Below are six apps to help you brush up on your language skills:
Before we all had a smartphone in our pockets Rosetta Stone was the most popular tool for learning languages at home, you signed up and they sent you a pack including DVDs and fun activities to help you practice. Fast forward to 2018 and you can now have the complete Rosetta Stone package on your phone. Rosetta Stone trains you to associate words with imagery in real-life situations. Rosetta’s aim is to teach you a new language in a natural way, building your confidence to speak your new language in any situation.
In each lesson, students match photographs to phrases and vocabulary words and are tasked at certain intervals with pronouncing them. As they progress, the app offers less guidance to encourage independent comprehension and improved fluency. The repetitive lessons encourage users to naturally pronounce words without prompting. Upon completing a lesson, students receive a percentage score factoring correct and incorrect answers, as well as those skipped (which is not recommended). The first lesson is free, but a subscription to 5 levels of any language costs $199.99.
If you’re looking for a less costly option than Rosetta Stone, Busuu covers the four mainstay languages–English, Spanish, French, German–and nine more that aren’t as common in a primary school setting. Busuu provides you with a customizable experience right from the beginning, starting with a quick test to assess your current knowledge of your chosen language and will then recommend the perfect level to get you on the road to language success. With lessons as short as 10 minutes Busuu is easy to fit into your everyday life and makes this the perfect app for anyone who cannot commit to a longer time commitment. The app quizzes users during the learning process with drag-and-drop exercises, hangman-like spelling puzzles, and more. Busuu includes a fluency tracker, making it easier than ever to monitor the progress you are making and stay motivated. Users can upgrade to the Premium version with an in-app purchase, and the most popular option costs $49.99 per year.
Duolingo has become one of the most popular language apps on the market and for a very good reason, with personalized lessons and an easy to use interface it is an obvious first choice. The idea behind Duolingo is to make learning a new language feel like playing a game, rather than a task. You can practice your reading and writing skills through a rage of different activities and using the intelligent chatbot you can test your conversation skills. Lessons are broken down into manageable chunks, making it easy to fit learning a new language into your daily routine. There’s also Duo the friendly owl to keep you motivated and giving you the push we all sometimes need.
Mondly offers daily lessons in 33 different languages, helping you to learn new languages at a manageable rate and through fun activities that build your confidence. Mondly starts by teaching you common words and slowly builds up to full sentences and conversations. Mondly’s state of the art voice recognition means that you receive honest feedback and a level of support you would only think possible with a face-to-face human lesson. Lessons are available at varying levels, so there is something for everyone from beginners to advanced learners.
Hello Talk takes a slightly different approach to learning a new language, rather than games and other activities you learn through conversations and lessons with real native speakers. Hello Talk allows you to chat with native speakers and practice your language skills and receive honest and helpful feedback. With Hello Talk you will quickly find you have the confidence to hold whole conversations in your new language, even with native speakers. With Hello Talk it is quick and easy to find partners, who you can choose to chat with either via video, voice or text and start learning. For a slightly less intense experience, you can join group chats, perfect for building your confidence and meeting likeminded people to support you along your language journey.
Mango Languages (iOS)
Mango Languages offers polished lessons in 16 world languages for English speakers, as well as a dozen courses for those learning English as a Second Language (ESL). This app teaches each language through exercises that mimic everyday conversation, making it properly practical.Those interested in learning for free can access this educational service through their local library, as long as they possess a valid library card membership and download the Mango Languages Library Edition app. Mango Languages’ unlimited access plan, which unlocks all language courses for the web and mobile devices, costs $20 per month.