The different solutions for learning a language

Speaking several languages is a definite advantage in today's globalised culture. It contributes to many benefits, such as personal fulfilment, open-mindedness, improved international opportunities, intercultural communication, and cognitive development.

In fact, there are many uses for multilingualism! And this despite the advances in digital technology. Learning other languages allows you to discover new cultures, perspectives, and ways of thinking, encouraging open-mindedness. In particular, speaking several languages makes it easier to communicate with people from different backgrounds, which can be particularly useful when travelling or interacting with foreigners in your own country. The list of benefits continues when it comes to cognitive development. Learning languages stimulates the brain and trains cognitive skills such as memory, mental flexibility, problem-solving and creativity. But learning another language can also be beneficial for understanding your own: understanding the mechanisms of your mother tongue and enriching your vocabulary and grammar. Finally, being able to read books, watch films or listen to music in other languages gives you access to a diversity of cultural resources and an appreciation of art in its most authentic form.

Since there are so many benefits, what are the different ways of learning languages? That’s the question we’d like to explore in this article.

A language course remains the most obvious option for learning a language. Whether in a language school or with a private teacher, courses are an effective way of learning the basics of a language and making rapid progress. When it comes to this type of study, again there are many solutions! You’re probably familiar with holiday camps, which offer lessons in the mornings and activities in the afternoons. But have you thought about staying with a host family? There are many organisations offering homestays where one of the members of the family is your private teacher. This means that you can tailor your lessons to better suit your needs and enjoy a total immersion.

At the same time, there are many language learning applications and software packages that offer interactive exercises, structured lessons, and practice tools. Some popular applications include Duolingo, Babble and Rosetta Stone. Although it’s difficult to rely on these alone to really learn a language, they are practical tools that can help you practise throughout the year.

In the same vein, we can also mention the various online resources. There are many free online resources to help you learn. These include videos, podcasts, online courses, discussion forums and so on. These resources allow you to supplement traditional courses and learn at your own pace.

Travelling to a country where the target language is spoken – is a highly effective way of learning. Immersion allows you to be in permanent contact with the language and to practise it intensively. This immersion can take the form of a long or short stay in a boarding school abroad. We discussed all the benefits of this kind of experience in our November article.

Finally, we should also mention immersion in traditional American Summer Camps. From an early age, Americans attend Camp every summer. In cabins with 8 to 12 beds, located by a lake and a forest, Summer Camps offer the full array of sporting and aquatic activities imagined! Your child may not be sitting in a classroom taking grammar lessons… but as these camps are 98% American, his or her immersion will be total. These immersive experiences, with no language lessons, will enable your child to make lightning progress in oral learning, not to mention developing self-confidence and independence.

Finally, a simple and effective way of making progress in a language is simply to read books and watch films. Reading in a foreign language allows you to get used to the vocabulary and structure of the target language. Films, watched in their original version, are an excellent and fun way of learning. And it’s a smart way to make the most out of screen consumption…

As you will have realised, learning languages is an enriching experience that can be achieved in a variety of ways, some more fun than others, some more interesting than others. You don’t necessarily need three months at your disposal, or unlimited resources. Learning is within the reach of anyone who is motivated and determined. What is certain is that language learning makes a significant contribution to personal growth and development, at all ages.

At EDUCOM we work with over 250 organisations worldwide, for English, German, Spanish and Italian. We have solutions for all ages and all profiles! And because your enrichment is our primary concern, our services to help you find the solution that’s right for you or your child are free of charge. So don’t hesitate to contact us – your fulfilment is just a few steps away.