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Category: Language Guides

Resources For Learning English Online

I figured I’d put together this post for anyone who’s looking to visit North America from a non-English speaking country. Learning English can be very challenging. Even if you can read English or understand it when other people speak it, it can be hard to get to the point where you can engage in conversation with other people.

While you could buy a book and learn that way, there are a lot of resources for learning English online. If you take advantage of these sorts of resources, you’ll be able to improve your understanding of the English language.

You don’t need to travel to a school in order to take English classes. There are a number of course that are available online. If you take some of these courses, you’ll be able to get help from a trained instructor. They’ll also be able to provide you with some very helpful resources.

There are a number of different classes available. Some of them are free, while others charge a small fee. People interested in learning this way should take a look at all of the options they have. From there, they can work to find a class that’s a good fit for them.

Here are a few online classes that you may want to consider:

Mooec.com/

Effortless English Club

Lynda.com

Flash Cards

talkingpeopleIf you’ve learned the basics of English, but want to hone your knowledge, you may want to try using flash cards. Flash cards can help you to practice English words until you get more comfortable with them.

There are a number of flash card apps that are available for phones and other mobile devices. Using something like this allows people to brush up on their English no matter where they are.

Online Communities

Sometimes, the best way to learn English is by interacting with other English speakers. There are a wide range of communities on the internet that you can be a part of. If you join one of these communities, you can have a chance to practice English in a low-stress environment.

Message boards and Facebook groups can be particularly helpful. Because of the way they’re designed, users will be able to take their time and decipher things slowly. In time, their English skills will improve, and they’ll get faster.

It’s important for people to find resources for learning English online. After all, you can’t improve anything without practice. If you take the time to work on your English skills, you’ll eventually be able to become a fluent English speaker. There are a lot of great tools out there; make sure you use them.

How To Communicate When On The Open Road

Traveling the world and seeing new things is the dream of many people on this planet. That being said, the stress of not being able to get one’s point across due to the language barrier causes many to give up on their dream. Instead of doing that, why not have a plan to allow one to communicate more effectively without the months or years of study required to be fluent in a language. #TheOpenRoad

Read on for some quick tips on how to do so. Oh and don’t forget to check out my last post on places to travel.

Let’s face it. One is not going to hold complex conversations about politics with a complete stranger in a foreign land with just a month or less of training. When one is traveling to a new place though, common phrases are a necessity to getting around. Understanding this and practicing how to say these key sentences will quickly get one acclimated and closer to being conversational in a new language.

By practicing a few of these and learning the key answers, in particular the words you need to get your point across, is all that is necessary to get over the barrier of not understanding. At least making this effort will signal to a foreign person that you are trying, and for most that is enough to create a small bond one never would have had achieved any other way.

Finding a local to help you get your point across is always a great strategy. If you’re a native English speaker then you shouldn’t have any problems trying to find someone who can help you. Use one’s hands to describe in combination with the expressions learned will go a long way in getting any point across. Be careful of this though as it can backfire on you. When I was in Asia a few years ago, I told someone who was heckling me to “Shoo” with the classic brushing away hand action. Little did I know that in Asia the brushing away action actually means for someone to come closer, oops!

Another great way to pick up a language is to take an online course or a class at your local college. Yes, this takes more time but you’ll be able to work through structured training to get some great results. I know a few people from my time traveling in India who were trying to learn english online, they took a relatively cheap course called, How to Learn English. Within days they started to see a real difference in their communication skills. Being part of a Facebook group also made communicating with others who are also learning a lot easier.

The same goes for people trying to learn Spanish, French, etc. Online language training can be a great way to start learning a new language. A popular example of this is Rosetta Stone.

Youtube is a great way to hear languages being spoken by native speakers. You can learn about local dialects and hear slang terms that you may not learn in a structure course. One tip I found on youtube is using movies to learn how to speak a language, movies are a great way to learn how people speak naturally in conversation and what’s relavent in popular culture (well, if you’re watching current films). Check out the video below to see what I mean:

If you’re really trying to get more of a grasp on a language before you travel. You can use technology to your advantage as well. Many mobile applications can greatly assist one in communicating effectively but never use it as one’s primary crutch. Apps such as Duolingo can we a great way to learn the basics of a language, in fact, if you spend long enough with the app you can find yourself quite proficient in a language.

Do you have any language learning tips? Reach out to me on twitter!