Technology can be used to enhance various processes and improve a variety of different things in life, such as education and learning. In fact, 59% of teachers reported that they noted their students were more motivated to learn when technology was involved. While learning a new language can give you the freedom to travel the world, sometimes you’re already out in it with no time to dedicate to language learning. If you don’t have time to attend a physical class, find that you learn better in a virtual setting, or simply want to shake up the way you’re immersing yourself in a new language, there’s some good news: technology can actually help you learn a foreign language and possibly even help you learn it faster.
Taking Advantage of Constant Connectivity
Technology is revolutionizing the way we learn and communicate, continuously making it easier for people to share cultures and languages at any moment. Seeing as you are, likely, already constantly connected to your smartphone, you can make learning a new language easier by doing things such as changing the language settings on your social media accounts, downloading a translating app to help you correct your simple mistakes or even by watching YouTube videos that are in a different language. Studies have even shown that watching TV shows can help you learn various different language skills such as vocabulary and overall comprehension. Utilizing all of this constant connectivity to your benefit is an advantage that many language learners from previous generations didn’t have and allows you to cross-check and learn in a variety of different ways to increase your fluency overall.
Understanding the Pros and Cons of Virtual Learning
The first and biggest benefit of online language learning is that you can easily communicate with native speakers all over the world. Skype, Google Hangouts, language exchange web communities and even specialized language apps exist nowadays that provide you with the opportunity to have structured conversations with somebody who speaks the language you are trying to learn. Not only is this a great way to expose you to a native accent of the language, it greatly reduces costs and time spent by cutting out overhead fees and transportation time. While all of these are great reasons to engage in virtual learning, there are some drawbacks. Technology is not always reliant and can sometimes cause delays and miscommunications and, depending on the type of technology you’re using, missed physical cues that are important when learning a language. For this reason, apps that use cutting-edge science and gamification are best when learning a new language.
Making Language Learning Fun and Interactive
Technology and the use of applications in language learning is a great way to cater to a variety of different learning styles while creating a learning environment that emphasizes different aspects specific to language learning. With the ability to speak to somebody with a native accent or even receive lessons while traveling to the chance to gamify your learning experience, virtual language learning should be taken seriously as a way to begin to increase your fluency in one, two or even three new and different languages.
— Written by Jane Sandwood, Contributor at Mondly
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