25 May Best Language Learning Apps & Online Programs (Reviewed for 2023)
Posted at 15:51hin BlogbyJessie Ensong0 Comments
Embarking on a journey to learn a new language is an exciting endeavor that opens doors to new cultures, connections, and opportunities. However, with the countless online language learning apps, courses and software programs available today, finding the right one can feel like navigating a linguistic labyrinth.
Fear not!In this article, we dive into the world of language learning platforms, comparing and contrasting the five most popular options.
By exploring their language offerings, teaching styles, ease of use, course content, and subscription modes, we’ll provide you with the knowledge to make an informed choice towards the first step in your language learning journey. Plus, we’ll mention some other noteworthy language apps to add to your list of options. Get ready to unlock your linguistic potential and set out on a memorable language-learning adventure!
Without further ado, here is our in-depth review of each of the top 5 language learning apps and online platforms, including both free and paid options:
- Number of languages offered: 14
- Medium: App and live virtual classes
- Teaching methodology: immersion, spaced repetition, gamification
- Subscription type: paid, monthly, or a lifetime pass
- User base: more than 10 million
- Best for: people looking for a comprehensive and easy-to-use language learning program
- Website: babbel.com
Launched in 2007 with one of the founder’s goals being to learn a foreign language, Babbel has now grown to become one of the leading language learning platforms with more than 100 million users worldwide. It has become the go-to choice for language learners of all levels due to its personalized approach and structured lessons.
Picking up after you have chosen a specific language of your interest, Babbel will first build your language learning profile by assessing how much you know of the language, the time you are able to allocate to learning that language daily, your learning goals, and your learning preferences. Whether you like doing things solo or are a social butterfly, Babbel can cater to your preference through app-based or live virtual classes.
With your learning profile, Babbel can tailor the course content accordingly. Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate learner, Babbel ensures that you are always challenged at the right level, providing a balanced learning experience.
Structured lessons form the foundation of Babbel’s teaching methodology. The program offers a wide range of interactive lessons designed to cover various aspects of language learning, including grammar, vocabulary, writing, pronunciation, and listening skills. Each lesson follows a coherent structure, guiding learners through different exercises and activities. The well-organized lessons enable a step-by-step progression, allowing learners to build their language skills systematically.
Babbel operates on a subscription-based model with flexible pricing options. The subscription plans give learners access to the entire range of language courses and learning materials. The pricing structure offers different subscription durations, such as monthly, quarterly, and annual plans, with discounts available for longer commitments. It even offers one-time, paid lifetime access for those serious learners!
The subscription costs vary depending on the duration of the plan and the language you choose to learn. Babbel frequently offers promotions and discounts, making it more affordable for learners to access the platform’s resources. The great thing here is that it offers a free trial period for new users to experience the platform and determine if it aligns with their learning needs.
The user-friendly interface of Babbel enhances the overall learning experience, and navigating through the platform is seamless and intuitive, allowing learners to access their lessons, track progress, and review previous materials effortlessly. The interface is aesthetically pleasing, with a clean and organized layout that promotes a focused and distraction-free learning environment.
Babbel offers courses in 14 languages, providing learners with a diverse range of options. Whether you want to learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, or any other popular language, Babbel has you covered. Each language course is carefully crafted to address the unique aspects and challenges of the language, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.
For beginners, Babbel serves as an excellent starting point. The platform’s structured lessons and gradual progression make it easy for newcomers to grasp the basics and build a solid foundation in the language. The clear explanations and ample practice opportunities help beginners gain confidence in their language abilities.
Casual learners also benefit from Babbel’s user-friendly and flexible approach. The platform allows learners to study at their own pace and offers bite-sized lessons that can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. This flexibility is ideal for busy individuals who want to squeeze language learning into their daily routine.
Even professionals looking to enhance their language skills can find value in Babbel’s software. The platform offers business-focused courses in languages such as English, Spanish, French, and German. These courses cover industry-specific vocabulary, professional communication skills, and cultural insights, catering to the needs of professionals in various fields.
While Babbel’s user base is proof of its great acclaim, it still has some shortcomings. Below, I have noted some feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of Babbel that was provided by other users.
