Foreign language courses don’t come easy to everyone, especially those who have to take them online. Chances are that you’ll have to take a language course at some time during your online degree program, so you might as well learn what it takes to pass it like a pro. I’ve taken several language courses online in my day, and my husband was a German major for quite some time in college. Over the years, I have learned my way around foreign languages on the web. Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up on along the way.
Listen to Foreign Music
Listening to foreign music will not only expand your cultural horizons, but it will also allow you to hear the language you are learning on a regular basis. Most foreign countries have the same styles of music that we have in America. The only difference is the lyrics. If you’re learning a European language, you might notice a lot of techno in the background of music over there. That is just part of the culture. Nevertheless, there are some pretty amazing songs in other languages that you can grow to love. Once you develop an ear for the language, speaking and writing it will be a breeze.
Watch Foreign TV Shows
Don’t be afraid to stream some foreign TV online if you want to immerse yourself in the language you’re learning. You can always look for shows and movies have English subtitles, so you can actually understand what is going on. The only problem with that is that you may not ever pick up on the other language if you’re constantly reading English. Try to look for foreign subtitles instead so you can pause and read them over if need be. My husband has taught me a lot of German that way because I had to see it in action. You might respond well to it too.
Join a Language Club
Most schools, both online and campus based, have foreign language clubs you can join. Check with the student activities board for your school to see if there is a Spanish club, German club, Russian club, French club, or some other organization like that in your school. When you join a club like that, you can speak with other students who are learning a language just like you. This may give you access to people to study with, or it will at least give you the chance to practice your skills. You can get together to watch a foreign film, eat foreign foods, or simply discuss the culture in another country. It’s all up to you.
You cannot be afraid to ask questions in college, and this is especially true in foreign language classes. If you genuinely don’t understand the material, there is no way that you are going to make it through your coursework. Language classes build on previous topics at all times, so missing one part is going to throw off your education completely. Call or email your professor to see what you’re missing on a certain topic so you can improve your knowledge. He or she should be more than happy to help you out.
Passing a foreign language class online is not impossible, especially if you take the time to learn beyond the books. You need to say the words you are learning out loud, rather than just typing them into the computer. That’s not going to do you any good. With the right amount of effort and a little help along the way, you will be culturally advanced in no time.