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May 2019

Language Apps with Innovative Teaching Approaches

Learn your target language with these innovative programs

Most of us are familiar by now with smart flashcards, with language learning apps like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo, and with traditional methods of language learning. The tried and true may be tried and true, but they can also sometimes be boring. Thankfully, innovators around the world are finding new ways to teach languages, with new ways of keeping you inspired.

Technology is quickly evolving, and you’d be hard pressed to find a language app that doesn’t mention artificial intelligence (AI) in its offerings. As we learn more about learning itself, and as we advance in studies of the human brain, we will continuously find innovative ways to approach language study. Today, we’ll take a look at some new ways of learning and finding inspiration.

Chatting with robots

While not officially released yet, Magiclingua will be one of the few, if not only, language apps utilising AI chatbots in its toolkit. Unlike other apps, your thumb won't be used in this conversation-centric learning environment. After a brief introductory video, you'll begin speaking immediately with the smart computer. Eventually, you'll work your way up to speaking with real-life native speakers.

This is a nice detour from the less immersive learning environment when solely text is used. Speaking right away offers a sense of satisfaction because you’re immediately putting language into use, the way it ought to be.

Learning through music

Can’t get that song out of your head? If only you could remember vocabulary so easily. The team behind Earworms MBT hope to do just that. Using rhythm and repetition, Earworms MBT teaches languages in a fun and engaging way. Music supposedly puts your brain in an alpha state of relaxed alertness, enabling you to better attain information.

This also makes it easier to learn on the go. While courses come with phrase books for guidance, much of the learning can be done through an audio player. Whether you use Earworms MBT as your primary resource of familiarising yourself with a foreign language or as an additional tool to help you on your path to fluency, it’s a fun and convenient way of adding more learning in your everyday life.

Learning while building communities

Much can be said these days about immigration and refugees. Two language learning programs hope to break down social barriers while helping us learn new languages.

SPEAK isn’t an app; it’s a cultural exchange. The organisation aims to bring people together, so that we can learn from one another. Migrants (refugees, expats, guest workers, etc.) and locals are brought together to learn a target language. And what better opportunity to learn than from someone from the country of the language? This program not only pairs you with a native speaker, it also fosters community and togetherness. SPEAK is currently available in cities across Europe.

"Master a language, change a life". This is the motto describing Chatterbox, an organisation delivering language courses taught by expert refugee coaches. Language learning ties with social good as you achieve your language goals while helping a refugee earn the income necessary for starting a new life. This isn't a simple app; robust languages are personalised by experts using methodologies endorsed by educational institutions. Chatterbox also implements the latest technology; self study is aided by the use of AI.

What new innovative ways of language learning have you discovered? Share it with our community on our telc English Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” telc English for more articles on language learning!