One of the most rewarding things about learning a new language is being able to use it with native speakers – whether you’re ordering some food at a restaurant, asking for directions on your travels, or just making small talk on your next holiday.
Language apps and software make the whole process of learning a language more fun and even gamify it so you feel like you’re playing a game while you learn, and there are some great online solutions to check out.
1. Spin The Wheel
If you’re learning a new language by yourself and don’t have anyone to practice with, using a letter picker wheel might be a good option for you.
It is a random letter generator in the form of a spinning wheel, that produces – as the name suggests – a random alphabet when you spin it. If you’re just learning how to write in a language, this might be a good way to practice, as well as using it to quiz yourself on your letters.
The concept is pretty simple, which makes it suitable for those that are just starting out. That isn’t to say you don’t get to customize it though.
From choosing upper or lower case letters, between vowels and consonants, and even having the option to write in the text input so that the wheel can filter all the commas and the spaces in between – the versatility of this program makes it a great choice for all learners.
2. Talking To Native Speakers
A great way of learning how to speak another language is by listening to native speakers and repeating what they do at the same time.
The technique is called shadowing, and you can learn a lot from it. If you don’t have anyone to practice with, but you do have a microphone and an internet connection, the answer might be as close as your computer screen.
Certain applications also use voice recognition software to record and send your answers – this way, native speakers can check them and give feedback and tips.
While this might be a bit advanced if you still haven’t figured out your A’s and B’s, it could be a solution for intermediate learners.
3. Word Games & Flashcards
If you’re the kind of person who likes to liven up studying with a bit of fun, games and flashcards might be your solution.
There are a bunch of websites that offer this combination – some even have their own scoring systems according to how well you do certain words on a list.
Games can be anything from word searches to jigsaw puzzles, and they’re usually made up of words that you need to learn.
This way, it feels like you’re playing a game while learning – which is always fun. Since most of these games have different levels of difficulty, you can play on easy mode when you first start out to avoid being overwhelmed, and after you have the basics down, slowly move onto harder games.
Flashcards are also a great way of learning words that you need to memorize – they’re tied into the same scoring system as word games, but instead of playing until you win, you just go until the set number of words that you’re supposed to learn.
4. Learning With Music
Some people learn better when they listen to music, and there’s actually research that backs this up.
The idea is that when you’re listening to music you’re listening to something engaging rather than just hearing nothing but yourself – which can be quite easy to tune out for some people, leading them to procrastinate with their learning.
Thanks to the internet, finding music in almost any language is easy, and even easier when you can search for music based on what you need it for.
For example, if you want to learn the lyrics to a new song – there are websites that provide just that. Some of them even provide context and interpretations of the lyrics, making it a great way to learn cultural references that you wouldn’t know otherwise.
By listening to a song over and over again, especially while reading the lyrics, you’ll pick up on the new words pretty quickly – not to mention how this can make your language learning more fun.
5. Read Online Books
If you like reading, but feel like you might be a bit behind on some of the classics, and want to learn a new language – you might just be able to kill two birds with one stone.
Since their importance can hardly be overestimated, you can find some of the greatest literary works transcribed in different languages side by side!
That way, you can read a book from your target language, and follow along with the original one.
This is great for those who want to improve their vocabulary by reading classic stories they’re familiar with – after all, it’s easier to pick up on new words when you’re already used to their context and how they sound.
Learning a language takes time and effort, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. And thanks to certain online tools and apps, your learning experience might be even more engaging and rewarding than you might think!
Since the internet offers a variety of options, feel free to look around and find a combination of different apps and programs that works just right for you!