It’s A Small World, After All

Although there are many areas where the internet has been a boon for dissemination of information, one of the most exciting advances is in the field of learning languages online. It has long been know that the most effective way of learning a new language total immersion in the language, 24 hours per day, and 7 days per week. Even for an adult, typically this type of regimen will mean approximately 6 weeks to understanding and being able to function at a rudimentary level in the language. A child will pick up the basics of the language usually in less time.

Since total immersion in the language and culture is usually not an option for most people, a good second choice is to find one of the many internet sites which provide a way of learning languages online, pick your language and begin the process. Depending on the internet site, you will hear native speakers pronounce the words, see the written words, write (type) the exercises, view pictures to make the connection between the spoken/written word and the activity, and finally—be tested on your grasp of the material.

Many of the sites offer beginning lessons at little or no cost, others expect payment. The advantages of self-study are several: Immediate feedback and correction of errors (except in pronunciation); work at a pace which is comfortable for you; and low cost learning.

In addition to the formal education classes for learning languages online, the internet has another significant advantage for language learning. A person is able to make contact with people from almost every country in the world now, and many who come into chat rooms are as anxious to practice English, as you are to practice another language. There are even chat rooms devoted to the purpose of language learning.

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