Practice Makes Perfect: language-learning online
Blackboard Collective by invertebra
This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 26th March 2010 and has been read 24353 times.
If you're planning your year abroad and want to brush up on your language skills at no extra cost, how about practising online with a native speaker? There are many websites dedicated to connecting people from different countries, as well as holding exercises to improve your skills, and much much more! Read on to find out what's out there...General links and language communities
Live Mocha is the world's largest language learning community with over 5 million members to date. This site is designed for all language goals and skill levels, and offers courses, lessons, tips, as well as video and audio downloads. Basic membership is free and allows you to join the international community to practise languages with native speakers, but more is available to you with a premium membership. ILoveLanguages is a great directory of language-related websites on the internet, with links to all sorts of languages, from widely spoken to not so widely spoken tongues. Papora lets you learn and practise naturally using text, audio and video chat; community discussion groups and more! Language Games is a fun way to improve your language skills, all in the name of fun. We hold no responsibility for the amount of time you may end up spending here, as opposed to doing your coursework, though! Smart.fm's quick fire flashcard game, brainspeed, is a must for language learners. Aside from the games, Smart.fm is also a great language learning program and community, geared to ensure you work those memory cogs and retain all important vocabulary. Sussex University offers a sturdy list of language learning resources, with tons of useful links. Europa Pages is a simple, no frills service aimed at connecting people from all over the world. And the best part? It's free. This site encourages you to find a penpal or e-pal to practise your language skills with. There are personal adverts looking for English, French, Spanish and German speakers, which you can respond to if they seem like they're up your street. You can also set up your own advert if you are looking for someone specific. My Language Exchange provides an online community to find a partner to practise your second language with. The website also hosts a translator, an online dictionary, lesson plans from a teacher, and a personal notebook to record new words and expressions. They also post employment opportunities for linguists. Regular membership is free! Abroad Languages has a free forum for linguists to practise their skills on other members. As well as the forum (which you can find under 'penpals') the site provides information about foreign languages courses and classes all over the world. Look out for Tolearn websites which are geared towards language students. The French version gives you free French vocabulary sheets, French grammar sheets and French exercises, and thousands of people looking for a penpal. ToLearnEnglish.com has all the same features as its French counterpart. These websites are free and easy to use, so make sure you check out the Tolearn websites, to see if they've got the language you're looking for. Shared Talk is also free, with hundreds of listings of people hoping to improve their language skills. This website allows you to grow your network of people and stay in contact with your new language partners via voice chat or online chat. This is more of a social networking site, and does not offer any language courses or lesson plans, but is great for finding a penfriend.
For more pinpointed language-learning websites, select one of the following: German language practice online, French help, Italian learning, Spanish practice.
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