How to Learn a Foreign Language During CMCO
Have you ever thought about learning a foreign language before going on an overseas holiday trip? You might think that you can get by with just speaking English, but most countries outside of the United States, Canada, the UK and Australia do not speak English. For example, only 56% of the population of Germany speak English. With the whole country under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), no one is allowed to travel outside of the country for leisure, so why not take this opportunity to learn the language of a foreign country you are planning to visit in the near future? Not only would it help you in your communications with the locals, but this can also enrich your cultural knowledge and understanding as well. Here are a few ways you can learn a foreign language during the CMCO.
Since the advent of the internet, online language classes have become massively popular due to the convenience for both learners and teachers. These come in a variety of budgets, and some—even the free ones—also award you a certificate for completing the course, meaning that apart from using the language during your travel to a foreign country, you can even include your language learning in your resume should you decide to work there!
However, one should keep in mind that not every online course will give you equal results, and some are outright scams, so you should always do your due diligence in finding out if the course you are applying for is actually legitimate.
Here are some of the recommended online courses for foreign languages:
Rosetta Stone has been a popular language-learning company from America for close to 30 years. Named after the Egyptian-Greek stele that helped scholars decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, Rosetta Stone provides over 20 different languages to learn. Their prices used to be quite exorbitant—at about $1,200 a year—but they have since lowered the prices significantly. They have three different packages: $11.99 per month for three months, $9.99 per month for 12 months, and $189 for lifetime learning. The three-month package only allows access to one language of your choosing, but the other packages allow you to learn an unlimited number of languages. The advantages of Rosetta Stone include language immersion, in which you are given images and sounds and only the language you are learning, and also a pronunciation analysis powered by their patented TruAccent speech recognition engine.
If you would prefer a one-on-one live lesson over the internet, there’s Live Lingua. This service connects you to a native speaker of the language you want to learn, such as Spanish, and then you will discuss with your tutor on your learning goals to create a personalised learning plan. This way, your tutor would also know how to provide adequate guidance to keep your learning effective. They offer tutoring in 11 different languages, but the pricing is dependent on the language; Spanish, for example, is $16 per hour, while Russian is $24 per hour. Additionally, the number of hours in a month for learning the language is determined between you and your tutor.
In 2012, Harvard and MIT came together to create a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider called edX. Hundreds of schools, including several top universities, have offered some of their courses there for free. This includes several language courses, such as Intermediate Chinese Grammar by Peking University, Steps in Japanese for Beginners by Waseda University, and A travel by Spanish America: Spanish for beginners by Universidad del Rosario, all for free! After you have completed the course, you are even given the option to pay a small fee to receive a verified certificate that you can then include in your resume to improve your job prospects.
Language Learning Apps
Educational apps are the future of learning, and this is more evident than ever during this time when schools are closed and students are stuck in their rooms with only their phones. Fortunately, there are many great apps for both Apple and Android devices for learning a foreign language or two, and most of these apps are free too! Best of all, you can use these language learning apps at any time, so you can pick up the Japanese language while you’re having a meal at a Japanese restaurant.
As an aside, did you know that a Malaysian company has developed one of the most internationally-acclaimed educational apps? Check out Zapzapmath if you want your kids to have fun learning maths!
Arguably one of the most (in)famous foreign language learning apps today, Duolingo features close to 40 different languages to learn from, including Klingon, the fictional language from the Star Trek universe. Duolingo’s rise to fame (or infamy) came in 2019 due to memes centred around the app’s aggressive notifications. You select a language and then you choose the number of minutes you spend a day on the app. The app encourages you to practise daily. If you’re tired of the ads and you need it for offline use, there’s the option to subscribe to Duolingo Plus, which is a monthly premium subscription that removes advertisements, allows you to download lessons for offline use, as well as provide a few other extra features towards gamifying the foreign language learning experience.
Memrise is another popular foreign language learning app, but it functions quite differently from Duolingo. The two actually complement each other well, because while Duolingo helps you learn how to construct sentences, Memrise focuses more on building up your vocabulary via flashcards. Memrise features 22 different languages for you to learn, and you can choose your level, whether you think you’re a beginner or you want to jump straight to the more advanced courses.
If you’re a Japanese manga/anime enthusiast looking to learn Japanese, look no further than kawaiiNihongo, a free visual novel-style app that places you in a classroom setting with a cute story that encourages you to learn Japanese.
Local Foreign Language Classes
If you prefer the traditional approach of having face-to-face lessons, then you shouldn’t have much of a problem either as there are a number of local classes conducted by native speakers living in Malaysia.
Russian Centre of Science and Culture
The Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Malaysia conducts Russian language courses with highly qualified teachers and small classes. It is RM980 for a 40-hour course over 10 weeks, and you will receive an official certificate from the Russian Centre of Science and Culture.
Japanese Language Schools
There is a long list of Japanese language schools across nine states compiled by the Japan Foundation in Kuala Lumpur (JFKL). At the same time, the JFKL has its own Japanese language course, but the 2020 intake is understandably cancelled during this time.
And there you have it, some of the ways you can learn a foreign language during CMCO. Which language are you most interested in learning? How do you plan on learning them? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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