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6 Amazing Websites to Learn a Language If You’re Too Busy

6 Amazing Websites to Learn a Language If You’re Too Busy

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re a busy person.

Either you’ve got a job you work hard at, a business you run yourself, or perhaps you’re out traveling the world (congrats!).
…But your goal is to learn a new language this year, and you have no idea how you’ll fit it into your schedule.

No problem. There are great time-saving language learning websites today that allows you to effectively learn a new language on your own time, without comprising your busy schedule. This way, you can keep working hard (or traveling hard if you’re the lucky), while expanding your cultural and language knowledge.

Here are 7 websites to learn a new language if you’re a busy person.

The 7 Best Language Learning Websites For the Busy Person

When it comes to finding the best language learning websites, I’ve found there are a handful of areas worth investigating and experimenting.

First, it’s the method of learning, there are 4 main categories:

1. Algorithm learning

2. Textbook learning

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3. Course learning

4. Human learning

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    Second, we need to dig deeper and measure the 4 important factors for each method:

    a) Time commitment

    b) Engagement

    c) Personalization

    d) Effectiveness

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    1. Michel Thomas

    Time commitment: Low
    Engagement: Medium
    Personalization: Low
    Effectiveness: Medium

    Michel Thomas is an audio tape course and a great teacher, that provides everything from beginner to advanced lessons.

    Although it’s a one-sided conversation, it’s not only Michel speaking in the audio tape. Michel provides a real-life conversation scenario by bringing on students to speak with each other, and correcting them along the way.

    Michel Thomas is a paid program ranging from $100 USD to $150 USD.

    michel

      2. Duolingo

      Time commitment: Low
      Engagement: Medium
      Personalization: Low
      Effectiveness: Low

      With over 50M downloads and increasing quickly, Duolingo is the most popular language learning mobile app.

      The gamification of the app is great for keeping you entertained and engaged while learning. The app is recommended for anyone who has zero knowledge and want to focus on learning the basic vocabulary and grammar.

      From personal experience, you will get what you pay, and if you want to see real, lasting results, Duolingo will only get you so far.

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      duolingo

        3. Lonely Planet

        Time commitment: Medium
        Engagement: Low
        Personalization: Medium
        Effectiveness: Medium

        Lonely Planet is one of the largest travel websites online. They also provide books on language learning, targeted at travelers who want to learn the basic conversation phrases before and during their trip.

        Because of the targeted focus, if you’re a traveler wanting to learn basic phrases in a language, it can be a simple and easy way to accomplish your goal.

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          4. Conversation Exchange

          Time commitment: High
          Engagement: Medium
          Personalization: Medium
          Effectiveness: Low

          Conversation Exchange is a place where language lovers meet online to help each other learn their native language.

          For example, a fluent person in German looking to learn English can pair up with a native English speaker looking to speak German. Conversation exchanges can take place in-person, over Skype, or through text over Whatsapp or their chat software.

          Although the concept is great, finding the right partner is a challenge due to the lack of personalization, matchmaking system, and schedule coordination. Most students will not be as dedicated because of the lack of commitment involved, and it can take some time before you discover the partner you like.

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          If you’re lacking budget and have the patience and time to go on the journey, this is a great, free way to learn conversation skills!

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            5. Memrise

            Time commitment: Low
            Engagement: Low
            Personalization: Low
            Effectiveness: Medium

            Memrise is great for one purpose: memorization. If you read our blog post on How to Learn Any Language in 90 Days, you can memorize 30 words/day for 90 days and recognize 70-80% of the language.

            You’ll have to face a lot of memorization obstacles when learning a language, and when that time comes, Memrise is a great tool to help you overcome them.

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              6. Fluentin3months

              Time commitment: Low
              Engagement: Medium
              Personalization: Low
              Effectiveness: Medium

              Fluentin3months.com is a language learning website started by Benny Lewis. As stated, he’s well known for learning languages in 3 months, and has courses available teaching you his methodology. Fluentin3months also has an avid community of fellow language learners that you can meet, which makes the website stand out above others.

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                Your Turn

                Which of these time-saving language websites will you try out?
                If there’s any tips that we may have missed, please let us know in the comments below!

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                10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

                In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

                Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

                1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

                What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

                Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

                2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

                Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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                How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

                Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

                Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

                3. Get comfortable with discomfort

                One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

                Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

                4. See failure as a teacher

                Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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                Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

                Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

                10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

                5. Take baby steps

                Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

                Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

                Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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                The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

                6. Hang out with risk takers

                There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

                Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

                7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

                Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

                Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

                8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

                What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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                9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

                Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

                If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

                10. Focus on the fun

                Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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