How to Get the Most from Online Language Learning

One of the few good things to come from this COVID-19 pandemic is that many people are developing their technology skills very quickly. This may be for work (like meetings), entertainment (like finding music or movies), family and friends (like video chat), or further growth, like language learning! 

You may have been learning or interested in learning from in person private lessons or classes, but feel now like you won’t get as much from the online experience. I hope you reconsider, because this is actually a great time to improve your language skills with some new methods and modes that will exercise new parts of your language brain. Here are some reasons to try online lessons. 

If you’re working with a tutor through video chat, you can work on the language of everyday activities more clearly. If you walk into your kitchen (like in the picture below, see bottom for answers) or open your toolbox, I bet you will find a lot of objects that you don’t know the name for in your new language! On top of that, there are a host of different verbs for actions for those tools, so talking through those on video chat can be a great exercise.

How many objects do you know the name of? Check your answers at the bottom!

Another great activity is to work on your more casual usage in your new language. Maybe you know how to write a formal email for work or an essay for school, but do you know how to write a more natural, casual email or text messages? Do you know the idioms and jokes native speakers use in these situations? You can get some of these from reading or watching real entertainment in the language, but working online with your tutor can help you learn some of these and work them into your everyday writing. For example, do know what these mean or know their equivalents in the language you’re learning?

  • When all is said and done
  • Let’s catch up
  • I’m dying here

The main reason to keep up your language learning is that you’ve already spent months or years working on it, and if you take a break for these couple months, you might lose a lot of what you’ve worked so hard on. I know that you probably prefer the face-to-face interaction, but technology has made it so that you can basically get a face-to-face experience through Skype, Zoom, Google, or other platforms. Also, your schedule as well as your tutor’s schedule is likely to be more flexible (or at least more weird!) so that you can take lessons or study at times that are more convenient for you.

I hope these are some helpful views on how best to keep up your language learning during this stay-at-home order. Stay safe and healthy and don’t stop learning, exploring and connecting!

Answers: 1) sticky rice spoon 2) falafel press 3) chestnut piercer 4) soda bottle gasser 5) ice pick 6) courgette corer 7) tablecloth crumb collector 8) citrus wedge squeezer 9) citrus thick zester 10) crinkle cut vegetable blade 11) crab meat pick 12) egg wedge segmenter 13) walnut pick 14) garlic crusher cleaner 15) olive spoon 16) cheese slicer 17) cherry pitter Photo and answers from