With the advent of the internet, new, exciting solutions to learn a new language have come to the scene. Now more than ever, it’s easier to get in touch with native speakers, access foreign-language content, or simply use versatile interactive resources.
Here are some of the most effective and creative ways you can use to learn a new language in 2021
1. Use online apps
By far, online apps like DuoLingo, Babbel or Rosetta Stone are the most popular way of learning a new language in the digital era. Here are just some of the benefits you get by choosing some of these apps as your learning platform:
- it’s fun! – for many learners, this factor trumps all the rest. It’s simply super-fun to participate in a game or an app than to study from a plain, old textbook.
- you can track your progress – in traditional learning, it’s sometimes hard to know where you stand. That’s especially apparent when you add in standardized tests, which can even give you a false projection of where your language knowledge is at. With online apps, you can easily track how better you are getting at the game and therefore the language itself.
- you can compete with your friends or other players – humans are competitive beings. For many of us, competition is a powerful learning boost. Like in any other game, you have to learn how to be better than others. With these apps, there’s a huge benefit: you learn a new language in the meantime.
2. Use flashcards
Flashcards are a proven way to learn a new language efficiently and in a fun way. Look at here for some flashcards resources in major world languages. Flashcards are one of the best ways to test out your vocabulary knowledge. Just write a word in your native language on one side, and the translation on the other. Your brain will memorize these pairs much more easily this way, which is why flashcards are such a popular learning method.
3. Turn to social media
This is another fun way to bring language learning closer to your daily life, habits and routines. Most of us check our social media feeds every day. Well, what if you filled up your feed with foreign language content? You’d be surprised how fast you will start to absorb words, phrases and verbal skills. Another great plus of this approach is that you’ll be exposed to slang, which is a crucial part of fluent speaking.
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you can also make money on social media by sharing your language learning journey. Many learners nowadays love following profiles and pages by people who are going through the same process. You can share some of your favourite words and phrases, share your biggest frustration, describe your progress…
4. Incorporate into other subjects
Language learning can be easily incorporated into other school subjects and extracurricular. For example, teachers from non-English speaking countries who teach kids to code simultaneously teach English to their students, because all terminology is in English.
Coding for kids is a popular and colorful way of learning English, but English speakers can also learn foreign languages through other subjects, too.
5. Dive into the culture
If you have the chance, we would definitely recommend diving straight into the culture of the language you’re trying to speak by travelling to a country where it is the national language. It doesn’t have to be months or years; even a week can go a long way into boosting your language skills.
6. Watch movies and clips
If you watch movies for a couple of hours every week, why not use all that time to work further on your language learning? If you’re learning a major world language like Spanish or French, it’s very easy to find great, amusing content in that language. For smaller languages, you’ll have to dig a bit deeper, but you can turn to Netflix to check out whether they already have movies or shows in the language you’re learning.
TikTok is also a great way to absorb tiny bits of digestible, amusing content when you have little time. In your Settings, you can choose your preferred language. If you set it to the language you’re learning, TikTok will start serving you clips in that language.
7. Listen to music
Another passive way of learning a language that’s surprisingly effective is listening to music. A huge plus of this approach is that you have millions of resources in any genre, for any language. Just google some of the most popular songs in your target language or enter the query straight into YouTube.
8. Talk to native speakers
You can participate in online language exchanges where you can communicate directly with native speakers of the language you’re trying to learn. For some, this is the number 1 best and easiest way to learn a language, but for some, it might not do the trick, like introverts or people who aren’t as communicative.
9. Read aloud and record yourself
This can seem a bit weird at first, but recording yourself while you read in a foreign language can help you spot some of your mistake patterns and look at how your fluency develops over time. This is especially recommended if you’re an auditory learner.
10. Listen to podcasts
Similar to music, podcasts are a great way to absorb information somewhat passively. You can simply listen to podcasts in your target language or turn to specialized podcasts designed for language learners. Either way, you’ll benefit from hearing the language on a daily basis instead of just looking at written words.
These methods are just some of the new ways the digital era has allowed learners to study better and faster. Of course, the best thing about these methods is that you can use only those that you like and tailor your learning program to your own preferences. By all means, you can mix and match different methods to get the best results.