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One of the biggest influences on the language learning industry in recent years has undoubtedly come from the rise of online language learning apps and courses. Millions of people around the world have used them to begin their individual journeys towards overcoming language barriers.

Of course, it’s great news that more and more people are interested in learning new languages ​​and broadening their horizons, but given the global and financial reach of the phenomenon, it begs the question: do apps and online courses really work for learning languages?

Benefits of language learning apps

Most educators recognize that there is some value in using a language learning app. Learning a new language requires regular, repeated practice, and apps offer students a convenient and fun way to do it. All major apps simply require a download to your mobile device, and learning can then begin without payment, but with selected advertisements or promotional messages. The lessons are simple, short, engaging and fun, and the gamified functionality keeps users coming back.

As such, the apps are designed for convenience and to be used whenever students have a few free minutes, such as during the commute or lunch break. These short bursts of regular activity promote exposure to the target language and help build basic vocabulary and comprehension skills. They can therefore be useful for giving students a taste of what learning their new language will be like before spending a lot of money on a course they don’t like.

Additionally, language apps can definitely be helpful in giving students a head start on those languages ​​that have a different writing system like Arabic or Chinese.

The limits of apps in language learning

The most compelling argument against using language apps concerns what students actually learn when they use them. As noted above, it is clear that students can build basic vocabulary and can learn key phrases through an app. However, many students who use such apps struggle to carry on a conversation beyond the serial sentences they have memorized. After all, the goal in learning another language is to be able to speak it and use it effectively in real-life situations. This can only be achieved through the practice of skills, therefore through a real exchange with native speakers and by reading and listening to content from real natives of the language you intend to learn.

If you teach people to memorize vocabulary and grammar rules, most of them will learn it. However, it’s much harder to take that knowledge and translate it into the ability to use language: speak it, understand what you’re hearing, and respond appropriately.

It’s also worth noting that much of the apps’ most interesting content is only accessible via subscription. While initial access is free, you will need to pay to progress to intermediate or advanced content. Learning in free modules, filled with advertising and commercial messages, is also not ideal for student attention spans.

A valid alternative to apps: LingoYou Academy online courses

As we have seen, language learning apps are useful tools for breaking the deadlock and helping people become familiar, at least on a superficial level, with a foreign language. This aspect should not be underestimated: there are many people who give up from the start because they are convinced that they do not have the ability to do it. From this perspective, a well-designed app can dissolve initial shyness and lay the foundations for achieving new goals. Yes, new goals. Because if the goal is to learn a language, then the best performing solution offered by technology is that of online courses.

LingoYou Academy’s online language courses are taught by real people, native speakers, who will be able to guide you in discovering a new language. The courses are based on a continuous exchange between you and the teacher and allow you to carry out real simulations to prepare you for the effective use of the language. Continuous and constant exchange with a certified teacher is the only way to learn and speak a foreign language fluently. There are no shortcuts to knowledge.

LingoYou Academy, online and offline courses for efficient language learning

Whatever language you want to learn and whatever your age, LingoYou Academy courses are the answer to your language learning needs. They include a wide range of unique features that help language educators teach languages ​​more efficiently and more successfully. This is why companies and educational institutions choose LingoYou Academy as a solution to support the delivery of online and classroom lessons.

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