Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? In high school, I was grateful to get to study Japanese for a few years. I was apart of an accelerated language arts program at my school and I had to choose between the option of studying Spanish or Japanese.
Studying the Japanese language and culture was so rewarding. Taking this class even allowed me to obtain enough credits to graduate high school early. Learning a new language can be a challenge at any age but it’s well worth it. You may think you need to spend a lot of money on a program or hire a tutor to help you get started.
However, there are plenty of free and affordable alternatives to consider thanks to the internet. Whether you’re looking to learn Spanish, French, Arabic, or Russian, check out these 5 affordable ways to learn a new language.
Duolingo is a free site that helps you learn different languages online. What I like about this site is that it’s great for kids or anyone who wants to make learning a language seem like a fun game. You can create your own profile when you sign up and choose how long you’d like to study and practice per day.
You can literally log in for 5 minutes each day and still make solid progress. Duolingo adapts to whatever your current level is for the language you want to learn. Then it advances you from there by helping you learn different, words and phrases, create sentences and more.
2. Open Culture
Open Culture is an educational site that connects you to several different free learning resources. Just click on the ‘Languages’ tab at the top of the website and you’ll see tons of free resources to help you learn the language of your choice.
Open Culture rounds up hundreds of free and cheap resources that you can utilize regardless of your current level. For example, if you started learning a language in the past and want to start at a higher level, you can still find these resources and online classes on the site.
FluentU is an online language school that offers a 14-day free trial. After the trial, it’s only $20 – $30 per month for a membership. FluentU takes an nontraditional approach to teaching foreign languages because they do it through videos. These aren’t just any videos though. You’ll learn through real-world content like music videos, news clips, movie trailers, and more.
The idea behind this method is that some classes teach you a very formal method of language without taking common everyday words and phrases into account. Every word and phrase in each video is defined for you in context. That way, you can understand what is being said and also pick up on how to have a natural conversation in that language.
4. Innovative Language
Innovative Language promises that you’ll start speaking a new language in just minutes with their interactive lessons with real teachers. They offer many different options like online classes, software for your computer, apps, ebooks and more. The online language courses are free but there are other features on this site that may cost money.
You can choose from dozens of different languages. Plus, the language you choose can be taught in a language other than English. For example, let’s say you’re already bilingual and speak English and Spanish but want to learn Italian. You can likely find an Italian class on Innovative Language that is taught in Spanish.
Students get weekly online classes with real teachers, beginner and advanced lessons, PDF notes, digital flash cards, and more. There’s even a Roku channel that you can subscribe to for $0.99 per month to gain access to an entire video library.
Babbel is an affordable foreign language education site with monthly memberships starting at just $7 per month. If you want to pay month to month for your membership, the price is just $12.95 so it’s still pretty reasonable. Babbel’s lessons are created by language experts and voiced by native speakers.
There are also review sessions to help make sure you’re retaining the information you’re learning. Like Duolingo, the lessons can be short ranging from 10 – 15 minutes. Babbel allows you to learn from your phone or tablet as well so you can study your language on the go.
Learning a new language can be very rewarding and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, you can actually learn in the comfort of your own home with help from these websites and apps.
Whether you’re looking to learn a new language for work, travel, or fun, you have plenty of options that will fit anyone’s budget.