How I Started Speaking A New Language After Just 1 Lesson With Babbel
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the labyrinth of grown-up life, it’s that I can do a lot in 15 minutes. These small windows of time are essential (and often overlooked) parts of my day, like going to the grocery store or walking to the subway on my way to work. But did you ever think that in that same amount of time, you can use Babbel to build up the confidence to start speaking a new language? Right from the start, I was surprised at just how much I learned in just one 15-minute lesson — and how quickly I was able to feel confident that I could talk to a native speaker. Babbel made my dreams of speaking a new language with confidence a reality.
Speaking A New Language Seemed Scary — Then I Tried Using Babbel
Let’s face it: language learning isn’t always imagined as very fun or effective. A lot of people associate speaking a new language with sitting in classrooms for hours and poring over boring textbooks. No wonder language learning can seem time-intensive and not worth the investment — or even a little bit frightening. If you’re like me, you know how it feels to suffer from foreign language anxiety; when it’s time to actually use the grammar and vocab you know, it’s all clammy hands, wobbly knees and crippling self-doubt that can stop you in your tracks.
But here’s a secret: it doesn’t have to be that way! In just 15 minutes a day, Babbel has helped me build the foundation of confidence I need to actually feel ready for real-life conversations in the new languages I’m learning. I started using Babbel about half a year ago to learn Dutch and French, and I’ve seen my linguistic competence — and my confidence — skyrocket. But it hasn’t taken me months of study to feel like I’m comfortable and ready enough to start speaking a new language. In fact, the 150 linguists and language experts who created Babbel claim that 15 minutes a day is the ideal amount of time to study a language. With regular practice, you can be ready for real-life conversations in a new language in only a few weeks.
So what makes the app so good at getting its users on the shortest path to speaking a new language? Here are four reasons why I’ve found Babbel to be the best language-learning app for boosting my conversational confidence with just one bite-size lesson a day.
1) Language Learning That Fits My Schedule
Babbel fits snugly into the small pockets of time in my day, whether I’m on the go or just need to fill 15 minutes while I’m cooking or waiting for my laundry to finish. I usually complete one lesson of Babbel on my walk to the subway to go to work, and it’s a nice confidence boost to start my morning.
The best part about Babbel is that with such concise, bite-sized lessons — designed to be about 15 minutes each — I don’t suffer from information overload. In this day and age, the average attention span isn’t too long, and I’m guilty of giving in to distractions left and right. So having the material broken down into bits, pieces and chunks that my poor attention span can manage means that what I’m learning isn’t going in one ear and out the other.
2) Listening And Learning To Sound Like A Local
If your goal is to blend in with native speakers like a conversational chameleon, nothing will out you as a foreigner faster than a botched attempt at pronunciation. Perfecting your accent and phonetics are key to building confidence — and correctness — when you’re speaking a new language.
Right from the beginning, Babbel’s speech recognition technology tells me whether or not my pronunciation is on point. And when I am off, it helps me fix it before I advance. At every step of the way and in every lesson, I get to hear the words and phrases I’m learning spoken out loud by real native speakers, so I can practice picking up on the nuances in pronunciation that I might otherwise miss if I tried to sound out expressions on my own or relied on robotic text-to-speech software.
3) I Really Remember What I’m Learning
If you’ve ever pictured a real (and successful) conversation with a native speaker of the language you’re learning, I’d guess it doesn’t involve you standing with your mouth open and a confused look on your face, struggling to remember that word or phrase you just learned — but that is now nowhere to be found.
With Babbel, the lessons are designed with retention in mind, not rote memorization. The material relies on the concept of spaced repetition, which brings back content in intervals to make sure it sticks. In just one lesson alone, I could feel the content I was learning cycling through my short-term memory and getting locked into long-term mental storage, available for recall throughout the lesson and in the simulated dialogue at the end. And perhaps Babbel’s most helpful feature is the Review Manager, which is specifically designed to bring back information that you’re at risk of forgetting it most.
4) Phrases I Can Actually Use In Conversations
What’s the point of learning how to speak a new language if you can’t even use it in actual conversations? One of my favorite parts about Babbel is that it immerses me in real-life dialogues I’m likely to have with native speakers of the language I’m learning. If I’m going to travel to Paris, I want to be able to book a hotel room, order my favorite dish at a restaurant and tell the people I meet where I come from.
Other language-learning services I’ve tried feed me nonsense phrases I’ll never use. Why learn how to say “I am not a horse” if I’ve never needed to defend my own species identity to someone before? (And yes, that’s a real example of one of the many laughably chin-scratching expressions I’ve come across in other apps.) When it comes to conversational readiness, other language software I’ve used just don’t compare. In one Babbel French lesson, I learned enough words and expressions to be able to introduce and talk about myself in a simulated conversation by the lesson’s end. And that’s in just 15 minutes!
How I Got Speaking A New Language With Confidence
I’ve harped on it already, but it’s worth mentioning again and again: with just one 15-minute lesson, Babbel helps me build the confidence I need to feel ready to have conversations with native speakers. Considering that I started with zero knowledge of French or Dutch, I’m beyond impressed with the progress I’ve made so far, and I’ve already started putting my language know-how into practice.
It’s a combination of Babbel’s all-star teaching method and design that has made the app so effective for me, and I’m certain it can work wonders for you, too. If you’ve always dreamt of speaking a foreign language with confidence, what are you waiting for?