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Specialist Language Courses

Language Mobile Apps – Advantages and disadvantages of learning a new language via Mobile App

Learning languages are great – I think we can all agree with that. But if you decide to learn a new language the next question is how? Nowadays there are a lot of different ways to learn a language: online or tutored language courses – like the ones we at SLC provide, going abroad, reading loads of books and doing reading, listening and speaking tasks on your own OR perhaps what might be considered the most modern way: using an app on your mobile phone which makes language learning easy and accessible to everyone. The most attractive argument for a lot of people is that you can learn WHENever, WHEREver and WHATever you want. It`s your own decision and no one can really control your progress, although this might be – sometimes – a real problem, especially for lazy people. Have you ever thought about using such an app? But you aren`t sure yet if you should try it?

Here are some advantages and disadvantages which may help you with your decision:

Pros

  • The most convincing argument might be the independence. As I said above, you are free to learn at any time you want or wherever you want. Whether on the train or during your lunch break – just whenever you are in the mood for it.
  • Most of the Mobile Apps providers often work with visualisation which can be very helpful for remembering vocabulary or important sentences.
  • Some of the Mobile Apps providers also have speaking tasks – more helpful than learning to speak by yourself
  • It is accessible for everyone who has a mobile phone, tablet or computer – you don`t have to find a language school. Also the price for the Mobile Apps is much lower than for real language courses online or in a language school

 Cons

  • The lack of control can be problem for those of you who don`t have much self-discipline. Learning a language only once a week isn`t very efficient.
  • Mobile Apps are very impersonal compared to face-to-face courses online or in language schools. You only “communicate” with a computer but can`t have a real conversation with them.
  • Mobile Apps do need a working internet connection. If your mobile service or Wifi doesn`t work you won`t be able to do your tasks.

Conclusion:

Learning a new language via a Mobile App can be very helpful to practice to “help things sink in” but if you are a total beginner you may be way more successful taking a language course or going abroad. However, it might be useful in combination with language courses online or at a language school or if you just want to refresh things, e.g. before going on a journey or if you have a lack of vocabulary in a certain topic.

If you are curious now and you would like to try some apps, we will provide different Mobile App reviews in the next blog posts to make it easier for you to decide which one to use.

About the author: Jule Kirchner is a 19 year-old German high school graduate. She is currently working as an intern at SLC for three months. Jule loves learning languages and likes to test the various ways how to do so.