Language Learning is not a Journey
A journey has an ending — a final destination, but language learning never ends. There is always something new to discover everyday that you speak that language.
Just like language itself, the apps created to teach you language, are always learning and improving.
There are many apps to learn languages, one of the most widely used is Duolingo
Duolingo is a language learning based app that is free to use and available around the globe.
Duolingo has recently released an ever smarter version of their free language learning service so that people are able to practice speaking without fearing performance anxiety.
I’m excited because I believe Duolingo Bots are the most advanced way to learn a language. (Luis, Duolingo Forum)
As you guys know, our team has used machine learning to make lessons personalized since the very beginning, but I believe that these Bots will take conversational practice to another level. Unlike most chatbots so far, Duolingo Bots understand and react to thousands of unique responses. The more you interact with them, the smarter they become.
The Bots react and respond as well as learn. As you learn language, so will the Duolingo Bots.
In the Past
I’ve used Duolingo a few years ago and I didn’t find it that helpful because it used very simple phrases that were not as connected to what a language learner needs to learn first before they can build on to a foundation.
Now, I am using Duolingo to learn Russian and I find that I am learning Russian much quicker than I thought I would. I like the daily reminders with how many words I know. I think some of the improvements that need to be made are starting off with teaching the learning the alphabet.
Including the Alphabet:
If Duolingo included the first steps to learning a language with teaching the sounds that, that language uses — I believe it would give the learner more confidence with going forth with the language. This app is used by many as the only source of learning a language. Reading, writing and speaking are all important when it comes to fluency.
Where Duolingo could improve vastly is including Chinese in their list of languages. Now the argument that Chinese is too difficult to teach through an App is not plausible.
ChineseSkill comes in
ChineseSkill is specifically for learning Chinese. It is the reason why I believe it is so successful. It starts with teaching you the basics, and at the same time teaching you how to write the characters.
It doesn’t ignore the fact that learning to read and write a language is essential to understanding why a word has a certain meaning or connotation.
It’s the best app that I have come across yet that is making the attempt to help Chinese learners look at Chinese in a fun way.
Chinese is a really difficult language to learn. It is estimated that it takes 2,200 class hours to learn for English speakers.
As opposed to a language similar to English which only takes 400–600 dedicated hours.
To be fluent in Chinese it is also estimated that you need to know at least 2,000 characters!
I’ve been making attempts to study Chinese throughout university, I’ve taken and passed a 101, and a 201 course but attempted and failed to continue the 301 course twice!
For an English speaker who has only one language on her belt — choosing Chinese as my second language is a bit insane. But I still love the language and I can see that even though it is ridiculously hard for me to learn, if I use this app and continue making attempts day by day, eventually I’ll be able to hold a conversation.