Expatriate? You have to go through a range of emotions; from dread to excitement, an international student goes through a multitude of feelings. This is expected as many challenges will be thrown at you. A few of them would be quite intimidating. One of them is language. Yes, if you go to a country that does not speak your language, you will face a challenge.
Before things go wrong, you need to take preventive measures. How? Of course, you should learn the new language. Now, you may not be able to find suitable language courses in your city; for example, it was very difficult for me to find Japanese lessons in my city for quite a long time. So what are you doing? You do what I and many others do. You switch to an online platform for language learning.
You can start with any of the 5 websites I have mentioned below. Many of the courses on these websites have a price, although there are a few that are free but with limited access to resources.
Read about them below and decide which course is right for you.
You must have heard of Coursera. In case you haven’t, let me tell you, this is one of the largest course repositories online. On the platform, you can undertake a certificate or an online degree program in languages. For example, National Research Tomsk State University offers a global master’s degree in English language and educational leadership, University of California, Davis offers a basic Spanish course, and Peking University offers a Mandarin course with the aim of clear the HSK Test. Since these courses are sourced from influential institutions around the world, there should be no doubt about their authenticity.
edX is a well-known platform for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that was founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Here you will find many options to consider to improve your language skills. To name a few, there’s MandarinX by Estella Chen which offers a Professional Certificate in Mandarin Communication, Waseda University Learn the Language and Values of Japan, Wellesley College’s Italian Language and Culture series, and Universitat Politècnica de Valencia’s Professional Certificate Course in Basic Spanish.
Sometimes you don’t really need to know the language; you just need to know the basics. When this is the case, you should consider using various language learning apps. One such app that I would suggest is Duolingo. It is a highly personalized and easy to use platform that offers small, fast and interactive lessons. The app effectively maps your progress, tailors questions accordingly, and presents several games and challenges to keep you busy. It has also launched the Duolingo English test which helps its users to certify their English skills.
- Open culture
How about a place that collects and presents all the necessary information about language learning in one place? Well, Open Culture is exactly that! It serves as a massive resource center where you can find information on almost anything. It has a separate “Languages” tab that lists details of all sorts of online certificate programs, free movies useful for learning languages, free e-books and textbooks, and podcasts. All articles will guide you to authentic platforms for language learning. You just need to browse them and identify where you want to study from. Imagine Open Culture as your ultimate guide on how to solve the language problem.
Udemy is yet another platform where people come together to impart and receive education through interactive sessions. You can explore all kinds of language learning courses available at very reasonable costs. Some of the courses available on the platform include isiXhosa for Beginners, Croatian Language, Learn Bengali, Azerbaijani: Beginner to Intermediate, and Lithuanian Course for Complete Beginners. In addition to the classic language courses, there are also those that improve your conversational skills in everyday and professional life. Udemy is a perfect platform for those who don’t have the resources to invest in courses available on edX and Coursera.
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