Learning from home can be a bit of a challenge if you’re used to going to school every day, having set times for each lesson, and being surrounded by friends and teachers you can ask about almost anything.
That being said, learning from home, just like working from home, can lead to a more productive use of your time and discovering new ways to learn — ways that fit your specific learning style, interests and preferences.
Read on to learn more about Babbel for student use and how to make the app a complement to your language studies at home.
What Can I Learn With Babbel?
How To Have Real Conversations
The core of Babbel’s method is real-life conversation. Our aim is for learners to have a conversation right from the start, so the language lessons are built around realistic dialogues. Each Babbel lesson has a learning goal, something that you’re able to do after finishing the lesson — to “talk about last weekend,” for example. The grammar and vocabulary you need to fulfill the learning goal are taught in context. This means that to be able to talk about last weekend, you need to learn how to form the past tense as well as pick up vocabulary for hobbies and activities.
Vocabulary And Grammar Lessons
The vocabulary and the grammar are repeated enough for you to learn them and lock them in, and in varying ways throughout the lesson, always in a real-life context. You practice speaking (with our speech recognition system), listening and reading comprehension, and translating.
Culture And Practical Information
Babbel also teaches you relevant information about culture and practical language use. When do you use the formal address? Is a particular word considered slang or can you use it with the taxi driver? Should you tip the waitstaff in France? What are the most common mistakes American learners make in Spanish? Babbel answers questions like these because the courses are made by teachers and we’re trying our best to be your teacher — even though we won’t meet in person!
Making The Most Of Babbel For Students — Where To Begin
Which Babbel Level Is Right For Me?
At Babbel, the levels for languages like Spanish and French go from Newcomer (where you learn to say hello, introduce yourself, order food at restaurants, numbers and colors, etc.) to Advanced (where you learn to express yourself in detail, discuss and argue, and use more complex sentence structures). It can be tricky to figure out which level is right for you, because Babbel is not aligned with standard school curriculum, Common Core, or college syllabi, but there are a few guidelines:
- If you’re brand new to a language, or just want to review from the very basics, start with Newcomer.
- If you’ve started learning your language fairly recently and know the basics, try starting with Beginner I.
- If you’ve studied for a couple of years already, try Pre-Intermediate or Intermediate.
Where Should I Start With Babbel?
Try The Lesson Reviews
Knowing how to get started using Babbel is the key to taking advantage of your language learning. A good trick that we’ve heard from many Babbel users is to go through all the lessons that indicate “review” (for example, ¿Qué tomas? Review) in the courses that interest you. By doing this, when you get to a place where you think, “Oh, okay, I don’t know this,” then Part 1 of that same unit is a good place to start! Don’t be upset if you realize you need to jump back a level — it only means that what you don’t know now, you’ll know in a couple of days of learning, right?
Brush Up On Grammar
If you are a bit further on in your studies, the Grammar section is useful to check out. Grammar is something that a lot of learners struggle with, and using a language learning app like Babbel to reinforce topics from school in a new way can do wonders.
Choose Topics That Interest You
But in general, don’t worry too much about finding the perfect place to start. Browse the courses and start any lesson that sparks your interest. Why not learn the names of animals or different types of sports if that’s what you love? In the end — and this is the great part — anything you learn will make you a little better at the language. The more Spanish (or French, German, or whatever you’re learning) you listen to, read, and are exposed to in other ways, the better. That’s why watching a movie or a TV show in another language or listening to music or a podcast actually counts as studying, if you listen actively and pay attention.
What To Expect In Babbel Lessons
How Babbel Will Help You Improve
In each Babbel lesson, you train all the four elements of language learning: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Here are some of the different types of lessons you’ll encounter.
- Listen and repeat new words and phrases out loud, then get feedback from the speech recognition system.
- Speak one part of a dialogue and get corrected by the speech recognition system.
- Write answers about what happens in recorded conversations between native speakers.
- Listen to dialogues and fill in the gaps.
- Read and choose the correct word depending on translation, context, or based on grammar rules you’ve just learned.
- Read texts and answer questions about them.
- Practice writing with fill-in-the-gap exercises.
Review Early And Often
After you’ve completed a lesson, your new words from that lesson will automatically show up under “Review”. You can then choose to review your vocabulary with flashcards, listening exercises, speaking, or writing. This is the best way to remember what you’ve just learned, and we recommend that you do a review session after 2 or 3 lessons to make sure the words stick!
How To Build A Successful Language-Learning Routine
Learn How To Divide Up Your Time
A major challenge in self-directed learning is knowing how to manage your time. How much should you be studying, and when? Babbel can help you structure your time and your routine to make the most of your learning.
- Stick to a learning routine at the same time each day, like doing a lesson after breakfast or before bedtime. (The Babbel app has reminders you can set to a certain time of day.)
- Learn more effectively by doing a little at a time instead of cramming a lot of lessons in at once. We recommend studying 10-15 minutes a day (the length of a typical Babbel lesson).
- Structure Babbel around your class curriculum by completing a lesson or review session before class to warm up or after class to lock in what you’ve learned.
- Take advantage of the concept of blended learning, in which you learn a specific subject (like Spanish adjective endings) on your own time then use class time with your teacher and classmates to ask questions, practice speaking and review the topic.
Personalize Your Language Learning With Babbel
Forming a language-learning routine is easier when you’re actually engaged with what you’re learning, meaning you’re more likely to build a lasting habit. Luckily, Babbel offers a lot of ways for you to personalize your study plan to make it work for you.
- Choose the topics that are the most relevant and interesting to you to fill in the gaps in your class curriculum, keep your enthusiasm high and make what you’re studying really feel like your own.
- Use the mobile Babbel app if you’re someone who likes to learn on the go, or try the desktop version of Babbel if you like to have a more focused and deliberate way to study that allows you to take notes, for example.
- Take a break from conventional studying with Babbel’s multimedia learning content, like our French and Spanish podcasts that you can take with you wherever you go.
Practice Collaborative Language Learning With Peers
Another efficient way to form a lasting habit and routine is to involve other people, which has two main benefits: you commit to learning more if you feel like you answer to someone else, and of course, it’s extremely beneficial to practice speaking with a real person instead of talking to yourself. Take advantage of the fact that you have peers studying the same language as you!
- Invite some of your classmates to a video call after you’ve all completed the same lesson and review what you learned.
- Ask questions to your classmates and fellow students to clarify what you don’t know about the content, and try to answer the questions others pose to you.
- Act out the dialogues at the end of each Babbel lesson to bring the language to life and simulate real-life conversations you’d have with native speakers.
- Whether over video chat, on the phone or in person, try having a real conversation with a classmate in the language you’re learning for as long as you can.
We hope that what you’ve just read makes you feel confident to use app-based learning as a complement to your studies. Knowing your motivation already, having a social network of other learners, and committing to a habit means that you’re already in a great position to use Babbel as a student, to learn a lot and to improve!
Connect With Babbel
Stay in touch and share how your learning is going!
- Visit Babbel Magazine for articles about language, culture and free learning resources.
- Follow us @BabbelUSA on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
- Subscribe to BabbelUSA on YouTube for fun language trivia
- Ask questions and join the conversation on our Everything Language Quora space
And if you have specific questions about learning a language with Babbel, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good luck, and happy learning!