“Your talent is a seed; cultivate it, and in no time, you will harvest successMatshona Dhliwayo, Zimbabwean philosopher

7 Apps to help learn English before you Study Abroad

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way to translate from English to French without the hassle of a dictionary? Perhaps. But even if this is not the case, downloading apps to learn English or another language on your computer or your smartphone does not hurt. A language app can help you learn a new foreign language faster. You can learn any foreign language you want to learn whether you are at home or anywhere in the world. You can learn English (or other languages) using some of the 7 most popular language apps. There is even the possibility of learning a language with free applications. We hope you enjoy this article and find it useful for your trips and future study abroad plans. Each of these apps offers a different learning method. So, below, we discuss the pros and cons of each app.

Fluent U

  • Platforms: Web, iOS and Android
  • Price: $ 30 / month if you choose monthly billing or $ 20 / month if you choose annual billing
  • Recommended for: advanced learners
A fun learning experience, Fluent U is based on viewing many videos. Videos merged with dictionaries provide instant translations for unfamiliar words for each video. Knowing what you have already learned in Fluent U, it brings you new examples based on what you already know. The Fluent U app has bilingual captions for all the content it offers, even if everyone is watching the same videos. The Cons of Fluent U You don’t have to speak, so you aren’t encouraged to practice speaking and checking your pronunciation. The videos are also rather short (less than 10 minutes). In addition, there is no clear course structure that you can follow.

Duolingo

  • Platforms: Web, iOS and Android
  • Price: Varies
  • Recommended for: Beginner learners
With Duolingo, you simply follow the translation of expressions written by native speakers of English (or whichever language you have chosen to study). It is more like a game in order to facilitate learning. With every lesson, you complete you earn “points” while mistakes cost you “lives”. Duolingo teaches English by reading and speaking online. Cons of Duolingo Duolingo does not develop your oral skills too much, due to its limited teaching method and quizzes.

Anki

  • Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux / BSD, iOS, Android
  • Price: free (with the possibility of making donations to support the developer)
  • Recommended for: advanced learners
Anki is associated with the Japanese language and means “to memorize”, which is also the main goal of the program. The Anki flash card system encourages its students to make connections and repeat card vocabulary. With Anki, it is easy to learn vocabulary, grammar and syntax at the level of the English language.

The Cons of Anki

Often with Anki it is difficult to find sub-titled content that is entertaining.

Memrise

  • Platforms: Web, iOS and Android
  • Price: Free
  • Recommended for: Beginners
The learning experience is like a game, as Memrise uses the functions of Duolingo and Anki to stimulate your memory. The Memrise app makes it easier for you to learn English vocabulary, and for each correct answer you receive points. The application also allows you to measure yourself against other users.

Disadvantages of Memrise

This program only teaches you three or four new words or phrases at a time. Above all, it does not teach reading or writing. 

Pimsleur

  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows Peripherals
  • Price: Average $ 300 per package or CD
  • Recommended for: Beginners and Intermediates
Basically, the Pimsleur app is an audio program consisting of 30 minute lessons. The app will allow you to translate a word you would like to see in English into your native language. Pimsleur will then provide you with the answer whether you repeat the sentence correctly or not. With Pimsleur, repeating lessons will help you remember what you have learned in a lesson. Classes include conversations between native English speakers.

Disadvantages of Pimsleur

According to some users, you only learn a small number of new words over time.

Busuu

  • Platforms: Web, iPhone and Android system
  • Price: free or 5.83-6.66 EUR per month for premium subscriptions
  • Recommended for: language learners of all levels
With Busuu, it is possible to have a live conversation with a native speaker and then exchange via video. It’s fun and it will help you improve your pronunciation quickly, as your language partner will correct you if you get it wrong. In addition to having access to native speakers, you can also access grammar lessons through the premium package. Disadvantage of Busuu Although it does not have any system for recording, Busuu focuses its attention on both formal and oral abilities.

Babbel

  • Platforms: Web, iPhone, Android
  • Price: between 5 and 10 EUR / month depending on the monthly plan
  • Recommended for: beginners and intermediates
The Babbel app helps English language students develop conversational skills. Lessons last 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, you will hear dialogues, review grammar, and be told about new vocabulary that has just been introduced.Thanks to a recording function, you can check if your pronunciation is correct; Babbel will correct you if you are wrong. This application can be used without an Internet connection, and its software is intuitive and rich in content.

Disadvantages of Babbel

After you complete an entire lesson twice, Babbel does not allow you to repeat exercises or recordings.

Conclusion

So now you know the advantages and disadvantages of each of these applications. It’s up to you to decide which app will best fit your language learning experience.  No language app can give you sufficient explanations about all aspects of English: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. But a language learning app can introduce you to a new language or help you continue to develop a language. To get the most out of an application, you will need to dedicate at least 15-30 minutes per day. Undoubtedly a language learning app will be a good investment if you want to study abroad But, remember that a language application does not replace a real language stay. Taking language lessons on-site, in real immersion, is always the best way to learn a language. Especially in terms of comprehension and speaking, studying a language on the spot will be much more effective. So don’t hesitate to contact your Seed representative to learn more about language courses abroad.

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