With everyone else using the lockdown as an opportunity to learn a new skill, get fit or lose weight, why not use the time to get started on learning a new language? Here are our best tips for making the most of learning a new language, and some apps to get you headed in the right direction.
Top tips for learning a new language using apps
- Keep your motivation in mind. If you’re learning a new language to pass a language proficiency test in order to immigrate to a new country, failure is not an option. Choose your motivation and commit to it.
- Pick a language learning partner if you can. Whether it’s a sibling, your spouse or your kids, having someone else to learn and converse with makes it a lot easier. There are dozens of communities online doing the exact same thing as you – you’ll find them on Reddit, YouTube and even Instagram.
- Choose your learning method, but be flexible. Realise that you’re going to have to apply yourself in a variety of ways to immerse yourself in learning a whole vocabulary, listening to podcasts, using flashcards following an app, conversing with your partner.
- Have fun and accept that you’re going to make mistakes. Pronunciation and sentence construction is something you’re bound to mess up occasionally. Learn to laugh at yourself, and enjoy flexing a different part of your brain.
- Talk to yourself and watch others talk. Talking to yourself helps to embed new words and phrases, while building confidence for the next time you talk with someone. Watching videos of people speaking in your chosen language is a good way to contextualise what you’ve learned from apps.
Now that we’re all motivated to learn, let’s take a quick look at some of the best language learning apps out there.
Our top picks for best language learning:
Duolingo: the app that lets you learn a language for free, forever.
- With more than 120 million users worldwide, this app has a recipe for success – all their courses are free.
- You can choose between 21 different languages like English, French, German, Italian and Spanish or Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Turkish, Esperanto, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Welsh, Hebrew, Vietnamese and Hungarian.
- It’s simple to use – you can start as a beginner or take a proficiency test which evaluates your language level, and the app saves your progress.
- You can set weekly goals and achieve them at your own pace – you will not be limited by the app, and there is a fun gamification element that gives you the chance to earn app currency and stay motivated.
- The app varies the types of tasks and builds up every lesson in other ways which means more variety for you as the student.
What about Duolingo for Kids?
If you’re immigrating with kids, you’re going to want them to get a head start on learning a new language too, although kids tend to learn and adapt much faster than adults when placed in real life situations that make it necessary. Duolingo for Kids offers interactive speaking challenges that will encourage them to construct and speak entire sentences on their own.
Plus, the earlier your kids start their learning journey, the quicker they’ll reach conversational proficiency which will help them better settle in their new home. Lessons are delivered in a fun, race-against-the-clock kind of way, and kids will enjoy earning points and leveling up through challenges.
Memrise: the app that lets you have fun and learn fast
Learning conversational language from watching home-tongue speakers is one of the best ways to pick up new skills. This app is based on personalised learning that tailors your experience based on your appetite to take on a challenge, subtly keeping you motivated, making learning fun through a variety of proven memory techniques that will help you learn quicker. Whenever you have a few free minutes, the idea is to squeeze in some vocabulary or phrase practice on the app, every little step you take adding up to get you to your language goals.
- Memrise provides rich, contextual real-life language from a team of linguists speaking in everyday contexts. Courses are packed with thousands of video clips, so you can listen, watch and memorise, in authentic voices and accents.
- It’s the app that likes to mix it up, which is why you’ll enjoy getting to use what you learn in a variety of ways, stimulating your brain instead of stifling it with long lists of words to learn.
Babbel: the language learning app that lets you learn anytime, anywhere
With a choice of 14 languages, you’ll start speaking straightaway which is the only way to learn. You’ll learn to speak naturally, and you’ll have complete control over your schedule and progress, which helps to take the stress out of learning.
- You can choose between courses that cover the basics, or courses that focus on specific target areas – for travellers, or business people.
- Make use of dialogue training to build your confidence and role play conversations before you try them in real life.
- This app also uses speech recognition technology to help you practice speaking and better your pronunciation, giving you immediate feedback that you can work with and use to improve.
Busuu: the paid learning app that lets you speak another language with 10 mins a day
Choose from 12 language options and learn with more than 1000 lessons created by expert linguists and enhanced with machine learning technology, such as a tailored curriculum enhanced by speech recognition. You decide where and how you’re going to learn, and what you start now, you can pick up later on your mobile phone – the experience between devices is seamless, making it easy to fit in between other tasks, like household chores and exercise.
Interested in getting started? Download the apps from your App Store and find the language learning app that suits you best.
FinGlobal: financial and tax emigration specialists
Now that you’re well on your way to learning a new language (downloading the app totally counts as a start!) you’re also ready to start making some other big decisions.
Like how you’re going to handle your cross-border financial portfolio, and who you’re going to choose as your trusted financial services intermediary to make your life easier. FinGlobal is a smart choice. We’ve already helped more than 60 000 clients across the world, and we’re ready to give you the same expert attention and guaranteed results.
Let us help you with your financial emigration, retirement annuity withdrawal, tax clearance, tax refunds or foreign exchange requirements. Contact us today!