Whether you’re a language aficionado or just want to hone your personal skills while attempting to learn a second language, your iPad is a valuable tool you’ll want to take advantage of. On one end of the spectrum, if you’re a language teacher, you can use your students’ access to iPads and mobile devices in general to encourage their excitement about learning a new language. On the other hand, if you are the student, why not put that iPad to work in helping you reach your own language learning goals? Insert some fun into your routine with these 3 tips for maximizing your iPad for language learning:
1) Gain exposure to a foreign language via social media
Major brands have dedicated pages that post exclusively in foreign languages, whether they’re based in the United States or abroad. If you’re planning a vacation to France and are learning the language, follow the Musée de Louvre and Le Moulin Rouge on Facebook. Those who dream of moving to Argentina will certainly want to become fluent in Spanish beforehand–try following Cataratas de Iguazú and San Justo Shopping, to name a few. Don’t worry about posting in a foreign language, simply read the posts and get familiar with important facets of the language, such as common expressions and proper verb conjugation.
2) Make language learning apps your new “while I wait” activity
Time spent waiting is most often wasted time. Instead of playing that game where you fling birds at stacked-up objects or the one in which you line up gems, download some fun, yet useful apps that will help you grow your vocabulary in your free time. You may not have an hour to study a foreign language every night, but chances are that you have 5 to 10 minutes free between classes, waiting to pick up your son or daughter after school, or while you ride the subway to work. There are seemingly countless apps available that will help you learn a new language during that downtime, ranging from flashcards and spelling quizzes to all sorts of games.
3) Make a foreign language your background noise
Experts agree that one critical component to learning any language is exposure. While the thought of moving abroad and immersing yourself completely in a new culture is far more romantic, most people find the more realistic option is to surround themselves with the language in their home country as much as possible. Listen to the language you’re trying to learn on iTunes or online radio stations for free while organizing paperwork or cleaning up the classroom. At home, turn the TV to a Korean or Italian channel while you prepare dinner or do housework. Aim to make the foreign language part of your soundtrack for at least an hour each day and you will definitely start to notice a difference in your skills.
If you’re a language teacher, encourage your students to use their iPads and iPhones to make foreign language and culture a part of their daily lives. Students enjoy the break from traditional study habits and many embrace the opportunity to incorporate their mobile devices into their scholastic efforts. Of course, if you are the student when it comes to learning a new language, there’s no reason you should go it alone. Try one-on-one online lessons and you’ll be speaking a new language with confidence before you know it!
About the Author:
Dusty Fox is a full-time world traveler and freelance writer who contributes to the Language Trainers network. Visit the Language Trainers website to learn more about the services they offer.