign language they have learned. This is a shortcoming of the system, which is compensated by private language schools. Such education, if it is of high quality, is very expensive.
The Internet can by no means replace a live teacher, especially if the teacher is a native speaker. However, you can easily learn basic skills and begin to understand foreigners' speech online.
Let's take an average person as an example. From school he has a knowledge of letters, some words and their pronunciation, a vague idea of tenses and articles. This is quite enough to learn the language online.
There are several ways of improving your language using online resources. You can:
- Switch to watching your favourite TV series and films in their original voiceover (if it is in the language you want to learn). Listening to native speakers is a very useful language learning tool. You can use subtitles to make it easier to absorb the information.
- Register on social media to learn languages. Here you can improve your writing skills and adopt the manner of informal communication of native speakers (this will not be taught to you in simple courses). Some of these social networking sites are: Busuu (12 languages to learn) and Italki (any language).
- Listen to podcasts.
A podcast is a collection of constantly updated audio files that are recorded in a radio show style and published on the Internet.
Podcasts usually have a theme and periodicity. Especially for language students, many podcasts have been created in which native speakers explain the rules and give examples of their application in life.
- Practice reading and writing in a variety of forums and portals. Lang-8. is one of them. Here you can post your texts in different languages and they will be reviewed and errors corrected.
- Download an application on your phone, or register on educational websites.
The most user-friendly learning platforms include:
- Лингвалео. It was one of the first to appear and is well established. It is available as an app on your phone and as a website with user-friendly navigation. Including the Ukrainian interface.
- Simpler. A very simple service which includes lessons on reading and memorizing words, exercises to memorize vocabulary, and a personal dictionary. You can also take a proficiency test to check your current level of knowledge. The service is available for use without an Internet connection or registration. But there is no web version and the app is heavyweight.
- Duolingo. In addition to learning the rules, the service specializes in student speech practice. You can also learn French, German and Spanish here. The native language layout includes Ukrainian. It is more convenient to use the application, because you always need a microphone.
- Englishdom. The service is not entirely free, specializing in English over Skype. However, all users can use the online simulator and participate in free conversation clubs. The app is available in Ukrainian
- Beelinguapp. Allows you to learn English with audiobooks: listen to stories while reading the text with translation. You can choose free works, but their selection is limited to the app's library.
The networking sessions practise all uses of the language: reading, writing, speaking and comprehension. As a result, you can get a good base. Once a student reaches a certain level (usually Intermediate), it is more useful for them to move on to practising the language with people. At this stage, it is already possible to enroll in a course and learn to apply all that has been learned, overcoming the common fear of speaking.
In this way, you can save learning time by starting a course not at the first level but at a higher one. This means that you will spend less money and you will feel more confident in your first lessons.
The Internet is a great place to learn: there is a lot of useful information and it's free! However, many people lack the motivation and willpower to visit educational resources instead of the usual social networking and entertainment sites. Don't be one of them and take the opportunity to improve your English or learn a new language from the comfort of your own home!