The last year has seen a large number of people take up learning a new language. Whether it is a couple of minutes, or hours, a day spent on a language learning application or taking classes themselves, the health benefits of acquiring a new language are widely recognised. Spanish is a popular choice given the vast number of speakers and beautiful locations that users might want to visit, be it for a holiday or something a little more permanent.
Language apps are proving a popular method to brush up on language skills. This rising demand means there are even more applications on the market than before. We’ve selected five of the best, highlighting their features to help you figure out what is best for you. Check them out now!
Duolingo turns language learning into a game. The platform gives users lessons on themes and grammar students would learn in the classroom. As well as short game-style activities, users can access resources such as Duolingo Stories and audio lessons that get you speaking practice and improve your conversation skills. The free version gives users a limited number of ‘hearts,’ so once you make five mistakes, you will have to practise previous lessons before moving onto new material. This intelligent feature means you’re regularly revising what you’ve already learnt and don’t forget the basics! The premium package gives users unlimited hearts, downloadable lessons, and it’s free of adverts, so if you’re a dedicated learner who uses the app daily it is worth paying for this version. A benefit Duolingo has over other language-learning applications is that it allows users to learn multiple languages, and the interface makes it easy to navigate between them.
New users to Busuu will sit an initial placement test for their chosen language so that the app can recommend which level and lesson you should begin your learning from. The app has a clean interface and offers helpful reminders on when to practise and which weak words you need to review. Busuu activities include fill-in-the-blanks, word-order exercises to assist with structuring sentences, and listening and reading comprehension, which question and answer activities follow to check your understanding. This content plus more is all available for no cost. Busuu has both Premium or Premium Plus plans, which come with a personalised study plan to help you achieve your goals.
Memrise takes users to the streets of Spain and Mexico to immerse users in the language that is spoken daily. The platform uses videos of natives using words and phrases, which users then navigate in short games to practise and improve their language skills. Memrise is particularly good for those who want to concentrate on conversation skills and get their ear into how the language really sounds. Users will pick up the tone and pronunciation of the language whilst the application adapts to your learning pace and style. A selection of the lessons are available to free users, but subscribers can access the full catalogue of classes with monthly, quarterly or yearly subscriptions all available.
Ever had a song stuck in your head? Lirica capitalises on the capabilities of music and makes it into a language learning tool. By listening to songs, you’ll learn the words through repetition, and Lirica then helps you figure out what they mean. This unique application uses popular music from Spain and Latin America, so you’ll be learning from contemporary music. Additional information and facts about the artist feature alongside the music, so you’ll learn both the language and about the culture. Spanish is one of the three languages that Lirica offers, though it’s thought that their language catalogue will be expanding soon!
Drops is a very user-friendly, colourful and aesthetically considered language learning application. Visual learners, in particular, will find Drops very appealing. Drops works by offering short, daily lessons that help you absorb new vocabulary and short phrases. Activities use mnemonic images; this works by pairing a visual of something alongside its name. The word appears both in text and phonetically, which the app then recites to you. It offers Spanish in both Castilian and Mexican, as well as 33 other languages. Free users have to wait ten hours between lessons, so this is a handy on-the-go application or something to top-up language classes or other apps you’re using.