best apps for learning spanish

Language learners of the world, you are such a lucky bunch! You have access to a bounty of wonderful tools that can aid your learning process.

Studying Spanish using conventional didactic methods such as books and attending face-to-face lessons in a proper classroom have their benefits, but with the dawn of the digital age acquiring language skills has been transformed into an incredible dynamic and convenient experience thanks to apps and accessible online language schools.

Language apps on their own typically aren’t enough to reach a conversational level in Spanish but are a great tool to use alongside immersive Spanish lessons.

They provide anything from complete language courses, flashcards, live chats, and social media integrations, to educational games and reference resources. With such an array of options, it may be difficult to know which are the best apps for learning Spanish. These are the five most popular:

Duolingo

duolingo

Duolingo is one of the most widespread free language learning app on the market, especially amongst young learners, and it´s easy to see why. The design and functionality turn the task into an interactive experience similar to a video game.

You win badges for practicing your Spanish and for completing new levels which entice the user to progress. This app does provide a broad spectrum of vocabulary and difficulty increases steadily as you move forward. It also covers simple conjugation and basic listening skills focus on the bare essentials, which mean that it does not hit hard on developing a high level of grammar.

Finally, if you are the competitive type Duolingoallows you to track your progress against your friends.

Works on: Web, IOS, and Android

Rosetta Stone

rosetta stone

Rosetta Stone is the world´s best-known language learning methodology, being the first language app available for download. It is one of the original best apps for learning Spanish, before apps were even anywhere near what they are now.

What differentiates it from other digital tools is that it teaches you Spanish in Spanish. It sounds confusing, but what we mean is that there are no translations to English (or the language you speak) and that all the content is in Spanish, making it a fully immersive learning experience.

Therefore it is tough to only use this, the programming is best done alongside immersive lessons.

This may not be for everyone. Additionally to the integrated materials and classes, you may also schedule live lessons with Spanish tutors so you can practice speaking.

This app does offer a comprehensive solution for your Spanish language needs but it is based on a rigid teaching program and the provided time slots to book your live lessons are very inflexible too.

Works on: Web, IOS, and Android

Busuu

busuu

Busuu offers a very user-friendly platform and allows you to track your process as well as get weekly reports.

The courses correspond directly to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)[1], an international standard for language lessons. So this means you achieve fluency in a more structured way.

This could be appealing to more serious language learners looking to benchmark their progress against an internationally accepted scale rather than to those who may be seeking a more fun and relaxed experience.

Works on: Web, IOS, and Android

Memrise

memrise

Memrise is the language learning tool that brings a little fun and humor into the mix. Here the main focus is the expansion of vocabulary. For instance, it uses memes as well as entertaining or quirky associations between words and their meanings in order to ensure that newly covered words are memorized.

Behind this fun and lighthearted approach, there is some serious science too. It is based on a “spaced repetition” technique, where words or concepts are repeatedly presented by longer and longer time intervals.

The space repetition algorithm calculates how often words should be covered to ensure the vocabulary is effectively memorized by the learner.

You can also compete and share your own memes with other users to help boost your ratings. These kinds of features definitively appeal to a more juvenile profile of language learners.

Works on: Web, IOS, and Android

Beelingual

beelingual

Beelinguapp is truly unique because it allows the user to learn Spanish through audiobooks with an amusing karaoke reading style. This bookish tool encourages learners to read in another language whilst displaying both language text side-by-side.

The learner just has to set the languages and choose the story from an interesting assortment of categories. Beelinguapp may enhance Spanish reading comprehension and reinforce the vocabulary, spelling, and grammar.

However, this option is only appropriate for those who already have the Spanish basis covered.

Works on: IOS and Android


Can you really learn Spanish with an app?

These are the best apps for learning Spanish — but are they enough?

Despite all their benefits language learning apps might not be the best solution for everyone wanting to take their Spanish to the next level, beyond simply learning new words. Apps are usually based on repetitive work and perceived as more informal tools that provide a private safe space where the learner can practice at their own pace and make good use of their spare time. 

However, if you want an effective personalized immersive Spanish language program you should look into Live Lingua.

Live Lingua is an innovative online language school that provides live one-to-one classes with qualified native Spanish speaking teachers, who add essential cultural insights to the learning process, craft customized programs with relevant materials for you and offer flexible schedules that work around your own timetable. 

Learn a new language on your terms! Lessons are delivered via Skype to wherever you are (no matter the time zone) and the content is truly tailored to your specific needs.

Whether you’re learning Spanish for a trip to Spain, Mexico, or Latin America, Live Lingua also offers one of the top Spanish-learning podcasts. 

