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Using the Internet to Learn a Second Language

I’ve discovered that the internet is a wealth of information about almost anything I can imagine. It’s a source for finding the perfect gift no matter how odd. It’s a great place to connect with friends and family from all over the world. It is a spring of knowledge for learning about almost any topic – the world, science, medicine, the arts, and entertainment. The internet can even help someone learn a new language. I have found a variety of sites tuned to assisting one to learn a second language.

The internet is an excellent source for finding books, tapes and other language helps. There are also web-based language learning systems which unite state-of-the-art technology with operative educational methods. They offer all types of learning material, from beginners’ courses and vocabulary training to grammar and useful phrases. Besides being entertaining, these sites are interactive and can help with pronunciation and supply lively lesson discussion in community forums.

One popular option is In addition to other assets, Babble offers an integrated speech recognition tool.  With it you can speak into a microphone to practice and test your pronunciation. Babbel also offers a review manager that organizes your learning as you go.  The program knows what you’ve already learned and what you’re having problems with and will adjust your lessons to accommodate the review you need most. When using Babbel there is even an iPhone app that allows you to take your lessons with you and study as you go!

Learn a language claims to be the most complete language-learning website to be found in eight major languages. Here you will find links to vocabulary lessons as well as to dictionaries, tutors and culture lessons. Some of it is even free!

In addition to online learning systems, there are several websites designed to bring you together with other language students. The Mixxer is one such meeting site for language learners from all over the world. Due in large part to Skype, you can link up with students studying the same language or even native speakers of the language. This is a unique way of practicing your new language.

I find the internet can provide fun and useful language learning with energetic, interactive exercises. How much more enjoyable and convenient can it be to learn a new language than to be able to take your lessons with you when you go? Whether you use it as a study tool to aid you in a class or go full on, the internet is one way to learn a second language.

What do you think? Could you learn a language just by using online services, without even attending one classroom? What is your favorite website or language tool online?


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