Today, it cannot be doubted that Babbel stands out as a leading online language learning program. Not only does Babbel have thousands of hours of content and lessons in their app, be it in podcasts, magazines, videos, games, and even live classes, but also, and more importantly, their methods of teaching new languages and curricula are created by language experts and native speakers from different countries. With its emphasis on practical conversation skills, user-friendly interface, and courses in 14 languages, Babbel caters to beginners, casual learners, and professionals alike. The flexible subscription pricing options make it accessible to a wide range of learners, and the platform’s comprehensive curriculum ensures a rewarding language learning journey for all.
- Number of languages offered: 25
- Medium: Web and app
- Teaching methodology: immersion, visual learning
- Subscription type: paid, monthly (one-time payment for 3 months or 12 months), or lifetime; has options for schools or enterprises (quote upon request).
- User base: millions
- Best for: people looking for a unique and innovative approach to language learning.
- Website: rosettastone.com
With its immersive approach, Rosetta Stone has established itself as a household name in the world of language learning. According to its website, Rosetta Stone has helped thousands of educational institutions, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and corporations, boasting millions of users worldwide. It is clear that Rosetta Stone has earned a reputation for its unique teaching methods and comprehensive language courses. Let’s explore what sets Rosetta Stone apart and how it can propel your language-learning journey to new heights.
At the core of Rosetta Stone’s methodology lies its immersive approach. The platform believes in the power of surrounding learners with the target language, replicating the way we acquire our native language as children. From the moment you begin your language course, Rosetta Stone plunges you into an immersive environment where the target language becomes the primary means of communication. This technique helps learners develop a natural sense of the language, enabling them to think and express themselves directly in the target language.
A distinguishing feature of Rosetta Stone’s language learning software is its extensive use of multimedia elements. The platform utilizes a wide array of visuals, audio recordings, and interactive exercises to engage learners and stimulate their language acquisition. Each lesson is carefully crafted to incorporate multimedia components that enhance comprehension and retention. By engaging multiple senses, Rosetta Stone facilitates a deeper understanding of the language, making the learning process more engaging and effective.
Rosetta Stone operates on a subscription-based model, offering multiple subscription plans to cater to learners’ varying needs. The pricing structure includes options for quarterly and annual subscriptions, with discounts available for longer commitments. The subscription grants learners access to all the language courses offered by Rosetta Stone, allowing them to explore multiple languages or focus on mastering a single language. Not only that, but a one-time, paid lifetime access is also offered for seriously committed learners.
Rosetta Stone’s award-winning app has a near-perfect user rating, but users were also given a voice to express their appreciation for and frustration with the platform. I have compiled some comments I’ve received from other users of the site below.
While Rosetta Stone’s immersive approach and multimedia engagement make it a compelling choice, it’s important to note that the platform primarily focuses on vocabulary and sentence structure. Grammar rules and explanations are taught implicitly rather than through explicit instruction. This method aims to mimic the natural way we learn languages, allowing learners to develop a sense of grammar intuitively. However, for learners who prefer a more structured approach to grammar, additional resources may be needed to complement their Rosetta Stone experience.
Rosetta Stone offers language courses in 24 languages, making it one of the most comprehensive programs in terms of language options. Whether you aspire to learn Spanish, French, Mandarin, or even Swahili, Rosetta Stone has you covered. Each language course is designed to take learners from the basics to advanced proficiency, providing a solid foundation in the language.
The platform’s user-friendly interface further enhances the learning experience. Navigating through the lessons and tracking progress is seamless, allowing learners to pick up where they left off and easily review previous materials. The interface is visually appealing and intuitive, ensuring that learners can focus on their language studies without unnecessary distractions.
Rosetta Stone caters to learners of all levels, from beginners to advanced speakers. The immersive approach and multimedia engagement make it particularly beneficial for beginners who want to develop a strong foundation in their target language. By immersing learners in a language-rich environment from the start, Rosetta Stone helps beginners build vocabulary, grasp sentence structure, and develop listening and speaking skills.
