The best foreign language learning communities around the world


Do you want to learn a foreign language, but cannot find a feasible opportunity to do so? Do not worry, for here is a list of online portals where you can learn to speak foreign languages like a native. Most of these online portals are free to join.

Knowledge of a foreign language can be advantageous in today's world. However, finding time to enrol in formal language classes can be a bit of a problem. You might not find the right teacher or coaching centre, even if you have the time and the inclination to learn. What do you do then? Pick up a book perhaps – on grammar and common phrases and the works. The trouble with learning from a book (which you will soon realize) is that you cannot master a language by just flipping through pages. Learning can be a big challenge.

When you are struggling with a new language, it is not unusual to feel lonely. It does not matter whether you are learning on your own or have joined a language class, you will still have a lot of questions. What if you can learn a language of your choice, at your convenience – would not that be great. Would not it be great if you could just ask a question on a forum and have a language teacher answer it for you?

Better still, what if you could talk regularly with a native speaker? That would help you pick up slangs, colloquialisms and common phrases in no time. Imagine, if you could learn to speak a foreign language like a native. All that without having to buy a plane ticket to the country where the language is spoken. Would that not be great!

CEO David Bailey purportedly learned to speak French in just 17 days. Impossible as it might seem, it happens to be a fact. He did so by going around the French countryside on his own and speaking regularly to his French host family in French. The daily interactions with native French speakers helped Bailey pick up the nuances of the language and improve his language skill. You may not be able to travel to Spain or Japan to learn Spanish or Japanese quicker. But you can join any of the communities below to speed up the language learning process.

And remember, your age does not matter. All you need to learn a second language is motivation and regular practice. Here are some of the best online portals that can help you achieve your language speaking goals.

The Mixxer


The Mixxer is an online resource, hosted by Dickinson College. It is great because it is not about teachers and students. The site is dedicated to language learners. The portal connects you with native speakers of the language you are trying to learn. They in turn are eager to learn your language. That way, both the participants are teacher and student at the same time. You do not have to pay anything for the service. Simply sign up, and you can find a language partner. You can then connect with that partner via Skype. You can also practice writing and receive feedback.

Linguaholic


Linguaholic is a community of language learners and it is a reasonably sized platform that is very active. There are separate forums for popular languages like Chinese, German, Japanese, English, Spanish and French. Do not worry if you have questions about Swahili or Korean or any other not so common language - there is a separate forum for that too.

You will find an active community on this website. The forum also has different sections for Language Teaching and Language Study Apps, besides a Language Exchange Corner where you can find practice partners to improve your language skills.

UniLang


Do not get put off by the basic website layout of UniLang. This website has the widest range of languages that you can learn online, including Sami, Basque, Estonian and Kurdish. The website has a community that actively shares videos, courses, dictionaries, software, phrasebooks, podcasts and other resources. You can enjoy live chat with language partners, ask questions, and even create your own resources to give back to the community.

Here you will always find someone to help you with grammar and translation or any other language query that you may have.

Busuu


Busuu has a great host of educators and experts who offer writing exercises and audio lessons for your aid. To top that, you can communicate with the website's international community of students in real time, whether you are on your phone or your PC.

Busuu has a limited free version where you get access to flashcards, writing exercises and corrections from native speakers. If that is not enough, you can pay for its affordable plans (that start at 5.4 euros) with vocabulary trainer, quizzes, travel course and more.

You learn from native speakers. The lessons are in bite-sized nuggets that are easy to learn, while on the go.

Italki


Italki connects you to over a 1000 teachers of languages from around the world, and over 2000 tutors to help you practice the language. Teachers are professionally trained, while the tutors are native speakers who can help you with speaking practice. The Italki community is great for its many resources. You can find a language partner, read articles in your target language written by teachers and tutors, share your writing in a notebook and get corrections from other people, discuss with native speakers and ask questions.

Besides these options for spoken and written language, you can find some other communities at Reddit's /r/languagelearning, subreddit, and Omniglot's excellent written language resources.

For offline communities, you can try The British Council in your country (if there is one) if you want to learn English. Max Muller Bhavan is the right place for picking up German. The Alliance Française is a good place to learn the French language. If you are a student at a university, find out if you can join an exchange program for language exchange. Take advantage of language learning apps and podcasts to always keep practicing even when you are not speaking with a native or practicing writing. Staying motivated is important, so it is always a good idea to find one or more language partners to keep the momentum up. Good luck!


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Comments

Author: Partha Kansabanik13 Oct 2016 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

I find the present article extremely useful for myself. I have been planning to learn French and German language. As I have been staying in Delhi, I have access to Alliance Francaise and Max Muller Bhavan. So far as language websites are concerned, I earlier heard about Busuu only. Now the author has provided the names of some other similar website,which would be of immense help.

So far as learning languages are concerned, for the residents of Delhi, I would like to indicate some other institutions form where various foreign languages can be learnt. These are:-

(a) School of Foreign Languages, Ministry of Defence, Lodhi Estate. It is considered the best institute to learn foreign languages at the cheapest rate.
(b) Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan: Another excellent institute to learn foreign languages
(c) Delhi University: St. Stephens, Ramjas College, Khalsa College, Miranda House, Daulat Ram College, College of Vocational Studies and Sri Venkateswara College offer part-time Language courses.
(d) Different Embassies also conduct language courses (Example: Hungarian Embassy).
(e) IGNOU: IGNOU has started Certificate Course in French. The University is going to start various other foreign language courses.

Concluding my response, I sincerely thank the author for this extremely useful article.



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