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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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                Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

                7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

                When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

                You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

                1. Connecting them with each other

                Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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                It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

                2. Connect with their emotions

                Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

                For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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                3. Keep going back to the beginning

                Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

                On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

                4. Link to your audience’s motivation

                After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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                Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

                5. Entertain them

                While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

                Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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                6. Appeal to loyalty

                Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

                In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

                7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

                Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

                Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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