Apps have affected our lives in so many ways. Need to get directions? There’s an app for that. Want to spruce up some photos before sharing them with family? There’s an app–or several hundred–for that as well. And the impact of apps on language learning is certainly noticeable, too. But not all apps are created equal, and playing on your smartphone all day is unlikely to help you transform into a multilingual. If you’re excited to embrace apps as you learn a new language, consider these do’s and don’ts:
DO download an ultra easy vocabulary game.
Downloading an app to increase your vocabulary in a new language is one of the smartest ways to put your smartphone to use for you. Conjugation, grammar, and other more complex aspects of the language require a more formal learning approach, but when it comes to seeing and memorizing new words, apps are a great tool! Start with something really easy, even an app that’s marketed for children, to boost confidence and prepare you for more advanced options.
DON’T go overboard and download too many different apps.
You might find yourself a little too excited to start playing language-related games and want to download a dozen different apps that look fun. And they may be fun, but are they really teaching you anything? Download just 2 or 3 apps to start with and work on advancing to higher levels or more difficult tasks.
DO make it part of your daily routine.
Many people play games on their smartphone on a daily basis. Instead of lining up diamonds, flinging birds through the air, or spelling words with letter tiles, use that time to use your language app. Whether you like to play on your phone on the train ride into work each morning or while you’re sitting on the couch relaxing at nighttime, set a reminder for the first week or two to play a language-related game during that time and it will become ingrained in your daily routine before you know it.
DON’T count on an app to teach you the whole language.
There is no substitute for language instruction from a qualified instructor. You can opt for in-person classes or online lessons based on your own schedule and learning preferences. Apps make great support tools.
DO remember to use social media apps for language learning.
Follow informative pages on social media that give tips, share interesting links, and teach common phrases. Take your English-language hobby and give it an educational twist by following the foreign language pages of your favorite international brands, like People en Español or Volkswagen Deutschland.
Stay consistent when it comes to learning a new language. You may be tempted from time to time to skip your studying for the day, and that’s okay. But if you find yourself dreading it, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to try something new. Find fun apps that you look forward to using and they will become an instrumental part of your language learning journey. Good luck!
Dusty Fox writes for Language Trainers, a language training company committed to providing personalized classes for every student.Visit the Language Trainers website to learn more about their tailor-made package options, and to check out their free online resources.