December 31, 2008 10:33:45
Posted By P & L Blog
If you're a list maker, you're probably thinking about what you'd like to accomplish in 2009. For many of us, learning or improving our knowledge of a foreign language makes the list every year. So, what stops us from making any progress?
The time and expense involved in taking classes seem to be the top reasons. A lot of people travel or work in the evenings when most adult education classes are offered so they are not an option. The cost involved is a barrier for others, particularly when no one knows where the economy is going. Seriously, do you want to spend $400 for beginning Spanish when your 401k has gotten smaller and smaller in the past year?
There are other options. We can't vouch for the effectiveness of any of these suggestions (the success of any method depends on how disciplined you are), but here are some sources for you.
www.myngle.com offers online courses in many languages. You can take a free sample lesson with a teacher and if you don't like it, you can try again with someone else. Classes take place whenever you want them. And, they offer an free library with links to audiobooks, radio stations, videos, podcasts, newspapers, etc.
At spanish.about.com, you can learn verb conjugation, ask questions in the forum, learn a new word a day and how to pronounce it, and receive their weekly newsletter. If you know any Spanish, the offerings here may be too basic for you, but they also provide interesting cultural information.
www.word2word.com provides links to language courses from Abenaki to Xhosa. They do mention that the quality of the courses varies from one language to another. You can also link to dictionaries, chat sites, and language learning on YouTube.
Many public libraries have audio language courses that you can use for free. The Pimsleur series is popular and is available in Chinese, Spanish, French, and Japanese, to name a few.
Whatever method you choose, we wish you "mucha suerte" and a Happy New Year!