Online Language Learning Tools: 3 Most Effective Ways to Learn a Language Online

Online Language Learning Tools: 3 Most Effective Ways to Learn a Language Online

With the rise of the internet and the proliferation of personal laptops and WiFi-enabled mobile devices, online learning has also grown in popularity. It is an easy and convenient way to learn a new skill.

One type of online course that is extremely popular is the online language learning course. If you ask a group of people what new skill they would like to acquire, if possible, many will say a new language. If you ask what’s stopping them, however, just as many might say that they think they don’t have the time to enroll in a language learning course.

Lucky for the bilingual speakers of the future, online language learning is something that is now easily available to them. 

Online language learning is considered an effective and efficient way for people to pick up a second or even a third language. There are a variety of online language learning tools that can help both beginner and more advanced learners develop their fluency. Here are three of the best types of online language learning tools available today. 

1. Online language learning courses

If you are a beginner language learner, one of the best ways to learn is to enroll in an online learning program. Online learning programs provide you with a structured learning program, much like if you had enrolled in an in-person class. The advantage to this is, most of these programs follow a step-by-step lesson plan that teaches you what you need to know gradually and naturally.

If, for example, you decide to watch a language learning YouTube video at random, you might find yourself confused because the trainer will be talking about concepts that assume you have already learned when you might not have learned them yet. You avoid this when taking an online learning program because each lesson is designed to flow into the other. As long as you follow the order of the program, your language skills will be built up gradually but efficiently.

Here are a few online language programs that you should consider enrolling in. Take note that most of these programs charge a fee. There might be a few free lessons, but if you want to advance, you’re going to have to eventually subscribe.

  • Coursera

Website: https://www.coursera.org/

Coursera offers a wide range of language courses that are effective for learners at all levels. These courses are created by experts from top universities, ensuring high-quality instruction across aspects like grammar, vocabulary, and cultural nuances.

The platform’s flexibility allows learners to study at their own pace, making it ideal for those juggling other commitments. Each course includes interactive elements such as video lectures and peer discussions to enhance learning. Upon completion, learners can also obtain certificates that demonstrate their language skills on professional profiles.

  • Rosetta Stone

Website: https://www.rosettastone.com/

Languages taught: Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, English (American and British), Filipino (Tagalog), French, Greek, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian (Parsi), Polish. Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Swedish, Turkish  

This is a “classic” online language learning program, becoming available in 1992. They offer lessons to help you learn how to speak, read, and write in more than 30 languages. 

Rosetta Stone is known for its patented speech recognition engine, TruAccent. With TruAccent, you get real-time feedback on your conversational practice sessions. This enables you to perfect your accent and improve your speaking ability. 

When you first sign up, you will get three days’ worth of free lessons, afterwards, you are going to need to subscribe and pay. The basic subscription plan is about $11.99 a month for three months. If you really want to become a polyglot, however, you might want to check out their 12 Months plan with allows you access to unlimited languages at $9.99 a month or a Lifetime subscription which allows you unlimited lessons in all of the languages they offer for $179. 

2. Language apps

Mobile apps are some of the most popular online learning tools out there because they allow you to learn anytime and anywhere. ‘

Most language learning apps offer a similar experience to online learning programs, in the sense that there is a set lesson plan or at least an “order” in which you are expected to take the lessons. They also often offer additional “extra” learning tools, like an online dictionary or vocabulary games that you can play with other people who use the app. 

You may be able to find language learning apps that you can download for free, but you’re going to have to make in-app purchases to get the full benefit of the lessons. Here are a couple of examples of language apps that you might want to check out.

  • Duolingo

Website: https://www.duolingo.com/

Languages taught: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, French, German, Greek, Guarani, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, High Valyrian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Welsh

This is a very popular language learning app that offers to teach people how to speak languages in a way that is fun and convenient. Currently, there are about 35 language courses available on Duolingo, with more in development.

The “selling point” of Duolingo and other language learning apps is that it can make your downtime, your breaks, and even your commutes more productive. They offer “bite-sized” lessons that focus on real-life goals. This means that they are designed to teach you how to communicate in specific situations, such as when ordering food at a restaurant.

They also keep their users motivated by making the lessons learning process feel like a game. Learning certain lessons can earn you virtual rewards which help you track your progress and encourage you to go on. 

One other reason that Duolingo is so popular as an online language learning tool is the fact that it is free. However, they also offer Duolingo Plus a subscription plan at $6.99 a month which gives you ad-free access to the lessons. Duolingo Plus also allows you to access the lessons offline. 

  • Babbel+ (Our recommendation) 

Website: https://www.babbel.com/

Languages taught: Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

Babbel, which was founded in 2007, is the first language learning app in the world. It offers language learning courses in over 14 languages. They offer audio dialogues and examples that are recorded with the help of native speakers to expose you to how the language is “really” spoken and improve your own conversational abilities.

Downloading the Babble+ app is free and the first lessons in each course are also free to try. Depending on the language that you are trying to learn, you might get 30 to 80 lessons free. If you want to continue after that, you are going to need to subscribe. They have 1-month ($12.95), 3 months ($8.95 a month), 6 months ($7.45 a month), and 12 months ($6.95 a month) plans.  

3. Online Language Tutoring

If the biggest advantage of online language programs is the structured lesson plans and the biggest advantage of language learning apps is the flexibility of the learning schedule, online language tutoring’s biggest advantage is that it combines the best of both these worlds.

When you work with an online language tutor, your tutor follows a specific lesson plan that is designed to help you pick up essential language skills quickly. They may modify the lesson plan according to your needs and specifications, but bottom line is, your lessons are structured in a way that will help you build up your knowledge and not leave you confused and floundering.

An online tutor isn’t as flexible as an app, in the sense that you can’t just decide you have some time to kill and expect to have a lesson then and there. You need to set a time to meet with your tutor. However, it is still very flexible because you can decide on the lesson times yourself. 

A classroom-based language learning course requires you to be present at a specific place and a specific time over a specified period, they decide for you and you have to adjust the rest of your schedule to make those classes. With a tutor, you tell them when you will be free to have a lesson, so you can easily fit your language learning into your existing schedule. 

The biggest advantage to an online language tutor, however, is the fact that it allows you to have conversations with a native speaker. Hearing a language spoken and speaking it back to someone, having a conversation, is still considered the most effective way to gain fluency. Conversational practice is an integral part of online language tutoring courses. Your tutor will also be able to provide real-time feedback and tips to ensure that you will be able to communicate well in your chosen second or third language.

  • Lingoda

Website: https://www.lingoda.com/

Lingoda.com is an online language learning platform that offers live classes in English, Business English, German, French, and Spanish. What sets Lingoda apart is its focus on small group classes led by native-speaking teachers, ensuring personalized attention and an immersive learning experience. Classes are available 24/7, allowing learners to schedule sessions at their convenience, fitting seamlessly into any lifestyle.

Each course at Lingoda follows a structured curriculum aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), making it easy for learners to track their progress and achieve tangible results. Students can choose from different plans tailored to their learning goals, whether they aim to achieve fluency or simply improve conversation skills.

Lingoda also offers the unique opportunity to participate in language marathons, which challenge students to improve rapidly within a specified period, with a chance to earn their money back upon successful completion. This makes Lingoda an effective choice for motivated learners looking for a fast-paced and accountable language learning environment.

While there are other online language learning tools, such as YouTube or Podcasts, or Translation apps, the three methods we talked about above are the most intensive and the most structured of the common online language learning tools. 

We recommend that you choose at least one to be your main language learning tool then use a few other ways to learn languages online that are either more convenient for you or suit your learning style.

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