Keys to learn a foreign language online
Today, in a time when we no longer even ask ourselves the question of English proficiency, a lot of countries such as France or Spain are still a long way behind on the subject. Indeed, when we compare the way languages are learned in countries like Sweden or Germany and France, we quickly notice a big shift. For example, in these two countries, as in many others, it is completely normal to speak several languages fluently.
But nowadays, you can learn a language on the internet, which was not possible until a few years ago. There are many different ways of doing things and different tools. Studying online has many advantages, such as cost, flexibility and autonomy, but you have to be careful not to overdo it. For this reason, we have put together our best tips for learning a foreign language from home!
Getting started: learning the basics through applications
To start learning a new language, it is obviously necessary to start with the basics: introducing yourself, the basic vocabulary, simple grammatical structures etc... Or if it is a language whose alphabet is completely different from that of your mother tongue, such as Korean, you must know this alphabet on your fingertips, as well as the pronunciation of each character before even starting the basics.
And if you have chosen the option of learning a foreign language on the Internet, applications or sites to learn a foreign language can be good alternatives to the basic courses that we have had in secondary education.
On the other hand, if the language teaching system is not always the best, it has at least one huge advantage: it learns the basics. We may never have used it since, but we all memorized our irregular English verbs in high school and many of us remembered them from repeating them.
So if you have the basics but need to refresh your memory, it is also possible to use these applications.
There are many of them with various features and options but the most known and used are still sites such as Babbel or Duolingo.
The advantage is the flexibility, in fact you can make a small vocabulary quizz on public transport in the morning by going to work. Anyway, as soon as you have two minutes, anytime, anywhere.
This will allow you to assimilate basic vocabulary for example, it is very good to start. However, you will soon be limited because there is little or no follow-up and there is no practice, which is still one of the keys to learning a foreign language.
In addition, our advice is to memorize phrase structures that you can use often and easily, this will help you in the beginning.
To be immersed in the language permanently
Our second advice is to be in contact with the language as much as possible. This is true whether learning takes place online or more traditionally.
So you can start by setting your electronic devices, even your Facebook account (and other social networks), which you are in contact with all day long, in the language you are learning. If you want to learn Dutch, convert your phone, computer, tablet etc... into Dutch.
You can also search for music/artists groups that you like, singing or rapping in that language.
Finally, we encourage you to watch all the series, programs or films you used to watch in you mother tongue, in their original version. Not only will you discover the true talent of the actors, but you will be exposed to the language without too much force. You can put the subtitles in you mother tongue at first, then when you feel much more comfortable, you can switch to subtitles in the language you are learning, to totally abandon them at an advanced stage of your learning.
This advice is not difficult to put in place, does not require a huge effort and can nevertheless make you progress considerably without you necessarily realizing it.
Being confronted with a foreign language, even in small measures like these, puts you in contact with the different sounds of language to which you are not used to being exposed. So you get your ear and eye used to the tongue so that it no longer seems foreign to your brain. This latter learns a lot through mime, so you will record intonation, pronunciation, sentence structures, vocabulary, expressions... and unconsciously come out by imitating what you heard earlier.
Beeing immersed in the language is not only important at the beginning, but throughout the entire learning process.
Learning through video
Nowadays, it is extremely simple to have access to any video, thanks to the Internet. Websites like Youtube are gold mines in terms of video content very varied: make-up, video games, podcasts, humor, cooking or even sports or vlogs etc... There really is something for everyone.
So as soon as you have a good enough level with solid foundations, you can watch videos in the language you are learning. Influencers, who often stage themselves, are the best way to bring the language you want to master into your daily life, with enough variety to keep you entertained for many years to come.
You will thus find without any difficulty videos whose content really interests you.
What's more, these people come from all over the world, so you have access to content in every language you can imagine. Being native speakers, their videos are addressed to native speakers as well. This can then be slightly difficult at first because they will not change their vocabulary, articulation or speed of speech. For this reason, we advise to learn a language remotely by video to people whose level is already intermediate or even advanced.
However, don't be afraid not to understand everything from the start, it's completely normal. You should not be discouraged, you may only understand the general meaning to begin with, but you will see that you will progress quickly by getting used to your ear as you go. Everyone can benefit from listening to native speakers, even beginners. Then don't hesitate!
Especially since videos are mostly short, between 5 and 15 minutes. It is a pleasant format, not requiring time. The content is attractive, does not require a considerable effort, especially with training, and is without any commitment.
Chat with a native speaker
It is well known that learning a language is done through practice above all; and it is even more effective when done with a native speaker. The problem is that it is not given to everyone to have knowledge from all over the world with whom we can exchange on the Internet.
It is therefore possible to take language courses online. The vast majority of the language teachers on the Classgap distance learning platform are native speakers.
Moreover, they adapt their course to the needs and desires of the student. Thus, by telling them of your desire to practice with a native speaker, you will have the opportunity to use these conversation classes.
The advantage of them being online teachers is that they will bring you a more personalized approach than in a traditional discussion because the only objective for you and for him is your progress. He can give you tips, technical memos, share interesting documents etc... through the virtual classroom where the lessons take place. Moreover, you will be followed and guided in your learning which is not negligible.
Taking online language training is therefore the most effective way to progress because the courses are addressed at your own pace and you are followed live as soon as you make a mistake.
Moreover, through the online courses, you are no longer subject to geographical constraints! If you want to practice your Spanish, you will easily find a native Spanish teacher from Spain or Latin America. The same applies to teachers of Italian, German, Portuguese or any language you wish to learn. You can also change teachers depending on the accent you want to work with.
However, please invest in quality equipment, such as a good microphone for example. Indeed, it is very important, so that the courses are of quality, to understand the teacher well and vice versa. You must be able to hear each of its accents, the way words and letters are pronounced and all the little subtleties of language. Similarly, the teacher should be able to hear if your pronunciation and good and correct you if necessary.
Now that you all have the keys to start learning a new language on the internet, all you have to do is embark on the adventure, you won't regret it!