A few days ago I had a notification that “October 29 is Internet Day, a day to celebrate the internet and the impact this technology has on our world today”.
I immediately thought about language learning and was reminded back to when I was a teenager in Germany learning English – in the 1970s, way before the internet ☺
- The only English books I had where the textbooks from school.
- There was no English TV, apart from the original Sesame Street.
- Although we listened to a lot of English music, if we wanted the lyrics we had to find them in magazines and then use paper dictionaries to try and translate the words.
Then, when I knew I would move to England, things weren’t much better. Apart from what my then boyfriend told me, I didn’t know much about the place I was about to move to. I could not research and look for work or find out what I needed to do once in the UK.
I had one bit of useful (useless?) advice which I did follow: I bought a raincoat ☺ (and didn’t use as much as I expected to wear it)
Then, in England, it was difficult to stay in the loop about things in Germany. I either had to buy or subscribe to German newspapers which weren’t exactly cheap or wait until my weekly phone call with my parents to find out what was newsworthy. Or I had to wait for something to happen in Germany that was so horrible, even British newspapers reported about it!
Fast forward to the 21st century! A German learner can do all this online, some of it even with me ☺
- listen to German music
- watch German videos/ film
- read German newspapers
- watch German news
- play online games in German
- buy German books, DVDs etc… and even food online
- find lots of free online resources to learn German
- find online courses for German learners
- have lessons with a German teacher, even if he/ she lives far away
- follow Germans or people who teach German on Twitter
- join groups for German learners on Facebook, or just general interesting groups run by Germans
- learn German with lots of pretty pictures on Pinterest and Instagram
- research, plan and book a holiday to Germany
- use an up-to-date dictionary with a smartphone app
- and probably many more things …
Even if you prefer to learn German in a group at your local evening classes you can supplement your learning with so many resources thanks to the internet.
We language learners are so lucky, don’t you agree!
What’s your favourite online language learning tool?