6 Free Language and Culture Resources You Can Access at Home Posted by meaghan on Mar 18, 2020 in Language Learning, Language News
Explore the world, practice your pronunciation, and more from the comfort of your couch!
Hi, language teachers, librarians, parents of kids stuck at home, and all language lovers. Below we’ve compiled a list of FREE language and culture resources that you, your students, and your kids can access from home in the coming weeks. The list ranges from full-length online language courses (full disclosure: they’re ours) to virtual museum tours and short TED videos.
We hope this list will help those who wish to continue engaging with language and culture during this uncertain time. If you’ve found a great resource that we’ve missed, please let us know in the comments so we can keep expanding this list!
Please share & stay safe.
Transparent Language Online for Libraries
Did you know most public libraries offer free online language learning resources?
Thousands of libraries subscribe to Transparent Language Online, so all you or your students need to access online courses in 110+ languages is a library card!
You can search your zip code here to find a participating library near you. And if your library doesn’t offer Transparent Language Online, give them a call anyway to see what they do offer. (Seriously, libraries have tons of e-resources!)
Virtual Museum Tours
Google Arts & Culture has compiled free virtual tours of more than 2,500 museums around the world, from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to the Tokyo National Museum (which you can see in the screenshot below!)
You can even search for museums on a Google Map so you easily find interesting museums in your region of interest. From art to history to textiles—there’s a lit bit of everything, and many include signs in the target language so you’re getting both culture and language.
Transparent Language & Culture Blogs
We publish language and culture blogs in about two dozen languages, covering everything from basic to advanced grammar, current events, holidays, music, and specialized vocabulary.
Pro tip: use the search bar to explore 8-10+ years of archived posts to find what exactly what you need! For example, if you’re supposed to be covering pronouns right now, search for “pronouns” and look through the list of related posts.
TED and Ted-Ed Videos
Did you know that TED subtitles most of their talks in numerous languages? Once a talk has been published to TED.com, volunteer translators from around the world work to translate subtitles into different languages. That means there’s hundreds of hours of talks on science, technology, culture, and beyond that you can pair with subtitles in the language you’re learning! Here’s how to find the subtitles.
Speaking of TED, are you looking for something a little more light-hearted and intriguing that isn’t necessarily language-specific? Take a look through the catalogue of free Ted-Ed videos! These are typically short, 3-5 minute videos that discuss an interesting topic.
They may not cover conjugations or pronunciation, but these language-related videos are some of our favorites:
- The Most Difficult Word to Translate
- How Languages Evolve
- How Computers Translate Human Language
- Harry Potter and the Translator’s Nightmare
Foreign Language Films on Netflix
Ok, this one isn’t necessarily free, but there’s a good chance you already have Netflix, so we thought we’d include it! Netflix has been ramping up their foreign language content in recent years, so if you’re cooped up, consider one of these films (they all have English subtitles if you so desire!)
But even better—even if you’re stuck at home, you don’t have to watch alone! A new, free Chrome browser extension is making it possible to have virtual Netflix “parties” with friends or family.
This fun, interactive game is probably best for high school aged learners and above. To play Geoguessr, you’re dropped off in an unknown location (powered by Google Maps Street View) and you must walk around the area and try to identify where you are using clues like street signs, architecture style, etc. When you think you know where you are, you drop a pin on the map and you’re scored based off how far away the location is from your guess.
It’s not strictly language-related, but it’s a very fun game and gives learners a chance to see places in the world they otherwise may never explore! You can even challenge others to the same set of locations as you and see who scores best. Trust us, this is a great way to pass some time!
We truly hope this helps keep you occupied, entertained, and engaged with other languages and culture! If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments or on Twitter and we’ll keep building up this list.