According to Dan Roitman, speaking 2 or more languages boosts concentration, focus, the ability to multitask and plan and process information.
Studies of the brain have even shown that bilinguals have denser grey matter i.e more brain cells.
Learning a new language online will not only make your brain bigger, better and more efficient, but also represents a fantastic move for future career moves.
With the right tools, strategies and motivations, learning a language online will feel like a breeze.
Learning online offers more flexibility, freedom and a wider range of learning materials and tools than in person.
The best strategies for e-learning will depend on your preferences, personality and learning style.
But there are key strategies to give yourself the best chance at learning successfully online.
Identify your motivations
Motivations drive all our actions. It is why we do or don’t do something. Ask yourself why you want to learn a new language. Strong motivations will be the foundation to successful learning a language online.
Find methods you enjoy
There is a great TED Talk called “The Secret to Learning a New Language”. It examines the learning methodologies used by Polyglots- those who speak several languages. Following interviews with Polyglots around the world, the speaker concluded that there was no one method that worked for everyone. These people had found their own effective methods. But they had one thing in common. They had found a way of enjoying the learning process through methods and activities that are fun, creative and social.
Be consistent. Find language learning habits that you can follow religiously on a daily or weekly basis. Set a learning schedule that is realistic and fits in with your other responsibilities and roles. If you are working full time, have a family and study then don’t set yourself a goal of 20 hours of study per week. It won’t happen. The ideal is around 3-7 hours of study per week.
Use every opportunity to include the new language in your everyday life. Find books to read, recipes, movies to watch or chat to the neighbour. Change the language on your phone. Download an app. Every opportunity taken is a good opportunity when it comes to language learning!
Use a variety of online resources. You may want to start with an online learning platform and a tutor. But there are so many sites, books, films, TV shows, apps and videos to help you learn a new language and many of them are completely free. Worried that you will struggle to remember everything? There are some great ways to improve your memory.
Find a fun way to use and practice the new language. Label everything in your house. Listen to music. Play board games. Play games online with other learners. Watch movies or TV shows. Whatever it is, make sure it’s fun! Considering taking Japanese classes? Preply has some of the best Japanese courses online. You can also watch some of these Anime shows to help supplement your learning.
Get to know people who speak your target language. There are plenty of online opportunities to connect with other language learners and native speakers. There may even be people in your local area or a language exchange you could attend.
Do not worry about making mistakes. They are an essential part of the learning process! If you don’t make mistakes, how will you ever improve?
Your learning experience to fit your personality, preferred learning methods and schedule. Incorporate a variety of resources and methods and, whatever you do, make it fun!