Definitely! All that’s needed for learning a language online is a device and internet connection and it is, usually, free. There are many websites and apps which can teach you.
My top pick is Duolingo. This is a great website and app where you can learn many languages for free. Over 30 languages can be learnt for free and at the same time (well, maybe not all at the same time!). There are lessons based on different topics and quizzes. These are personalised to what works best for you and are immediately marked. There are a variety of listening, speaking, writing exercises and reading exercises. You can earn rewards and there is a level of competitiveness which keeps you motivated. There are also stories which you can work through so you get a better grasp of the language.
Extras include Podcasts, Discuss (a forum), Events and a Shop for buying bonuses with your virtual currency.
Even in the classroom, there is potential to use Duolingo. This could be similar to how students at Sheffield Girls’ use This Is Language for listening exercises but with additional skills. Teachers can give personalised feedback and practice.
Advantages: There are lots of languages to choose from and you are very careful with making choices as you only have 5 hearts on the app version which get restored every 5 hours. You can also learn Idioms and proverbs. As it is an app you can learn whenever and wherever.
Disadvantages: If you have a long streak, it costs real money to repair it. There aren’t many things you can buy in the shop. You can’t really practise conversational skills.
Other websites and apps include:
Babbel – You can learn 14 languages and there are also apps for ios and android. This app and website can really help with conversation skills.
Busuu – You can learn over 12 languages and basic features are free but you need a premium subscription to get advanced features such as a vocabulary trainer.
There are many more which you can find in your app store or via a Google search!
I think learning a language online is a great idea as your teacher is the app and you can go at a pace which suits you. However, not all apps have the ability to practise speaking with someone for a period of time. You can learn languages you may have never learned before at the tip of your finger.
What are your thoughts about learning a language online? Does it help or do you find it’s not as good as a lesson with a real person? Perhaps you are a language teacher – would you recommend any of the apps above or is learning a language online not really feasible? We’d love to hear your thoughts – please complete the form below.