There are a few different ways to learn foreign languages. The most effective is to find a native speaker — or better yet — a whole country full of native speakers.
But when you can’t do that, it’s time to look at language learning programs, classes, TV shows, and other resources. Videos and computer apps are not the same as a real, live speaker, but it can help you learn some basic grammar and vocabulary in the comfort of your own home.
Many options are pretty expensive, so I was pretty excited to see that my local library offers Mango for free. It has dozens and dozens of different languages and even has a phone app.
I use it with the kids — it’s something they can do independently on days I’m at work. It’s also something we can use on days we’re driving or out of the house most of the day.