As a former foreign language teacher I thought I’d give my review of some language learning apps that I’m using to learn French in one year. The following Apps I have formed a habit of using daily, I’ll describe how they fare and how I am using them on my day to day basis.
A fun alternative to the more popular Duolingo, they include mostly vocabulary focused exercises which is great. It’s easy to use and you feel progress as you change “levels’ and move from “planet to planet” as you explore the solar system of the stuff you need to learn. In the past they used to give you a “preview” of the exercises behind a paywall which was nice since they were generous with those previews but they don’t really do that anymore. It still works fine as the meat and bones of the app are still free. I aim to complete all the words I have to review and “half” a planet each day.
This app is one of the best as you’re constantly learning and repeating vocabulary. If you make a mistake on conjugation it’ll show you the rules below and keep track of how many words you have learned. I usually practice around 20 minutes. Very well designed and keeps you on your toes so you don’t forget previously learned vocabulary, highly recommended.
Busuu has too much locked under a paywall which sucks, but it has different type of exercises and vocabulary which makes it a nice alternative to learn some different stuff. I try to complete one “line” per day. The free content is not that much so you can finish this app fairly quick. It’s not my favorite by any means but since it’s rather short and includes some different activities and words I think it’s important to at least get through it.
I already talked in detail about my thoughts on Duolingo and its problems. I still like it though and I try to get minimum 30 xp per day but I aim for 40, this means completing 3 to 4 lessons a day. You can always join my French Duolingo Club with the code 5RH6XP, if the c;in is full try again in a week since I constantly prune old inactive members.
It comes installed in most phones but Google Translate is a must for anything and I use it daily to figure out a word or two. It’s important to only translate one word instead of the whole sentence or paragraph as that will still get you to think in the language rather than just translate.
Overall I spend a little under an hour a day with the apps above and while I keep forgetting vocabulary I’ve constantly practiced I have noticed that I still retain a decent amount to make it worth the trouble of training with the following French apps. If you’re just beginning, I recommend that you start off with just one of them until you build a habit of using it every day. If you try to start with all of them at once, you’ll just get tired of them and never come back to them. So just like exercise, building the habit is the most important part, make them a part of your day to day activities.