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Learning languages with applications

angļu valodas apguve ar aplikācijas palīdzību

As of today, mobile applications come in great numbers and diversity. These can help you deal with just about anything you may have to deal with in your life, whether you take care to maintain your health, schedule your daily activities, socialize or even learn languages. As with any auxiliary tool, you have to know how to use it properly, so you could get the most out of it. Let us follow with some recommendations regarding the optimum usage of language applications.

Technologies are marvellous. If these also fall into the hands of the right person, these can prove to be extremely useful. One of the positive examples is that these can assist a person in learning languages. Lately, educational applications have been enjoying a particular increase in popularity, as these turn out to be a great asset as auxiliary means of learning. Sometimes these can even advance into the domain of alternative or traditional education. The main reason for such popularity is, definitely, that the educational material in this instance is a compact device that fits neatly into your pocket and offers a great number of other functions in the meantime. Apart from that, high-end applications are advanced, interactive and adaptive programs made in a manner that can spark your interest in studies.

Essentially, such applications are a means of learning a foreign language, just like books or language classes. It should be taken into account that the effect will depend on how profound is your interaction with a specific application. If you browse quickly through a book instead of diligent reading or never dare to say a word during classes, the progress will definitely be slow. The same applies to language applications. So, how could one get the best out of an application and what needs consideration before you press the "Download" button?

  1. Avoid applications that position themselves as the Holy Grail of learning languages! The objective of such applications is to solve all your problems by means of selling you something all the time. Each language application is developed and promoted by a team of enthusiastic teachers and scholars, who would affirm that the beauty of a language is a whole new world you can discover using this application. But would you restrain yourself to just one media resource in your own language? Most probably, the answer is no. Therefore, there is no point in doing the same in the language you are going to learn. Make intense use of applications, but do not restrict yourself to just one.

  2. Determine the reasons why you want to learn the language and decide on the way you are going to use the application: do you want to have fluent command of the language in a couple of weeks or are you merely on the lookout for some brain exercise? Good applications are structured in a manner that conduces the inclusion of classes into your daily schedule. The best applications, in turn, adapt themselves to your lifestyle. Such applications favour the development of habits, making it easier for you to get back to these on a regular basis.

  3. Remember: an application is just an auxiliary tool! A great auxiliary tool – yet it is no substitute for a teacher or practical experience of communicating in a foreign language. All applications share the same basic principles as games do. This is where the second aspect comes in – your personal goal or motivation. Remember: the goal you pursue when using the application is not to complete level 5 as fast as possible, earning virtual cash or a gold medal, but rather to come to Spain and have no problem with asking the locals how to get to the beach.

  4. Your feedback is important for us! This is not just a timid attempt to narrow the social gap between a faceless developer and a student who uses the product. Feedback is golden indeed; this is what helps us update the application as fast as possible, so that it would stay up to your requirements.

  5. Make your studies go social! This does not mean that you have to post your progress on Facebook, but your experience has to be made social. Specifically, you could make arrangements with a friend of yours for studying together or even competing for the best weekly advance rate. Supplement your studies with classroom hours or borrow books in the language you speak. At first, these could be the simplest of kids' books or a fairy tale know across the worlds and completely familiar to you in your own language.

The following list specifies some of the most popular language applications.

Language courses – tasks of various kinds:

  • Duolingo;

  • Busuu;

  • Babbel.

Questions and answers, chat and social applications – an opportunity to communicate with native speakers in writing:

  • HelloTalk;

  • HiNative;

  • TripLingo.

Question cards and memorising tasks – mostly oriented towards using one's memory to learn words and phrases by heart:

  • Memrise;

  • AnkiApp;

  • Tinycards.

Educational games:

  • Mindsnacks;

  • Fluent Panda.

All these applications are suitable for children and adults alike. These also offer different learning levels, e.g., beginner, elementary, intermediate, advanced. Moreover, all the applications specified herein can be downloaded free of charge.


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