How To Study A Foreign Language With Volunteers
No matter how hard your teachers try, you can’t take a language from being boring to being fun. That is the best way to learn a foreign language. Now, I am not saying that classes are boring and useless — no. Classes are how you start learning.
They help you find the grammar structure of your target language, allow you to make mistakes, find out about different tenses, learn about pronouns and get used with the sounds of your future second (I mean third) language. After class, though, is when having fun starts. The real learning happens when you discover new things while using the language and living it on a day to day basis.
Here are the most efficient ways to learn a language — with the help of volunteers!
Why learn with a volunteer
When people want to learn a new language, they often think of signing up for classes or getting private tutoring. However, another option that is gaining popularity is learning with a volunteer.
Volunteers are native speakers of the language you want to study and they want to help you because they are passionate about it. They are also quite often polyglots themselves, which means they know exactly how you feel when you are struggling to learn a second language.
What do volunteers get out of it?
Volunteers receive in exchange for their help the opportunity to practice their own English skills (or any other languages they might know). This can be particularly useful for those who have moved abroad and don’t have many opportunities to practice English, or for those whose English level is not high enough yet to find an English-speaking job.
What’s more, there’s also the satisfaction of helping someone else and seeing them progress. It’s rewarding, fun and self-fulfilling!
Volunteers will love sharing their culture with you and answer questions about their country of origin. This can give you greater insight into the language and help you understand why certain things are done the way they are. And it will certainly make your volunteering tutor excited and proud.
What are the benefits of learning a foreign language with a volunteer?
1. It is free. This can be very important in the current financial situation. Imagine you want to learn a language but you don’t have enough money to pay for a tutor or to study abroad. In this case, volunteering is an excellent solution because it gives you the opportunity to learn a new language without spending any money.
2. You can make friends while learning a language. A volunteer will help you not only to learn the language but also to get to know the culture of the country where this language is spoken. Through communication with a volunteer, you will find out many interesting things about his/her life and country in general which will help you better understand the culture of the people who speak this language
3. Volunteering helps you become more independent and confident. You have to manage your own time when studying with a volunteer, plan everything so that it is convenient for both of you, organize meetings and so on. Thus, your independence and organizational skills will greatly improve over time
4. You will be able to practice your language skills as often as possible since there are no limits on communication with a volunteer (at least, there shouldn’t be). You can meet and talk in person or learn via Zoom, Google Hangouts, and other online platforms.
Enrolling in a language course is great, but learning with a volunteer could offer you a new and exciting experience. Learning a new language is an enriching experience, but sometimes the most enriching experiences are those that resonate with you on more than a linguistic level. Volunteering to help others fulfill their own goals gets you involved in that process, but also provides you with a sense of fulfillment as well. Plus, practicing your target language while you’re at it can help to ensure you don’t forget what you’ve learned while you’re working towards something else. It’s win-win situation.
Learn languages and a variety of other skills through volunteering. How long will it take, you might ask? An hour at a time — believe it or not. Find out more at 1HOUR.org where volunteers meet students.