Have you always wanted to learn a new language but didn’t know when to start? Have you tried practicing French or Spanish but get confused or lose motivation to continue? Fortunately, language lovers and dedicated software programmers have joined forces to provide interested students with free language learning platforms. Here are some of our favourites:
Duolingo is a fun platform that turns learning a new language into a game. Collect experience points as you learn to speak dozens of available languages, from Italian and Portuguese to Danish and Irish. You can learn at your own pace, but for those seeking an extra push, Duolingo features a demanding owl “coach” who drives you to reach daily goals. Once you get the hang of a language, you can hone your skills by translating documents from your new language into your native one. Duolingo allows you to practice speaking, writing, and listening to your new language, but it is undoubtedly most successful with helping you to read the new language.
For those who succeeded with the flashcard approach to studying and memorization, Memrise is a modern tool that is sure to suit your study preferences. Memrise users have uploaded vocabulary packets of varying sizes for any language you could imagine, whether you wish to memorize the sounds of basic Mandarin Chinese or learn the 500 most common Spanish nouns. Memrise courses are based on a pattern of “planting” words into your memory, which must be routinely “watered” to remain in your brain. You can set email reminders for quick watering sessions. Memrise users can submit cute mnemonic to help fellow language learners memorize tricky words or sayings. If you struggle with learning vocabulary, this platform is a great tool.
Lang-8 is an amazing free platform that allows you to practice your written word and receive feedback from native speakers. You simply submit written entries, whether a short diary-type entry about your day or a long submission meant to strengthen vocabulary on a certain topic. Then, native speakers can review your submission and correct grammar, point out awkward usages, or recommend common phrases that better illustrate your argument. Likewise, you can then review submissions of other users, like Japanese students wishing to learn English. Lang-8 is powered by the willingness of its community members to help each other in the goal of global communication.
We hope you make use of any or all of these free tools as you embark on a language learning adventure!