How to use technology to learn a new language
Technology has changed dramatically in the last decade, and we have also seen significant advances in education, particularly in language learning.
Previously, we only used books to learn new language skills, but as time passed, technological changes arrived and changed the way we learn by Audio-Visual learning, such as Youtube, Skillshare, and others.
The way we exchange information has changed as a result of technological advancements. Technology has made its presence felt in a big way, from colleagues sending company data across continents at the speed of light to learning an entirely new language.
Instead of getting on a plane and flying to where the native speakers are, stay in your seat. Just look at the millions of websites that offer language classes.
And the technologies used in these language learning apps and websites bring the lessons to life. They have memory games that make learning more enjoyable. The lessons are recorded on video, which you can watch at any time of day and as many times as you want. You’re not only listening to how the native speakers sound, but you’re also doing it at your own pace. You have translation services at your fingertips, before you even need them.
And here are some ways to enlist today’s technology in learning the language that you’ve always had your eye on.
Video chat with a native speaker
Skype and Google Hangouts are free video call services that connect you with anyone who is willing to take your call. You are literally a click away from any native speaker with this technology. You can spend countless hours conversing with someone who speaks your target language as long as he or she has a reliable internet connection and a Skype or Google account.
Look online for someone who speaks your target language. You can use any of your social media accounts, as well as websites such as italki, Craigslist, Couchsurfing, and My Language Exchange.
YouTube Your Path to Language Learning
YouTube, as a video repository, is brimming with language learning opportunities. There's a long list of channels run by people who are truly gifted at teaching languages. There are an infinite number of teachers available. I'm sure you'll find one or two whose teaching style corresponds to your learning style.
YouTube also provides access to native speakers speaking their dialects in full view. A video or channel may or may not be about language. It could be as simple as putting on makeup. You can mine that video by paying close attention to the speaker's intonation or how she pronounces a specific word.
Virtual Reality: A new way of Learning
One of the best ways to learn a new language is through full VR, as this requires students to listen to and speak the language they’re learning all day, every day. Since most of us can’t afford to jet off to another country for weeks or even months at a time, virtual immersion is the next best thing. VR simulations can trick the brain into thinking the experiences are real, and a number of new language learning apps that use VR are now being developed.
One such app is CEVREX, this platform enables students to learn a new language by virtually experiencing Real-Life scenarios.
Learn Vocabulary with Instant Translate
Until recently, translating into so many languages would have mandated books the size of five iPhones stacked on top of each other. You would then search the pages for your word while singing your ABCs. Today, however, all you have to do is click and you have access to every translation.
Apps have now taken over the world, and you will know what "thank you" means in French, Spanish, or Japanese with just one click. You can also use translation sites and apps to understand foreign words in English. For example, Google Translate is a well-known translation website.
Listen to Stories for Children in Your Target Language
Today's children are spoiled with audiovisual stories that keep them entertained for hours. As seasoned storytellers animate the classics, the vivid characters come to life.
If I were you, I would jump on the same bandwagon and take advantage of the spoon feeding. Select a story with a visual component. That is, a story in which the text and images are displayed. Take note of the storyteller's gestures if he or she is shown. This will help you understand what is going on in the story. (If possible, familiarize yourself with the English version of the story.) Because they are geared for kids, the language structure in the stories will be easy enough, and the vocabulary so basic that an adult listening to Cinderella in Spanish can mine it for language acquisition.
When used properly, technology can absolutely skyrocket your language acquisition. Never before in human history has learning a new language been so easy, so accessible and so cheap.
There is, then, no excuse for anyone with enough motivation. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get learning!