Casual learners can also find value in Rosetta Stone’s approach. The platform allows learners to progress at their own pace, making it convenient for those with busy schedules. The bite-sized lessons and engaging multimedia elements make language learning enjoyable and achievable, even for those studying in their spare time.
For professionals seeking to enhance their language skills, Rosetta Stone provides industry-specific language courses. These courses are tailored to professionals in various fields, offering specialized vocabulary and scenarios relevant to specific industries. Whether you’re in business, healthcare, or hospitality, Rosetta Stone equips you with the language skills necessary to excel in your professional endeavors.
Rosetta Stone stands out as a language learning program that immerses learners in their target language through an immersive approach and multimedia engagement. With a wide range of language options, a user-friendly interface, and a subscription-based pricing structure, Rosetta Stone caters to learners of all levels, from beginners to advanced speakers. While its implicit approach to grammar may not suit all learners, its focus on vocabulary and sentence structure provides a solid foundation for language acquisition. Whether you’re starting a foreign language from scratch or looking to refine your language skills, Rosetta Stone offers a dynamic and engaging platform to embark on your linguistic journey.
- Number of languages offered: 40
- Medium: Web and app
- Teaching methodology: gamified, spaced repetition, community-based learning
- Subscription type: free and paid
- User base: more than 500 million
- Best for: people looking for a free or low-cost language learning app.
- Website: duolingo.com
Duolingo has revolutionized the language learning landscape with its innovative and gamified approach, attracting over 500 million users worldwide. With its vibrant interface and addictive learning experience, Duolingo has become a popular choice for language enthusiasts of all ages and proficiency levels. Let’s delve into what makes Duolingo stand out and why it has gained such widespread acclaim.
At the heart of Duolingo’s success is its gamified learning platform. Duolingo transforms language learning into an interactive and enjoyable experience through game-like elements, leveling up, and achievements. By incorporating elements of competition, rewards, and progress tracking, Duolingo motivates learners to consistently engage with their language studies. This gamified approach fosters a sense of accomplishment and encourages learners to keep pushing forward.
One of the key advantages of Duolingo is its accessibility. The app offers a free version, allowing users to access a wide range of language courses without any cost. Duolingo’s free model has democratized language learning, making it available to individuals who may not have the financial means to invest in paid language courses. Learners can access lessons, practice exercises, and quizzes without any subscription fees, providing an inclusive learning environment for all.
Duolingo also offers a premium subscription called Super Duolingo, which provides additional benefits to enhance the learning experience. Super Duolingo eliminates ads, allows offline access to lessons, and provides unlimited hearts, which are a feature that allows learners to make mistakes without penalties. The subscription also offers progress tracking, personalized learning insights, and the ability to jump ahead to higher levels. The pricing structure for Super Duolingo varies depending on the number of users on the plan and the duration. If it is just you, you can opt for the monthly or annual plan (billed one time), or if you are a family (with 2 to 6 members), you can do that too and split the cost amongst your family members so you can save some money. And did I mention you have a 14-day free trial period before you commit to any of these?
When it comes to language options, Duolingo boasts an impressive selection of 40 languages. From widely spoken languages such as Spanish, French, and German to lesser-known languages like Irish, Welsh, and Swahili, Duolingo offers a diverse range of options for learners to explore. Each language course is designed to cover various aspects of language learning, including vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.
Duolingo’s course delivery method primarily revolves around bite-sized lessons presented in a quiz-like format. Learners engage with the language through multiple-choice questions, translation exercises, speaking practice, and listening comprehension activities. The platform emphasizes the use of visual cues, audio recordings, and contextual examples to reinforce language acquisition. While some learners appreciate the quiz-style format for its interactive nature, others may prefer a more traditional approach with explicit grammar explanations.
The user-friendly interface of Duolingo contributes to its popularity among learners. Navigating through the platform is intuitive, with clear progress indicators, achievement badges, and a visually appealing design. The layout is clean and organized, allowing learners to easily access their lessons, track their progress, and review previous materials. The platform also offers a mobile app, enabling learners to practice their language skills on the go.
