European Youth Portal
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Learn languages online

Saying that languages are important when it comes to looking for work or travel is required it is nothing new, but not everyone has access or time to "face" courses or stay abroad.

Many of the young people, who go to counseling for job and mobility searching some advice, regret for the low level languages and recognize the need to improve it as soon as possible, in order to carry out their projects, but not everyone has the time or the money to attend in person language classes or spend a season studying abroad.

Furthermore, even though learning a foreign language in a traditional way -attending classes- continues to be the best option, this is not the only one. There are many online quality applications and tools to start or deep into the study of a language.

The important is that every individual can move at his/her own pace and with effort and perseverance these tools work. But it is necessary to take into account that the internet is not the solution but a complement and that is always convenient to attend a traditional course.

These are some free resources and portals to learn a language at your own pace.

Web translators

You can copy and paste words, texts or entire pages and get instant translations, which are useful to perform your exercises and translation tool, but beware, they are still machines that allow us a general idea of a text never replace human translation therefore should be used as personal support but not to translate letters, CV or other documents that you may have to send abroad.

The most common are Google Translator, which allows you to enter entire blocks of text in 60 different languages, Wordreference, which has a collection of dictionaries in over 15 languages. It also has forums for questions about terms or expressions difficult to translate.

In Reverso  you can also translate, find definitions, synonyms, verb conjugation and slang. If you click on the sound icon, you can hear how texts and words are pronounced by a native speaker. If you want to know more about argot / slang Urbandictionary not hesitate to ask because sometimes these terms do not appear in normal translators.

For a translation on more specific topics such as medicine, finance, etc.., Or classics, one of the best options is Freedictionary. You can also find Linguee to further refine your translation because their system is collaborative and provides results of work done by other people so you can better locate the correct word in context.

Free courses

The goal of its creator is to teach languages for everybody. It includes training itineraries by level in English, French and Portuguese. If you speak English you can have an option to learn other languages. It is free since users can voluntarily translate short sentences and texts to be sold to companies as they progress through the different levels. Available in iOS and Android.

Sherton English
Only for learning English. Includes more than 700 audio-lessons in 52 weeks. Every week you receive a lesson by email. There are forums to interact with other students.

BBC for beginners
British public corporation BBC offers excellent free courses for beginners. cd´s, videos and Podcasts are available.

It is one of the oldest and most complete portals as regards the number of languages since you can learn Chinese, Japanese, Arabic... The basic version is free but to have access to more advanced tools you must pay a small monthly quantity. Its community of users plays an important role, organising conversations on videoconference. Available for mobile phone and tablet.

Courses created by the members of the community. The method consists of cards to memorise vocabulary by means of memory tricks and online games. As you advance you win points and can compete with other users checking their progresses. This is an incentive to keep your knowledge up. Available for iOs and Android.

It is a free community with resources for learning languages. Includes a huge database of common words and translated sentences in more than 90 languages. It allows you to communicate with people from the whole world interested in teaching you their own language.

It is a free online training portal with many different language courses, from English to Chinese or Russian.

A social network of e-learning that uses artificial intelligence for adapting the contents of its courses. You can practice languages with native speakers. Free access to the whole didactic content (more than 8 000 audios for every course) and extra services with its Premium account. There are applications for iOS and Android.

It is an application for iPhone and iPad created by Spanish people to learn English. It proposes an intuitive learning through playing and includes ludic tests and activities.

For those who want to prepare official exams on English language. It includes many mock exams both for British (FCE, CAE, IELTS) and Americans (TOEFL). You can practice with the most convenient models for you and make your level test on listening, writing, etc. Available for smartphones and tablets.

Because to play is not only a way to learn for the youngsters, you can also find websites with interactive games and exercises to improve your French or English. And, of course, we can not forget which it is helpful to see the films and series in original version, with or without subtitles. For this option you will also find tools in English, German or French, among others.

For completeness we give some references of centers offering best distance learning courses and courses that can be subsidized for unemployed workers, as the Vocational Education Training Centre Arsenio Jimeno, under the UGT of Aragon, the Aragonese Foundation for Training and Employment, the Office of State Employment Service or the National University of Distance Education with the University Language Center Remote, which also includes courses in Spanish official languages.


Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Zaragoza

Published: Fri, 18/07/2014 - 08:59

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Info for young people in the western balkans

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