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Learning languages: easier with technology

Learning other languages is more important than ever. This skill helps to connect us with an ever-smaller world, improves our communication abilities, and gives students greater job opportunities.

The good news is that teaching students a new language has had a technology boost.

This leap in technology, through the development of programs and apps, may help students catch up with a skill that so many other nations highly value. Although bilingualism, or even multilingualism, is the norm in many European and Asian nations, America languishes when it comes to foreign language studies.

Here are two apps that can make the teaching of those languages simpler than ever before.

The app that uses games to learn

Duolingo is a free, award-winning language learning program that is accessible online and in-app. Duolingo draws upon the words and phrases that occur most frequently in written texts to work out which parts of any language are most important to learn. This creates a win-win for teachers and learners: learning the most commonly used words and phrases, in a format that exposes learners to the same words frequently, means that students will become familiar with their new language more quickly and efficiently.

Couple that with ‘gamification’ (rewards and reminders to practice daily), and it’s clear to see why Duolingo has over 150 million daily users.

The app where you can practice with native speakers

Tandem calls itself a ‘language exchange community’ – which sums up its goals in a nutshell.

Everyone says that the quickest way to language fluency is to speak it with those whose native tongue it is, and that’s what this community is all about. With 120 languages and a community of millions of native speakers and tutors, this app takes learning beyond the classroom and into the real world.

Tandem connects you with native speakers through text messages, audio recordings, audio calls, and Skype-like sessions in a very social way. Users are matched on interests rather than purely on language skills so that conversations are natural and fun.

Whether your students are beginners or more advanced, very young or mature aged, there’s an app for them to learn a language with ease, with thanks to technology. All these apps have the same thing at their heart – a belief that learning a language should be inexpensive, easy, and accessible for anyone to achieve.

In this way, the world of language learning is opening up in a way that it never has before.