Learning a new language is so much easier today than a few decades ago. Your smartphone gives you unprecedented access to a variety of tools, apps, and features that are free, or low cost. Just a few years ago, the only ways to learn a new language were attending a course or purchasing textbooks. Fast forward to 2019, and the sheer abundance of language learning resources you can find online are impressive and plentiful.
1 – Loads of Free online resources
Your smartphone is the gateway to the universe, and you can strengthen your language skills with all the best online tools and resources. Your phone is a virtual, portable language-learning console completely at your disposal wherever you are. You can kill time and use every moment of your day productively by practising a language on your phone. A Google search provides free PDF lessons, tutorials and even resources for teachers. Online tools like Grammarly will correct your written work so you will write like a pro! Whichever language you choose to learn, the web is your first stop.
2 – The Magic of YouTube
YouTube provides several benefits for language learners. Besides watching movies in your chosen language, you can watch with or without subtitles. You can also watch free lessons posted on YouTube by qualified and experienced teachers. If you are studying English, the British Council and the BBC have specific websites with interactive free English lessons where you can test yourself and check your answers. These websites cover all areas of English study including vocabulary, listening, reading and grammar practice exercises. Lessons start from Beginner, up to Advanced and Business English.
3 – Fun & Informative Websites like Pinterest
There are many fun and informative websites that provide free language resources. Pinterest is one that comes to mind. There are infographics in all languages with lessons, vocabulary and pictures and diagrams to explain the language points clearly. Playing games is fine too if you are doing it in another language. Twitter is another great tool as you find condensed messages which are clear and straightforward.
4 – Music and Lyrics
Another great way to learn a language is by listening to your favourite artists singing. You can follow the song by reading the lyrics and reap the benefits of listening to music in the target language. You can learn new words and pronunciation as well. You can watch music videos on YouTube and other free streaming services while reading the lyrics. Music is a brilliant way to learn, and you can listen on your smartphone with earphones for added clarity.
5 – Use Messaging Apps
There are so many messaging apps that provide a chance to converse by writing in another language. You can use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp! Telegram, Viber, Twitter and LinkedIn, which all have messaging functions. It’s a really great way to keep in touch with friends and to write and read in a new language. The services are free, and you can chat and learn at the same time.
6 – Using Language Learning Apps
There are multiple language learning apps which you can download to your smartphone. You will get both online and offline access, with the starting modules generally free of charge. You can then decide whether to sign up for the premium versions later. Language learning apps tend to include threads from native speakers sharing the real meanings of often confusing phrases and vocabulary usage.
7 – Google Keep & Evernote for vocabulary lists
Remembering new words is vital to language learning. Keeping an organised list of new words on your phone will permit you to review the list and add new words continually. You can start your own mini-dictionary with words you add to the list, and in no time you will build up a useful collection of everyday words that you can memorise easily through constant access.
8 – Use Siri or Google
Siri is a novel way to practice your conversation. You can set Siri to almost any popular language and ask and answer questions with Siri. You will learn pronunciation and practice your speaking skills. You can ask Siri things like, what’s the weather like? Tell me a story? How was your day? and similar questions to provoke longer responses. You can set Siri with different accents such as US, Australian and British English and learn the specific dialects and regional accents. That way, your own pronunciation will become even more refined, precise and accurate.
9 – Change your Apps Language Settings
You can change the overall language on your phone, but if you aren’t ready to take that drastic step, you can simply change the language on certain apps you choose yourself. Facebook can be adapted to Spanish and several other languages, and you can even set your Google search page to another language. By switching languages, you will start to absorb lots of new words and key phrases.
10 – Join online communities and chat groups to get practice
One of the best ways to learn any new language is to speak as much as possible and get conversation practice. Facebook, Instagram, and several other social media networks provide access to native speakers interacting casually. There are specific chat groups for language learners which are free to join, and you can practice via Skype or Google Hangouts in real time with other learners and even teachers.
Hopefully, these useful tips will help you make the most of your phone when learning a new language and put your smartphone addiction to good use. Your language skills will improve in leaps and bounds as they grow and thrive.