Most of us remember poring over boring-looking books on grammar and language classes in high school to learn English or other languages. Instead of spending those hours memorizing past participles and irregular verbs, our time would have been spent much more productively if our teachers and we had had the modern tools and knowledge available that we have now. Technology has improved almost every aspect of our lives. Learning a new language is no different. Using the online tools that we have now, language learning is a much more immersive and effective experience. These are some ways you can take advantage of technology in acquiring a new language:
Many language learning textbooks come with programs or CDs nowadays. These contain interactive features such as tests that are graded instantly, videos, games, and speaking exercises that can give feedback and evaluate your learning progress by using smart algorithms. Teachers are big fans of language immersion. With tools like these that contain both language exercises and storytelling components, a Spanish teacher can simply use an online Spanish book for teachers instead of having to take the class on an expensive field trip abroad, which all students might not be able to afford.
These are a quick and handy way to practice your blossoming language skills. There are plenty of apps available that teach you various aspects of language acquisition. Even learning a new word every day on your commute is good practice. You can use an app to build your own dictionary or thesaurus. You can also use virtual methods of learning such as indexes and flash cards.
Freely available online courses
Many universities have courses and lectures uploaded online that can be accessed free of charge. These may not be as helpful as a paid, interactive course with specially designed resources, but they are still a great resource to browse in your spare time. Many online paid courses also have resources for teachers that you can check out before deciding to subscribe.
Subtitles and international films
With the advent of streaming sites, it has become easier than ever to consume foreign films and TV shows. Most streaming platforms have options for films from specific countries. Even if they are English films, they come with the option of audio dubs in different languages. Watching foreign films not only teaches you the language but also exposes you to that culture. You can make watching TV a more productive experience by switching the audio to a language of your choice or even by using subtitles to learn vocabulary.
Outside of specific courses and apps, there are also multiple websites that can help in other ways. These may be online educational platforms on which you can attend interactive classes, hold flipped classroom sessions, or simply access archives of course materials. These can even be in the form of specific blogs or chat rooms where you can talk to people in their languages.
Whether to enhance our own skill set by picking up a different language or to teach our children a foreign language, technology is a prime tool to utilize. By making learning more interesting, more children may be brought up multilingual—a huge advantage in the current job market.