Struggling to learn a new language with popular apps? If you are frustrated by your progress thus far, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault.
Apps are not meant to be an exclusive teaching tool. They don’t work that way. They are meant to supplement in-person or virtual instruction so you can strengthen your practice in between lessons.
So, let that guilt go. You CAN learn a second language… and make those apps work for you.
First things first, if you are an average language learner, you will probably not master a language using an app alone. Why? Your number one problem is that you get zero practice having a natural conversation. So, if after several months, you don’t feel confident about your ability to speak, it’s not you, it’s just the nature of the beast.
However, apps are a fantastic way to supplement your learning. The convenience, interface and gaming aspects make them a thousand times more engaging than your old-school flash cards. Here’s how to make the most of these aspects of the language app world in conjunction with classroom study:
Explore New Languages
Before going all out on your new language, you might want to test the waters and get a feel for the language first. With the apps, you can casually “date” a language or two for not much denaro and commitment. When you decide you want to “go steady” that’s the time to start getting serious and adding a more interactive approach to your language practice.
Prep for an Upcoming Class
Whether you are planning on picking up a new language or reactivating one you’ve studied before, apps are a great way to get your brain warmed up so you can hit the ground running. Rather than starting a class cold, familiarizing yourself with some vocabulary and grammar structures ahead of time will make coming to the first class feel less intimidating.
Stay on Top of Your Language Between Lessons
You will get much more out of your classes if you are practicing in-between lessons. If you do something daily, what you learned will stay fresh in your mind. Even a simple 5 minutes a day on an app is enough to keep your mind engaged in the language. Of course, the more you do the merrier but even a little daily effort goes a long way!
Your Stop-Gap Maintenance Tool
If life has gotten busy and you have to take a break from classes, your app learning will help you maintain what you have learned. Once you’re ready to jump back into an interactive learning environment, you should be able to pick up more or less where you left off. But don’t wait too long…As they say, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!