Learning Spanish (or any foreign language) can be as easy as opening an Internet browser.
The full potential of the Internet for learning is pretty awesome. Sites like LiveMocha offer online chat groups and social networking to allow users to meet and practice with each other. You can find and order textbooks online, access posted college lectures and learning materials, and tune into online radio programs.
But the site that I’ve used most often to practice my Spanish has been YouTube, where for the past four years I’ve been learning and relearning Spanish by listening to music from throughout Spain and Latin America.
There’s an intimidating amount of diversity to music from these regions. YouTube allows you to access this diverse pool anytime, and if you’re brave enough to venture in, the rewards can be wonderful.
I’ve found three advantages by learning a language through its music:
- If you can find a genre or artist you like, you’ll enjoy listening to it, and be more likely to make a habit of listening
- You can listen to music everywhere, making it easy to incorporate music into your daily routine
- Listening to a song works well for language learners of all levels: beginners can try to pick out individual words and then work on understanding the chorus, while more advanced learners can work on understanding the verses line by line (searching for “letras,” or lyrics, can help you find the words to a song).
To help get you started, here are a few videos that I’ve enjoyed that have (relatively) simple lyrics. (You may also want to check out my “awesome music around the world” series, which has music from Spain, Mexico, Colombia, and other countries.
Does anyone else have any ways they’ve used YouTube or other online resources to learn a new language?