Duolingo’s gamified approach and user-friendly interface make it an excellent choice for beginners. The platform provides a gentle introduction to the target language, gradually introducing new vocabulary and concepts. The interactive nature of the lessons encourages learners to actively engage with the language and build a foundation of essential language skills.
Casual learners also benefit from Duolingo’s flexible and bite-sized approach. The platform’s gamified elements and short lesson format make it easy to incorporate language learning into daily routines. Whether you have a few minutes during your commute or a spare moment during the day, Duolingo’s accessible format allows for quick and convenient language practice.
While Duolingo’s gamified approach and free model make it appealing for beginners and casual learners, it’s important to note that Duolingo may have limitations for learners seeking in-depth language proficiency or specialized professional language skills. Below, we list some of the more common feedback from users. The platform’s focus on vocabulary and basic sentence structures may not provide the depth of grammar instruction required for advanced language learners or professionals in specific fields. However, Duolingo serves as an excellent starting point or supplementary resource for language learners at various stages. We have noted below some of the more common feedback from other users of the platform.
Given the reviews for Duolingo, it’s clear that their app has a sizable user base and has earned praise for its gamified approach and user-friendly layout. However, some users have identified several shortcomings, like the need for additional conversation practice and a more balanced collection of exercises. It’s crucial to remember that while user feedback offers insightful information, individual experiences can change. Still, Duolingo continues to be a well-liked option for language learners everywhere.
Duolingo is a language learning platform that has captivated millions of learners worldwide with its engaging and gamified approach. The bite-sized lessons, colorful interface, and progress tracking features make it a fun and addictive way to learn a new language. However, it’s important to be aware of the limitations of Duolingo. While it excels at vocabulary acquisition and basic language skills, it may not provide the depth of grammar instruction or cultural immersion that some learners desire. It should be seen as a supplementary tool rather than a standalone language course. To truly become proficient in a language, it’s important to supplement Duolingo with additional resources, such as textbooks, conversation practice with native speakers, or immersive language experiences.
With that said, Duolingo is an excellent starting point for language learning, and its accessibility and user-friendly interface make it an attractive option for beginners. So, if you’re ready to embark on your language learning journey, I encourage you to give Duolingo a try. Download the app, choose your target language, and immerse yourself in its playful lessons. Remember, consistency is key, so aim to dedicate a few minutes each day to practice. And don’t forget to supplement your learning with other resources and activities to enhance your language skills. The world of language awaits, so seize the opportunity and start your Duolingo adventure today!
- Number of languages offered: 12
- Medium: Web and app
- Teaching methodology: audio-focused, conversational learning
- Subscription type: paid, monthly, or one-time packages
- User base: more than 2 million
- Best for: people looking for an audio-focused language learning app
- Website: rocketlanguages.com
Rocket Languages has gained recognition as a comprehensive language learning platform that offers a rich and immersive experience for learners. With its focus on providing in-depth instruction and cultural insight, Rocket Languages has become a go-to choice for individuals seeking to master a new language. Let’s explore what sets Rocket Languages apart and how it can accelerate your language learning journey.
One of the standout features of Rocket Languages is its commitment to delivering comprehensive language instruction. The platform offers a wide range of language courses, covering popular languages such as Spanish, French, German, and Italian, as well as lesser-known languages like Arabic, Korean, Hindi, and many more. Each course is designed to take learners from beginner to advanced levels, equipping them with the skills needed to communicate effectively in their target language.
Rocket Languages adopts a blended approach to language learning, combining interactive audio lessons, language and culture lessons, vocabulary training, and reinforcement exercises. The core of the instruction revolves around audio lessons, where learners listen to native speakers and engage in conversation simulations. This immersive technique helps learners develop listening comprehension, speaking fluency, and natural pronunciation. The language and culture lessons provide insights into the cultural aspects of the language, enhancing learners’ understanding and appreciation of the language they are studying.
Depending on the language you choose, Rocket Languages operates on a tiered pricing structure, except for Korean, Arabic, Hindi, Portuguese, American Sign Language, English, and Spanish, which are offered in a single tier. The platform offers three subscription levels: the Level 1 package, which provides access to the basic course content; the Level 1 and 2 packages, which include additional advanced lessons; and the Level 1, 2, and 3 packages, which combine both Level 1 and Level 2 for a more comprehensive learning experience. Learners can choose between monthly or lifetime subscriptions, providing flexibility based on their learning goals and preferences.
