Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Learning Languages with Social Media

One of the best ways to learn a language is to speak it. So what do you do when there's nobody around to talk to? If, like us, you spend most of your life in front of a computer, you should consider getting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any of the other social media sites and start communicating.

Long before the aforementioned social media websites existed there was instant messaging. Services such as MSN Messenger and AIM enabled us to talk with our friends from anywhere in the world, as long as they had a modem and a good tolerance level for high-pitched squealing noises anything was possible. As its popularity and reach grew, the internet quickly became one of the great places to learn languages.

You can learn a language from the comfort
of your home, no pants required. 
Practising languages is tantamount to your success in learning a new language. You can study as much as you want but as we've found, if you don't use the language it becomes very easy to forget everything you've learnt. Instant messaging can help you practice your writing, but also requires quicker comprehension in order to formulate a response. You don't need to be as quick as if you were actually speaking to someone, but you need to be faster than if you were writing a letter or an email, which makes it a perfect middle ground for those wanting to exercise their language skills.

Now that the popularity of instant messaging is on the decline, its space has been taken up by social media, most of which come equipped with a chat function. If you have friends that speak a language you'd like to learn, communicate with them. Send them some messages in their language and get learning. If you're not sure how to say something then look it up, just not on Google Translate, and keep going.

As well as chatting or tweeting to your friends, look for groups, forums or other places where language learners want to get together to practice and learn languages. There are thousands of communities for language aficionados on-line so you have no excuse not to be doing it!