Since we can’t go on vacation right now, we have to get creative about how we spend our time. Learning a new language is a fantastic way to “travel” even while you’re stuck at home. I’ve spent 2 decades tutoring French to students all over the world and, along the way, picking up Italian, a little Spanish and the teensiest bit of Moroccan Arabic (Darija). So as you might imagine, I’ve tried many different language learning apps over the years and have also used them with my students. I’m going to share some of my favorites here with you so you can get started. It’s easier than you might think. And with even just a few minutes a day, you’ll be having conversations in no time! This is also a really perfect thing to do together as a family, especially if you are all beginners! So consider choosing a language unfamiliar to everyone and go for it! And above all, have fun with it!
Duolingo is one of the most popular language-learning tools in the world. And for good reason! It is extremely simple to use, offers visual, audio/speech and reading in each lesson. You can set reminders and tell it how much time you’d like to spend each day and what your goals are. I use this one for myself often and am currently learning Spanish. It has both free and paid options and you can add tiny cards flashcards and compete with friends. It’s great for kids who are at home right now too. They can learn a language AND compete with friends in a game-like way.
Drops is visually beautiful and very simple to use. It is game-like which also makes it fun. I’ve used this one for learning Arabic. The imagery really helped me. Drops is great for visual learners as it does focus on pictures to associate the words, phrases and audio/speech. It also comes with reminders. There are free and paid versions as well.
Memrise is great for auditory learners as it uses short videos with native speakers to help you learn. For me, it is SUPER easy to use and the videos keep it interesting and fun. You can choose how much time you want to spend on it each day and set daily reminders for yourself as well. Memrise has both free and paid versions.
Pimsleur is much more like a textbook come to life with step-by-step instructions using native speakers and a narrator to explain each step and walk you through it. This is perfect for people who prefer a more traditional approach, but without the book. I learn very well this way myself. It also points out things to watch out for and helps you truly understand phrase by phrase. This platform helps you learn comprehensively and quickly. It’s not cheap, but I do believe it is highly effective. You can do a trial lesson for free!
Those four apps pretty much cover whatever learning style might work best for you and offer a wide variety of methods. Try them out and see which one you like the best. Then stick with it! Working every day even just a little bit will get you further than if you try to pack it all in then skip many days. And since we seem to have a little extra time at the moment, it’s the perfect opportunity to add a new language to your repertoire!
Since we can’t go on vacation right now, we have to get creative about how we spend our time. And again, learning a new language is a fantastic way to “travel” even while you’re stuck at home. Where will you “go”? What language have you always wanted to learn? Share below!
Let me know which language you choose and also which app is your favorite and why. I’d love to hear back from you.