Social Web

Learning Languages Through Social Networking

The best way to learn a language has always been to go there and talk. But in this era of social networking there might be a substitute that could be almost as good as going to France or Spain. This week I learned about a new Web site that gets us there, at least part of the way.

Babble.com sets up social networks of people who want to exchange language skills. So, if I want to learn Spanish someone in Spain might be able to help me with my grammar.

But, as I said, the site only gets you part of the way there. The help you get from around the globe is with the written word. The site does have recordings that enable you to learn the spoken word. But they don't yet have it set up so that you can actually communicate aurally with someone in Spain, or elsewhere, over Skype or some other online audio or video service.

Still, this might be the start of an interesting new way to study language. I'm just waiting for someone to take it all the way.

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