As technology has become increasingly embedded in our daily lives, the relevant knowledge and skills related to its use can be influential in the learning process. This part of the CULTR website examines widely available applications beyond the classroom, resources to become gradually tech-savvy, and useful tools geared to both teachers and students.
Description: Recognized as the Best App for 2013 by both the Google Play Store and the AppStore, Duolingo is one of the highest rated apps available when it comes to learning another language.Through fun and briskly paced lessons, users learn a new language by repetition, audibly speaking it, and conversation. While Duolingo is not as grammar-intensive as other language apps, its lessons still focus on the most commonly used tenses to build novices from the ground up. The app challenges the user with increasing levels of difficulty with correct answers earning points (Lingots) that has the added bonus of purchasing items from Duolingo’s store.
Language(s): Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and English
Platforms: Web, iOS, Android, Windows
Description: Delivering quality courses in 14 languages, Babbel offers a language-learning program that teaches through listening and writing more than speaking and writing. With that in mind, it still offers tools such as pronunciation evaluation to ensure the other aspects of learning a language are accounted for. Babbel exposes users to a lot of new vocabulary to fit almost any conversation needs and then reviews these phrases thoroughly. Milestones are established through a custom class structure to allow users to monitor their progress as well. Languages can be downloaded individually so the user can focus on one language at a time that costs less than many of its competitors.
Language(s): Spanish, English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish, Dutch, Polish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Danish, Russian
Cost: Free to download. Subscription prices vary based on Babbel’s payment plans
Platforms: Web, iOS, Android
Description: Memrise is a language-learning program that utilizes the format of flashcards to teach from an impressive list of 200+ languages and 300,000+ courses. With different modules depending on the proficiency of the user, Memrise takes the memorization and repetition techniques essential to flashcards and introduces a competitive element with the ability to compete against other users. Points and reputation standings allow users to be more engaged in learning a new language and to have fun challenging friends. Furthermore, teachers and students can benefit from Memrise’s option to allow users to design their own courses of rich, multimedia flashcards on anything.
Platforms: Web, iOS, Android
To explore CULTR’s work with teacher professional development, including topics on technology, please visit our Teacher Workshops page.