Learning a new language has a host of benefits: it boosts brain power, improves memory, and keeps the mind sharp for years. And luckily, with technological advancements and all the online programs out there, there are so many apps to help with language learning available today. Here are some of the best language learning apps.
Easily the most popular language learning app out there, Duolingo has over 300 million users and has become a staple of mobile language learning. The app combines gamification and learning addicting to create a unique learning and retention experience for over 33 different languages. It’s a great example of a straightforward language app, and is very user-friendly.
Another thing that makes Duolingo special is that many of its courses are created by native speakers themselves which empowers communities to get involved. Furthermore, Duolingo doesn’t just appeal to native English speakers (to teach them another language); it also offers courses for other first languages, which has Another feature that makes Duolingo special to me is that it is not aimed solely at an English native speakers, which makes it one of the most accessible and easy to use apps across the entire globe.
Babbel is another popular language learning app, that people recognize by name. What many people don’t realize is that Babbel is a paid cousin of Duolingo, although it does have a free version that teaches you many phrases for 13 different languages.
Babbel instructs its users with the help of pictures. Pictures are shown that correspond to each word as it appears. From there, the words are assembled into phrases to help the student learn conversational verbiage. The app points out specific grammatical notes so you can really learn the grammar and syntax as you learn the words.
Memrise is a great app for foreign language vocabulary practice. Memrise offers a number of courses on almost every language you can imagine, most of which are user-created.
Memrise is unique in that it offers both memes and gamification to its users. The app “follows a learning method that relies on creating funny or bizarre associations with the studied words.” Courses are coupled with memes to help increase memory and retention of concepts. Users are allowed (and encouraged) to submit their own memes to help others learn, and they are rewarded through a gamification system. There are leaderboards to show who is on top, which is both motivating and competition-fueling for users.
Memrise helps users learn through spaced repetition and mnemonics. The spaced repetition algorithm calculates when and how often you should review each word and the app will send you reminders when it’s time to review. Memrise in undoubtedly one of the most unique language learning apps out there – so if you’re looking for a different way to learn languages, it will be your best choice. Especially if you’ve tried other apps or programs in the past, and not seen success, Memrise will be a great app for you to try.
Another great language learning app is HelloTalk.HelloTalk is unique in that it’s entirely focused on speaking, which is arguably the most helpful use for learning a language: being able to speak with other people who speak the language. HelloTalk is aimed to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the potential stress of real time conversation, by connecting students with native speakers that they can actually converse with via chat and text messages.
With HelloTalk, after having a particularly helpful conversation, you can mark your top conversations or messages, so your favorite phrases will not get lost in the shuffle of your learning lessons. HelloTalk is the best app if you really want to jump into the deep end of learning to speak a language, not just learning to read, write and recognize it. This is a great app choice if you are heading overseas to study abroad, or know that you will be thrust into a new situation where you will be inundated with lots of speaking of a new language.
If you are motivated to learn by gamification, then MindSnacks is going to be your best bet. MindSnacks offers seven languages to users, and each one comes with eight or nine tiny games that are designed to help you learn vocabulary, grammar, and practice your listening.
Mindsnacks monitors your progress and your outcome in each game so you can clearly see how much more learning you need to achieve proficiency in every skill. In summary, MindSnacks may not get you to fluency, but it is a fun option to get you up to at least a beginner to intermediate level of your language of choice. It’s a great way to get excited and ready for a trip abroad.
Lingua.ly is an app focused on reading new languages. Its goal is to get you to read content written by and for native speakers from the start of your learning process. It offers 10 languages for you to learn.
The app takes a benchmark assessment of your knowledge level, by asking you about specific words in your chosen language. As you continue learning, you will be shown more and more text to expand your vocabulary. Clicking on the words you don’t know as you see them will show its translation, and also allow you to hear it pronounced aloud and have it added to your database of words. The goal is the build up the bank of words that you know higher and higher with each session, which last either 5, 10, or 15 minutes.
One interesting aspect of Lingua.ly is that the text is customized to your unique interests, so you can choose to read about topics that you enjoy. This helps keep you more engaged, and may even help you better retain information.
We are fortunate to live in an age where there are so many different options to try to learn a new language, and from the convenience of our mobile devices. You don’t even have to use a computer, plug in any software programs via Koin cable or open a book!
To maximize your language learning experience, think back on your unique learning style. What typically works best for you? Are you an auditory learner? A visual learner? Does gamification work well for you? Think about what works best for you, choose an app that fits in line with your learning style, and then get started with learning a new language today with the help of one of these apps.