You can learn a foreign language for free if you think creatively. These are 5 ways to become bilingual without spending any money.
Free Foreign Language Lessons: Put Your Children to Work
Child labor laws are a very good thing, but you can employ your children within your own home for a worthy cause. If your kids are studying foreign languages at school, use it as an opportunity to become bilingual yourself. You can use their textbooks and study with them. By drilling each other and practicing your language skills around the house, you’ll get interactive practice that will help you both progress faster and retain more.
Free Foreign Language Lessons: Watch Foreign Movies and Television
As I was growing up, I was always impressed with immigrants who said they became fluent in English in part by watching TV because they couldn’t afford university lessons. Now, that I’ve used Netflix foreign movies and foreign TV broadcasts to extend my own language skills I really admire people who could do it without the aid of subtitles. But those subtitles make it much easier. Plus, it’s actually very enjoyable if you are watching stuff you wanted to see anyway. Foreign news programs are especially helpful because you can learn so much vocabulary tied to current issues that you may not even be able to find in a standard dictionary, and the newscasters usually articulate so clearly directly into the camera which helps you to learn correct pronunciation.
Free Foreign Language Lessons: Barter
No matter where you live, you can probably find foreign language speakers or even trained tutors who might be willing to barter for services. Ask a professional tutor if you can get free classes in return for recruiting a certain number of other students or serving as a class assistant.
Free Foreign Language Lessons: Volunteer
Nonprofits with an international mission or community groups that primarily serve specific ethnic populations will probably have staff who are bilingual and may even offer formal language programs. If you’re unemployed or otherwise strapped for cash, ask if you can exchange volunteer hours for some tutoring.
Free Foreign Language Lessons: Go Online
Okay, using the Internet isn’t terribly creative but it works. Many leading universities and other respected institutions provide helpful resources online. Education Portal has a whole list of ways to learn a foreign language for free including online courses from the BBC, Carnegie Mellon University, and MIT.