Build your skills with a language learning forum
Published on October 11, 2022 / Updated on January 5, 2024
Learning a new language can take many forms: You can sign up for an online course, buy an app, attend an in-person class or even do an overseas exchange.
But what you might not have considered are language learning forums.
What’s a language learning forum, you ask?
Simply put, it’s an online community of language enthusiasts—learners, teachers and native speakers alike—who meet online to talk about all things language. There are often different discussion threads, such as “Find a conversation partner” or “Ask a question.”
Below, we’ll go through some of the key benefits of language learners’ forums to help you decide if they’re right for you.
If you have a really busy schedule, a forum might be the right option for you. A forum is a more casual study option—whether you’ve got 10 minutes on your bus ride to work or you can’t sleep at 3 a.m., you can sign on to a forum to practice chatting with people in different time zones, read some interesting threads or search for a specific language topic you’d like to know more about.
The no-pressure vibe of a forum is also ideal for returning to language learning after a long break when you need a little refresher before jumping back in.
Much like you might not be ready to have a committed language-learning schedule, you may also not be prepared to start paying to learn a language. Maybe you’re still deciding whether language learning is for you, or you might not have the extra funds at the moment. Whatever the reason, language learning forums are a useful and typically no-cost choice.
Learning a language is so much more than just memorizing vocabulary or practicing grammar from a textbook. If you want to learn a language the way it’s really used, you need to talk to the people who speak it every day—the ones who can answer your questions about your Latin American Spanish pronunciation or German vocabulary.
Not only will you find native speakers on language learning forums; you’ll also find learners just like you. By connecting with others who are in the same situation as you, you can form supportive relationships to share struggles and successes. You can also share tips you’ve picked up on good practice resources, exercises and study tips. Connecting with other learners is a great idea if you want someone to practice with but aren’t quite confident enough to enlist the help of a native speaker just yet.
While many online language classes use video to conduct lessons or have discussions, forums offer you a text-based alternative—this is ideal for learners who are introverted or are better at processing information visually. On top of that, communication in forums is asynchronous, meaning you don’t have to communicate in real time. You’ll feel less pressured than you might in a face-to-face lesson or conversation because you’ll be able to read, process and understand others’ posts, as well as make comments and ask questions of your own without the pressure of time limit.
We mentioned above that language learning forums use asynchronous communication. This is also beneficial because it means that you can boost your learning by talking to a variety of people from different countries and in various time zones. Instead of trying to coordinate a time to talk to a conversation partner across the globe, you can simply leave a message, ask a question, etc., on your own time, and they can respond when it’s convenient for them. It’s a win-win!
Language learning forums are great as a complement to language courses. Between your online or in-person lessons, you can sign onto your favorite forum to keep up your practice and keep your mind sharp. This could involve chatting with a conversation partner to practice some vocabulary, or asking native speakers for clarification about a grammar point that you’re not quite clear on.
[H2] Our favorite language learning forums
Ready to check out community language learning? Here are a few of our favorites:
Whether you’re just starting out or if you’ve been studying your target language for a while, forums can help you achieve your goals. Connect with others, ask questions and share tips all at your own pace. Give language learning forums a try!