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Henry Hitchings, in his book, The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English, said: “One  of the intriguing consequences of globalisation is that English’s centre of gravity is moving.”

Indeed the planet has shrunk thanks to globalisation and has become more multicultural and multilingual than ever before. In fact, we now have more reasons to learn foreign languages like Chinese, Spanish and French. In mainland China, for example, there are close to 4,00,000 students learning Chinese. The good news is that a new language is now only a click away. There are several online platforms that offer language learning and teaching tools. Some of the popular sites are:

*Babbel (babbel.com)
*BBC Languages
(bbc. co.uk/ languages/)
*eLanguage School (elanguageschool.net/)
*Mango Languages (mangolanguages.com/)
*The Language Guide (languageguide.org)

The last one, The Language Guide, is a collaborative website project started by a language enthusiast who aims to help language learners and provide a window into the culture of people who speak those languages.

Languageguide.org offers free language courses online, where you can learn English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Vietnamese and Hindi.

The ‘Collaborate/Volunteer’ section allows visitors to participate in the teaching process by providing translations, suggesting words, or by lending their voice for audio clips.
There are three main sections in the website. They are:

*Pictorial Vocabulary Guide

The Pictorial Vocabulary Guide is an easy-to-use, access-free dictionary. Easy to navigate, it is divided into seven larger groups of vocabulary domains. The vocabulary groups build from simpler to more complex domains. For example, a click on the French language section — Les Vêtements D'homme — leads to a page which displays images of men’s clothing items. As you scroll over each picture, a recorded audio clip provides a pronunciation for each word in French. This integrated approach of learning words gives you a visual, the written form of the word and its correct pronunciation. As the vocabulary in this section is separated by domain, you may choose which group of words you want to learn first and tackle that domain. In the Grammar section, you can learn French grammar basics and pronunciation by simply scrolling over the words for pronunciation. The Lessons section comprises a number of Grammar lessons in each area (verbs, miscellaneous, pronouns and adverbs). Click on any one of the lessons in any of these four groups to open a page that explains how that particular grammatical concept works. The ‘scroll-over-activated’ audio files make it easy to learn and remember grammatical concepts.

Language Guide’s mission is to develop free resources for learning languages and promote cultural under-standing.

All sound integrated resources, pictorial vocabulary guides, grammar guides, and interactive readings help develop comprehension skills and build vocabulary. Learners have the option to pause and see what is being read or manoeuvre sound tracks and difficult phrases. All these resources are developed collaboratively with the help of Language Guide volunteers.

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