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Language learning resources: Tips, apps and websites to master a new language

Language learning resources: Tips, apps and websites to master a new language

When the quarantine and working from home first started, the internet was filled with the things we can do as we stay home. Picking a new skill like learning a new language was one of them. That phase might have passed. However, there is no deadline to learn a new language. That is why we have put together some of the best language learning resources that help you to master a language. 

As there is no one right way to study a language, we have included language learning resources that use different methods to teach. Whether you want to grasp the language by chatting with a native speaker or a virtual character, there are options to choose from. Before listing the websites and apps, here are some tips to make language learning efficient. 

Online language school and courses illustration
Online language school and courses illustration

Tips

Schedule a specific time to learn the language and follow it. That way you will actually allocate time to learn. If we are studying a language out of interest or as a hobby, we do not tend to prioritise it. By setting a schedule we will study regularly and not procrastinate.

Set a realistic time table that fits your weekly and daily routine. You do not want to line up two hours to practise the language every day. That is just going to make the sessions hectic and boring. 

Sync the app or website to your Google Calendar or other event reminder apps. You will receive a notification when it is time to study the language. This will ensure that you do not forget the language. 

Take notes and revise them every week or month. When using apps or websites, we get to practise each word properly. However, when we move to the next chapter, we might not be able to review words from the previous chapters. Thus making it easy to forget. With notes, you can remember what you have learned and refer to it whenever needed. 

Have something that keeps you motivated to learn the language. When there is no reason for you to pursue the language, it is easy to give up. Try imagining everything you can possibly do by mastering the basics. 

Memrise

Language Learning Resources
Image Courtesy: Memrise

Memrise is a great app for people who give special attention to articulation. The app provides an audio pronunciation and a video of a native speaker pronouncing each word. That way you can learn to speak like a local. There is a separate box called mems which can be used to write hints that help you remember the word. 

In addition to enunciation, the words are written in the language you are learning and the language you are using to learn it. You can also learn grammar with the help of easy-to-remember patterns.

The app lets you set goals of how many words you want to learn each day. Memrise gives types of revisions – classic and speed review – regularly. After testing, the app notes down your mistakes and revises those difficult words again. 

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Tandem

Language Learning Resources
Image Courtesy: Tandem

Tandem does not specifically teach a language. Instead, it is one of the language learning resources that connect you to native speakers so that you can chat and learn from them. It is like a language exchange program. You are supposed to choose which languages you are fluent in and which ones you want to learn. Then the website or app suggests people with whom you can converse with. The company’s motto itself is “master any language by actually chatting with real people.” 

While creating an account, it asks about your interests, language goal and preferred type of language learning partners. Your answers appear on your profile which others can see. The only drawback with Tandem is that you have to wait for approval before you can start using it. It is best for people who are currently learning the language and know the basics. It helps improve their skills in the language.

In addition to chatting, Tandem also allows you to do audio and video calls. 

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Duolingo

Language Learning
Image Courtesy: Duolingo

Duolingo is one of the most downloaded, most popular and highly rated language learning resources. It lets you choose how much time you want to spend every day to learn the language. It is useful for learning characters as the app tests if you can recognise the words. 

Duolingo’s method of learning is more interactive. It is not just listening and repeating. Instead, it is hearing the pronunciation and choosing the right word. For some words, Duolingo provides a slow enunciation of the word. This helps to pick the pronunciation without any errors. As the app and the website revise each word repeatedly, it becomes pretty easy to remember. 

In addition to teaching the language, Duolingo also gives tips. These are information that gives context to the lessons. It is best to read the tips section before starting the lesson. That way each lesson is easy to understand. After each lesson, there is a review section. It shows which words you answered correctly and which ones you answered wrongly.

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Language Learning with Netflix

Language Learning with Netflix
Image Courtesy: Freestocks (Unsplash)

If you are a Netflix user, here is a fun way to learn a language as you watch movies or series. You download the extension to your web browser. This will add the Language Learning with Netflix feature to your Netflix account. 

The subtitles will appear in the language you are learning and the language you know. You can click on a specific word to get the exact meaning. The extension uses human and robot translation. According to Netflix, human translation is more useful. This is because the robot translates every word as it is. However, humans translate in context and help you understand idioms.

If you do not feel like learning and wish to just watch a programme on the OTT platform, you can just switch off the toggle. This will switch to your regular Netflix screen. Netflix also has a catalogue that lets you know which movies or series you can watch to learn the language.

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Coursera

Coursera has language classes of different levels including beginners, intermediate, mixed and advanced. You can just type in the name of the language you want to learn and check which universities are offering what courses. For better results, Coursera lets you filter your options.

There are free and paid courses. Say there is a paid course which you just want to learn and do not any certification. You can audit that course. That way you do not have to pay for it.

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Written by Renuka Kennedy

Renuka Kennedy is a journalist and freelance writer. She covers topics including fashion, art, entertainment, technology, luxury and lifestyle features. She has experience working for the digital teams of different publications. She is familiar with writing SEO friendly content. Her works have appeared in #legend, Gafencu, Screen Rant and Republic World. As a journalist, she likes to tell engaging stories. She is particularly passionate about covering sustainability in fashion. She is from Chennai, India and holds a BA in English degree from Stella Maris. She also graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a Masters of Journalism degree.