I’ve already blogged about some easy ways to improve your English on your own, but those tips were only the tip (pardon the pun) of the iceberg.
In this post, I’ll show you how you how you can improve your language skills (not just English) even more, without spending a cent.
So how do I learn languages for free?
Whether you just want to brush up on your English or learn a new language altogether, it’s best to practice regularly with a partner. But it’s hard to find a partner who’s fluent, who’s always available to practice and who won’t charge you anything for their time. If you’ve already got someone like this, you’re one of the rare lucky ones. But if you don’t, Livemocha is a great substitute.
What is Livemocha?
It’s a social networking site that helps people learn languages. It has tons of multimedia exercises for each of the four basic skills that you need to become fluent (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
The lessons are simple, engaging and often quite fun. Best of all, they’re completely free. All you need to get started is an Internet connection.
Huh? How is this social networking?
Other Livemocha users who are native speakers of whatever language you’re learning can comment on your work and suggest how you can improve it. You can do the same for people who are learning the languages that you speak fluently.
My favorite Livemocha feature has got to be the speaking exercises. Using a microphone, you read out a few sentences written in the language you’re learning. Other Livemocha members can then comment on that audio clip and give you tips on how to improve your pronunciation.
As a person who’s tried to learn languages that no one else in my home city speaks, I can’t stress how valuable this type of feedback is.
What languages can I learn?
As of now, Livemocha offers lessons in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Hindi and Icelandic. These lessons cover everything from basic vocabulary to intermediate-level grammar.
If you’ve tried Livemocha yourself or if you’ve heard of any other great online tools for language learning, tell me about your experiences in the comments.