Guest post by Goranka. What are the best Online Language Learning resources? Learning a foreign language is an excellent way to add another string to your bow and advance your career. It is also a way to get to know other cultures, expand your views, meet other people and enrich your own world. Just as Federico Fellini said: “A different language is a different vision of life”.
Internet and online communities have made it possible to learn virtually any language online, choose the method of learning that suits you best, gain access to invaluable learning resources, practice with native speakers and other students from all four corners of the world.
Here is the list of 35 great websites, communities and YouTube channels for learning foreign languages. Most of these websites offer free courses and learning resources.
Language learning Websites and Communities
1. Internet Polyglot offers free language lessons online for learning more than 30 foreign languages. Most lessons are publicly accessible. They provide digital flashcards as a popular way to memorize words and their meanings.
2. elanguages School is a website for learning multiple languages online. Learn foreign languages like Arabic, Finnish, Hindi, Russian and 10 others easily using resources from a variety of sources.
3. LiveMocha is the world’s largest and best known community for learning languages. They offer free and paid online language courses in 35 languages.
4. Babbel offers interactive online courses. Babbel combines the latest technology with effective educational methods. Using Babbel methods learners can quickly increase their vocabulary, improve grammar and pronunciation.
5. BBC Languages provides audio and video courses for Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese as well as lots of language resources and tips. If you are preparing for a business trip or vacation, you can learn and take their essential phrases in 40 languages with you on your mp3 player and as a printout.
6. Busuu is a language learning community that offers interactive language courses and lessons. Learners can directly communicate with native speakers to practice their language skills. The site offers language courses in nine languages, comprehensive grammar guides and downloadable mobile apps to learn on the go.
7. Palabea is a social network site for practicing, learning, teaching and communicating in foreign languages. It connects people around the world who share the same interest in learning languages and meeting new people from different cultures.
8. The Mixxer is a free educational website for language exchanges via Skype. It is designed to connect language learners across the world so everyone is both student and teacher.
9. Italki is a language learning community and marketplace where users can find people and resources helping them learn a foreign language. Members use more than 100 languages and come from 200+ countries.
Specific language learning websites
10. The French Tutorial is a free online step-by-step guide to learning French. Lessons cover basics, pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and everyday French. The tutorial includes more than 200 audio files. Donors of the website can download a printable version.
11. Italian language at About.com provides various online resources for learning and practicing Italian, as well as various articles about Italian culture, tradition, food and much more.
12. Deutche Welle offers free online courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners of German language. The site provides lots of useful learning resources like videos, audio courses, podcasts, printable worksheets.
13. Deutch Lernen is a free online German course offering 10 lessons for absolute beginners and 24 grammar lessons for advanced learners. Lessons are accompanied by exercises and two online language tests.
14. StudySpanish.com offers free Spanish tutorials for beginner, intermediate and advanced Spanish learners. The site is especially useful for improving Spanish grammar.
15. Spanish at About.com is a collection of online articles and resources with lots of information about Spanish culture.
16. Chinese Tools provides 40 Mandarin Chinese online lessons with audio, including writing, speaking, reading, vocabulary, grammar, calligraphy and exercises. There is also lots of resources and tools like a Chinese English dictionary, opinion editor, forum and much more.
17. Learn Chinese – a bilingual online learning program in flash which consists of 30 lessons. The course includes the preview of new words and expressions in the lesson, explanation of difficult points, demonstration of dialogs, exercises, vocabulary, phonetics, cultural tips, etc.
18. Russian for free offers Russian courses with audio for English speakers: basic course, step-by-step reading guide and Russian cases with examples. The site provides lots of useful and fun resources like video lessons, tables of Russian nouns, audio alphabet and love phrases. Private lessons via Skype are available for a fee.
19. Learn Japanese is dedicated to teaching Japanese to English speaking learners. Using various resources from the site, users can easily nihongo o narau.
20. Learn the Kana is teaching the two fundamental Japanese writing scripts in order to help those who want to learn Japanese.
21. English Club online assists in both learning and teaching English. Resources for learners include but are not limited to lessons, quizzes, videos, games and fun pages. Teachers can find and use lesson plans, worksheets, forums and jobs.
22. Exam English provides free practice tests for the most important ESL/EFL exams: IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, and the Cambridge ESOL exams such as FCE, CAE, and PET.
23. Ello is an online English listening lessons library. The focus is on listening skills and activities include multimedia, free MP3 files, language notes and vocabulary tasks.
24. Fun Easy English is mostly focused on basic knowledge and teaching tips. Free learning materials for students include numerous video lessons to improve pronunciation, idioms, slang, grammar and lots of fun activities.
25. VocabSushi, as the name implies, helps users to expand their vocabulary with real-world examples and prepare for exams like GRE or SAT. Free trial is available. Users who prefer learning on the go can download free app for iPhone and iPod Touch.
Language Learning YouTube Channels
26. The Travel Linguist contains video lessons organized in playlists for learning 17 different languages including Portugese, Turkish, Japanese, Italian, Polish, Greek, Thai, French, Spanish Hebrew.
27. GermanPod101.com is a German language and culture educational videocast/podcast. Video lessons are mostly geared toward beginner users of the German language. Lessons are less than three minutes long.
28. Deutsch Online Lernen offers a series of 20 basic German video lessons. Each lesson is eight minutes long.
29. French Pod101.com features five lesson series for learning French with exactly 101 uploaded videos.
30. Imagiers is an excellent channel with tons of video material for learners of French.
31. Spanish with Rosio contains videos for Spanish speakers who want to learn English and English Speakers who want to learn Spanish.
32. EF podEnglish channel is best suited for beginner learners of English, but is useful for intermediate and advanced students as well. Video lessons are very well organized and topics include families, directions, time, weather, grocery shopping, friends, relationships and technology.
33. Private English Portal is most suitable for users who want to improve their pronunciation, business English or prepare for exams like TOEFL or IELTS. The channel contains over 100 video lessons and has more than 20.000 registered users.
34. Learn English Idioms contains free lessons to advance the knowledge of the English language with new idioms usually in the form of comedy sketches.
35. LinguaSpectrum is a useful and fun channel for English language learners. Lesson topics are pretty unique: Blood, Creepy-Crawlies, Sherlock Holmes, Going to the Toilet, Heart Idioms, and so on. Learners can also find links to other language channels like Use Phrasal Verbs or Irregular English Verbs.
Guest author Goranka Radojcic is a web marketing specialist and consultant. In her free time she writes a blog Internetimarketing.com in Serbian language.