Choosing resources to learn a foreign language can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The first thing you need to realize is that everyone learns differently. Some people learn better by sitting in class and others by practicing flashcards. So how know which resources to use? The following are steps to help you figure that out.
- Determine your level
Knowing whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advance level will help in selecting your resources. If you don’t know what level you are at there are websites where you can test yourself.
- Set your goals
Decide which areas you want to improve, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, or grammar. Do you want to be able to ask directions or do you want to understand a telenovela? When setting your goals remember to make them specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely – SMART GOALS.
- Research Possible Resources
Research possible resources by reading reviews, articles and blogs. Find out what works for other language learners. Don’t forget to ask people on Facebook or on language forums.
- Determine your favorite learning style
Do you prefer to sit in class and have guided instruction or do you prefer to study on your own? Do you prefer to watch videos or listen to music? Do you prefer to translate or study flashcards? There are many styles of learning and resources to match them. In order to select the best resources you need to know how you want to learn.
- Matching resources to your goals
Now that you have set your goals, done your research, and determined your learning style it is now time to match your resources to your goals.
RESOURCES FOR WRITING
Lang-8.com – practice your writing and have a native speaker correct it.
Duolingo.com – translate articles.
RESOURCES FOR LISTENING
Rhinospike- listen to recordings done by native speakers of texts that you upload.
Podcasts in the language you want to learn.
RESOURCES FOR SPEAKING
Italki.com –Site where you can find language exchange partners
Verbling.com – website that uses a conversation style known as chat roulette, where you are connected completely randomly to a stranger and can start to video or chat to them.
RESOURCES FOR READING
Readlang.com- allows you to read articles, books or any other online texts by allowing you to pull up a dictionary by clicking on a word or phrase.
RESOURCES FOR GRAMMAR
yourdictionary.com/grammars.html – Links to a wide range of online grammar resources and language courses.
vocabulix.com – vocabulary and conjugation trainers for English, German and Spanish
RESOURCES FOR VOCABULARY
Quizlet.com- A site where you can make your own flashcards or use other people’s cards.
Anki.com- Flashcard program