The pricing structure of Rocket Languages offers good value for learners looking for a comprehensive language learning experience. While the platform does require a subscription, the investment allows learners to access a wealth of resources, including interactive lessons, quizzes, progress tracking, and lifetime access to the materials. Furthermore, Rocket Languages occasionally offers promotions and discounts, making it more accessible and affordable for language learners.
Rocket Languages also places emphasis on practical language skills. The courses cover various aspects of language learning, including grammar, vocabulary, writing, reading, and speaking. Learners gain a well-rounded understanding of the language, which enables them to communicate effectively in real-life situations. The platform provides ample opportunities for learners to practice their language skills through interactive exercises, role-playing scenarios, and speech recognition technology that evaluates pronunciation.
The user-friendly interface of Rocket Languages enhances the learning experience. Navigating through the platform is intuitive, and learners can easily access their lessons, track their progress, and review previous materials. The interface is visually appealing, with clear instructions and explanations, making it easy for learners to follow along and understand the course content.
Rocket Languages caters to learners of all levels, from beginners to advanced speakers. This language program provides a solid foundation for beginners by focusing on building vocabulary, introducing basic grammar concepts, and developing essential conversation skills. For more advanced learners, Rocket Languages offers in-depth lessons that delve into complex grammatical structures, idiomatic expressions, and advanced vocabulary, helping them reach a higher level of language proficiency. Casual learners will appreciate the flexibility and self-paced nature of Rocket Languages. The platform allows learners to progress at their own speed, providing the freedom to study whenever and wherever they choose. The bite-sized lessons and interactive exercises make it convenient for casual learners to fit language learning into their busy schedules.
As with the other platforms we have previously discussed, we have made notes on some of the feedback provided by other users and listed them below.
By now, we know that Rocket Languages is a comprehensive language learning platform that offers in-depth instruction and cultural insight. With its blended approach, diverse language offerings, practical focus, and user-friendly interface, Rocket Languages provides a valuable resource for learners at various proficiency levels. Whether you’re a beginner starting your language journey or an experienced learner aiming for fluency, Rocket Languages equips you with the necessary tools and resources to achieve your language learning goals.
While Rocket Languages offers a comprehensive language learning experience, it’s important to note that the platform may not be suitable for those seeking a completely free language learning option. While some trial lessons are available for free, full access to the courses requires a subscription. However, considering the extensive content, interactive features, and lifetime access to materials, the investment in a Rocket Languages subscription is well worth it for those committed to mastering a new language.
- Number of languages offered: 9
- Medium: Web and app
- Teaching methodology: spaced repetition, flashcards, mnemonics
- Subscription type: Paid, tiered packages
- User base: over 12 million users
- Best for: people who are looking for a spaced repetition-based language learning program
- Website: mosalingua.com
When it comes to efficiently acquiring vocabulary in a new language, MosaLingua has established itself as a leading language learning app. With its unique approach and focus on vocabulary retention, MosaLingua has garnered praise from learners worldwide. Let’s explore what sets MosaLingua apart and how it can enhance your language learning journey.
MosaLingua employs a scientifically backed methodology that emphasizes spaced repetition and active recall to help learners effectively retain vocabulary. The platform offers language courses in several popular languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, and more. MosaLingua’s courses are meticulously designed to optimize vocabulary acquisition and provide learners with practical, everyday language skills.
One of the standout features of MosaLingua is its emphasis on personalized learning. The platform adapts to each learner’s progress and tailors the content accordingly. It uses a spaced repetition system that strategically presents vocabulary at specific intervals to reinforce memory retention. This approach ensures that learners review words at optimal times, maximizing their ability to recall and utilize the vocabulary in real-world contexts.
