An undeniable fact in our current day and age is that the Internet has permeated and changed almost every fabric of our very existence. Language and language learning is no exception, whether this encompasses online translators or vocabulary learning tools.
Unfortunately, this has led to many people calling the learning of languages an obsolete pursuit. Cries of ‘Everyone speaks English online anyway!’ or ‘I can just Google translate it!’ are heard far and wide in our modern language classrooms and in wider society.
And it is naturally true, the internet age has revolutionised our language and teaching methods, however, what this does not mean is a complete loss of value in immersing yourself in the beautiful journey that is language learning.
What is even more astounding to take into account is in fact a startling ‘digital language divide’. Holly Young wrote a wonderfully enlightening article on the inequality of language on the internet and how the language that you speak affects your experience of the web more starkly than you might think.
This is something we should really take into account when considering the privilege that is knowing how to speak English on the internet and not ‘having’ to necessarily learn a second language. But is practicality the only reason to better your linguistic prowess? Now that’s a whole different ballgame!
So here are some top tips to navigate this new language landscape:
Just because it's quick does not mean that it will work.