If you are not living in a country where the language you are learning is spoken every day, practicing can be difficult. One of the biggest challenges for any language learner is how to continue improving once your course is done. Not everyone has someone they can practice with, or access to radio, movies or TV shows in the language you are practicing.
Thankfully in the 21st century this is not as much of a problems as it used to be. If you own a Smart Phone, the solution is in your own hands. Literally.
There is a large selection of apps that you can download that will help you practice and improve just about any language, no matter what level you are currently at.
We’ve selected three of the best apps to give you an idea of where to start with finding one that suits you.
This is just about everybody’s favourite. It is free, offers a good range of languages and includes audio features as well as vocabulary and grammar practice. In 2013 it was even voted Best app by Google Play store and the AppStore.
The app works a bit like a game where you score points for correct answers which take you through to increasingly sophisticated levels of language use. If you use this app, the repetition of the exercises really help to reinforce your learning. The focus is much more on fluency than grammatical accuracy as many of the lessons do not have a strictly grammatical focus. It is really good for getting talking and building your confidence in using a language in every-day situations.
This app is quite similar to Dulingo in that learners improve their language skills through repetition and completing exercises. Unlike Duolingo though, the app is free to download but charges a monthly subscription to keep using it.
Babble offers a good range of languages to learners and each language set can be downloaded separately. This app allows you to customise and set your own goals so that your progress is dictated by your own goals rather than a pre-programmed escalation in complexity and difficulty like with Duolingo. Babbel is becoming increasingly popular and as a company is really growing fast with many updates and improvements coming online on a regular basis.
The big difference between this app and the first two is that it is very much community oriented. Busuu offers 12 languages that you can learn to read and write but it also offers the options for users to interact with real, live native speakers.
After each lesson, users are taken to a mock conversation. Here, the app plays a video of a native speaker speaking. Once the video has been seen, the user is prompted to record his or her response. Members also can improve their language skills through interactive courses and direct interaction with native speakers via an integrated video-chat application and peer-to-peer text corrections.
These top 3 apps make for pleasant and effective learning in your own time. They are also the ideal way to keep practicing newly acquired language and to keep your linguistic skills fresh. Special mention here also needs to be made of Mindsnacks. This is a fun language app that features 11 different lessons designed as easy-to-play games. Each lesson works like a children’s book. Users have to solve a series of colourful puzzles arranged according to his or her language proficiency
TalenInstituut Free Tip:
Repetition is a fantastic way to make sure you retain what you learn. But be wary of just repeating the same phrases over and over. Always make sure you can use the PARTS of what you learn in other situations as well.
Here at TalenInstituut Nederland (The Dutch Language Institute) we understand the needs that companies face as well as the fears individual learners feel. This is why we offer flexible, fully customised Business language courses to businesses and individuals.
We also offer an online learning service of our own which includes the assurance of quality, support and feedback, to help you improve your language skills. Read more about it here: http://taleninstituut.nl/en/e-learning/
To find out more about our Business Language courses, visit our website and ask us for a quote: www.taleninstituut-nederland.nl.
© Taleninstituut Nederland
By: David Chislett
Trainer Business English