Your Kids Will Want To Learn New Languages With These 6 New Apps

 

Schoolgirl presenting foreign phrases on blackboard

Learning a new language is difficult for adults – we get stuck on certain words, we can’t pronounce some of the sounds, and we just don’t remember things. Kids don’t have that problem when it comes to learning languages. Their brains are still sponges for connections and sounds, and they will pick it up at twice the speed we do.

That’s a good thing, because knowing a language can really put your child on a track toward success. They will have an easier time picking up another language if need be, will have it easier in school, and even have more job prospects when they graduate.

In today’s world, we have to speak another language – especially those people who want to work in business or travel the world. Why limit your child’s career opportunities already?

But how can you encourage your child to pick up a new language? You have to speak to them on their level with these apps:

HelloTalk

If your child likes to talk to people, HelloTalk is by far one of the most effective ways to get your child learning a new language. The app doesn’t use book learning or lesson plans to drill memorized words into their heads. Instead, it uses the power of communication and discussion to drill in words and phrases that are actually used. You’ll be connected to a native speaker of the language who will then talk to you and work through the key elements of it.

HelloTalk teamed with video chat company, Agora.io, who’s technology is based upon 70 data centers all over the world, to ensure high quality audio and video calls. On these calls, your child will be connected with a native speaker of whatever language you choose. There are over 100 languages represented, so it won’t be difficult to find one that interests you.

Thanks to the high quality technology and customer service that this app offers, you’ll be able to get some great in-app bonuses as well, including speech to text, transliteration skills, and grammar correction.

Cost: Free

Where to Get it: iTunes Android

Busuu

Busuu is a bit of a social experiment. It takes the ideas of 60 million native speakers and combines them into actionable lesson plans. Your child will quickly get to the heart of whatever language she chooses through the study of grammar, vocabulary, and communications skills.

One reason a lot of parents like this app is that you can adjust the pace. If your child just isn’t picking up on something easily, you can take things a little more slowly or if it is too easy, you can speed everything up.

Even better, you can use this app to help your child pick a language to learn. Busuu has a list of 150 topics and 3,000 words in many languages that people ‘need to know’ but can be used for getting a flavor of each language as well.

Cost: Free

Where to Get it: iTunes Android

Duolingo

Duolingo is kind of the grandfather of a lot of apps on this list. However, it is the cool grandfather that just keeps changing to measure up. In its newest form, Duolingo focuses on breaking down the language into short levels that feel more like a video game than learning.

Your child will become exposed to a small part of the language and then use that when they start learning the next part, reinforcing everything else along the way. At the end of each lesson, they’ll have a review game and/or quiz that will make them want to keep learning and playing.

There is a downside: Duolingo does NOT use speaking. If you want to give your child the best chance, you should combine this one with another option on the list that does offer speaking lessons.

Cost: Free

Where to Get it: iTunes Android

Lingvist

If you don’t have much time, Lingvist promises to teach your child a new language in just 200 hours. While that might seem too good to be true, the app really does push so much that your child will learn incredibly fast.

It combines everything together just like your child might get in school, weaving grammar and vocabulary together so that your child will be able to build on all of the new knowledge. Like some of the other apps, you can change up the speed as well so that your child can have the time he needs.

As of right now, the app is only available in French and English, but they promise they that will add more languages soon.

Cost: Free

Where to Get it: iTunes Android

Brainscape

If you think about to learning a language in college or high school, there is probably something that really sticks out to you: flash cards. We all used them, they worked for generations before us, and they will continue to work. What Brainscape does it take the flashcard and add some technology to it. You won’t have to spend hours making them anymore.

Brainscape takes an algorithm that is sure to help your child learn and repeats it throughout the different levels. Your child will see words that he or she struggles with more often, but will also get repeats of words that are easy, just to make sure everything sticks.

Since flashcards aren’t always the most fun, you might want to combine this with another one of the apps on the list.

Cost: Free

Where to Get it: iTunes

Memrise

Memrise takes advantage of those memory skills that we talked about, allowing your child to easily learn any of the 100 languages that they offer. This one acts like a game, which will definitely make your kids want to play more often – but it might take some persuasion to get them to start. Once they are in it, you will have a hard time making them do anything else.

This one will teach your child up to 44 new words each hour they play, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If your child is a little slower, the app happily moves at his or her pace.

Cost: Free; $59/year for pro

Where to Get it: iTunes Android

You have to start your children young when you want them to walk down the road of success. There aren’t any shortcuts or magic potions, it is going to take some hard work from both of you.

If you want the best for your child as he or she continues down the road toward success, why haven’t you started downloading one of these apps? Get your children learning a new language with any of these apps today.

13 Comments

  • Kate Sarsfield

    I’ve never heard of any of these! I learnt French & Italian (along with Latin) in school and loved them.

  • Tamra Phelps

    I really wish I had learned another language as a kid. I started learning French in high school, & by then it was too late to ever be fluent.

  • Veronica Vasquez

    Thank you for sharing these apps! My girls are still young so I think these will be perfect to work on together!

  • KATE SARSFIELD

    I studied English, Irish, Latin, French & a little bit of Italian at school and found Latin to be extremely helpful with the continental languages when it came to grammar & sentence construction.

  • Lulu

    I would love my kids to speak at least 2 foreign languages. Thanks for the great apps, it’s great most are free!

  • KATE SARSFIELD

    Mum is bilingual with Welsh being her first language. She didn’t learn English until she went to high school. I love hearing her chatter away to her relatives on the phone/Skype.

  • Tamra Phelps

    The experts say young kids learn so much easier than adults, so I say teach them young! I took French in high school, but never became anything near fluent. It was already too late, lol.

  • Sarah L

    I’m very much in favor of kids learning languages as soon as possible.
    My question is: Can any of these work for us old folks?

  • michele soyer

    children should learn new languages the younger the better.. with this global world we all should speak something other than English to communicate.. Great app….