You have it on your calendar that you have to make that business overseas trip to Japan in a few weeks, and, gasp, you don’t know have enough skills to carry a conversation in Japanese. You don’t have time to enroll in a local class, and you don’t want to put down $500 for the latest version of Rosetta Stone. What can you do? Why not take a class online? Better yet, why not take advantage of a FREE class online.
When approaching free online courses, there are tons of options from learning about upgrading your software skills to seeing how to throw better at darts. With the internet becoming more easily accessible globally and the thirst for knowledge is in abundance, it makes sense that learning a foreign language can be as easy as a click away.
However, there are some things you want to keep in mind when approaching free online learning in general:
They don’t give you credit for learning. Though there are some colleges offering openware classes online from calculus to biology, it is not all for credit. So, don’t be anticipating college or continuing education credits to be put on your resume.
Unless you want to take a class with a friend, it can be a lonely experience learning by yourself. Not all programs provide assistance from a teacher or a message board with other students.
Self-discipline is key in making your experience of learning successful. You will have to be motivated and a great time-manager to embark in any self-study endeavor.
Because there is such a great quantity of Free Online Learning, sources, here is a list of top 5 free online courses on foreign languages which can help you in your learning.
1. Openware – as briefly mentioned above, this is a system that is free through certain universities. You can get access to syllabi from past years classes, and give you a rigorous format for learning (not for college credit or any access to the professors, of course). Keep in mind, when they publish their syllabus from their 2006 class in French 101, and ask you to participate, it is only for that 2006 class to do so. You will have to purchase books, just like any college student would. Though the classes would be free and away from campus, you feel like you are learning from the best professors in the country. MIT is leading for this type of education. Get a sampling of courses on their website.
2. About.com -known more for its general online sourcing, About.com has its own language university. They have a team of teachers who have developed pre-made lessons that can be forwarded to your email each week. Your time in learning would be motivated by deadlines with assignments and quizzes. You can spend an average of 2 to 3 hours a week on a lesson. A typical beginner’s course for a language is about 20 weeks, so you can anticipate completing a course in 5 to 6 months.
3. Youtube.com – this video website is a great source for learning another language. You can simply type in your language of choice and Voila! A listing of courses is immediately available for show. Though these are from various sources, the experience of finding all the videos could be choppy, meaning that all videos or modules for the lessons may not be there for viewing. There are some videos you would need a subscription, which would be of a better quality, because they are more systematic. You can always check it out to see if all the videos are downloaded by the account member.
4. Byki.com – this website is a free way to download flash cards to study word phrases and have it spoken. You also have choices from languages that are not commonly taught like Haitian Creole and Icelandic. You can choose which modules fit your needs, and in what you want to learn. This system is ideal for travelers or anyone wanting to supplement their continuing language education.
5. Word2word.com – A fantastic online board compiling just about all available information out there in online foreign language learning. There are many language courses to choose from. By clicking the free online language courses, you would be taken to 119 choices, including Native American languages. If you want to learn Japanese, click on Japanese and there are 10 free online courses available from sites for travelers or for those who want weekly lessons. Again, each course is going to be different in format, so choose what would work best for you.
As we all know, learning more languages in today’s world is more imperative than ever. Though traditional ways of learning languages is out there, there is also a more economical way to learn. Why NOT take a free online language course?