5 Fun and Free Apps for Learning Spanish!
We take a look at the best apps for learning another language.
Photo Credit: PhotoAtelier
Thanks to the development of mobile technology, we can now practice our Spanish whilst on the go with a range of apps for smartphone and tablet. Whether you are commuting or simply on a coffee break, these apps are an excellent way to reinforce the vocabulary and grammar learned in the classroom.
More people are now learning Spanish with Duolingo than in the entire U.S. schooling system, a fact that Luis von Ahn, the app’s founder, is pretty pleased with. One of the most influential standard-bearers for gamified learning, Duolingo is a firm favorite with language learners and those just looking to pass the time alike. Duolingo has proven to be addictive, and whilst some users find themselves longing for verb tables and grammar rules, everyone can agree that the app is a great way to get to grips with the basics of a new language.
Memrise is an interesting app that teaches vocabulary by associating each word with a particular image. For example, it might teach you the word por favor by showing you an image of a kitten with its paws together in a begging position. Whilst I personally think that the use of images makes it better suited for pictorial languages such as Chinese, it can be a great way to get stuck into dense vocabulary lists.
3. Anki Flashcards
These work just like traditional flashcards, but stored on your phone or tablet. Whilst not designed specifically for languages, learning new vocab has to be one of the best uses of this app. You can create a custom deck or download one that someone else has already created off the internet. Anki is ideal if you want to practice several times a day, simply load up the words whilst brushing your teeth or waiting for the kettle to boil and you’ll have them memorized in no time.
busuu takes vocabulary and grammar practice to another level by giving you the chance to communicate with a native speaker in order to gauge your progress. It’s a new app but an established community with over 45 million members. There are thousands of words and phrases on the app already, but unfortunately some of the features are behind a paywall and inaccessible in the free version.
5. Living Language
Not an individual app but a series of courses from Random House, the main interface revolves around learning new words, completing sentences and matching grammar patterns. Some of the Living Language courses are free and some are behind a paywall, but one of the most convenient features of Living Language is that you can buy just the sections that you need and not waste money on beginner material that you already know.
Whilst practicing on an app in your spare time is a great way to supplement regular Spanish classes, very few people have been able to learn a language without the help of a face-to-face teacher so far. The most effective approach is undoubtedly to use whichever app suits you best in conjunction with the guidance of a qualified language tutor.
Which is your favorite language learning app, and are there any that we have forgotten? We’d love to hear from you!
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