These Tech Tools can Help Fill the Void in Foreign Language Learning – Practicing Speaking the Language!
Are you a student who is struggling to learn a foreign language? Or maybe you're a teacher who teaches foreign languages? Every teacher knows that students who want to get up to speed on a new language need to start conversing in that language with as many people as possible. Language learners who focus on writing and grammar can master these aspects, but they will lack the flexibility and fluency that can only be achieved through speaking practice.
Real, verbal communication helps you become more fluent. Your mind starts working faster, and you find yourself talking without thinking about grammar and vocabulary. It’s hard to achieve such speed of thought when you write.
You should never be afraid to communicate in the language you’re learning. It’s always exciting to put your knowledge in practice. When you realize that native speakers easily understand what you’re trying to say, you’ll be motivated to proceed with this challenge.
There is only one question: where to find native speakers? Are you supposed to travel to another country? That would be an ideal situation, but it isn't realistic? But wait! There is an easier and cheaper way: online platforms!
Check out the following suggestions; they will help you become the language guru you have always wanted to be!
HelloTalk is a smartphone app that lets you make free calls or send text messages to language-learning partners from all over the world. This platform combines language learning and practicing into a single process. You can talk to native speakers of over 100 languages. You’ll appreciate the ability to search for partners based on the language and city of residence. Since there are users who live in different time zones, you can find someone to connect with at any time of the day or night.
The voice-to-text feature enables you to speak and allow HelloTalk to translate your words into text. There is also a text-to-voice feature, which helps you practice proper pronunciation. You haven’t heard the best part yet: the platform also supports transliteration and translation.
Instead of paying for online language courses on Rosetta Stone and similar platforms, you can count on italki – a website that does not offer courses and boring lessons, but still enables you to master a language. It helps you get directly to the main point: communicating with people.
The platform connects you with online teachers for personal lessons in different languages. You’ll get personal attention and customized lessons that will encourage you to relax and start speaking from the very first day. There is even an option to exchange services and get free help by offering to help someone else learn your native language! Italki gives you access to a great pool of teachers you can choose from. The major languages are covered, and the community is constantly growing.
At Bussu, you’ll discover a worldwide community that will make your speaking practice simple and accessible. There are over 50 million native speakers of different languages, so you can instantly blend into the group. One of Busuu’s best features is the effective categorization of vocabulary in sections such as In the Kitchen, Positive Feelings, or The Job Interview. Thus, you are able to find the words and phrases you need without any effort.
Clearly, the greatest benefit you’ll gain from this platform is the ability to communicate with a native speaker. You can record your voice and realize how you sound to other people. In addition, you’ll have access to podcasts and printable content.
Keeping Internet Safety in Mind
Of course, younger students need to take extra precautions when communicating with strangers with tools like these, so if anyone that you connect with asks or says things that make you uncomfortable, stop communicating with them and let a teacher or parent know about it. Also, don't provide personal information like your address or your age, or where you go to school. You can discuss these things in general terms (“I live in New York state”, “I go to High School”), but there is no need to provide more specific information than that.
The Key to Mastering a Language Is Communication.
Thanks to the fact that we are all connected through the Internet, it’s easier than ever to discover someone willing to help you with the speaking practice. You might be a bit timid and lack confidence when you first start talking in a foreign language, but remember that even natives make mistakes. Relax; you’ll get better with more practice!
Try one of these platforms today and you'll be speaking that foreign language fluently in no time.