MosaLingua offers a number of courses that you can pick depending on the level of your knowledge as well as the medium you would use to learn—the web or the MosaLingua app. For MosaLingua Premium, a paid subscription service that provides users with access to all of MosaLingua’s language learning courses, a free trial is offered, followed by an annual subscription for learning via their website or a monthly or annual subscription for learning via the app. MosaLingua also offers the MosaSeries in different languages, where the learner aims to improve listening comprehension. This course type is offered as a monthly subscription after a 15-day free trial and is best for complete beginners and intermediate learners. Another course is MosaSpeak English, which aims to improve your English-speaking skills and is offered via a package with the option to have or not have a coach. The MosaSpeak course is also offered in other languages, such as Italian, German, French, and Spanish, and is being offered as a masterclass. And lastly, the MosaTraining course is a comprehensive and interactive training program that helps you learn and practice a new language. This course is offered in several pricing tiers.
The MosaLingua platform primarily focuses on vocabulary acquisition, but it also covers other essential language components such as grammar, pronunciation, and common phrases. The lessons are designed to be practical and relevant to real-life situations, equipping learners with the necessary language skills for effective communication. MosaLingua incorporates audio recordings by native speakers, interactive exercises, and mnemonic techniques to enhance learning and retention.
The user interface of MosaLingua is intuitive and user-friendly, making it accessible for learners of all levels. The platform offers a mobile app, allowing learners to study on the go and make the most of their language learning time. The app provides flexibility and convenience, enabling learners to practice their vocabulary acquisition anytime, anywhere.
MosaLingua’s approach is particularly beneficial for beginners and casual learners looking to build a solid vocabulary foundation. The platform’s focus on vocabulary acquisition helps learners quickly expand their word bank and grasp essential language concepts. Whether you’re planning a trip abroad or aiming to communicate more effectively with native speakers, MosaLingua equips you with the vocabulary necessary for practical language use.
While MosaLingua’s vocabulary-centered approach is highly effective for acquiring new words and phrases, it’s important to note that it may not provide comprehensive coverage of all language skills. For learners seeking a more well-rounded language learning experience, supplementing MosaLingua with other programs or resources that focus on grammar, reading, and listening skills may be beneficial.
Although we find the platform to be excellent generally, we have taken notice of some of the more prominent critiques and listed them below.
MosaLingua offers a highly effective approach to vocabulary acquisition and is a valuable tool for language learners. Its emphasis on personalized learning, spaced repetition, and active recall techniques has proven successful in helping learners retain and utilize new vocabulary. The platform’s practical and relevant content, coupled with audio recordings by native speakers, creates an immersive learning experience that enhances language skills. MosaLingua’s intuitive interface and mobile app further contribute to its convenience and accessibility.
However, it’s important to note that MosaLingua’s primary focus on vocabulary may not provide comprehensive coverage of all language skills. While it excels at helping learners expand their word bank, it may not offer the same depth of instruction in grammar, pronunciation, and other language components. It is advisable to supplement MosaLingua with additional resources or courses that address these areas to ensure a well-rounded language learning experience.
If you’re looking to boost your vocabulary efficiently and effectively, MosaLingua is worth exploring. Sign up for a premium subscription to unlock the full potential of the platform and take advantage of its advanced features and offline capabilities. Commit to regular practice and leverage MosaLingua’s personalized learning approach to reinforce your vocabulary retention. Remember, language learning requires dedication and consistency, so make MosaLingua a part of your daily language learning routine. Expand your linguistic horizons, enhance your communication skills, and embark on a rewarding language learning journey with MosaLingua.
The world of language learning is brimming with opportunities, and while we have explored some prominent platforms, there are many other exceptional options to consider. Free software programs such as Memrise, HelloTalk, and LingQ offer valuable resources, while paid apps like Italki, Pimsleur, and Transparent Language provide comprehensive language learning experiences. Each platform caters to different needs, offering varying numbers of languages, course delivery methods, and suitability for beginners, casual learners, and professionals.
It is worth venturing beyond the platforms discussed here and exploring the wider landscape of language learning. By doing so, you may discover hidden gems that resonate with your learning style and unlock new possibilities. So, when you have the chance, take a moment to explore these alternative platforms, both free and paid, and embark on a rewarding language learning journey. Remember, the world is your classroom, and with the right platform, you can expand your linguistic horizons and embrace the beauty of new languages.