Free and Low-Cost Ways to Learn a New Language

It's never too late to learn a new language, and linguistic diversity is becoming increasingly more important as our global society continues to develop. In fact, International Mother Language Day is observed every year in February to help promote multilingualism and cultural diversity, which was started back in the year 2000.

Whether you took a foreign language in school and you'd like to refresh your memory or you want to learn a whole new language, there are many ways to learn remotely. It's no longer necessary to enroll in a traditional class to learn a new language: You can learn in the comfort of your home or from almost anywhere at any time. Some language learning tools are free to use online or download to your computer or mobile device, and others involve a small charge. Using technological tools to learn a language has never been easier or more convenient.

Mobile Apps

At one time, language learning programs were expensive, and the teaching methods involved learning a language by interacting with that language in created settings within the software. Apps have changed in recent years, and many are available at low prices or for free so you can save money while you learn. Another benefit of these inexpensive mobile apps is the ability to try different ones without risk before you settle on a specific product. It's very simple to try different apps to find one that fits your learning style. When you find an app you like, you may find that the app offers tiered instruction, with some courses and features available for free and others requiring a fee.

Online Courses

While language learning apps are helpful, they usually aren't all-inclusive when you want to learn a new language. Enrolling in an online course is an effective way to learn a language at your own pace and from virtually anywhere. These virtual classes have a planned curriculum that you can use as it fits your schedule. You might purchase a set of DVDs to take course, or you might just study online.

Online Tutors and Communities

Hiring an online tutor can be a personalized way to learn a new language. Rates will vary depending on each teacher's experience and credentials. Don't automatically discount a tutor who offers instruction at low rates: Expensive tutors are not always the best fit for every student. Some instructors hold online classes via Skype or Zoom, with prices based on the number of hours of instruction and the number of people taking the course at one time. Some tutors may even pair you with a conversation partner in your class to enable you to practice your verbal skills.

Other Resources

Immersing yourself in a new language is an ideal way to learn. YouTube contains many videos that can help you figure out new pronunciations and learn unfamiliar words. Reading books in your new language can also be an effective way to pick up phrases and concepts. Many libraries have books in other languages, or you might purchase e-books online. Streaming services such as Netflix also feature movies and television shows in other languages: Watching with the subtitles on can help you connect what you hear with its meaning. Try exploring podcasts in your new language as well.

Spending just a little time each day learning a new language can be surprisingly effective. With some time and effort, you can become proficient in a new language, and with this fluency, you may even be ready to travel and spend time in a country where people speak that language. Full immersion in a different culture is often the best way to cement the acquisition of your new language.

Language-Learning Tools

Online Dictionaries

Foreign Language Podcasts