Wikipedia: For the Intermediate or Advance Student

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We use it for our school research papers or when we are having a political disagreement, but did you ever think about using it to learn a foreign language? Wikipedia is not only a vast resource of knowledge, but it is written in nearly 300 different languages! The articles cover a variety of topics so you’ll be able to find something of interest to read.

Here’s how to use Wikipedia to learn a foreign language:

  1. Use Wikipedia instead of a dictionary

When you need to know the meaning of something it is easy to look it up on Google Translate, but unfortunately Google doesn’t always get it right. The reason being is context. This is where Wikipedia comes in handy. Articles on Wikipedia demonstrate context and when words are understood by means of context they are not only understood, but will be remembered longer than by simply looking them up.

  1. Increase vocabulary

Read about familiar things. By choosing a familiar topic you will already have a base of knowledge that will aid you in decoding contextual clues. Since the topic is familiar you will be able to infer meaning to the rest thus increasing your vocabulary. Read about your favorite sport, your profession or even your favorite color or number!

  1. Improve your pronunciation

In many Wikipedia articles, the pronunciation of the article title or topic is given in both a phonetic transcription and a sound clip. You can click on the speaker and hear a slow, emphatic pronunciation of the word or phrase you’re reading about, which you can use to check against or improve your own pronunciation.

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How do you use Wikipedia in your language studies? What other online tools do you use?

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