It’s nice to have a little help when learning a new language. But what if help were available at the push of a button? Good news — it is! In this article, Spanish teacher Joan B. discusses how to find and use the best Spanish learning app for you…
Spanish lessons are a great way to build a strong foundation so you can speak, write, and understand Spanish fluently. A large part of your success during lessons is what you do in between them. Reinforcing and practicing the concepts learned can make a huge difference in your learning.
One excellent way to manage your time in between lessons is to use apps as a supplement. Apps offer immediate feedback, fun and creative games, pronunciation help, and much more. A while back, tutor Jason N. shared his recommendations for the best apps for learning Spanish, and then Breanna D. followed up with 15 MORE Spanish learning apps; now, let’s take a closer look at ways to use these kinds of apps!
1. Reinforce concepts
If you learned a new concept in your lesson, you might still be struggling with how it works, as well as incorporating it smoothly into your repertoire. Practicing a new grammar concept with an app like Open Language (for iTunes and Google Play) will guarantee that you use it properly and understand it thoroughly.
2. Get extra feedback
Here’s where you can take the initiative so your teacher can help you even more. Since lesson time is limited, why not do some extra practice with an app like Lingualia (for iTunes and Google Play) to pinpoint problem areas and concepts that aren’t totally clear to you? Then you can rapidly address these areas directly with your teacher. When you’ve already done the detective work of identifying the problem, your teacher can help you more effectively.
3. Immerse yourself
Practicing Spanish frequently can make it much easier to recall what you’re learning, in addition to improving fluency. Using apps on a regular basis when you have a few spare moments (on the bus or waiting in line, for example) can increase the time you spend practicing Spanish, which in turn increases your skill level.
4. Comprehension practice
Another great thing about lessons is the opportunity to practice comprehension when your teacher speaks to you. You don’t have to lose an opportunity in between lessons — you can continue to practice dictation, listening, and translation by using an app like FluentU, (for iTunes) where you can listen to Spanish audio.
5. Improve your accent
Apps like Rosetta Stone (for iTunes and Google Play) use voice recognition in exercises. This ensures that you’re not just repeating, by rote, a word with incorrect Spanish pronunciation as you try to learn it. Using apps that help you in various ways to improve your accent will ensure that you’re pronouncing words accurately the first time you say them.
6. Make quick progress for a specific goal
Some of the best Spanish learning apps, like Duolingo (for iTunes and Google Play), focus on the most useful and common words. This can be a great way to achieve a specific level of fluency in a limited amount of time, such as for a business interaction or upcoming travels. The app can provide you with a path to identify what level you want to reach and how to reach it, in combination with your lessons.
7. Discover your learning style
Some apps use a more visual approach, like Fluencia (for web), while others, like Memrise (for iTunes and Google Play), use memorization as a key tool. The key to using apps as a supplement to your Spanish lessons is to discover what learning style works best for you. Experiment with different apps to see what works. Once again, this will also help you with your lessons — you can share with your teacher what ways of learning are working well and which ways aren’t as effective.
8. Have fun with the language
Keeping it fun and fresh as you learn is important to avoid burnout and frustration. Apps like Cat Spanish (for iTunes), which is humorous and educational with its game format and pictures of cats, will keep you engaged and having fun while learning.
Keep these suggestions in mind as you look for apps with which to supplement your Spanish lessons. As you find some apps that work for you, try to make steady progress — often the apps will keep track of your frequency of practice and your score, so use it to your advantage as a motivation tool. Your hard work will pay off!
Readers, what do you think is the best Spanish learning app? Let us know in the comments!