It is great to learn a language. Not only is this a fantastic skill that will help you communicate when you are travelling, it is good for your brain too. Neuroscientists say that learning a second language improves mental capabilities and memory and can even stave off dementia so is certainly something we should all be embracing. Luckily there are numerous online language tutors out there to help. So let’s take a look at some of them.
Pimsleur: this offers a traditional method of language learning in that it gives you the fundamentals of grammar. It also provides plenty of conversational practice and requires that you listen to audio clips and repeat them until they are right. According to language experts, Pimsleur is more rigorous than many of the competitors and with 50 languages on offer it is ideal for getting a baseline understanding. It costs $15 per month so offers good value for money.
Duolingo: This is a free app although there is a paid version. Duolingo gives you idiomatic expressions and introduces vocabulary , so it would be useful if you were planning a vacation and wanted to manage day to day requirements However it doesn’t provide any explanation of grammar so you will not get very far unless you combine it with other language learning methods.
Babbel: This is more challenging than Duolingo so expect a steep learning curve. That said if you stick at it, you will acquire a reasonable level of language. The first lesson is free and after that it costs $12.95 for a month or $8.95 per month if you sign up for three months.
Italki: This app offers one to one conversation online in 150 languages. You get to talk to people around the world and have access to your online language tutors where you can discuss a range of topics in your language of choice. Italki is inexpensive, ranging from $6 to $25 for an hour lesson.
Idlewild: This is a 7 week course that costs $295. Paying this will keep you focused on learning your language and this course does provide you with opportunities for deep learning. There are 7 classes a week via Zoom, taken by native language speakers and each class has a maximum of 10 students. The classes are aimed at a range of learners from basic to advanced and if you are serious about learning a language, Idlewild will deliver. Online language tutors with Idlewild deliver the experience of classroom learning into your home and will help you brush up or learn any of the major European languages.
Netflix: This is not a language learning app but with so many foreign language films and TV shows hosted on the site, it is a great way to enjoy the language and culture of your chosen country. Using Netflix in combination with a language app is a great way to become more fluent in language learning!