Aside from being raised in a multi-cultural environment or growing up in a bilingual family, the most common method for learning a language is through formal instruction in a classroom setting. Unfortunately for this method, it can be time-exhausted and tiresome. Also, not everybody has the time and resources to attend regular language classes these days.
There are various reasons why an adult would choose to learn a new language, be it a means for career advancement, a desire to expand one’s intellectual horizons, or just a quick practical need because of an upcoming trip. Whatever these reasons may be, choosing the best language learning software gives you an ally in your language quest.
The choice of the best language learning software is a highly subjective matter. However, despite it being a matter of preference, a lot has to do with the software design and features: lessons should include explicit language concepts and should be logically arranged from the basic to complex concepts. Features that allow progress monitoring and customization goes a long way to keep the learner motivated. The inclusion of interactive games and drills also makes the journey fun and challenging.
We have taken these considerations in mind and digested them into a checklist of what you need to look for when choosing the best language learning software:
- Features – the number of features is one of the most important things you have to look for. The more features you have, the better you can customize your learning program. Some of the standard ones which make up the bulk of the popular language learning programs include audio and video lessons, voice recognition, live online schooling, etc.
- Ease of Navigation – the learning program should be intuitive to use, otherwise you could spend more time getting around the software than on the actual lessons themselves.
- Customer Support – because you need to keep yourself on a regular study schedule to get the best results, you need to have access to your language learning program every day. Sometimes, you may encounter some glitches and bugs so you need a program that offers 24/7 customer support. In the beginning, you may also need some guidance on how to use the program and you should have someone walk you through it if necessary.
- Value for money – note that we did not say price, or cost. That’s because you should weigh a language learning program based on what it offers versus how much it costs. The cheaper ones may not be able to support your learning beyond the fundamental lessons, and for you to get far, you need a program with beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
Eric Pratum is the head of marketing for online education website Empower.me, where teens earn money while learning.