Building Language Skills as a Health Educator

As health educators, being able to speak a second language is an invaluable skill. But taking language classes can be expensive. Thankfully, there are a plethora of resources out there to help you learn a new language. These are some of my favorites:

My favorite language learning so far has been through Innovative Language’s online course. InnovativeLanguage.com offers programs in 35 languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, German, Arabic, French, Vietnamese, Italian, Tagalog, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili.

Local community colleges and universities often offer in-person language classes at all levels and can sometimes specialize in language learning for specific sectors. One of my favorite classes was a Spanish for healthcare professionals class at a local university.

The Global Language Network is a Washington, DC based nonprofit that aims to connect and empower people through language and culture. GLN offers both in-person and virtual classes led by volunteer instructors. Most classes are 12 weeks for $200 (with a $100 stipend for participants who do not miss more than 2 sessions).

DuoLingo offers both free and paid versions of their game-based language learning program. I found it a bit difficult to learn grammar on this app. But it is a quick and fun way to refresh your vocabulary when you have some downtime. I was often able to do Duolingo on the subway on the way to work.

There are plenty more language learning resources out there. Give them a try!

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