15 Language Learning Resources
at Your Fingertips
7. Find a book or magazine in your library
University and college libraries, more so than local libraries,
are likely to have a wide range of foreign language materials in
their collections. Visit the periodicals section and ask the librarian
there to point you to the magazines and newspapers in the language
you are seeking. Language and literature books are located in the
P-PZ stacks. Depending on the language, you may find foreign language
books in other disciplines as well, such as history, education,
sociology, art, and others. If the library has a children's or elementary
education section, check for children's books in the foreign language.
While ample foreign language stories and periodicals are available online, nothing compares with the experience of holding the item in your hands. Print editions have many features that online versions typically don't or can't have. If you find foreign language books or magazines you especially like, you can order your own copies or become a regular subscriber.
8. Use a foreign language search engine to explore your interests
Choose one of your favorite hobbies or subject area of interest,
a type of music you like, a particular lifestyle choice, or an international
event. Then find sites on that topic in the language you're learning.
language tools to search the web in specific languages or countries
or use one of over 100 Google portals located in other countries.
Finding a site on a topic with which you are already familiar is a great way to promote your language skills. You will surely recognize some vocabulary and will learn many new topic-related words. You might even find your new favorite website on your particular hobby. The site might even offer a chance to communicate with others who share your interest in it -- in the foreign language. Such sites allow you to learn to negotiate a topic with which you're familiar, to gain new perspectives on that topic, and to connect with other people around the world who share your interest.
9. Join a foreign language discussion board
A foreign language discussion board is a place to connect with
native speakers as well as others around globe who share your interest
in a particular language. It is different from a discussion board
for native speakers by native speakers because it embraces your
role as a language learner. You can read about or participate in
discussions about language and culture, and you can try out your
language skills or ask language questions. A discussion board is
also a fantastic place to find a foreign language pen pal.
There are a few excellent comprehensive language boards. PhraseBase and Unilang have specific forums on dozens of languages as well as some interesting general language threads. ShiaChat is a Muslim community site with multilingual forums, including Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, and a smattering of other languages. At the How to learn any language forum, you can engage in lively discussions about learning languages and get your language questions answered.
In addition to the general language forums, there are several active and well-moderated language-specific discussion boards: Russian, German, French, Spanish, another Spanish forum, Italian, ESL, another ESL board, Persian, Japanese, another Japanese forum, Chinese, Korean, and Thai. Many of these boards include discussion threads on the customs and culture where the target language is spoken as well.
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