BBC Languages is a website by the BBC that is offering language courses for several popular languages such as German, French, Spanish and Chinese. A language portal was constructed for each language that is used as the main hub for that language. From there, students can get a quick fix of the selected language which is a great way to learn some phrases in the language. Especially useful if your trip starts the other day and you want to speak some basic phrases at least like saying Hello, asking your way around or ordering a pizza.
Most of the content on the website is audio content which can be downloaded as mp3 files to the local computer, and moved from there on to mp3 players or smartphones so that you could learn while traveling or in your hotel room or accommodation.
You also find Grammar Tips and interactive games that test your language skills. The quality of the spoken language is excellent but the courses remain pretty basic from what I can tell. I think it's a great way to get a first impression of a language, but one has to use additional courses to fully understand a language.
I personally prefer Mango over BBC Languages.
Update: The BBC Languages website is now offering audio and video courses for the following languages: French, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, German, Italian, and Portuguese, plus essential phrases in 40 languages.
The resource has improved since our first visit to the site. It is now offering language lessons for begginers and intermediates, an introduction to the selected language, and a phrase of the day which is a nice way of learning a little bit every day. The site offers information for many different languages of the world, but courses and such only for a selected few.Advertisement
Mango is definitely a great site! Another one to consider is Edufire – there is a great community to go with resources like videos and flashcards but it’s strength is in its ability to provide students with customized learning with tutors. If you’d like to try a free tutoring session, I’ve got some connections ;) – drop me an email at [email protected] and I’ll set it up for you.
I did find another one, apart from the ones in the comments: http://www.studentteacherexchange.com/ which is completely free and uses chat/video/voice and whiteboards as well. They are new but my guess is they will be booming soon since they charge nothing.