You might find yourself wanting to learn a foreign language but are put off at the thought of hour after hour spent in a classroom. Alternatively, learning a foreign language might mean the chance to get yourself and your career exactly where you want.
Whether it is for business or pleasure, learning a foreign language needn’t be expensive or a bore. There are plenty of social media tools which are available to make mastering a language as easy and as fun as possible. Here’s a list of six top social media tools you might want to check out.
Babbel is an online portal where users can learn English, Spanish, German, Italian or French. It’s packed full of fun quizzes, detailed dictionaries and scenarios to help perfect everything from the conversational and colloquial to business English courses.
One of the best features of Babbel is the amount of daily exercises that are posted by native language professionals to help you get started. The Google Translate bar is also visible at every point on the website meaning that if you get stuck, help is never far away.
Busuu is a structuralised online learning platform, which delivers many different opportunities and scenarios for language training. A great feature of this site, like others, is that you are in the virtual presence of many other people who you can email and message to help with anything you need.
Busuu exercises can also be downloaded on to your smartphone and listened to on the go. This is particularly great if you’re actually living in a foreign country and need to brush up on the go.
Livemocha is one of the biggest social media language sites on the Internet. The range of languages that it caters for are staggering. Everything from Spanish and French to Hindi, Icelandic and even Mandarin is covered by the site.
It is structured to provide support by teacher as well as peers. Writing activities are exchanged via the site and feedback is given. There is also a tiered learning system which keeps track of your progress to make sure that you are learning at an effective pace.
SharedTalk is a great portal for chatting to native speakers of different languages. Its thirty-plus chatrooms allows users to try out their skills and gain valuable feedback on what’s working so far and what needs improvement.
Similar to SharedTalk, iTalki allows users to search for native speakers and converse with them. But as opposed to a series of chatrooms, it is designed to be a language exchange program, where people can trade lessons in their own language for another.
This is not only a good chance to learn, but also to teach. You’d be surprised how much wise information and feedback you are able to offer regarding your own language. In doing so, you’ll not only help others but gain a valuable insight into language itself and be able to communicate clearly the things you need to learn yourself.
This is a relatively new site that makes use of flashcards, language games and video forums to make learning light-hearted and put you in contact with others seeking to exchange language skills. You never know, you might also meet some firm new friends while you’re at it.
Author | Amie enjoys helping others develop their foreign language skills in Business English in England. She enjoys reading and writing about a range of language related programmes that can help people develop better linguistically.