There are so many advantages to learning a new language in 2021, with plenty of free resources at your fingertips!
Not only are there websites that provide free courses and public domain language learning materials (e.g. e-books, vocabulary lists, audio recordings etc.), such as Live Lingua, LearnaLanguage.com, Perfectly Spoken, or Open Culture. But there are also many apps (Duolingo, Babbel, to name a few) and study groups on social media devoted to language learning.
Don’t know where to start? Getting started with a free online course and joining an online community to keep track of your progress with others might be the best (and cheapest!) way to start learning a new language. Most of the free online courses and apps can help you achieve a basic language proficiency. However, their effectiveness starts to decrease once you move beyond the basics.
Self-study is still possible at any level of proficiency. An advanced learner might want to exploit free online podcasts, blogs, and reading material. It is also possible to access university libraries as visitors, where you’ll be more likely to find more advanced grammars and textbooks. Enrolling in an in-person course or hiring a private tutor remains the most effective option for language learning, but don’t allow a tight budget as an excuse not to learn a new language!