Seven ways to use technology to learn English
Browsing the Internet in English, practicing it with songs, YouTube channels or on social networks are some of the ways that technology provides for learning this language.”The English level of Spaniards is low or very low”, according to a study by the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom). The dubbing of movies, lack of practice in teaching and fear of ridicule are some of the reasons. Fortunately, technology helps in the practice of this language in many ways. This article explains seven of them: from browsing the Internet in English and learning it with songs, YouTube channels or with the help of social networks, to having the best mobile apps to practice in the British language .
The Internet has broken many barriers, including access to knowledge. Now to learn English you don’t need to sign up for an academy and go to class three times a week. There will be those who continue to prefer this method, but, with a little will and discipline, it can be learned or improved independently, with the help of the appropriate resources, also taking advantage of the moments when there is no class or we are more liberated, such as summer .
In the following list there are materials of all kinds to study English at different rates , with the mobile, the computer and other devices as the main support, in addition to apps specially designed for it. Now all you have to do is get excited!
1. Learn English while browsing the Internet
Surfing the Net is one of the most frequently performed activities on the computer. So why not take advantage of it to improve your level of English? For starters, you can set your web browser to English , and that way many web pages with multiple language versions will appear directly in English. The user can also change the language himself in many of them, such as Google and Facebook.
Another way to learn the British language while browsing the Internet is to use certain browser extensions. With Readlang you can translate any text you see online and create vocabulary lists to review later. On the other hand, Grammarly corrects the texts in English (grammar and vocabulary) that are written on any website.
2. Practice English with favorite songs
They say that learning is easier if it is done with something that is fun. If the user’s favorite singers and groups sing in English, the lyrics of their musical themes can be used to improve vocabulary and practice new expressions . The rhythm of the music will also help memorize them.
LyricsTraining is a website where you can improve your level of English with music videos taken from YouTube, with the help of the lyrics . Depending on the student’s level, LyricsTraining removes a certain number of words from the text, which then have to be filled in as the song progresses.
Another way to follow the lyrics of musical themes to improve vocabulary is the “Lyrics” function of Spotify . With it you can see the lyrics of the song that is playing at that moment (like in a karaoke).
3. YouTube channels to learn English
LyricsTraining is not the only language training service that takes advantage of YouTube. Actually, on the popular video website there are dozens of channels focused on teaching English , from the most basic level to the most advanced, and with all kinds of material: reproduction of everyday situations, humorous videos, news, lessons as if it were an academy, etc.
4. A social network in English to practice
There are other social networks besides Facebook. Among them is Busuu , a network designed for language learners
Busuu is an online community of learners where you not only have access to study material (grammar lessons, learning units, exercises, etc.), but also lots of people to chat with to practice your language. In addition, the student himself can act as a teacher , marking his native language and correcting the work and compositions of other students.
5. Three apps to learn English with your mobile
Mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets have revolutionized the way other languages are studied. Now it is possible to take advantage of any time, anywhere, to review vocabulary, learn a new grammatical structure or do a comprehension exercise.
There are many applications to learn languages with the help of the phone. Some of the most prominent are:
Duolingo . It is one of the few completely free -if not the only-, with more than a dozen languages available. It has a version for iPhone , Android and Windows Phone . It works in combination with the web. Start with the basics and the lessons gradually get more complicated. The material is very well compartmentalized , which allows you to take advantage of any free time to do the daily review.
Babel . It lets you learn more than a dozen different languages, with fully interactive materials . It includes speaking, listening and writing exercises, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. The first few lessons are free, but then you have to pay a monthly subscription . It is available on iPhone and Android .
ABA English . Recently launched, this app of Spanish origin bases its lessons on videos that capture real-life situations. It is designed for students of all levels and has more than 140 learning units. The course can be followed on its website or in an iPhone app. The basic content is free, but to access all the material you have to pay a monthly fee .
6. The latest trend: free online English courses
If you don’t have enough willpower to download a mobile app and study on your own, or to commit to watching a bit of television in English a day, online courses are a good option .
The so-called MOOCs (from the English massive online open course , massive open online course) have become very fashionable in recent months. Even many prestigious universities offer them on the Internet . They are the perfect alternative for those who prefer the traditional method of classes with a teacher and exam , but without the inconvenience of having to travel to the academy or shift center.
Thanks to search engines specialized in these courses such as Moocse or RedHoop , it is very easy to find English courses adapted to the user’s level.
7. Learn English with an ebook reader
Some ebook readers, such as the Kindle , have a built- in vocabulary improvement system that can be put into practice every time you read English books with them. Thanks to this system, the most complicated words appear with a small explanation on the screen, so that you don’t have to waste time looking for them in a dictionary.
Another interesting function is the one that takes note of the words that have been looked up in the dictionary and automatically incorporates them into a list that can later be reviewed to memorize that new vocabulary