I’ve been enjoying the world of online language learning for over a year, and have provided you all with a quick snapshot of which sites have helped me in my language learning journey.
HelloTalk is a great app to practice your target language with native speakers, and help others who are learning your native language. The app allows you to: send texts and audio messages, photos, videos, translate and correct messages. With over 8 million members, it really is an awesome language learning community.
Top Tip: Everyone is very eager to learn on this app – especially if they’re seeking a native English speaker. Be prepared to receive a flood of messages, and if it ever does get overwhelming you can adjust your settings to either put restrictions on who can contact you (e.g; only women aged 21-25) or completely suspend people’s ability to contact you temporarily.
Find out more about Hello Talk and download the app here: https://www.hellotalk.com
Similar to HelloTalk, italki gives you the chance to interact with native speakers. The chat settings aren’t as advanced as HelloTalk’s, but is just as useful if you’re looking to build up some conversation skills. The site does however offer more in the way of affordable lessons with native teachers.
Top Tip: If you’re a bit low on cash and can’t afford a lesson with a native teacher – don’t worry! A lot of people are more than willing to share their native language with any eager recipient, and I’ve found that organising a Skype call with a regular member to be just as beneficial.
Sign up here: https://www.italki.com/home
Most people know about Duolingo – it’s often the go-to site for anyone wanting to start a new language. I was able to have basic conversations in Portuguese through the vocabulary I learnt from Duolingo. Sure, you won’t become fluent, but it’s a great starting point and a fun way to learn new words.
Top Tip: Download the Duolingo app on your phone so you can practice on the go. The mobile app also has cool features like conversation practice with “Bots”
Get started with Duolingo here: duolingo.com
Ok, so this last one isn’t actually designed to teach you a language. But I’ve found to be a great help in my progress.
Quizlet can be used to study and learn any content of your choice. It’s super easy to search for existing sets other users have created, or simply make your own custom set. I mostly use the Flashcard feature to study new vocabulary – but the site also has other fun features and games to help you learn.
Top Tip: Quizlet is available to download on your smartphone or device. Why not flick through a few flashcards during your downtime.
Give Quizlet a go at: quizlet.com