With over 1.3 billion speakers worldwide, English is the most spoken language around the globe. It’s commonly used in business settings – operating frequently as a lingua franca – and most people know the basics, especially those living in popular tourist areas. So, if you want to learn a new language and be practical about it, English is the obvious choice. It also helps that the language is one of the least complicated to learn. Both English grammar and phrase construction are straightforward, and it’s easy to find someone to practice the language with. Plus, there’s plenty of English entertainment for you to immerse yourself in. But just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it lacks benefits. By learning English, you expand your career options, improve your cognitive abilities, and protect yourself from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Why Learn English With Language Learning Software
There are many strategies to learn a new language online. Some people prefer to learn by watching their favorite shows, others turn to free YouTube courses or online tutoring. While the one that works best ultimately depends on the student, we always recommend backing up your studies with a language learning app.
Often, language learning software provides structured courses for you to follow that make the learning process more straightforward. Plus, the best ones come with exercises to hone all the necessary skills you need to become fluent, such as writing, listening, and speaking. Because of this, they tend to be dynamic and fun to use – there are even platforms that make a game out of learning a new language. Several providers also offer certificates after completing a course, which helps you show off your skills while applying for a new job.
Other kinds of language learning apps connect you to like-minded students. You’ll be able to chat with people learning the same language as you or native speakers of your target language. In short, language learning software offers a well-rounded solution that will help you boost your skills.
Recommended Language Learning Apps for English
If you’re learning English to boost your career, Lingoda is one of the few language learning apps that provide CEFR certificates for each level achieved. Courses go from A1 to C2 level and have a similar structure to traditional language schools. In fact, Lingoda is the closest you can get to a traditional learning experience online. You can even book classes (either one-on-one or in a group) with native teachers all over the world. Due to this, Lingoda is more expensive than other language learning platforms. Still, there are ways for you to save on online classes, and it’s even possible to get the full course for free.
With over 20 years in the business, Rosetta Stone has perfected its craft with in-depth courses that provide everything needed to learn a new language. Using its vast experience, Rosetta Stone discovered that immersion is the fastest way to learn, which is why all menus are in English and not your native language. Of course, the app is only able to pull this off by offering one of the most straightforward platforms on the market. Exercises are so intuitive and well-designed that you may find yourself learning new vocabulary without realizing it. Better yet, students can try out Rosetta Stone for free before committing to a purchase.
Launched in 1963, Pimsleur revolutionized the industry by becoming the first self-instructional language learning course that didn’t come in a book format. Pimsleur is perfect for those who want to focus on listening and speaking, as the English course is mainly audio-based. Although this method doesn’t work for students who wish to learn everything about English, it’s excellent for those who need to quickly learn how to speak the language for an upcoming trip. But we all know that each country has its own social rules that you need to know to blend in with the locals. That’s why Pimsleur has a cultural trivia section in every exercise. The best thing about Pimsleur’s English courses is that the company offers specific sets designed for 14 different languages.
The Challenges of Learning English
The challenges you face while learning English depend on your native language. For example, if you speak a language that is completely different from English, such as Japanese, you’ll have a harder time understanding things like the alphabet and phrase construction. Fortunately, language learning software tells you exactly where to start by giving you placement tests, so you won’t get thrown into the deep end.
The trickiest part about English is mastering pronunciation. Since there are many colloquialisms, it can be challenging for beginners to understand which ones they should learn. While British people and Americans can understand each other, their way of speaking is completely different. To make things more complex, there are different accents within each country. For example, a Texan pronounces things very differently from a Californian. Thankfully, language learning apps make this distinction by offering separate courses for American and British English.
Next, there’s spelling. Although writing in English isn’t the most complicated thing in the world, there are some words that sound similar but are written differently, like to, two, and too. Plus, it’s challenging to memorize all the irregular verbs past tenses. For example, the past tense of ‘spend’ is ‘spent’, not ‘spended’. Language learning platforms that include interactive flashcards are your best weapon for tackling these singularities.
Best Ways To Learn English Online
Unless you believe those shady advertisements that tell you that you can learn an entire language while you sleep, immersion is still the best way to learn English. This means interacting with the language as often as possible. Fortunately, with so many streaming services and YouTube channels, there’s a lot of content to choose from. For beginners, we recommend watching kids shows, as actors tend to speak slowly and clearly. A service like Disney+ is the perfect streaming service to help you learn English while revisiting your favorite films. Start by watching with subtitles in your native language, then switch to English subtitles, and finish by skipping them altogether.
We also recommend reading English blog articles or ebooks while using a translation browser extension like Quick Translator. This allows you to easily highlight a word or sentence you don’t understand and check its translation in your native language. Listening to audiobooks or podcasts is worthwhile, too. But bear in mind that these don’t come with subtitles or transcripts and work best when you already know the basics. If you’re more of a bookworm, pick a novel that you already read in your native language. For instance, if you’re a Potterhead, try reading the Harry Potter books in English.