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How You Can Learn a New Language: Methods and Apps

Updated on April 27, 2012

The Relevance of Learning a New Language

Learning a new language is one of the most productive things that one can engage in these days. There are so many leisure activities that take up so much time, but not all of them can add value. With the world becoming smaller and smaller, thanks to the Internet and new means of communication, being able to communicate in another language is definitely a plus.

There is no doubt that learning a new language is still relevant today, if only because you want to be able to expand your horizons and interact with people from different cultures. If you are a traveler, the need to learn a language - even if only the basics - is even more relevant. Ask anyone who has had the chance to visit a strange country. A smattering of common words and phrases can take you a long way!

Even if you are not big on traveling, if you spend a lot of time online, and you want to meet people in a virtual setting, being able to speak/read/write in a different language can give you a wider experience as well. Then there is the fact that more and more information is being made available online - not all of them in English.

No matter from which angle you approach it, you can always find a way to justify learning a new language!

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Your Language Learning Options

It used to be that most learning experiences happened in the classroom. Students have to go to a physical location to meet with the teacher and other learners. Classroom learning is the traditional of doing things, and it has been an effective method - hence it's continued popularity.

With the advent of technology and the increasingly busy schedules of people, however, it was inevitable that other modes of learning have cropped up. Distance learning has gotten so popular all over the world as it offers so much in terms of flexibility. There are language learning programs that allow people to complete courses on a purely virtual basis, with the student-teacher interaction happening via e-mail, chat, and/or voice calls. There are also programs which combines virtual and face-to-face interactions.

For people who may not have the time and resources to invest on a full-blown program - whether face-to-face or virtual - there are language learning apps! Yes, that oft-used line "There's an app for that!" fully applies to language learning as well. Some may say that this method may not be as efficient and effective as the other two, but language learning apps can work just as well depending on the learner and that desire to learn. Of course, the quality of the language app also plays a critical role in the success of the learning process.

At the end of the day, which language learning method you choose depends on your specific needs and preferences. The success of your learning experience will largely depend on you!

Language Apps That Are Both Useful and Fun

For many people, learning a language does not have to be a chore. Indeed, while practical reasons may come into play when embarking on a language learning experience, there is always the fun factor to consider. I believe that when learning is made fun, the experience becomes more fulfilling, not to mention successful.

This is where applications come into the picture. The widespread use of smart phones and similar devices has made it possible to enjoy more learning experiences, and language learning is not exempt. There is no lack for language learning apps to be found today, but to narrow the field down, here are some useful AND fun apps that you may want to try out.

Italian Food
Who doesn't love Italian food? And who does not think that the Italian language is sexy? Try interacting with an Italian person, and you will very likely say they are so much fun as well! The book "Eat, Pray, Love" has also helped the Italian cause, hasn't it?

If you want to learn Italian, what can be more fun than learning it through food? This app is designed for the iPhone and the iPad, and is available for FREE!

French 101
This language learning app is made by a reputable group in the industry: 24/7 Tutor Inc. French 101 helps you get started on your French vocabulary, but it goes beyond the usual phrasebook approach. It covers a lot of categories but what makes it fun and engaging are the puzzles and quizzes. The app also has native speaker audio to help you navigate the tricky waters of French pronunciation. It's available on iTunes for $3.99.

Babbel just might be one of the oldest players in the game, and their offerings cover so many languages. If you are yet unsure as to what language you want to learn next, Babbel might be your best bet. Visit their web site to get more specific information about the language programs, and then you can pick out the app relevant to the language that you want to focus on.

We're Sinking. Just for laughs.


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    • luisj305 profile image

      luisj305 5 years ago from Florida

      This is pretty cool ,Maybe I'll try out chinese.Seems the most complicated.Maybe by the end of the week I can have a few sentences together.