Learning a language is usually considered a difficult task. You have to memorize a ton of foreign vocabulary, understand complex grammar that is different from what you’re used to, and still muster up the courage to speak a language you’re just learning. No wonder learning a language seems like a daunting chore.
And yet, believe it or not, but this task has never been easier. Language learners today have access to tools and resources that people could only dream of even 15 years ago.
Pouring over grammar books is no longer the only way to learn the rules of a language. You can access materials in your target language online with one click, or find a private language teacher with another one.
Here’s Why Learning a Language Has Never Been Easier
The Sheer Number of Available Resources
Before the internet became quite so common as it is today, your only options for learning a language consisted of the textbooks you had available in your nearest book store. You had one for grammar and vocabulary and one for exercises.
If you didn’t particularly like the way something was explained, you were stuck. Especially when trying to learn a somewhat obscure language, where you may not have even had a choice of course books available.
These days, you have access to more language learning resources than the mind can comprehend. The sheer volume of these options means you can choose the ones suitable for your learning style and goals.
Of course, sifting through all of these will take some time and effort but the upside is that these days, it’s also possible to find top quality language learning tools completely for free.
Finding People to Practice with is Quick and Easy
Today, you can simply google for a language exchange in your target language and find someone to practice with. Thanks to platforms like Meetup, Couchsurfing, and Polyglot Club, not to even mention the available Facebook groups, it’s easy to meet people who are interested in learning the same language as you.
Learning a language with friends is always easier because they serve as someone to practice with and help to keep your motivation high. If you want to take your chatting offline, try attending a local language exchange evening in a cafe or bar near you.
Advertise for someone to meet up with and trade. This is an appealing option if you want to save money, as you can simply swap languages and speak English one day and the language of your choice the next, without having to pay for private classes.
You’ll also get a great insight into the culture of the language you’re learning as you can ask about it face to face with a real-life native. You may even get invited to a family dinner or gathering of friends and watch the culture unfold!
Not only will you be learning a language, but you’ll be making lifelong friends and maybe even getting places to stay when you travel to the country that speaks your language.
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Learning Has Been Made Fun and Efficient
Most language learners will probably have unpleasant memories from the foreign language classes at their school. The vocabulary and grammar tests that always seemed to come up too quick and contain exactly what you hadn’t revised, for example.
Much of this isn’t even different with paid language courses, simply because this is the way languages have been taught for decades. Dictations, reading long passages and answering questions, hours of work spent looking up words and verbs in the dictionary. Learning a language can be really boring when you have to go over the same style of exercises again and again.
But there is another way. Most of the popular language learning apps have gamified learning, making it as addictive as Candy Crush, but a lot more useful. Simple gamification techniques serve to make learning a language fun and provide incentive for its learners to practice a little more each day, improve their scores and pick up power plays.
Gamification of learning means that you’re also more likely to spend a lot more time doing it. That, combined with the advancements in computer assisted learning, means that it could now be possible to learn a language in 200 hours.
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Finding a Private Teacher is Easy and Affordable
If the previous points demonstrate how easy it is to teach yourself a language these days, there’s another giant leap that has been taken in foreign language instruction. And that is the availability of professional language teachers anyone can access.
A private teacher who knows your learning style and can adapt to your needs remains the most effective way to learn any language and, with online lessons, almost anyone has the opportunity to find one.
Learning a language online provides simultaneous access to all the resources the Internet has to offer and to someone who can make the best use of them to teach you. Not only are online lessons flexible and convenient, they are also affordable, making learning a language more accessible for everyone.
Conclusion – New Technologies Have Made Learning a Language Easier
Thanks to the Internet, language learners now have access to more study resources than they can dream of. Finding resources that fit your learning style and goals can be somewhat time consuming but will definitely help you in the long run.
It’s also easier to find like minded people to practice with, making learning more social and fun. Another thing keeping language learning entertaining are the apps that have successfully gamified learning. Thanks to them, you can now consider practicing your target language more a hobby than a chore.
All of that combined with the availability of professional teachers online means that learning a language has truly never been easier.
As long as she can remember, Liisi Pajula has always found languages fascinating. Having dedicated time to learning English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Finnish (with varying levels of success), she has now found her calling – helping others like her find private language teachers with Teacher Finder.