Learning a new language can be challenging when learning only happens in classrooms and textbooks. Thanks to technology, learning can now take place anytime and everywhere, just with a touch on your phone.
Though learning with an app might come with a lot of limitations, nowadays more and more people are trying to find the perfect service for them on their phones. With language learning apps, the learning of a new language can be in many different ways. You can choose an online tutor to do conventional learning, you can talk to native speakers through language exchange apps, or with some gamification apps, you can learn the language through games! With all these handy means, all you have to do is choose the most effective way for you.
Remember, learning through apps can’t make you an expert in a language. Apps help your study and make you more involved in the language and help you learn faster. Also, if you are not quite sure if the language is right for you, using an app might also give you a chance to tip your toe in the language to help you decide.
In this article, we are going to introduce some of the best language learning apps, which not only allow you to learn but also to learn with fun!
Duolingo is one of the most popular language-learning apps nowadays, with its famous free gamified learning material. Like a scavenger hunt, you have to finish the mission so you can get to the next chapter. Duolingo offers services in several languages, thus it is also convenient for non-English speakers. The app offers courses at different levels, whether you are a beginner or already at the intermediate level, you can always find a suitable course for you to hop in. The app helps you to track your learning and also helps you to set daily goals, which is good motivation and gives you a reminder to keep learning.
The app also offers subscriptions for $6.99 per month if you want an ad-free learning environment. Using Duolingo makes learning fun, but it does not give you the most comprehensive learning, so if you want to master a language or learn fast, it might not be the best choice for you.
Busuu not only gives you the chance to learn a language through its lessons but also the chance to interact with native speakers. As a premium user for $9.99 a month, you can get access to their communicative platform, either to get feedback from a native speaker or give others feedback in your own language. The courses are organized in categorized themes, so it is useful when you need a language when you have a specific purpose.
The app helps you to set up your own personalized plan based on your goals and your speed of studying. Busuu also offers various quizzes to help you review, not just some clauses with obvious answers. They also provide online one-on-one or small group lessons for you to interact with other learners and native-speaking tutors. The app now provides courses in up to 13 languages for you to choose from.
Babbel is an online language learning service that offers structured language courses, which use the spaced repetition tactic to help you learn a language by long-term memory. Despite the fact that now many learning apps are trying new methods and making innovative materials, Babbel still offers a more structured course, thus it is good for you if you want to set a good foundation.
More school-like learning material, Babbel composes its courses in dialogues and conversations in life scenarios to help you use them in daily life. And also, their repetitive learning method makes it easier to memorize all the grammar and vocabulary.
With a subscription for $28 for three months, $46 for 6 months or $75 for 12 months, you can easily learn a language with your personalized plan. They also provide more learning channels such as videos, games and podcasts for you to have more fun with the language. They now also provide Babbel live, their online classes service.
Memrise is famous for its fun gamification and repetitive learning courses. It uses numerous short videos shot by native speakers to help you learn and make you feel more immersed in the environment.
Intended to make learning a language fun, Memrise provides lessons with more real-life material and is really used by native speakers. The downside of Memrise is that it does not have a systematic learning plan, so if you are new to the language and want to have a firm foundation, it might be the right choice. However, it reminds you to review, and the quick reviews section gives you time pressure that really helps you memorize vocabulary. Thus, the app is good for people who already know the language a bit and want to do some extra in their free time. The standard courses are free and with no ads, but you can also subscribe for $9 per month or $90 per year to get all access to advanced functions.
Social chatting and Q&A
Using the language is a big part of language learning. HelloTalk is an online language exchange platform where you can meet native speakers and also provide instruction to others. You can either post something on the public platform to share what you learnt or ask questions, or you can make friends with people who want to learn your language and have private chat with them.
The translation and text-to-voice functions really help when you are talking about something that you don’t know. The system also allows you to correct each other’s sentences, so you could know when you make a mistake, or you can give instructions for others to sound more like a native speaker. The doodle function in the chat can also spice up the conversation and give you more things to talk about. The service of HelloTalk is free, but you can also subscribe for $6.99 a month to use its service in more languages and remove ads.
Want to learn a language with more fun? Mindsnacks is an app which let you learn through games. The app’s layout and design are cute and colorful, which helps you stay involved and is also suitable for younger children.
The games cover every aspect of learning a language, including vocabulary and grammar. One of the advantages of this app is that through the challenge from the games, it keeps you motivated. Download and some of the games are free, but you can also pay $4.99 to unlock all the games. Although what you can learn from the app is limited, it is a useful and handy tool to help you review when you just started your learning journey.
Bonus for auditory learners:
The special figure the Rosetta Stone offers is that it does have many wordy descriptions! They teach through pictures, figures, and audio. They believe that immersing yourself in the environment is the best way to learn a language, thus it offers services that you learn through voice. With its audio, it is very easy for you to get the right pronunciation. The basic concept of the app is to teach you a language in the way that baby learns to talk, so if you feel like enhancing your speaking skills, this is the right app for you. It also has the voice recognition function to help you with your pronunciation, though the effectiveness might be questionable.
Though the fact that it does not give many explanations and grammar instructions might lead to some confusion, it is still a fun way to explore a whole new language by learning it like a baby learning to speak. It is recommended to use Rosetta Stone when you are more of an auditory learner, or you have more time to explore the language.
Should I Learn Languages with Apps?
With all these apps mentioned, learning has become more fun and easier. It is always encouraged to utilize these apps during your break or commute time, to keep up and enhance your study. From games to organized learning materials, from reading articles to videos, from audio to online chats, you can choose what you feel like and what suits you more.
However, it is very difficult to master a language just with learning apps. First, the learning materials are limited, the update might be slow, and you might have to reach out to other sources, which will take you more time. Second, you have no one to talk to when you have questions. Also, no matter how the technology improves, learning through apps is still more difficult for you to sound like a native. Finally, learning by apps needs self-control to do long-time learning.
Thus, getting a tutor to start with, and enhancing your study with apps will be a nice choice! Learning with a professional tutor gives you a good foundation and a more organized plan for studying. AmazingTalker helps you find the best tutor that fits you, get your own study plan and start on your learning journey! If you are struggling with starting a new language learning adventure, you can also check out how to learn Spanish or how to learn English, to find useful tips to step into a new learning journey!