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10 Websites That Will Teach You a New Language Anywhere You Are

10 Websites That Will Teach You a New Language Anywhere You Are

Learning a language does not need to happen in the classroom, nor even in person.

Modern technologies and communication tools allow us to gain direct access to the best language teachers, courses, and native speakers, no matter where we live. Imagine sitting at home and being able to connect with native speakers from the other side of the world while they teach you their language.

The amazing cultural experience is just one benefit of online learning. The flexibility of learning a language online allows you to fit learning into your busy schedule. That means no more commuting, no more fixed schedules, and no more buying expensive coffees just to sit at Starbucks cafes.

We’re going to share the top 12 websites that will teach you a new language from anywhere in the world. Enjoy!

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Live Lessons With Professional Teachers

Live one-on-one lessons are the most powerful tools for learning to speak a new language. Online one-on-one lessons provide you with the same benefits as in-person lessons, but without the commuting time, and they are more affordable and effective than language schools.

1. Rype – Rype was founded with the mission of providing quality language lessons at a fair price. Members pay a flat membership price instead of paying per lesson, and they get to book lessons every single day with fully vetted professional teachers (which comes out to ~$3/session).

2. Livelingua – Livelingua is a Skype-based language lesson platform offering private lessons for popular languages.

3. Verbal Planet – A similar website to Livelingua, Verbal Planet offers Skype-based lessons that cost about $22 for 45 minutes.

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4. Tutorming – Tutorming is focused strictly on Mandarin. This company has developed a niche in finding their customers qualified Mandarin teachers online.

Conversation Exchanges

If you have the time, and you enjoy meeting like-minded people online, conversation exchanges may be an option for you. Unlike professional language lessons, conversation exchanges require a little more time and patience because members are not trained nor vetted as teachers. Read about the pros and cons of conversation exchanges here.

5. Conversation Exchange – Find like-minded language lovers you can trade tips with on Conversation Exchange. Or, if you’re lucky, you can find language partners who can speak both English and the target language you’re trying to learn.

6. Language Exchange – Language Exchange is a similar to Conversation Exchange, with over 3 million members spanning 133 countries around the world.

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7. Livemocha – Now owned by Rosetta Stone, Livemocha is a popular language exchange that allows you to filter through partners by language, country, location, etc. It gives you many options to connect with people, including SMS text, voice chats, and more.

Language App Courses

Language apps have been on the rise as smartphone adoption has increased. Many of them are free or cheap, and some are fun to play since they’re gamified. They’re not the best option if you want to learn how to speak the language, but most will teach you the basics of grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure.

8. Duolingo – This is the most popular app out there, and it’s now automatically installed into new iPhones. While it comes with its own limitations, it’s a great way to dip your feet into the pool when you’re learning a new language.

9. FluentU – FluentU is also known as “Netflix for language.” They’ve curated videos, tutorials, and exercises for users who pay a flat monthly fee.

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10. Busuu – Busuu is an online language course that you can use on your phone. It’s similar to Duolingo and has gamified exercises. This app can teach you today’s most popular languages online.

Over to you

Any thoughts on the language websites that we mentioned above? Which ones have you tried so far, and what has been your experience with them (good or bad)? Let us know below in the comments. Thanks for reading this far!

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

10 Huge Differences Between A Boss And A Leader

When you try to think of a leader at your place of work, you might think of your boss – you know, the supervisor in the tasteful office down the hall.

However, bosses are not the only leaders in the office, and not every boss has mastered the art of excellent leadership. Maybe the best leader you know is the co-worker sitting at the desk next to yours who is always willing to loan out her stapler and help you problem solve.

You see, a boss’ main priority is to efficiently cross items off of the corporate to-do list, while a true leader both completes tasks and works to empower and motivate the people he or she interacts with on a daily basis.

A leader is someone who works to improve things instead of focusing on the negatives. People acknowledge the authority of a boss, but people cherish a true leader.

Puzzled about what it takes to be a great leader? Let’s take a look at the difference between a boss and a leader, and why cultivating quality leadership skills is essential for people who really want to make a positive impact.

1. Leaders are compassionate human beings; bosses are cold.

It can be easy to equate professionalism with robot-like impersonal behavior. Many bosses stay holed up in their offices and barely ever interact with staff.

Even if your schedule is packed, you should always make time to reach out to the people around you. Remember that when you ask someone to share how they are feeling, you should be prepared to be vulnerable and open in your communication as well.

Does acting human at the office sound silly? It’s not.

A lack of compassion in the office leads to psychological turmoil, whereas positive connection leads to healthier staff.[1]

If people feel that you are being open, honest and compassionate with them, they will feel able to approach your office with what is on their minds, leading to a more productive and stress-free work environment.

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2. Leaders say “we”; bosses say “I”.

Practice developing a team-first mentality when thinking and speaking. In meetings, talk about trying to meet deadlines as a team instead of using accusatory “you” phrases. This makes it clear that you are a part of the team, too, and that you are willing to work hard and support your team members.