Your progress is evaluated against the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Scale[2]to ensure you formally move forward. Finally, flexibility and convenience are wrapped with the added benefit of outstanding customer service. 

Live Lingua’s team of class coordinators are on hand 7 days a week to assist with any support needs you may have.

Whether you are a complete beginner or are already at an advanced level, Live Lingua can help you achieve your Spanish language dreams. You can book a free 1-hour trial class to discuss your language learning objectives and motivations. Start today and up your language game!


[1]https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages

[2]https://www.languagetesting.com/actfl-proficiency-scale

How to use these apps to learn a language before traveling

Let’s face it.

Learning a foreign language is a challenge many folks don’t want to face.  As an American, I feel like we’re especially guilty of this.  The US is actually largely monolingual (yep, the stats show it’s not just a stereotype) and 64% of us have never even left the US!  Many of us clearly don’t give much thought to how to learn a language before traveling.

But the truth is, there are many benefits of learning a foreign language for travel.  Primarily, natives of the countries we do travel to really appreciate it when we try to learn even a little of the local language.  I mean, don’t you appreciate it when a tourist makes an attempt in English?

So, to help you out, here are 4 tips on how to learn a language before your next trip abroad

Dual-Wield Duolingo and Hellotalk-2 of the Best Language-Learning Apps

Duolingo and Hellotalk are two free language-learning apps that make the perfect pair for picking up the basic words and phrases you’ll need before you set off.

Start with Duolingo’s short and interactive lessons, complete with spoken and written practice, grammar lessons, and vocabulary building.  It works on a laptop or your phone, so you can take it with you. Additionally, there are a handful of features available to users even if you don’t have an internet connection!

Next, jump onto Hellotalk and practice what you’ve learned with native speakers using text, voice recording, video and voice calls, and correction tools.  This app is great to expand your vocabulary by familiarizing yourself with local slang specific to the region you’re headed to!

Dive Into the FREE Live Lingua Project

We’re biased, but this is perhaps the biggest way to learn a language before traveling without ever opening your wallet. The Live Lingua Project hosts the largest collection of free language-learning materials on the entire web. You can choose whichever language you want to learn from a list of 130 different languages.

Plus, our incredibly valuable resource even divides the list by different dialects depending on where you’re headed. Therefore, you won’t study Brazilian Portuguese on your way to Portugal!

With thousands of free eBooks, audios and videos, you’ll have no trouble greeting others politely, ordering food and drinks, and asking for the restroom when traveling – the 3 language skills you need to survive!

You can have the highlights of the Live Lingua Project, plus some other cool resources, sent to your inbox for free by signing up for our Spanish Survival Crash Course. Over the course of six days, you’ll receive everything you need to get going on your Spanish learning journey.


Use Mnemonics to Help Remember Words and Phrases

Mnemonics are memory systems (tricks) that allow you to retain and recall specific information with greater ease. This proves to be especially useful for language learning, as you can pair vocabulary words in your target language with a mental image of a similar sounding word in your native tongue.

For example, raupe in German means caterpillar. To remember this word, I would picture a caterpillar swinging from a rope!

Other mnemonic devices include using the first letter of each of the words in a list or sequence (think ROY G. BIV, the acronym used to to recall the colors of a rainbow) or funny phrases, like one of my favorites from Spanish class years ago:

Every ‘-cion’ sings like Dion.  This tells us that words ending in ‘ción’ tend to be feminine and use ‘la’!

You can do the same for words and phrases in your target language before you travel, so they’ll be easier to recall when you’re abroad.

Try immersive online language lessons with Live Lingua!

We start every student off with a free 60-minute lesson. That’s after we speak with you directly to identify your goals and then pair you with the perfect teacher to help you reach them. Our lessons are always taught by native speakers of the language, and they work hard to build a curriculum personally suited to helping YOU reach your language goals.

Lessons happen on your schedule – via Skype! No large classroom settings, no intimidation, no boring and unproductive standardized lessons or tests. Just you and your teacher, one on one, working to help you reach your language goals.

Then, take what you’ve learned on the road for additional practice. Many folks would love to share their native language and culture with you while learning about yours! When you learn a language before traveling, your effort is rewarded with respect.

Final words on how to learn a language before traveling

If you read our post on why 2018 is the perfect year to learn English, you already know the benefits of learning a language before traveling.  While it’s true that people speak English around the world, we strongly encourage you to learn a bit of the local language, as it will help you:

So don’t wait until after you arrive! We’re here to help you learn a language before traveling

You’ll be glad you did!



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