How to Learn a Language Online: The Ultimate Guide

Since the onset of the 2020 pandemic, many activities that were previously done in person are now being done online. Such is the case of education. While Internet-based classes have been around for a long time, they are more popular than ever right now.

As such, lots of people have decided to learn a language online, and they are discovering the perks of doing so. For instance, they do not need to commute to classes or pick out the right clothes to wear. Plus, the Internet has a vast anthology of foreign-language content that can be used to aid learning in and out of lessons.

Still, there are so many ways to learn online and tools to use, that it can be overwhelming to get organized. So, if you feel like you need help to get started, worry not! We have compiled some of the most useful resources and tips you’ll need in your online language learning journey.

woman studying a language by herself - how to learn a language online

Photo by diana.grytsku via Freepik

Learn by Yourself

If you are an independent learner, you may prefer to study a foreign language online by yourself. Just remember, you will need to be consistent and organize your own learning path.

This is because, if you do not have a teacher, it will be harder to obtain feedback on your performance. Fortunately, there are many resources that you can use to develop and improve your language skills alone.

Note: even if you want to learn with others or under the guidance of a teacher, these resources can be used to complement your language learning, so you make progress even faster.

Listen to Music and Podcasts Daily

Music is one of the best ways to sharpen your language skills. If you listen to a song repeatedly, you will start identifying new vocabulary and distinguishing sounds. Singing songs in a foreign language is also a fantastic way to practice your pronunciation and to remember words and phrases. Besides, if you like the music you are listening to, you will stay engaged.

Fortunately, the Internet hosts an immense amount of foreign songs. For example, on Spotify, you can find playlists with music for the most popular languages, like English, Spanish, German, and French. But you can also find resources for the languages that are not so popular, such as Icelandic, Guarani, and Vietnamese.

To boost your learning, you should not only listen to the songs but also check the lyrics to see how the words are written and practice singing them aloud to improve your pronunciation.

man listening to music and podcasts - how to learn a language online

Photo by yanalya via Freepik

If you prefer learning something more educational, podcasts will be your best friend. There are many great podcasts online that will help you develop your language skills, and many come with transcripts, so you can learn to associate pronunciation with spelling as you listen.

Watch Movies and TV Shows Online

With the rise of streaming services over the last few years, finding movies and shows in a foreign language is now easier than ever. Most of them will let you narrow your search by language or country. Just enter the language you are learning in the search field of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or any other platform, and take your pick!

If you are new to the language, we recommend that you make the most of the platform features and enable subtitles. This will allow you to follow the plot while also developing your ear for the language and picking up words and expressions. As you make progress and become more advanced, you can switch the subtitles to your target language or turn them off entirely.

If you enjoy watching Netflix on your Chrome browser, there are many extensions that will make your online language learning journey easier.

Learn With Others

Learning a language also means learning about another culture. Fortunately, there are many tools that will allow you to get in contact with native speakers of your target language for free. In this way, you can get an insider’s point of view of the culture, as well as a buddy who is studying your native language with whom to share your learning experience.

Online Language Exchanges

Language exchanges are the cheapest way to start practicing your target language with native speakers. They are a good way to improve your language skills, receive useful feedback, and make friends along the way! Nowadays, many platforms serve as online language exchanges, such as Tandem.

To get started, just create an account and choose your native and target languages. Then, the app will connect you with native speakers of your target language who want to learn the language(s) you already speak.

Learn With a Teacher

 

One of our Greek online classes with Penny.

One of our online Greek classes with our teacher Penny.

If you want the guidance of an experienced instructor, enroll in online classes. Ideally, you should seek a teacher who is a native speaker of your target language, as well, so you can receive feedback about your performance on the spot, learn from someone with an intuitive knowledge of the language, and acquire useful cultural information.

An expert tutor is invaluable to beginners, since new learners do not know much about the language yet, and it is easy to form bad habits or lose hope without a professional guiding the learning process. But students of higher levels will also benefit as a native online tutor can provide exercises, role-play opportunities, and insights that can be difficult to find and use in other circumstances.

Online One-on-One Classes

By taking an online private class, you will have all your teacher’s attention on you. This means more feedback and personalized instruction. The classes will be exclusively planned around your specific needs, so you will learn at a faster pace. Whether you want to learn a language for travel, business or to become fluent over time, your teacher will give you the type of instruction you need.

Additionally, online classes provide you with the perfect opportunity to learn interactively with tailored lesson plans which center around games, videos, and music. You could, for example, play the Language Trainers Accent Game with your teacher, who will explain the regional differences of your target language.

One of our online German language classes with our teacher Christian.

Online Open Group Classes

Online open group classes are ideal for those who enjoy learning a language socially from the comfort of their homes. These lessons tend to be less expensive, since the cost of the class is divided among all the students, at the cost of full personalization. Still, if you and your classmates agree on a topic you want to cover, your teacher will adapt the curriculum to meet your needs.

With group classes, you will meet other learners from all over the world who share your passion for languages. In this way, you will make friends as you learn a language online. Besides, groups are formed with students who have a similar level of proficiency in the target language. This means that the lessons will be tailored to the general needs of the group, and you will be able to share your learning journey with them.

Online Closed Group Classes

If you already know some people who want to learn the same language as you, you can sign up for online closed group classes. These classes will be tailored to the needs of every member of the group. So, if you and your workmates want to get ready for a business trip, your teacher will assess your current abilities, and then teach you all the skills you will need.

 

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