Seven Ways to Use Technology to Learn a New Language
By eLearning Inside
April 08, 2021
There are a lot of great ways to learn a new language. Attending a class is a popular method. But mobile devices, the internet, and digital technology in general have thrown the doors wide open on language learning. Even without a device or an internet connection, there are also a lot of simple exercises you can practice at home to improve your skills. Just a few include:
-Watch yourself speak in front of a mirror
-Read books and magazines
-Write in a journal
-Create a vocabulary list
Many of these tried and true methods are effective, but some of the best ways to learn a new language involve technology!
How to Use Technology to Learn a New Language: Watch a Series on a Streaming Platform
Sometimes the simplest methods to learn a language also happen to be the most fun. That’s definitely the case when it comes to watching TV!
Learning a language doesn’t have to be hard, and learning one by watching TV proves it. There are many stories out there of people who don’t spend a dime and still learn a new language just by watching the TV.
The trick is to watch TV in a way that helps you develop your language skills. Sitcoms are a great choice because plots are consistent and predictable, which makes it easier for you to understand what’s going on, even if you don’t exactly understand what the characters are saying.
However, it is more important that you choose a program you enjoy. You have to be motivated to watch, and if that means watching a documentary or a news broadcast, then go for it. Just turn on the subtitles to make watching the program easier while you learn.
Change Your Language Settings
Technology permeates our lives. Use it to your advantage when learning a new language by changing the language settings on every device you use.
That means changing the default language on your cell phone, tablet, or laptop to the language you’re trying to learn. If you play video games, change the language on your gaming console.
Every time you pick up your device, you will be forced to understand the language it’s using, even if it means looking up words in a translation dictionary. Stick with it and you won’t have a choice but to learn the language!
Download a Translation App
Learning a language in the past was hard because it required in-person learning and reading books. Today, with the help of technology, you can translate and learn in an instant with a translation app.
There are many different translation apps to choose from. They can help you understand a menu or ask a question while you’re traveling, but they can help you learn a language too. You can translate phrases and sentences, you can translate entire conversations, you can hear the word or phrase pronounced correctly, and more.
Having at least one downloaded helps you learn a language more thoroughly because you can translate words and phrases on the go, whenever you have a question about something someone says, something you read, or a question that pops up into your head.
Listen to Podcasts
If you spend a lot of time riding the bus, taking the subway, or driving in a car, your options for learning a language are a little bit more limited, but they aren’t non-existent! Consider downloading and listening to podcasts.
There is an endless array of podcasts to choose from. Find a few on topics that you’re interested in and see if you can follow along. Have your translation app handy and you can better understand certain words and phrases!
It’s even better if you search for language-learning podcasts. You can make your car or the bus your classroom and learn how to speak another language when you’re traveling to and from work.
Listen to Audiobooks
If podcasts aren’t really your thing, you might want to consider audiobooks instead. Just like with television programs, it’s important to choose an audiobook that you are motivated to listen to.
There are a few other tips that will help you make the most of your audiobooks. First, consider choosing a favorite book you’ve already read, but listen to it in another language. You can also consider purchasing the book as a hard copy. That way, you can read along as you’re listening to it being read by someone else.
If you’re just getting started learning another language, listen to children’s books! Their simple writing style is perfect for learning a new language.
Video Chat With a Native Speaker
There’s no need to meet in person with someone else if you want to practice your speaking skills. Today, you can do it online!
With video chat options, you have more choices than ever before. You no longer have to rely on the resources available at local colleges and community centers. You can hire a tutor to help you learn a new language online or you can find a pen pal to talk to when it’s convenient for you.
Play a Language Game
If you want to learn a language, and you want it to stick, it has to be fun. Watching TV and listening to audiobooks are a good start, but you can have even more fun learning a new language by finding language learning games.
Classic games, like Hangman and Scrabble are good choices, but you can also use technology to your advantage by downloading a game that helps you learn a new language. For example, KLOO is a popular competitive card game that requires you to form sentences in foreign languages.
Non-language learning games can be effective as well. Try downloading a game that was programmed in a different language. Once you have mastered the language in that game, download a different game and learn more words and phrases.
Learning a language the old-fashioned way is effective, but it isn’t always very convenient, it isn’t always very affordable, and it isn’t usually a lot of fun. That’s where technology comes in! With the ideas on this list, you can learn a language using technology you already have at your disposal for a more enjoyable and more immersive experience.