In today's globalized world, being proficient in multiple languages can be a valuable asset, particularly for students who are preparing to enter a competitive job market.
However, learning a new language can be a daunting task, but thanks to technology, it's never been easier or more accessible. There are a plethora of language-learning apps available to students that can help them practice and improve their language skills.
Here are some popular apps that can help you practice your language skills:
Duolingo is a language-learning app that offers a wide range of language courses with interactive exercises and quizzes. It was founded in 2011 and has since become one of the most popular language-learning platforms in the world. And most importantly, all the lessons are available for free.
This makes Duolingo perhaps the best language-learning tool for those on a budget. Moreover, the app is gamified and offers lessons in snackable formats. This means that students can easily learn a language when they are taking a break from doing college assignments. You could easily be thinking, "I could write a research paper for me
and complete a Duolingo lesson" in two hours. Moreover, Duolingo offers courses in over 40 languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
Babbel is another popular online language-learning platform that offers courses in 14 different languages. Babbel's courses are designed to teach users practical, everyday language skills that can be used in real-life situations. Like Duolingo, the platform uses interactive lessons that cover topics such as vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and cultural insights to help learners build their language skills.
Babbel's courses are available on desktop and mobile devices, making it easy for users to learn on the go. The platform also offers personalized learning plans, and users can even set up private sessions with teachers to their lessons to their individual needs and goals. Babbel operates on the subscription-based model, which costs $19.99 per month.
Memrise uses a variety of interactive techniques, including spaced repetition, audio and visual cues, and mnemonics, to help learners remember new words and phrases more effectively. Memrise's courses also prioritize practical, everyday language skills over academic language.
This has proved to be a winning strategy for learning a new language in context and applying it in real-life situations. Additionally, Memrise offers a community feature where users can interact with other learners and native speakers to practice their language skills, which can help users stay motivated and engaged with the language learning process.
A monthly subscription to Memrise will cost around $9.
HelloTalk is a language-exchange app that connects you with native speakers of the language you're learning. This allows learners to practice their language skills with real people in real time. Needless to say, this can be helpful in improving speaking and listening skills in a natural and authentic way.
HelloTalk also offers a variety of features designed to facilitate language exchange, including voice calls, text messaging, translation tools, and language correction tools. HelloTalk is available in both free and VIP plans.
Drops uses engaging visuals and game-like exercises to help learners remember new words and phrases more effectively. The platform offers short, bite-sized lessons that last only a few minutes. As with Duolingo, this makes it easy for users to fit language learning into their busy schedules.
Another unique feature of Drops is its focus on teaching practical, everyday language skills that are relevant to real-life situations. According to Drops, its online courses contain over 20,000 beautiful illustrations and 3.300+ words covering 180+ topics.
A premium subscription to Drops will cut you back by around $12 per month.
Busuu offers comprehensive courses in 13 different languages, all of which feature audio recordings of native pronunciations. The lessons are organized into topics. And what's more, each course even comes with a separate 'travel course' for those who need to quickly get the basics before a trip abroad.
Uniquely, Busuu also allows users to engage native speakers in their learning process. The desktop version even enables users to chat with native speakers in real-time. However, to access most of the features and course materials, users have to invest $11.99 a month.
Beelinguapp stands out from other language-learning apps on this list. It focuses on improving reading comprehension and features longer texts instead of shorter snippets. For instance, users will be able to learn a new language by translating books or even the lyrics of music.
That being said, Beelinguapp is not to be used as a standalone app since it lacks features such as drills, flashcards, and pronunciation correction. It is best utilized as a supplement to another language learning app such as Babbel or Memrise.
With Beelinguapp, users can browse for texts that interest them and read them alongside an English translation on a split screen. The app can even read the text aloud. While there are paid subscription options available, users can do a lot with the free version.
8. Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone, perhaps the most well-known language-learning service, has evolved significantly since its inception in the 1990s. Today, Rosetta Stone has been modernized into a fully-fledged mobile app experience that features several learning modes. This includes an immersive lesson style that mimics the experience of learning a foreign language in a culture where English isn't spoken.
This is achieved by associating spoken words with images on the screen without direct translations. Once you attain a certain proficiency level, you can also register for live classes with a tutor. In addition to this, the app includes an augmented reality mode that identifies and translates objects using the camera.
Of course, Rosetta Stone offers traditional lessons and drills too. The language learning service provides instruction in approximately 23 languages, including English, and offers monthly subscriptions at $12 per month.
These are just a few of the many language-learning apps available, so it's worth exploring different options to find the one that works best for you.