Nowadays, it’s pretty difficult to find something you can’t do with your smartphone.
With an app you can do your weekly shopping, tune your ukelele, book a room on the other side of the world, and even purchase the flight to take you there, all from the comfort of your armchair. Apps even allow you to start learning a new language with a simple tap of a button.
The people in the video above managed to make a significant amount of progress in Spanish in just 3 weeks. So what are the key advantages of learning with an app?
1. You learn at your own pace, and you learn what’s relevant to you
You sign up for a language course, you arrive at class on the first day, and then you discover that there are people from all sorts of different backgrounds with vastly different aptitudes and attitudes in the class. To assess everyone’s ability, the teacher hands around a short test to evaluate the level of each student, but try as they might, they can’t do much to accommodate for the broad spectrum of abilities. Sound familiar? The reality is that you’re always going to end up waiting for those who move a little slower, or scrabbling to keep up with those who progress a little quicker.
Therefore, one of the most obvious advantages of an app is that you can set the pace and rhythm of your learning. You can choose whether to follow structured courses which are conveniently broken down into 10-15 short lessons, or you can bypass the structured course and head to a specific lesson on idioms, or animals, or adjectives, or just about anything else that you can think of. It is, quite literally, in your hands!
2. You can enjoy being offline and free from distraction
A second key advantage of learning a language with your smartphone is that you can choose where and when to learn. Moreover, with an app like Babbel, you can even download all the courses in advance and complete them without an internet connection. And that’s not all. After completing a course or two on your phone, you can switch over to your laptop and all your progress will be saved and synchronized. All your new knowledge isn’t just stored in your ever-expanding brain, it’s also saved in the ever-expanding cloud. Pretty useful, right?
This all means that you can take advantage of your downtime to learn absolutely anywhere, regardless of connectivity; whether it be in the never-ending line at the supermarket (where there’s never good mobile coverage), on the metro commuting to work, or on the flight of that long-awaited city break. Just imagine leaving said supermarket able to describe what you’re about to have for dinner in Spanish, exiting the metro able to answer the phone in French, or landing in Rome able to flag down your own taxi in Italian.
3. You can ingrain your new language with a nifty review manager
The act of reviewing is second only to the act of learning. Our memory is programmed to forget things which we don’t use regularly, so using the Babbel review manager is fundamental to ensuring that all the information you’ve learned will be quickly and accurately recalled when needed.
With the review manager, you’ll be able to review all the things you didn’t quite get right in the lessons. You’ll be invited to continue going over the areas you’ve struggled in until you feel comfortable and confident enough to move on. In an app that boasts some 8,500 hours of courses (don’t worry, you don’t need to do them all), this function is particularly useful!
4. You start speaking from the very beginning
73% of Babbel users say they feel capable of maintaining a small conversation in their new language after using the app for just 5 hours. The courses are designed to get you speaking as quickly as possible, focusing on the first conversations you are likely to have and the first vocabulary you are likely to need. In no time at all you’ll be able to introduce yourself, order a beer and ask where the restroom is. These are, admittedly, very basic, but they provide you with the first opportunities for real, functional communication which will motivate you to continue learning. This is because we know that even a watery Spanish beer tastes good if you’ve successfully ordered it in the native language (well, maybe not good, but definitely better). Even finding the toilet becomes a thrilling adventure if you try asking for it in the local language. We know that using language is key to remembering it — and to motivating you to continue with your learning — that’s why we get you speaking right from the start.
5. You can save time and money
Most bricks and mortar language schools haven’t evolved to meet the needs of modern society: they’re stuck in the past, with rigid timetabling, antiquated classes, and ancient books with sterile exercises. And that’s before we’ve even begun to talk about the price, which is often quite unaffordable. Learning with the help of an app like Babbel doesn’t cost much at all, but the benefits are huge, offering you the freedom and independence to learn where, when and what you want, at very little expense.