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Nathaly Batista Morales, a Ph.D. student of bilingual education at Texas State University , was one of the people we contacted to find out more about this. She added that current theories support a sociocultural approach to language, favoring cultural immersion, conversation with locals from the onset, and content that relates to everyday situations. At the end of the testing process, we’ll send out a comprehensive questionnaire to obtain more detailed information about each participant’s experience with their given software. As a final test, we will be arranging for each pair of participants to talk with a native speaker. The speaker will then tell us which participant performed better in casual conversation and what he or she thought each one did well in and what they could improve. The ultimate goal of this test was not to see how fast each participant learned their language of choice.

  • iTalki started as a language exchange community where users could practice their skills by chatting with learning partners who were target language native speakers.
  • One of these methods is 1-on-1 tutoring, for which iTalki takes the cake.
  • Now, the platform doubles as a teacher marketplace, where users can also contact tutors to book personalized sessions.
  • However, there is certainly software that stands above the rest when it comes to the quality of their content and excellence in their teaching methodology.
  • One type of software may focus in one area, such as conversational skills, whereas another may invest more in reading comprehension and writing.

After all, the speed of learning is dependent on a wide variety of factors. For a free software platform, Duolingo sure looks like a paid program in terms of language options. There are even courses for constructed languages, namely Esperanto and fictional languages, like High Valyrian and Klingon. Duolingo focuses on teaching users the groundwork of each language first. This might not make it the best option for users who want to be conversational fast.

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However, when it’s sold as a “whole” or “full” package for learning a language, that can trick consumers into spending time and money on something that does not align with their goals. There are, however, other issues at play when it comes to classrooms.

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For starters, class size plays a significant role when it comes to language learning. A class of five, where each student has a higher amount of time to participate, will be infinitely better than one of 25. The teacher’s experience, knowledge, and available teaching tools will also vary widely between classrooms. These factors, along with a lack of flexibility in scheduling, might make classrooms seem antiquated to many modern language learners.

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It does, however, make it an excellent tool for learners who are in it for the long haul but would rather start with software rather than go straight to in-person lessons. Although true immersion is impossible to create through the use of software, Rosetta Stone comes awfully close thanks to its teaching methodology. The program teaches users one of its 23 languages—25 if counting both British and American English and Latin American Spanish and Castilian Spanish—in a way that mimics immersion techniques.

This doesn’t mean that classroom settings don’t have their benefits. In fact, there are many caveats to only using software to learn a foreign language—a lack of proper guidance being the big one. It’s why many of these programs are used by people already learning a language and by teachers hoping to reinforce what their students learn in class. Language acquisition and language learning are sometimes used interchangeably in casual conversation. When speaking of acquisition, one is specifically referring to the subconscious process that every human being naturally experiences during childhood. Language learning, on the other hand, is done so with intent. Adults learn new languages through practice and the instruction of language structure.

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