I’m totally in love with foreign languages! I took Spanish in High School, but unfortunately, I didn’t learn much. I went to Finland and Romania after High School on different study abroad trips and loved being immersed in foreign sounds that I could not understand. It was fascinating to me. Somehow, through both of those trips, both of which I did NOT learn to speak Spanish, I still have this strong desire to learn Spanish.
Without spending the big bucks on either going to school, or heading to a foreign land to learn by immersion, I decided the next best thing is a couple of great free apps on my phone.
Memrise is a program that teaches phrases. You basically plant a seed the first time that you hear the phrase, and then you have to grow that seed into a flower by practicing those phrases.
Sometimes you hear the phrase and have to pick the correct translation, other times you spell out the new word or choose from a bunch of scrambled words to put a phrase in order.
I love this app because sometimes it is hard for me to figure out exactly how to group all these words into sentences! However, if you are wanting to learn to form sentences other than what you have learned, this may not be the app for you.
Duolingo teaches in a way that seems a little more natural. You learn the basics of the language first, and then in each different “level” new words are put into sentences with words that you have already learned.
The methods used to teach vary from speaking into the phone, matching vocabulary words, unscrambling sentences, or hearing a sentence and either typing what you hear, or typing the translation.
Both programs are available as an app, or online at their website. Both offer many different languages and a way to set goals to help you learn the language. I find these are WAY more fun than listening to those cds where you get really good at asking where the restaurant and bathroom are, but not much beyond the tourist aspect of things.
Try it out! Tell me what you think! What ways have you found to learn languages?