The Pandemic – Overcoming Challenges & Learning New Languages
Living through a pandemic is mentally exhausting and tiring; in order to overcome the forced isolation with positivity a person can decide to learn a new language.
It is hard to name a country in the year 2020 that did not experience being under lockdown; the Covid-19 outbreak that began to hit the world in early January has caused a deep shock to everyone all over the world. Being in quarantine is emotionally draining, physically straining, and socially challenging; adding to that the fact that people were unable to go out to interact with their friends and colleagues. This involuntary social isolation that forced people to remain apart from each other for extended periods of time highlighted the importance of communication between individuals. It is important to note that this communication does not have to be lost, there are many ways in order to remain in contact with people as well as benefit from the situation!
In the world that we live in today, it is difficult to remain socially isolated for an extended period of time; especially when this isolation is the result of a global pandemic that is causing millions of deaths worldwide. The stress caused by the pandemic is causing severe anxiety; however, one should always look for a silver lining even in the worst of times! Being stuck at home opens up the door to learning new languages with no additional cost. There are several websites available that offer people all over the world free language exchange programs.
Language exchange programs hold many challenges and benefits for people all over the world below are a few advantages and benefits to learning a new language:
1. Learn a new language
The basic and most important challenge to overcome throughout this language exchange program is to learn a new language correctly; this would be a challenge in itself since you will be pushing yourself to learn something new.
Having a tutor that is a native speaker of the language exposes you to hear the language and enables you to learn the correct pronunciations; you will have one on one conversations with that person in which he/she would be able to ensure you acquire the correct speaking skills. This would be easily done through programs that offer communication between individuals. On the plus side, there are many free language exchange programs that offer just that.
2. Get introduced to new cultures
Language exchange programs open up the door to learning about different cultures and backgrounds. The world is filled with people from all walks of life and sometimes a person might find him/herself stuck in a bubble; only surrounded by people from the same country who share the same ideals and norms as him/her.
When you decide to have a language partner for a specific language, you will be learning about the culture of the person as well as the language. This is something that you will not be able to achieve when learning a new language in a normal classroom setting. Therefore, in addition to learning a new language, which in itself is beneficial for the long run, you would also get introduced to new cultures; that would be done through the conversations held between you and the person in which you will be discussing many different topics some of which are related to the country you both reside in.
3. Make new friends
Although the purpose of entering this free language exchange program is to obtain new language skills in the desired language; many other benefits arise throughout the process such as learning about new cultures and making new friends. Noting also that the current state of the world is in depression due to extended isolation, having an interaction with other human beings even though technology would be somehow freeing. The pressure built up would decrease just by knowing that you are not stuck; on the contrary, you are making steps forward in life, as well as making new friends in different countries.
While talking with the person in the program about different topics in which the language would be acquired, a relationship with the person would begin to form step by step due to many different conversations that would arise; long-lasting friendships would be shaped; the bright side of such programs is the ability to change the person you are interacting with until you find someone who is a potential friend.
This would also be beneficial when you decide to visit the country post-quarantine, you would have someone you know situated in that specific country that would help in touring.
4. Help others
The purpose of joining the free language exchange program is to challenge one’s self to learn something new and different. In the era of pandemics, one should offer as much help as possible to others while still being capable of doing so. Offering help to others would create a sense of self gratitude and acceptance; easing also the unending stress and anxiety caused by the world’s situation. That is why, while still benefiting from others in order to learn a language, you should also offer support to the other person to learn your language; for example, if you are an English speaker and decided to learn Spanish; the person teaching you Spanish could learn English from you. This would be a two-way benefit for everyone. Make sure that your online interactions get divided equally so that both of you could learn and grow.
To end, it is important to note that during a time of pandemics; simply sitting at home and doing nothing will not be beneficial for a person; depression is one of many problems that could arise. Therefore, one should take advantage of the situation and try to work hard and challenge him/herself in order to become more qualified people. Finally, as soon as life resumes back to normal, you would have gained skill and profited from the time in isolation.