Open University: Learn a New Language

Many students in the United States are receiving A’s or B’s in their foreign language classes but are not able to speak any foreign languages. Some students are seeking a language partner over Skype but for other language-learners this is not the best option.


Students can go through iTunes Open University or OU and take several foreign language courses – our Orange County foreign language tutors are here to help. Although students cannot receive any school credit for these particular courses, they provide many benefits for American students wishing to learn a second language.

Students can use the courses in two ways: They can either use the classes as a supplement to their traditional Spanish or French classes at school, or they can learn a language that is not offered at school, such as Finnish or Japanese.

A Global Education

Global education and a global economy are becoming larger issues day after day. Because the United States is so large, and although we speak slightly different regional dialects, the vast majority of Americans speak English as their primary language (READ: “New School: Adjusting to Advances in Technology“). A student living in the European Union may travel a few hundred miles from France to Germany while a US student will travel the same distance from California to Nevada. Because of our vast geographical boundaries, we don’t need to speak another language throughout the US.

Although learning the traditional Spanish or French foreign language option in high school is good, many students prefer to learn a different language. Students may wish to learn the language of their ancestors or learn a language from a country that they wish to live in, visit extensively, or do business in after they finish college.

Most European students learn English as a second language because, somehow, English has become the unofficial second language of much of the world. However, using the lessons on OU is a great way for American high school students to join the ranks of people who can speak two or even three languages.

Take Away Some Pressure

Although students do not get credit for attending OU, for many teenagers this can take away some of the pressure. Without worrying about a grade or test score, some students will no longer think of it as “school” and will start thinking of it as a useful skill. Once something is no longer a chore, it is often easier to participate in. Students who participate can progress at their own pace and use only what they need. Remember, there is not a teacher or professor who is checking up on assignments or giving final exams in the traditional sense (READ: “Ask a Nerd! Mastering AP English Language“).

The best thing of all is that the vast majority of these courses are entirely free. Students no longer have to live in any particular school district or be able to afford private school tuition in order to take advantage of foreign language learning services online.

Give it a Try

Students who want to give it a try may simply log-in to the iTunes OU website on their tablet or laptop. There are many podcasts and videos that can be downloaded instantly without even creating an account. Students who wish to take longer language courses, such as those from a university professor, may need to sign up as a student.

Because OU is entirely free, there is nothing to lose by attempting to supplement foreign-language learning education using iTunes U Open University.

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