With more people than ever now owning a smartphone, it’s no surprise that app learning is on the rise. People turn to apps to help them master new skills on a daily basis, whether it’s getting to grips with a new recipe or remedying a household emergency with a DIY fix.
Apps are also becoming a popular option for those looking to brush up on their language skills. Unlike older software solutions that only provided limited vocabulary and basic translations, the best available language apps provide an informal learning approach that can make becoming bilingual relatively effortless.
Nowadays, you won’t struggle to find a suitable learning app to help you master a new language. In fact, there are literally hundreds of apps currently available for iOS and Android devices. Many of these apps are free to download, while others require you to part with a one-off premium in order to access advanced features. Don’t assume free apps are automatically inferior to premium alternatives, however.
When considering your language app options, ensure what you’re downloading fulfills some basic criteria. User-friendly interfaces are massively important to learning apps of any kind, while you should be able to effortlessly sift between individual pages and learning sections. If it’s your first time approaching a new language, you don’t want to be besieged by crowded screens of information. You should also think about visual learning aids when selecting a language app. For example, sprawling screens of endless text aren’t going to be of much use to someone who’s struggling with basic pronunciation and alien grammar rules. Visual aids are an incredibly effective learning aid as far as foreign languages are concerned. When deciding on a download, make sure visual aids are a key offering of your language app.
Language learning software has come a long way in recent years. In the past, being able to practice your pronunciation was only possible in a face-to-face learning environment. While it’s essential that you maintain interaction with native speakers to improve your language skills, the advent of speech recognition technology means you can continue to work on your pronunciations independently of your tutor.
Speech recognition is usually the reserve of premium apps, although many free to download alternatives may support this functionality. Provided you have an app with speech recognition at your disposal, you’ll be able to navigate the world of rolling vowels and foreign accents with ease. The microphone technology of an average smartphone should have no trouble detecting the most minor of errors in your flourishing French or Spanish skills.
One of the biggest barriers to mastering a new skill is a busy routine. The same applies to language learning. Apps are an ideal tool for time-poor learners who don’t have the free hours in their schedule to attend a language school. Apps are also useful for those who want to explore the benefits of spaced repetition learning. With a decent app to hand, you can pick up the basics of a new language in as little as 15 minutes a day.
However, achieving full levels of fluency in a foreign language is only really possible if you undertake some one-on-one training with a native speaker. Once you’ve got a handle on the basics and started to build up your foreign language vocabulary, you can start introducing apps as a secondary learning tool to help you on your journey to full fluency.