What Are the Different Types of Language Learning Resources?

Gabriele Sturmer

Whether one is learning a foreign language for school, work or personal enrichment, he or she has many online and offline language learning resources. Structured or self-paced courses at a college or learning center provide an interactive method of study, and computer software can be used alone or with other language learning resources. The Internet offers may language learning communities, video websites and practice materials, and books and audio courses are good options for learners who prefer more traditional materials.

Having a conversation with a native speaker can help an individual learn a foreign language.
Having a conversation with a native speaker can help an individual learn a foreign language.

Online and offline language classes are excellent language learning resources and can be self-paced or follow a traditional schedule. Some options include college courses at a university, private lessons offered by a language learning center and group classes at a technical school or online. Courses have many advantages, because they provide practice with speaking and understanding the language and offer a better structure for learning the language at various levels. Another benefit is that one can get additional assistance from his or her instructor.

Classroom instruction is a popular way to acquire a second language.
Classroom instruction is a popular way to acquire a second language.

Various computer programs are available that teach vocabulary words and grammar and allow one to practice his or her writing, speaking, reading and listening skills. Programs can include multiple language learning resources, including virtual flash cards, video lessons, practice problems and pronunciation analysis. Some types of software come with an online component that connects users to a community of other language learners and offers opportunities to practice the language with others. One also can select a program that includes a private tutor who meets with the student through video conferencing, telephone or email.

Websites are popular language learning resources, because they provide a variety of materials at little to no cost. Online communities, chat rooms, vocabulary lists, grammar lessons, sample written conversations and online videos give students opportunities to learn and practice their skills, whether they are beginning or advanced language learners. Some popular websites provide a language exchange experience in which two students become pen pals and teach each other a different language. There also are websites available that provide online course materials along with practice tests to gauge the student's level of mastery.

If one prefers language learning resources that don't require a computer, he or she can choose from many books and audio materials. Some language learning books are comprehensive and come with written lessons, exercises, exams and audio discs. Others may specialize in grammar, vocabulary and conversation. Audio materials usually focus on teaching general conversational skills and may include multiple levels of difficulty.

Many language learning centers offer private lessons.
Many language learning centers offer private lessons.

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Discussion Comments


Great Post, gives a lot of good information. The Internet has added a huge number of resources for language learning. I grew up in Europe and learning another language was just part of daily life and daily education. I think Americans are getting there too, with travel and the many resources now available. Online resources are great because they can be accessed any time during the day and are getting more efficient. Even 15 minutes a day, done regularly, makes a huge difference for language acquisition.

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