Language learning has never been easy, for children and adults alike; but with technology catching up to language learning methods, great apps and software are coming out that’ll get you ordering your favorite dishes with perfect pronunciation in no time.
A successfully-funded Kickstarter project, Fluent Forever is a book and companion app that focuses on pushing students over the edge to get that so desired fluency in a new tongue. It works by training you to hear the small differences between pronunciations in different languages. This is an awesome tool for the students of the spoken arts that lack a fluidity and just want to get talking.
A free flashcard-style web-based, iOS and Android app that is full of memory tricks, images and other tools that help you solidify in your brain the information you are absorbing. Aside from teaching the usual vocabulary and language, it also add history and science in the desired language, making a versatile tool to keep your memorization and repetition fresh.
One of the most popular choices among language enthusiasts, Duolingo stirs away from traditional methods and it optimizes your online experience to compliment your language education. While it has lessons for you, all set up in a fun and engaging gaming atmosphere, it allows to translate the web as you browse, actively engaging you in acquiring skills that you will actually use. It checks your progress and adjusts to your mistakes so it can help you better in those areas that one might have trouble. It’s a free app, available for web, iOS and Android.
An online-only program that features a very comprehensive video section, Yabla allows students to practice by listening the accents of native speakers with the option to turn on subtitles if necessary. It’s a great tool to practice listening as it allows you to select which specific accent will be displayed in the video. At $9.95 per month subscription it is a little pricey, but it’s the perfect complement for the student that needs to get immersed in the language by listening to native speakers.
Teach Yourself Series
A fast-growing language learning book and audio series, Teach Yourself is available in 65 languages featuring books, audio clips, lessons and even interactive multimedia ebooks that help you along the way. One of the most attractive features that this program brings to the table, is the “In a Week” series, which focuses on the most important aspects of language learning that can be packed into a week’s worth of lesson—the perfect way to prepare for a trip, or to receive a guest. A fun, functional and different way to learn a language.
We all know (and probably used) the ever popular Rosetta Stone and the Pimsleur Method, which happen to be two great systems. The problem is they are pretty expensive, and if you progress rapidly through the lessons, you’ll find yourself digging your wallet to keep your progress up. Give one of these inexpensive (or free) apps a try, you won’t be disappointed.