This is a guest post by Caitlin Smith
Learning a language on your own can be done, but it’s much more fun and potentially easier to learn through communicating with others. The Web provides a great forum for this, with tools of all kinds that let language learners talk to one another and learn from direct, immersive communication. Here are a few collaborative language learning tools you may want to try:
- LiveMocha: LiveMocha offers a wide ranfe of self-paced language lessons, but the real power of the site is in its focus on social language learning. The site features real-time text and audio chat tools that let users converse with native speakers to build skills and confidence in the oral and written practice of the language.
- Babbel: Many people learn well with the aid of flashcards. This site lets users create and share their own flash cards through a slick and user-friendly interface. That isn’t all that the site has to offer, though. Users can also chat with others in the language that they’re learning and take advantage of a host of other useful tools. Right now the site is limited to English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.
- italki: If you’ve got Skype you can take advantage of this great language learning add-on. Through the italki interface you can find other users to talk to, chat with them using Skype or a host of other online chat tools, find language resources, and communicate with other learners through the online language forums.
- Busuu: Busuu features language tools at all levels that incorporate both writing and speaking practice. Once users have completed a few lessons and built up a general knowledge, the site offers video chat as well so learners can test out their new skills with someone who speaks the language.
- LingoPass: LingoPass is like a bartering system for those willing teach their language to another person while also having the opportunity to learn a new language of their choice. Everytime you lead a one-hour discussion class in your language of expertise, you earn credits to participate in all other language discussions on the site for a week. If you want to keep learning for free, you have to keep teaching!
This post was contributed by Caitlin Smith, who writes about associates degree programs. She welcomes your feedback at CaitlinSmith1117 at gmail.com.
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