Have you ever wished you could speak another language? I have. I remember wanting to learn Italian in high school. It sounded beautiful, and it reminded me of being in Italy and Italian food too!
While my high school did offer pizza for lunch, it had stopped offering Italian as a language before I even got there. Why? The school couldn’t fill the class with enough students wanting to learn the language. So that’s when I decided to continue learning Spanish. I had taken a few basic courses on Spanish in junior high and really liked the language. I continued to learn, taking Spanish honors courses in high school.
That’s when I began to fall in love with Spanish. My teachers were fun, they had us write and act out plays, create songs, story books, and even play instruments! Fast-forward four years, and I graduated from college with a minor in Spanish, a trip to Puerto Rico, and a job as a Zumba instructor where most of the songs were Latino songs!
Learning a second language has given me an appreciation for a culture that, although not my own, I have come to love as much as my own. I have come to appreciate an entirely different set of music, food, and dance. The language has been a gateway to friendships across cities and abroad as well as at home.
Could Being Bilingual Do Something Similar For Your Life?
Below are seven of the best bilingual websites available.These sites are wonderful for writing in English. Some of them even improve your typing skills! Take a look below. The linguist within your soul will thank you.
What did you learn first in a language class? You most likely learned vocabulary. Vocabulary words are the building blocks of most languages. The more words you understand, the easier it will be to plug those words into the unique structure of a language. Vocapic is an excellent vocabulary site for the language learner. This site features 1,000 words in 35 different styles and four languages! On the site’s homepage, you can either choose to learn more words, or to learn a language. If you choose to learn more words, for example, you can pick a category and go through a short quiz that prompts you to match pictures with the right words. Vocapic’s fun, colorful, and user-friendly design make for a rich learning experience.
Another incredible resource for the bilingual-to-be. From Albanian to Yiddish, this site offers a variety of resources, including enjoyable learning materials for kids! Site visitors can order books and posters in their desired language. They can also browse the ‘free resources’ section. One of the best free resources is the Language Lizard Blog. Here you can find an impressive variety of articles, such as ‘Five Tips to Help Bilingual Children Shine in the Classroom’ and ‘Teaching Children Languages: Benefits and Strategies’. Language Lizard is a great source for educators, parents, and students alike. The site provides the resources needed for effective language learning.
Most of us have come across those who say, “I don’t need to learn that. How will it help me in life?” Bilingualism affects lives in positive ways, and Life as a Bilingual takes an in-depth look at how bilingualism affects everyday life. For example, you can read about how being bilingual affects the way people handle moral dilemmas. Or you can read how bilingual body responses differ from those of monolinguals. Much of the information centers on psychology. This makes sense, as Life of a Bilingual is actually a branch of the magazine ‘Psychology Today’ (available in print). The site stands out because it offers intriguing articles on bilingualism in an appealing way.
To all the bilingual parents out there, this site is especially for you. Visit the homepage, and you will see the subheading that says it all: ‘Ideas and inspiration for raising bilingual kids (without going bananas!)’. It’s no secret that raising kids is no joke. I’m not a parent, but I’ve seen enough parenting to know that the job will test you in every possible way! Add bilingualism to parenting, and the job can be even more tricky. How do you instill in your child a love for multiple languages? What are the best ways to teach a bilingual child? Bilingual Monkeys reveals the answers to these questions and more.
Another one of the best bilingual websites around. This site offers a healthy dose of articles that teach on and support bilingualism, but that is not what separates this site from the others. Growing Up Bilingual is one-of-a-kind because it focuses on the experiences of one bilingual family. Yes, they share their language experiences, but they share family experiences too, experiences to which many of us can relate. You can explore categories such as Latino food, technology and cars, DIY crafts, and travel. By weaving their culture into these categories, this lovely Latino family and website serve as a perfect example of why bilingualism ‘vale la pena!’ (or ‘is worth it!’).
One of the best sites for learning English. This site may not have the most elaborate design, but it has a wealth of language learning to offer. Excellent for beginners, Lingo Hut features an extensive list of lessons in multiple languages, all with audio! On the homepage, you will be asked which language you would like to learn, as well as what language you speak. Then you will find all the lessons you need to learn your desired language, from maths and weather to greetings and travel. I am bilingual, but I actually began to feel trilingual just from glancing at the lesson list! Whether you’re studying another language in school or desire to learn one on your own, your language life will be much easier with Lingo Hut.
This cleverly-designed e-learning website is unique for sure. It offers a variety of free courses that you can take. Whether you’re on your computer or using the app version, Memrise will help you memorize vocabulary well. The site uses memes to help users learn new vocabulary. If language learners are having fun learning vocabulary, they are likely to; learn more than someone who is not as motivated, and in addition, complete more lessons because doing so is fun. The site design is also fresh and modern, which perfectly matches a world of growing bilingualism.
Can you guess how this site’s teaching style stands out? That’s right, through oral lessons! italki has truly revolutionized online language learning. From over four million learners to an impressive pool of tutors and professional teachers, this site has become one of the biggest language-learning communities on the web. italki allows users to start learning with three simple steps: select a language, choose a teacher or tutor, and schedule a time to learn. Lessons take place via Skype or a similar online video program.
Being bilingual opens your eyes to a whole new way of viewing the world, while also highlighting the similarities between language speakers. By becoming bilingual, you can develop a cultural pride for your native tongue and customs as well as a deeper appreciation for a new culture. To those growing up multilingual, you will find within you a sense of ownership for every language you speak. Your experiences will be enriched with culture in a way that a monolingual will not know he/she missed.
The sites above are among the best for the language learner. Learn from them. Experience a new life. Let the words of new languages sink deep into your soul.