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Learning a New Language? The Five Best Apps for Students

Some subjects are notorious for being tough. There’s Math, there’s Physics, and then there’s Foreign Languages. If you think you’ll have a hard time passing your foreign language class, don’t worry. There are now a number of apps that can help you learn the language of your choice. We have prepared a list of the five language learning apps that are perfect for students.

1. Babbel

This is a subscription-based app that lets you study around 14 languages. These include French, Spanish, Italian, Danish, and Russian, among others. Like the other apps on this list, you can use Babbel practically anywhere. You can access it at home through your computer or through your phone or tablet.

Babbel teaches your chosen language in a way that’s very easy to understand and remember. You can replay each item until you have mastered the words. The app will then test your knowledge and give you a score at the end of the exercise. Aside from the usual items on grammar and spelling, the app offers courses on areas you may find interesting. These include Sports, Countries & Traditions, and Tongue Twisters.

2. Duolingo

This app is one of the most popular of its kind today. It follows a “gamified” approach to teaching, which means that you learn while having fun. Everything, from the lesson to the exercises, feels like a game. The list of languages you can learn from Duolingo is fairly extensive. The list includes Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Welsh, and Hebrew, to name a few.

Duolingo helps you keep at your studies by giving you challenges and streaks. You also earn points every time you complete a lesson or a test. These points you can use to unlock new features or “buy” special perks. And oh, did we say this app is free? Yes, you can totally use this app without paying a cent, making it perfect if you’re short on dough. You don’t need an Internet connection to use it either, so feel free to study during your free time.

3. italki

If you think learning through an app is too impersonal, then italki could be for you. It’s still an app, but it uses a different approach altogether. With italki, you learn through a tutor. This tutor is a native speaker of the language you want to learn, which means you are in good hands. Your tutor will talk to you and guide you while you learn. They will correct your mistakes and give you feedback. Essentially, it’s almost like talking to a friend over Skype.

italki will charge you for your lesson, so it’s best taken if you have a budget. However, it offers something that conventional apps don’t—the so-called human element. You learn not just the language, but also how to carry conversations with people from a different culture. The languages you can learn include German, Filipino, Norwegian, Arabic, Czech, and Urdu, among others.

4. Memrise

This app offers more than just language courses. They also have lessons on subjects like Art and History. Their language courses are highly varied and include Korean, Turkish, Polish, Danish, French, and Portuguese. Native speakers of the language you’re learning feature in their video lessons. This gives you the chance to learn specific nuances in intonation and diction.

What makes Memrise exciting is how it pits you with your fellow students. Competing lessons and exercises earns you points, which is then recorded and shared with everyone. You can create a group where you and your friends can compare your scores. If you take competitions seriously, then this app is for you.

5. Rosetta Stone

Nobody does it quite like Rosetta Stone. As one of the first language learning apps in the market, it commands a solid reputation. Rosetta Stone features lessons delivered by native speakers. It follows a format designed by experts, one that uses calibrated repetition to enable retention. Lessons also include exercises that measure how much you remembered from your lesson.

Rosetta Stone is relatively old compared to some of the items in this list. It does, however, remain highly relevant. You can download an audio companion composed of video lessons. Rosetta Stone is free to try for anyone who wants to learn languages like Arabic, Indonesian, Irish, Polish, and others.

Special Mention – Fluencia

Fluencia combines images and audio to deliver lessons that are easy to understand and are effective. It delivers instant feedback so you know which area you got right and which one you got wrong. This way you can easily correct yourself and improve.

Fluencia comes with more than 600 different lessons that may be accessed through a variety of devices. They don’t have a mobile app at the moment, but their website can be used in virtually any device. Fluencia could have made it to the list above if not for one major problem—it doesn’t offer any other language besides Spanish.

Conclusion

Why do you even need language learning apps in the first place? The biggest benefit of using the services of apps or online tutors is that you don’t need to be with them physically. You can have your class while you’re waiting or doing nothing. That said, school or college may be tough, but the right language learning app will definitely make the journey a lot more manageable. And fun, too.

 

Text by RJY
Image by Bryan Apen