Let me explain:

A “we” mentality shifts the office dynamic from “trying to make the boss happy” to a spirit of teamwork, goal-setting, and accomplishment.

A “we” mentality allows for the accountability and community that is essential in the modern day workplace.

3. Leaders develop and invest in people; bosses use people.

Unfortunately, many office climates involve people using others to get what they want or to climb the corporate ladder. This is another example of the “me first” mentality that is so toxic in both office environments and personal relationships.

Instead of using others or focusing on your needs, think about how you can help other people grow.

Use your building blocks of compassion and team-mentality to stay attuned to the needs of others note the areas in which you can help them develop. A great leader wants to see his or her people flourish.

Make a list of ways you can invest in your team members to help them develop personally and professionally, and then take action!

4. Leaders respect people; bosses are fear-mongering.

Earning respect from everyone on your team will take time and commitment, but the rewards are worth every ounce of effort.

A boss who is a poor leader may try to control the office through fear and bully-like behavior. Employees who are petrified about their performance or who feel overwhelmed and stressed by unfair deadlines are probably working for a boss who uses a fear system instead of a respect system.

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What’s the bottom line?

Work to build respect among your team by treating everyone with fairness and kindness. Maintain a positive tone and stay reliable for those who approach you for help.

5. Leaders give credit where it’s due; bosses only take credits.

Looking for specific ways to gain respect from your colleagues and employees? There is no better place to start than with the simple act of giving credit where it is due.

Don’t be tempted to take credit for things you didn’t do, and always go above and beyond to generously acknowledge those who worked on a project and performed well.

You might be wondering how you can get started:

  • Begin by simply noticing which team member contributes what during your next project at work.
  • If possible, make mental notes. Remember that these notes should not be about ways in which team members are failing, but about ways in which they are excelling.
  • Depending on your leadership style, let people know how well they are doing either in private one-on-one meetings or in a group setting. Be honest and generous in your communication about a person’s performance.

6. Leaders see delegation as their best friend; bosses see it as an enemy.

If delegation is a leader’s best friend, then micromanagement is the enemy.

Delegation equates to trust and micromanagement equates to distrust. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than feeling that his or her every movement is being critically observed.

Encourage trust in your office by delegating important tasks and acknowledging that your people are capable, smart individuals who can succeed!

Delegation is a great way to cash in on the positive benefits of a psychological phenomenon called a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, a person’s expectations of another person can cause the expectations to be fulfilled.[2]

In other words, if you truly believe that your team member can handle a project or task, he or she is more likely to deliver.

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Learn how to delegate in my other article:

How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

7. Leaders work hard; bosses let others do the work.

Delegation is not an excuse to get out of hard work. Instead of telling people to go accomplish the hardest work alone, make it clear that you are willing to pitch in and help with the hardest work of all when the need arises.

Here’s the deal:

Showing others that you work hard sets the tone for your whole team and will spur them on to greatness.

The next time you catch yourself telling someone to “go”, a.k.a accomplish a difficult task alone, change your phrasing to “let’s go”, showing that you are totally willing to help and support.

8. Leaders think long-term; bosses think short-term.

A leader who only utilizes short-term thinking is someone who cannot be prepared or organized for the future. Your colleagues or staff members need to know that they can trust you to have a handle on things not just this week, but next month or even next year.

Display your long-term thinking skills in group talks and meetings by sharing long-term hopes or concerns. Create plans for possible scenarios and be prepared for emergencies.

For example, if you know that you are losing someone on your team in a few months, be prepared to share a clear plan of how you and the remaining team members can best handle the change and workload until someone new is hired.

9. Leaders are like your colleagues; bosses are just bosses.

Another word for colleague is collaborator. Make sure your team knows that you are “one of them” and that you want to collaborate or work side by side.

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Not getting involved in the going ons of the office is a mistake because you will miss out on development and connection opportunities.

As our regular readers know, I love to remind people of the importance of building routines into each day. Create a routine that encourages you to leave your isolated office and collaborate with others. Spark healthy habits that benefit both you and your co-workers.

10. Leaders put people first; bosses put results first.

Bosses without crucial leadership training may focus on process and results instead of people. They may stick to a pre-set systems playbook even when employees voice new ideas or concerns.

Ignoring people’s opinions for the sake of company tradition like this is never truly beneficial to an organization.

Here’s what I mean by process over people:

Some organizations focus on proper structures or systems as their greatest assets instead of people. I believe that people lend real value to an organization, and that focusing on the development of people is a key ingredient for success in leadership.

Learning to be a leader is an ongoing adventure.

This list of differences makes it clear that, unlike an ordinary boss, a leader is able to be compassionate, inclusive, generous, and hard-working for the good of the team.

Instead of being a stereotypical scary or micromanaging-obsessed boss, a quality leader is able to establish an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.

Whether you are new to your work environment or a seasoned administrator, these leadership traits will help you get a jump start so that you can excel as a leader and positively impact the people around you.

For more inspiration and guidance, you can even start keeping tabs on some of the world’s top leadership experts. With an adventurous and positive attitude, anyone can learn good leadership.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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