We no longer check to see whether Telegraph. Co. Uk displays properly in Internet Explorer version 6 or earlier. Websites, apps, e-books, online study communities, and translators can be great assets for language learning. But there are so many materials online, and so much range in quality, that learners can waste a lot of time testing new sites to find the perfect fit for them. Language study is not a one-size-fits-all hobby, and no single style of learning will appeal to all learners. Some prefer lots of visual aids and sleek graphics to hold their interest. Some like the motivation of quizzes, scores, and games so they can track their learning and compete with themselves.
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Some are drawn to grammar, while others prefer listen-and-repeat exercises. We review five free online language learning resources to find the best fit for different types of language learners. These language lessons feature new vocabulary and phrases supported by dialogues, writing exercises, audio recording options, and the chance to network with other language learners and native speakers on the site for some real-time practice. Pros: This site offers a well-rounded approach to language learning, with study options for reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Also, the Busuu app options allow learners to take their lessons or review materials on the go. Best for: Learners with some understanding of the language already. My beginner lesson in German immersed me into full sentences and dialogues, without much practice in sentence-building or pronunciation first. Previously an invite-only site, Duolingo is one of the most well-rounded study resources that you can get for free.
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There s also an Immersion resource with authentic reading materials and a translation option for difficult passages. Pros: The graphics of this site keep learning organised and interesting, even on the app. Lessons are presented as a flow chart where users can see where their vocabulary can be recycled and build upon in future lessons. Cons:
So far, the site only offers study material in six languages, all of them European. Best for: Learners who need a bit of structure in their lessons. Grammar notes also pop up during the lessons to point out new concepts like articles and conjugation. The American Foreign Services Institute offers their language learning materials for free personal use.
Though the site is basic, bear in mind that these materials are high-quality, designed by professional linguists with the goal of learner fluency. Pros: An impressive resource for lesser-studied languages, especially African tongues like Igbo and Shona. The audio recordings, while a bit fuzzy, are well organised. Cons:
Compared to the graphics of the other sites, the materials seem austere, with simple black-and-white PDF texts. Also, the lessons are organised around grammar and repetition, which some learners dislike.