End of excuses! Let’s have a look at some awesome free language learning tools to get us all fast on the route to fluency.
Second week of my language challenge has been and gone. And so did the third.
How typical! First tree weeks of January are over and I have hit a plataeu.
When you hit the plataeu just find new motivation and push through
The fact that I am a language learning entusiast has not prevented me from losing my motivation and drive to push through the hardest bit of the challenge – the first 20 hours (watch this awesome video by Josh Kaufman on TEDx)
Last week I have mostly just pottered along following the previous week’s resources. There were quite a few days where I procrastinated with my German session to the point that I fell asleep before even starting.
Yup! Guilty as charged.
I have been hiding behind extra work load which I had to deal with. But, let’s be honest here, although I really did have a lot more work to do last two weeks, the matter of fact is that I was finding German hard and so I subconsciously avoided it wherever possible.
So in reality in last couple of weeks I have only managed to squeeze in mere 4 hours of learning.
Taking me to a grand total of 9 hours of learning in 21 days.
Pathetic, I know!
But I am not a quitter. I have a plan!
And I’m pulling out the big guns (such as Ice cream, pizza and chocolate). Reward for good work completed is always a good idea.
Now back to learning.
Since there is not a lot of proggres I could bubble about, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite free language learning tools and apps that help me skyrocket my learning right from the word go.
I have been singing praises for YouTube in my previous posts and I still maintain that YouTube is my number one “go to” resource whenever I want to learn just about anything.
Apart for YouTube, one of the fantastic free tools for language learning is Duolingo.
Awesome little app, that helps you to learn vocabulary, practice pronunciation and improve your listening skills at once.
You get all of that, and more in fun, engaging way.
It also keeps you accountable and allows you to create community in which you can learn and progress alongside of your friends. Heck, you can even compete against each other.
For those who already speak English, the selection of languages available for learning is quite extensive. For other languages, not so much but it keeps improving all the time.
You can install it to your phone, tablet or computer so that you can always spend those 5 minutes a day, getting closer to your dream.
There is also Memrise which is to a degree similar to Duolingo and is also quite fun and engaging.
Memrise is focusing mainly at vocabulary growth.
I personally like Duolingo a little bit more, but more tools means more learning and more learning means more fun.
iTranslate online dictionary
Another invaluable helper on my journey is iTanslate app. Clever little mobile app dictionary. The scale of languages is vast and the accuracy is astonishing.
I use the free version and am delighted with it. I believe there is an paid upgrade too which is add free and offers some advanced features, for those who just want that little bit more luxurious experience.
There is nothing that will beat a good book.
Of course good books in your target language are rather challenging bite to swallow, if you have only just started and are huffing and puffing over basic vocabulary.
So rather than starting with Shakespeare, I like to reach for nice and easy children’s books.
Whilst that is not necessarily my reading of choice for languages that I already know, it is an amazing tool to ease you into the language through a lot of repetitions.
Children’s books are structured in a way suitable for beginner and usually designed for native speakers to start learning their first few words and sentences.
I have written a whole article that I will publish soon. So keep your eyes out for it and have a read to find out more.
Extr@ TV show
Yet another cool resource is Extr@.
Extr@ is a little TV series, following group of friends through their everyday situations.
This is a great way to practice your listening skills as well as learn some everyday vocabulary. And it’s fun.
It is only available to a limited number of languages. I believe they are English, Spanish, German and French.
You can watch it on YouTube and even select the subtitle option which certainly helps at the very beginning.
Tandem mobile app
Major part of language learning is to actually speak the language.
My favourite tool for that is mobile app called Tandem.
This clever little app allows you to connect with native speakers and fellow learners all over the world and you can choose to chat, record messages or even have a video call with them.
It’s absolutely free as long as you are on WiFi and it is a great way to get you talking.
Whenever I start to learn a new language, I inevitably bump into BBC Languages.
Here you can find anything from beginner’s lessons with most common phrases and vocabulary, games, native speaking TV’s and Radio and a lot more. That makesw it certainly a useful website to check out.
So those are just a few out of tons of free resources you can find on the internet. There us a lot more to be found yet. And I will be adding them along the way, so watch this space.
What are your favourite language learning resources?
Share your tips in comments bellow and don’t forget to share this article with your friends, if you think they find this useful.