Learning a Foreign Language Outside of the Classroom
There are many reasons students learn a foreign language other than meeting high school or college graduation requirements or taking proficiency exams. Learning a foreign language offers opportunities for students to connect with other people while traveling abroad, to read a text in its original language, or to communicate with a family member or a friend. Developing proficiency in a second or third language also boosts candidates’ competitiveness on their résumés.
Whether students are jogging, walking to class, or sitting in a car, listening to Podcasts is a convenient and easy way for users to access language. It allows listeners to learn conversational vocabulary and syntax, to hear a native speaker’s use of intonations and pronunciations, and to provide opportunities for students to become familiar with slang that may not necessarily be taught in textbooks or grammar books.
Software, Social Media, and Apps
Rosetta Stone is a promising resource that teaches language learners conversational language. Rather than simply teach language through the lens of a traditional textbook or classroom, Rosetta Stone encourages listeners to learn to speak a language proficiently and to gain a better understanding of its nuances. However, Rosetta Stone is a costly program for language learners. An alternative to learning language is Duolingo, an app that users can download using their computers, Apple, or Android devices. It offers lessons that cater to the fluency, the level of proficiency, and the knowledge of a particular user. As an incentive, users can earn badges as they progress or pass a level. The accomplishments can then be shared on social media, such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
Connecting Through Facebook
There are numerous Facebook groups that can help students to connect with native speakers or to connect with users who live abroad. Students can easily link up with other individuals to practice their language skills. Students can also connect with their friends on Facebook as a means to challenge one another or to help one another as study buddies. Similarly, if students have family members who are fluent in a language, they can also reach out and communicate with them via social media or in person.
In addition to learning language in a classroom setting, students can take advantage of these resources in order to learn a new language or to practice and strengthen their language development skills.