Today we have a guest post from Ludovic Chevalier, who is the Co-Founder of Go Speaky – a social website to learn languages with native speakers from all around the world. Feel free to connect with him on twitter @l_chev or @go_speaky. Over a year ago now, my very first blog post here on Lindsay Does Languages was this one about free online resources. Well, fast forward to now and Ludovic has put together an updated version of some more free online language learning resources! Enjoy!
Willing to learn a new language but don’t have thousands of euros to spend on expensive courses?
I’ve got you covered.
I built this list of carefully selected free online resources that will make your path to fluency as easy and natural as possible, without spending a penny.
And let’s clear something up first: using free resources won’t take more time or give you a lower quality experience. In fact, it could be the total opposite!
Ok that being said, let’s jump into those amazing online resources to learn languages:
Note: Every resource is different and therefore before spending much time using one or another, I would recommend you to quickly go over each of them and see the one you find the most comfortable using and spending a lot of time with.
Get Started in any Language
Getting to those first 500 to 1000 words is always a challenge and you might ask yourself, what’s the best way to get there?
Since I want you to take useful information from this article I won’t mention Duolingo and Memrise as you have all probably heard about these! If you haven’t, check them out right away.
Here are three resources that are, in my opinion, worth your time and effort.
1. BBC Languages
This website is really great if you have no idea on where to begin and get started with a language.
There you will find basic resources to get to know the language by going through pronunciation, vocabulary words, and grammar rules. All at beginner level.
Of course these resources alone won’t make you fluent and you will still have to work a lot but it’s a great place to get started!
I personally recommend the section called “News, TV and Radio” as it will give you quality content in your target language.
Even though this resource is not exclusively made for learning languages, I believe this is one of the best tools I have discover in a while to get started in a language.
All you have to do is to register on the website, and start searching for what they call “sets” of words you want to learn. What’s particularly great is that you can choose the words you are learning and learn them the way you want. Whether you are more comfortable with flash cards, games or speed tests you will find a solution to get those words in your head.
Anki is another great app and tool you can use to learn a new language using Spaced Repetition System to help you remembering vocabulary. Unlike Quizlet it is only focused on flash cards, but the database of resources to use is just huge!
The app is made to help you better organize your memory using flashcards system and SPS.
If you often say that you have a poor memory, no more excuses.
For those of you seeking for more information about SRS, here you can find a review of a famous language blogger about Spaced Repetition System.
Read and Listen to high quality content everyday
While the above mentioned resources are awesome to get started in a language, they don’t really offer you the opportunity to read and listen to high quality content.
These resources will give you just that:
4. Tune In
Listening to radios in another language is definitely an awesome way to spend some time with that other language.
Thanks to Tune In you can listen to over 100,000 real radio stations and more than four million podcasts streaming from every continent.
You can also explore and follow the best channels to create your personalized feed.
5. Inter TV
This is one of the best resources I have found so far! Wherever you are in the world you can access quality TV channels and stream them in whatever language you are learning. The best thing about it is that you can sort the channels by “Country” and even “Category”.
So if you are in the mood for watching sports in Spanish you can do that in less than 30 seconds!
I would definitely advise you to bookmark this site and spend 30 minutes per day watching the news or whatever channel you find interesting!
There is one drawback though, since they are all free channels you will probably have to go through advertising and some streams might be broken. But the overall website is awesome!
Practice native speakers from all around the world
This is probably the hardest part but it is also the most critical.
There is no point in learning a new language if it’s not to communicate with other human beings, right?
Well, I have great news for you, there is no need to travel continents and spend thousands of euros to do that! Here is how:
As the Co-Founder of Speaky I couldn’t write this article without mentioning what we do!
Speaky is a social network to learn languages by meeting and practicing with native speakers.
Our mission at Speaky is to connect native speakers around the world with language learners to create language partners – or what we call language buddies – so that they can learn by practicing together.
Our matchmaking algorithm makes it easy for you to find the perfect language buddies and start growing your language learning network!
Speaky is also available on the Android Store and will be soon available on the Apple Store.
I’m definitely looking forward to meeting you there :-).
7. Language Practice Google Hangouts
This Google+ community gathers more than a hundred thousand language learners for language exchange on Google Hangouts.
There you can find language partners and start practicing right away! There are also many specific groups for specific languages such as: English Practice Hangouts ; German Practice Hangouts ; Spanish Practice Hangouts ;
Another thing that’s pretty awesome is that if you are really not confident enough to go ahead and practice with someone directly, there are many teachers who often give free Google Hangout sessions with many other language learners and you can just step back and observe until you find yourself confident enough to jump into the conversation.
8. Conversation Exchange
Even though the website is pretty old, conversationexchange.com has millions of users registered and therefore finding a language partner to practice with is made really easy!
The biggest drawback here is that you will have to use Skype or other video chat services to actually practice and learn the language.
That’s it for this article! I hope you have found some great resources to get you started and begin learning and practicing on a daily basis!
Just remember this tip – I give it wherever and whenever I can – be CONSISTENT! Learn a little every single day and you will learn quicker than you think.
If you feel that there is another awesome resource people need to know about, feel free to share it with us in the comments!