If you are reading this you are probably already convinced by the benefits of learning a foreign language! But learning a language is a really challenging adventure that everybody approaches and challenges differently.
Indeed, there isn’t any universal method that will make you fluent overnight by instantaneously downloading knowledge into your brain – Matrix-style (if you guys know how to do this, contact me right now!).
You will have to put a lot of effort and commit yourself with a thorough schedule to end up speaking the language. But don’t worry, there are many apps and websites that will help you to make your way to fluency as easy and natural as possible… and for free!
Let me walk you through this list!
Duolingo: With tens of millions people using the website and mobile apps, Duolingo is unmistakably one of the best resources out there to get started into a language. With a really simple and gamified approach, you can get started in pretty much every language in matter of days.
Memrise: On memrise you can browse over thousands of user generated courses in 150+ languages for free. Through online courses designed for beginners or more advanced levels you will use mnemonics to remember your new vocabulary words. Even though some features are premium, entire courses are totally free and it is well enough to get started.
Quizlet: This is one of my latest discovery and I haven’t stopped using it since. Thanks to flashcards, tests, and study games you will learn vocabulary words in a fun and engaging way. Best of all, it is available on both desktop and mobile – awesome to learn on the go.
Anki: On Anki you can learn the most important words of pretty much every language using pre-made decks. Anki is based on the spaced repetition system to help you remember vocabulary in the future. For more information about Spaced Repetition System follow this link.
BBC Languages: If you really have no knowledge at all in the language you want to learn, this is probably one of the best places to start. There you will find a short introduction to almost 40 different languages, a must go to familiarize yourself with the language you are about to speak.
Busuu: Busuu is a giant in the language learning industry with over 50 million users. Even though the platform is based on a freemium model, there are many resources that are accessible for free.
Babbel: Babbel is also a big website that has a similar approach to Busuu. You will find interactive courses to help you learn the language “in context”. The method is supported by linguists and courses objectives are based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages.
Open Culture: Open Culture offers a collection of lessons in 48 languages where you can download audio lessons in 100% free.
Spend quality time with the language:
Tune in: On Tune in you can listen to over 100,000 real radio stations and more than four million podcasts streaming from every continent. Just find one that suits your interests and make sure to listen that radio on a daily basis.
Facebook: What the heck is Facebook doing here? Well, with more than 900 million daily active users on Facebook, chances are you are spending some time on Facebook as well. So what if you could use that time to learn a new language? Here is an article I wrote that will help you to do just that.
FluentU: On FluentU you can access entertaining videos carefully chosen for language learners. Movie trailers? Music videos? News? Inspiring talks? No matter what your interest or skill level, you will find it there.
Practice the language:
Speaky: Speaky is a social network to learn languages by meeting and practicing with native speakers from all around the world. On Speaky you are matched with language buddies that fit your interests and passions. You can start practicing your speaking and/or writing skills through the chat and video chat.
Conversation Exchange: With millions created profiles, conversation exchange is also a great place to find language partners and start practicing.
Polyglot Club: Polyglot club organizes meetups in most major cities. During those meetups you will practice many different languages by meeting new people.
Lang-8: Lang-8 is a great place to take your writing skills to the next level. There you can write texts in the language you are learning and get directly corrected by native speakers.
Now that you have all the resources you need to start learning a new language, no more excuses – get started!
Do you know any other website that deserves to be mentioned here? Feel free to add it in the comment box below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ludovic Chevalier is a Belgian Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Speaky