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8 Language Learning Tools for Refugees

According to the recent reports issued by the U.S. Congress, the United States expects to receive more than 300,000 new asylum claimants and refugees in 2021 alone. Likewise, UNICEF claims that nearly 50,000 refugees have arrived in Europe in 2021 between January and August of 2020. With about 25% of them being children, it becomes essential to provide them with access to education and healthcare services.

One of the most challenging aspects worth mentioning is language learning and immersing oneself in the foreign culture even if it is temporary. While it may be somewhat easier for the children to accommodate, it is not so easy for teens and older people who have to face the stress, uncertainty, and woes of being left without a home.

8 Language Learning Tools For Refugees

  1. HelloTalk.

It is a great community of people from all over the world that help each other learn a foreign language (over 100 languages included) via text, audio, or video conversations. It is absolutely free and has a great community that you will definitely enjoy as you make new friends online and learn.

  1. DuoLingo.

One of the most popular language-learning apps. It has a game-like approach that won’t feel stressful and will fit both young and old. Using this app, you can improve your existing language skills by choosing different proficiency levels

  1. Memrise.

An amazing vocabulary-learning tool that you will enjoy if you like the memory cards learning approach. It even has some technical terms for various subjects. Still, if you want to translate a website or some video game, you can also use online localization services that will address every slang aspect of a foreign language. This way you can also start with some startup ideas.

  1. Free Amazon Foreign Language Books.

You might not know it but Amazon offers various free e-books that may be helpful for you as a refugee since it includes classics in English, German, Spanish, and many other languages. Their foreign book section will help you to read books that you know well and compare things.

  1. Lang-8.

It is a great online community where you can practice your writing skills in a foreign language and receive free help from native speakers who can correct your grammar and help you learn various rules. However, if you need an official document or want to sign a healthcare assurance agreement, use the best websites for translation and seek certified language services. Always make sure to check original formatting and list all your requirements in advance.

  1. Sounds of Speech.

Offered by the University of Iowa, this International Phonetic Alphabet tool is helpful for the mechanics of one’s mouth in a foreign language. It helps you train pronunciation and practice those sounds that are not common in your native language. Most importantly, this tool is free and has pronunciation audio and video examples by various native speakers.

  1. HiNative.

It is a great place to ask natives about your language concerns without having to wait. If you need to know what some phrase means or how to say that you can play guitar or table tennis like a pro, this is the best place to learn how to say it correctly. A great, friendly linguistic community!

  1. Speaky.

Unlike many paid services that help learners get in touch with native speakers, Speaky is totally free and represents a unique language exchange community where you can use Skype or Zoom. It works in a similar manner to HelloTalk, which means that you can help people interested in your language master grammar and pronunciation in exchange for their native language help. You can choose various language pairs and discuss your needs. As a refugee, you don’t have to wait in a queue or join commercial courses that may be impossible due to healthcare concerns or having to take care of the younger siblings or kids. Speaky is a great way to meet new friends and learn when and how you can

The Cultural Aspect

Remember that learning a foreign language as a refugee becomes much easier if one participates in various social campaigns and does one’s best to integrate into the new world with an open mind. Of course, some things may be shocking and even go against your values, yet it does not mean that you must give up your ethical principles or act in a way that is not right. Learning a foreign language, think about exploring the culture by turning to some native content if it is possible, and do not forget to ask questions. The more you socialize, the faster your language learning will bring you to a new level. Take one step at a time and keep your heart and mind open.



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