Archive - March 2015

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How can apps empower learning of foreign languages?

How can apps empower learning of foreign languages?

Little girls playing on a tablet computing device

The knowledge of foreign languages has become one of the most essential skills nowadays. Children learn at least one foreign language at school, most of employers also expect their employees to be bilingual, speaking a foreign language is useful when traveling or meeting people from different countries. Is there any use for apps in this area as well? If yes, then how is learning via apps different than other learning methods?

Apps allow you to learn in almost every place. While you are standing in the queue, preparing a meal or commuting to work or school, you can use that time to listen to recordings or learn new vocabulary. Furthermore, apart from new words, you can also improve your pronunciation, learn grammar, chatt with native speakers.

What are the main advantages of apps?

Simplicity

Thank to responsive touch screen and high quality images apps are very intuitive and easy to use, which makes them appropriate for people of every age.

Mobility

As I have mentioned before, thanks to the option of using apps via mobile devices, you can use them anywhere and learn in any place that is convinient for you.

Entertaining content

Some apps combine knowledge with entertainment making the process of learning effortless and fun.

Variety of choice

With app market growing rapidly you have an opportunity to choose an app that matches your learning style. Additionally, most of the sites where you can learn foreign languages have their apps with allows you to learn their content on mobile devices when you don’t have access to computer/tablet. 

Cost

A lot of apps are available for free. The rest of them cost a quarter of the price of an average textbook and much less than language courses.

 How can you  can you learn a foreign language via apps?

  • Flashcards – give you an opportunity to learn new words or expressions, revise the vocobulary. Some apps have flashcards divided into categories, some allow you to create your own lists.
  • Videos – a great way to improve  general language skills
  • Audios- in majority featuring native speakers that help you learn the correct pronunciation
  • Games – make the learning more engaging through fun & interactive content like crosswords, matching games etc.

As a result, learning with apps can be much more attractive than conventional learning for every age group, as it aims at improving all kind of skills, not only vocabulary & grammar like in case of textbooks.

Are apps really so effective in learning a foreign language? According to one independent study conducted by the City University of New York and the University of South Carolina, an average of 34 hours spent on one app is equivalent to a full university semester of language education. This proves how amazing progress one can achieve using mobile applications for foreign languages.

What options does learning with apps lack?

First of all, apps provide an option of learning the language on your own. It could be a drawback for people who prefer learning with other people, as some of apps lack the element of social interaction or such a contact is limited.

Secondly most of the apps target popular languages: English, German, Spanish. If you are a learner of less popular languages like Danish or Polish it will be more difficult to find an app with satisfying content. Nevertheless, with the speed with which the app market is developing, soon we will surely have apps targeting more languages. 

 

 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena| Appetite For Education

P.S. If you are interested in more information on applications or you are looking for one for your child, subscribe to our newsletter to read more interesting articles in the future!

 

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