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How to improve language learning

There are many ways to learn a language, and many places to do it. People often travel long distances to take language classes abroad, give up evenings after work, or teach themselves at home to improve their language skills. In an increasingly globalisedworld, being able to speak another language is an ever more vital skill. And whether you're looking for Chinese or Spanish lessons central London is full of language schools eager to teach.

However, formal learning is not the only way to learn. If you think back to your schooldays, you'll probably remember plenty of lessons that just seemed to drag. The textbook, the blackboard and the teacher all seemed uninteresting at best. Formal learning has its place, and it provides a vital structure, but for real, lasting understanding, it's important to think beyond the classroom. There are many ways to enrich language learning and support whatever work you might be doing elsewhere, whether that's a Hindi course in Mumbai, or French courses in North London!

The internet can be a fantastic tool for languagelearners, and is a great place to start. Browsing the web might help introduce you to different styles of language and widen your vocabulary. For example, a government website will have a very different tone to a website aimed at young people. Don't expect to understand everything initially. Simply browsing and getting a feel for the language, looking up words as you need, should help. Internet forums in the language you're learning might also help you to get a better grasp of colloquial language. Internet TV and radio stations are also very helpful, and understanding spoken language is generally more important than written. Often, as with websites, these will also help you gain exposure to many different kinds of language. A news programme, for example, will provide you with examples of formal language, while a soap will help improve your colloquial understanding.
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