Keep Your Skills Sharp with the Best Affordable Online Language Learning Platforms

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Being able to speak another language creates so many opportunities. You’re able to find your way abroad, translate for your friends, and, most importantly, you have access to a completely different culture. Learning a new language is not an easy task. The thing with languages is, when you stop practicing, you stop improving. In this article, you will find a list of online language learning platforms where you can improve your skills in a fun and interactive way. After all, it should be a fun experience to learn a new language!

Duolingo

duolingo

Duolingo is a language learning platform that can be accessed on multiple devices. You start by choosing the language you want to learn (and there are a lot!). Then, take a placement test to determine your level. You will be asked how frequently you want to practice and for how long. After this short process, you will get exercises customized to your language level. The app and website are completely free. If you want to get an ad-free experience with access to offline classes, you can opt for Duolingo Plus. However, this is a paid subscription. Duolingo is a really good way to actively maintain and improve your language skills in an accessible and low-effort way. You can also compete with friends!

Memrise

memrise

Memrise is another great online language learning platform. The main focus is on vocabulary and common phrases. Just like with Duolingo, you start by selecting the language you want to learn. You then get the choice between ‘beginner’ and ‘skilled’. Depending on your selection, you’ll either get your first lesson straight away or a placement test. This way Memrise ensures the optimal learning experience. This is a really fun way to easily pick up some key-phrases and vocabulary or even improve your current level. Memrise also focuses on pronunciation, so you’ll be sounding like a local in no time!

Busuu

busuu

Busuu is a language app that features a slight twist on classic language learning. Just like with the others, it requires its users to actively practice language. Unlike most other platforms, users are frequently given certain scenarios where they have to find out for themselves how to say what’s appropriate for the situation. This way people are more involved in actively practicing language. Busuu uses a variety of examples from real-life interactions for its lessons. Additionally, at the end of each language, you can interact with natives in both written and spoken language. Just like with the previous two, you can get service improvements by going for a paid subscription.

LinguaLift

lingualift

LinguaLift is an online platform that focuses on learning from people. For this reason, they use tutors to offer guidance and answer questions. LinguaLift really allows you to learn a language at your own pace with the help of this system. By employing people instead of software, you get much more extensive feedback. LinguaLift has a free trial period and afterward becomes a paid subscription of €29 per month for access to all languages. Currently, they have Japanese, Hebrew, and Russian. However, on their website, they mention that Spanish, French, and Mandarin might release soon. Definitely check this one out if you like this more personal way of learning a new language.

Babbel

babbel

Babbel is another language learning app, making it accessible everywhere you decide to take your smartphone (which is everywhere). Babbel has less of a game feel to it, however, this does not take away that it is a really useful app for beginners. New users get 1 lesson for free and afterward, you pay between €7 and €13 per language per month. The platform allows you to easily navigate between courses and automatically tracks your progress. It has a wide variety of languages including Spanish, Norwegian, Polish, and Russian. Babbel is a really good app if you want accessible straight-forward daily practice.

Tandem

tandem

Tandem is a really fun online community app where people from all over the world chat with each other in different languages. The purpose of the app is to select someone you want to chat with and carry on practicing your language skills from there on out. You will be asked to write some short notes about yourself on your profile such as which languages you want to learn, your interests, etc. Then you upload a selfie and you can start chatting. There are currently over a million active users, so there are plenty of opportunities to practice. Tandem’s basic platform is completely free to use. They also offer tutor programs that are paid. Tandem provides you with the opportunity to connect with new people and practice your language skills with an actual person.

123TeachMe

123teachme

123TeachMe is a basic-looking, simple yet entertaining way to learn Spanish. The website features a variety of exercises for different level speakers. Additionally, it offers free self-study courses and a separate course aimed at helping children learn to speak Spanish. You can also learn by playing games and taking listening comprehension quizzes.

HiNative

hinative

HiNative is an online platform that allows people to ask language-related questions directly to native speakers. You choose the category that corresponds with your question and then post it on that forum. In the meantime, you can look for answers for frequently asked questions, since they are always posted online. HiNative’s basic functions are completely free to use. This app is the perfect way to get quick and free information from people who know what they’re talking about.

MosaLingua

mosalingua

MosaLingua allows people to study languages such as Spanish, French, and Italian. The app features many lessons and allows you to select exactly what you want to learn. This is an amazing opportunity to get the exact vocabulary and grammar you need for the scenario you are preparing for. MosaLingua does not work with subscriptions. Rather, you pay a one-time amount of €5,49 and get access to the content.

Livemocha

livemocha

Livemocha is different in the sense that it requires you to contribute to someone else’s learning materials of your native language before you get access to the courses. Once you contribute, you can navigate through a variety of daily exercises for different languages. Livemocha is free to access but has the option to pay for benefits. Some people even say Livemocha is very similar to Rosetta Stone, which makes sense since Rosetta Stone acquired Livemocha back in 2013.

As you can see, there are plenty of affordable online language learning platforms available. Why not try some of these? You might be surprised at how quickly you start being able to express yourself in a foreign language. Another great way to learn a language is to watch movies and TV shows in that language. Here’s a great list of Spanish movies and series you can watch to improve your skills.

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Sierra has been living and studying in Madrid since 2018. When she's not in class or in the office, you can find her reading in Retiro or enjoying a tapa somewhere in Malasaña.

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