More and more people today are learning English, and this is due, in part, to the influence of the World Wide Web. The ‘Internet Era’ has made it almost a necessity to know English at least somewhat. It has also made it easier to learn the language, even if access to quality English instruction is not readily available.
English Is the Universal Language Online
If you spend any length of time on the Internet, you will find that it seems to be designed for people who can read English. While many sites will have translations available, specifically internationally known sites and sites owned by international companies, the everyday website or blog that you might land on in your search is going to contain information in English. Translation programs may be available, but reading the site in English is going to be the best way to get your information.
Why is this? Perhaps English has grown to be the language of the Internet due to its prevalence in the economic world. That is the language of money and technology, two of the things that drive the Internet. The people with the money speak it, at least as a secondary language, so by posting things in English online, you will reach the vast majority of your potential market.
English Can Be Learned Online
For those who do not know language, this may seem discouraging. However, the Internet Era has also sparked a change in the way people can learn it. It is now entirely possible to learn English online, even if you have a very small budget.
One way to learn is to enroll in an English as a Second Language course. These courses vary tremendously in their effectiveness and cost. The best programs are going to cost quite a bit, but if you need to learn English for your job, this may be the best option. These online courses typically have reading, writing, and listening components. Some may require a microphone so you can speak the language as well.
If enrolling in an online course is out of your budget, you can learn English for free online with a little creativity and persistence. There are multiple websites that will post grammar rules, vocabulary, and learning exercises for you to access without paying anything. Even if you are enrolled in a course, these sites can help you prepare for tests and projects.
The Internet is also full of games that can make learning the new language fun. This will help encourage students to stick with their decision to learn the language. Again, many of these programs are offered free of charge.
The World Wide Web also provides English learners with the chance to interact with native speakers on a regular basis. Forums, chats, and online communities allow learners to practice written English in a non-threatening environment. Surfing the Internet can help learners practice reading English as well.
Considerations When Learning English Online
If you are going to use the Internet to help you learn, keep a few things in mind. First, many websites have content that is not written using proper grammar. Use websites as sources of conversational English information, not proper grammar.
If you choose to enroll in an online program, determine what dialect of English you want to learn. There are quite a few differences between British and American English, for example. Then, make sure the program has a good reputation before you pay anything. With so many free options available, you need to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
Finally, the computer will never substitute for personal conversations with native speakers. Once you have the basics down, find a way to converse with native speakers. You may even be able to use the computer for this by taking advantage of video chatting programs, but make sure you get the chance to practice what you have been learning.