How is language software used? What are the features you should be looking for when identifying language learning software. Learning a language is a very important part of knowing or learning a culture, whether it is your culture, or one that you are seeking entry into, be it for business, course requirement, travel, or just for the simple reason of being bi-lingual or multi-lingual. If you do not understand a language you also will not understand other aspects of the culture, for example jokes, subtleties, and customs. For example if you are looking to get TESOL certification, it is important to know something about other languages and cultures. Research shows that learning a second or third language is easier for younger children, especially pronunciation.
This is because in most cases the students are immersed in the culture, so they pick it up quicker. That however is not to say that one cannot learn a new language later on. Learning a second language can be affected by the patterns of the first language, for example the accent. Second languages learned as adults are often quickly forgotten if not used regularly, but they do come back fairly quickly with study and practice.
The easiest way to learn a second language is to live in the country where it is spoken, but that is not always possible. There are however other alternatives. You can chose to use a combination of various media such as audio and video courses and tapes, books, language software, language labs, language courses, and flashcards.
Learning a new language via e-learning is an option to explore if you are looking for flexibility or want to learn on your time, at your own pace. The advantage of this option is that the courses are available both on line and via CD-ROM. The advantage of educational software is that good products are very interactive and engaging way to learn. Many language software offer a refreshing change from reading a book or even listening to an audio course. They also use teaching and learning methods that are not available in these other formats. Many programs offer various languages. For example many will translate to and from Spanish, French, Polish, Arabic, Italian, German, Ukrainian, Russian, Japanese, Swahili, Portuguese, Italian, Zulu, Mandarin, and many more languages.
There are many programs available for language learning. One advantage is that they use language software to teach learners the foreign language using pictures, text and audio. They also use word association with concept and then gradually build up new words and concepts based on the ones you already know. The down side can be the cost. So it is good to look around and make your decision based on the budget.
Tips for Learning a New Language
- Enjoy it: If you think of learning something as a chore, it takes the fun out of it. So pick one that you enjoy learning, have a motivation for learning (e.g. if you are planning a trip to a place where that language is spoke).
- Seek help: There are many website’s, language learning groups and books that you can supplement what you are learning using the software.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! Find reasons to speak the language, for example when you meet someone who speaks that language, try and converse with them.
- Do some ‘homework’ every day: Again just like practice, it keeps things fresh in your mind. It is recommended to start slow and then build on what you are learning, adding a little every day.
In addition to language learning software, translation software is also available to help with task such as translating web pages written in a foreign language, email, manual, and books. These language software programs also help with interactive learning of new words and phrases of a foreign language, as well as pronunciation. As the world becomes more interconnected, knowing other people’s cultures and languages will be even more important.
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