With the cultural diversity of many countries growing steadily, language barriers have become commonplace. Consequently, more people are seeking to learn a second, or even third, language. Due to our busy lives though, many of us don’t have the time to attend traditional offline classes. Additionally, classroom lessons are often too expensive. That’s where this article comes in, to inform you about the top online language courses available.
There is a huge amount of language courses available on the internet, both in the form of websites and apps for phones. This article will describe some of the most popular ones and discuss the benefits of learning another language.
Benefits of Another Language
There are many benefits of possessing foreign language skills. Below is but a small sample of the advantages of using an online language learning program.
– Better Job Options: Many employers will now give bilingual (knowing two languages), or multilingual (three or more languages) applicants priority over the ones that only speak their native tongue.
– Higher Wages: Being able to translate or speak directly to clients/customers is a valuable skill that companies are willing to pay extra for usually.
– Communicate more easily with your community: Often, communities have neighbors that speak a variety of languages. Being able to socialize with, and speak directly to members of your neighborhood can help your community stay connected, provide support to each other, and help eliminate misunderstandings that can cause disharmony.
– A better understanding of other cultures: Speaking to people from different cultures can be an interesting and enlightening experience. You can grow relationships, develop empathy, and explore the similarities and differences between your beliefs and way of life.
– Ability to converse with locals when traveling abroad: What better way is there to learn about the exciting destinations you visit than to be able to speak directly to the local inhabitants? They can be a wealth of knowledge from learning about landmarks or getting directions, to the local legends and history.
Of course, many other benefits can be had when learning a new language. Where you live, travel plans, business, and personal goals are some of the reasons for acquiring the skills needed to relate to more people around the world. Decide what you really want to benefit from, and then look for the online course and other resources that match your needs.
Five Online Language Courses
There are so many language course options online that it can become overwhelming when trying to decide which one would be best for you. Here are some of the top online language courses available.
Foreign Services Institute: Price – Free
Public domain lessons created by the U.S. Department of State, yet the site is owned by individuals.
Perfect for a student who can learn on their own, it provides text documents that can be downloaded.
Rosetta Stone Price – $7.49 to $19.99 per month
Speech recognition software that ensures correct pronunciation
Immersive curriculum- Instruction that is strict about only speaking the language being taught, and explaining about the culture and lifestyle.
Employs the teaching method that is thought to be most effective scientifically by directly affecting the brain’s natural language learning
Babbel – The Smart & Inexpensive Way to Learn A New Language
Babbel: Price – $6.95 to $12.95 per month
Speech recognition software that ensures correct pronunciation
Short lessons (10-15 minutes)
Can converse with native speakers
Lingoda: Price – Starting at $109 per month
Personalized lessons. Group classes and private classes
Entertaining – Creative lessons that make learning fun, which is proven to increase the capacity to learn a subject
Rocket Languages: Price – Starting at $70 per month
Great variety of languages; immersion in the language by watching videos and listening to interactive audio lessons.
Voice recognition software
While each of these courses shares some of the same features, they also each have unique attributes. As an example, FluentU educates by using videos, while others use flash cards, immersion, and/or live communication with native speakers. Whether it’s online such as these courses or offline methods including classes, each student learns best in their own way.
Using every means at your disposal is probably the most effective way of learning. Just a few examples of these resources include:
Interacting with other speakers – Many studies have proven that actively conversing in the new language is one of the most effective ways to learn.
Offline classes – Some students learn better in a classroom environment where they have an instructor that can teach in person.
Books or e-books – Many textbooks, workbooks, and reference books are available that will instruct students in various ways.
Studying the culture of the language – Immersing yourself in the culture can help you understand the reasons for how and why the language is structured as it is.
Online language courses – Offers many different ways of learning, including video, immersion, and text-oriented lessons
Public libraries – Don’t forget the traditional source of reference materials. Some libraries also offer community education programs for language education.
It is really up to the student to decide which resources they use, how much they practice, and how best to reach their individual goals.
What Features Should You Look for in a Course?
You may be unsure about which features would best suit you when learning a new language. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this dilemma that will be correct for every student. The way you learn, the time you have to commit to a program, and what other resources you are going to use all determine what you will gain from all of your hard work.
That being said, an essential method to help you decide which features would be best for you is research, research, research. Here are a few steps that can help you get started.
1) First, the important thing is to visit the language education websites in this article, and any others you may hear or read about. This article has provided you a starting point, but it would be best to make a more extensive list of the features available on each site.
2) Next, look for more articles and blogs about the sites. Read testimonials and find forums or message boards to hear first-hand from real students about their own experiences with the program.
3) Lastly, decide why you want to learn a new language. Whether it is for business or personal purposes, make a list of what you hope to gain from the lessons. Then you can compare the course features to your goals and choose which one would best enable you to achieve your objectives.
There is always another option of course; you can use more than one method of learning. You can use the courses and offline resources. Also, take advantage of the free features of multiple learning approaches, and then if possible, upgrade your account(s) to the paid versions to gain access to even more features and learning tools.
Needless to say, learning a new language takes work and dedication. I hope that this article has provided you with the information you need to get started on choosing which of the top online language courses would best suit your needs. If you follow the steps above to select your favorite way of learning, you can have a rewarding and enjoyable experience learning a new language.