You want to learn a new language, but don’t have an opportunity to go to a language course? Many people associate self-study with hours spent trying to memorize all the vocabulary and grammar rules from a boring coursebook. Fortunately, there are many other possibilities! Today, I’d like to recommend to you 5 apps for effective language learning!
5 apps for effective language learning
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about this app. It is one of the most popular language learning platforms today. The undeniable advantage of Duolingo is that you can learn the language completely for free!
What is more, if you speak English (and I’m assuming you do, if you’re reading it now!), you have a choice of 37 different languages!
The courses are organized clearly, and the new vocabulary is introduced gradually and consolidated in the following lessons. For some languages (i.e. French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and German) the courses are available in a more developed version. Apart from traditional lessons, you have a choice of short stories. They will help you better remember the newly learned information.
For most of the lessons, you can also check out the tips section. You can find there an introduction to the new lesson, that contains all the necessary grammar explanations. It helps to better understand the material that you are studying, so I recommend not skipping this part! ATTENTION: You can only access the tips in the desktop version (not available in the app).
I know that you either love Duolingo or you hate it, but I personally recommend it with all my heart! I think that the fact, that I was able to learn for over 350 days in a row (almost one year!) says it all! Language learning can be effective AND fun!
Another app that I would like to recommend to you is Babbel. The platform offers you a choice of 12 languages. The courses are more extensive than on Duolingo and are divided by the level of advancement.
There is also a grammar section, special lessons, and vocabulary divided into categories.
With Babbel, you can practice all the necessary skills: vocabulary, grammar, speaking, and writing. Every lesson contains short comments, explaining cultural aspects or common expressions. It’s very useful!
I myself completed the entire Turkish language course on Babbel. I can say that I learned a lot and liked the course very much.
The only downside to this app is that it’s not for free… However, if you wait for the right moment, there are often discounts. I was able to buy the course for the whole year for just 20 dollars so that it is an excellent and affordable price.
The last app worth checking out is Busuu, where you can also learn up to 12 languages. The courses are divided into 4 levels, from A1 to B2, and include over 100 lessons each. You have the opportunity to learn new vocabulary and grammatical structures, practice pronunciation, and writing.
What distinguishes this application is that you can get feedback from other users. People who are fluent in the language that you are learning can evaluate or comment on our speech and correct the mistakes. This is very helpful to make sure that your language learning is effective, especially when you study by yourself.
You have also your “vocabulary bank” on Busuu, where you can review all the words you have learned, see to what extent you have mastered them, and practice those which are problematic.
Like Babbel, the Busuu application is paid, but you need to wait for the promotion, and you get an annual course of about 20 dollars.
Memrise is my favorite app for learning vocabulary! I’ve been using it for many years now.
You can learn new words by following the available vocabulary courses or prepare your own flashcards. Memrise is a spaced repetition system (SRS), which means that you are reminded of the words that you’ve learned at the right time, in order not to forget them. This reviewing system is highly effective. It helps you learn new words faster and remember them better.
Memrise is available both as a web and mobile application.
You can use it for free, however, some functions are only available in the paid version (such as learning offline, unlimited reviews, etc.). If you’d like to purchase the full version, I suggest you wait for a discount and get the full year access much cheaper.
Speakly is the app that I discovered only a few months ago, so I am still testing it. But I can already say I like it a lot!
It’s a bit different from the other apps. And it’s only available on mobile devices.
So far, you can learn 8 languages on Speakly. I am currently following the Spanish course.
The course is divided into 3 levels (each containing 3 sublevels): Beginner (1,2,3), Intermediate (1,2,3) and Advanced (1,2,3). The full course will teach you 4000 words.
Every new word is introduced in the context, which is great. The app will regularly test you, to check how well you remember the new vocabulary.
Apart from learning new vocabulary, there is a “Live situations” and a “Listening exercises” section.
The “Live situations” are short dialogs that allow you to see the new words used in a conversation.
What I love about listening exercises is that you can follow the transcription at the same time and easily check the translation, if needed. This helps to understand the story better and to learn the right pronunciation.
In the progress section, you can check how many words you’ve mastered so far. It also tells you how many percent of a real-life conversation that is. That’s cool!
An interesting part is the music recommendation section. You can discover songs in the language that you are learning. Listening to music in your target language is a fun way to improve your understanding.
Last, but not least, there is a grammar section available. You can find there more in-depth explanations of the grammar structures that you’ve encountered in your lessons.
It is a paid app, but you can test it for free for 7 days. As always, I recommend to look for a discount if you are thinking about purchasing the full version (I got 6 months for around 30 USD).
What about you? Which apps do you use?