Are Language Learning Apps Your Best Choice?

By Jonty Yamisha • 7 minute read

language learning and technology

Language Learning and Technology Go Hand-in-Hand

Language learning has changed a lot in the last ten years. Before language learning apps and the internet, if you wanted to learn a new language, you needed to go check out books at the library, buy a translation dictionary, and work your way through a binder full of CDs to learn a language. But with language learning and technology, all that has changed. For the better. 

Are Language Apps The Best Way to Reach Fluency?

Language learning and technology go hand-in-hand these days. At some point, even the most technologically averse people will at least use an app for managing flashcards or quick translations. Technology makes it very easy to learn a language by providing all your learning materials in one convenient location. 

However, not all apps are effective. The reason that foreign language classrooms have such a bad reputation (scores of students spend years studying languages only to stumble through elementary phrases) is that they use bad teaching methods. In short, a lot of these applications simply transferred ineffective classroom practices into “new” mobile applications. How’s that supposed to help you?

technology has helped language learning

If you take ineffective teaching strategies and make them digital, all you get are ineffective ways to learn a language…that’s digital. That’s not really an improvement. 

So, while language learning technologies are great because they can help you improve your skills, they’re not a cure-all. And if you use the wrong applications, you may end up not learning a language at all. Instead, you need a language learning platform that uses the best practices for reaching fluency. This way you can avoid ineffective classroom instruction and other dated practices.

How Can an App Help You Learn a Language?

Using technology to learn a language changes you from a passive student to an active learner. Think about it. When you sit in a traditional classroom trying to learn a language, you’re one of 30 people hoping to figure out how to speak a language. Your teacher speaks to the class as a whole. You try to mumble a response over peers, barely hearing yourself speak, and hope you got it right.

And if you’re lucky, you may get a few seconds of direct feedback from your language teacher…

With language learning technology, you have a qualified teacher right at your fingertips. You can move through lessons at your own pace. You can practice in a way that works best for you. And you can get the explanations you need when you need them. Essentially, technology finally makes language learning accessible so you can learn quickly without interruptions.

Technology in The Language Learning Classroom 

Foreign language classrooms have caught on. Nowadays, more and more teachers use technology in language learning lessons. Some for the better. Others for worse. It’s common to walk into a high school or college-level foreign language course and see students on their phones, trying to learn a language.

While it’s an improvement to the past, in a lot of ways, it’s not much better. The difficulty rests in how educators approach languages. They see them as a subject to study and test on, not as a tool to use. As a result, you may have more bells and whistles in foreign language classrooms, but that doesn’t make them more effective for language learning. 

Besides, if you show up to a class that’s going to teach you how to learn a new language through technology, you might as well just learn using the apps on your own. Cut out the middle person, and boost your progress towards fluency. And with mobile language learning apps, you can do just that. 

How Technology Will Impact Language Learners

technology will change language learning

If you want to learn a language faster and easier, then you’re living in the best time to make that dream come true. Language learning apps will only continue to get smarter. Learning management systems and AI will help make apps more efficient. And over time, the apps that focus on inefficient methods will fade away leaving only the best ones out there. Hopefully…

Will We Need to Learn Languages in the Future?

Technology is a great asset to make language learning easier. But with apps like Google Translate and other translation services, people wonder if learning a language is necessary. The truth is, there’s still a growing need for everyone to learn new languages. As in multiple languages. The reason for this is thanks to globalization and what the robots miss. 

Globalization has brought us all closer together. Companies have offices all over the world. More people travel. And the internet has made bridging the gaps caused by distance easier. Now, if you want to travel to a new country, all you need to do is tip-toe through YouTube or do a quick search on Google. We are more connected than ever, and that’s not changing. 

Robots aren’t perfect either. Google can give you a direct translation of a word instantaneously, but it misses out on the nuances of a language. Figurative language. Sarcasm. Irony. Turn-of-phrase. There are many idiocracies of language that computers miss. No matter how complex our language learning and technology, you’ll always need the human element.

What to Avoid with Language Learning Apps

There is such a thing as a bad language learning app. And there are a lot of them out there. These apps waste your time and money while keeping you busy with fake internet points. They make you think you’re learning a new language. When in fact, they’re just trying to keep you engaged long enough on the platform to increase their advertising revenue. 

You want to avoid apps that overly rely on certain failed strategies. Memorization, translation, and drilling aren’t effective. You can’t memorize your way to speaking fluently, no matter how many games you play. And if you have to translate your target language in your mind every time you have a conversation, you’ll speak so slow that no one will want to talk to you.

Not to mention, drills just make language learning a slow, painful, brutal process…

language lessons shouldn't be boring

But, learning a language doesn’t have to be painful.

What you need is an app that uses the best strategies to help you learn a new language effectively. Spaced Repetition Systems, for example, help you learn a language efficiently by reviewing lessons at the right time to help you remember them. You’ll also get more from apps that help you optimize your time by focusing on the 80/20 rule. That way, you spend less time learning more.

Technology Gets You to Fluency Faster

You need a proven app that leverages technology so you can start speaking in a foreign language fast. And that’s exactly what OptiLingo does. Our app guides you to fluency with SRS by getting you to speak from your very first lesson. And you’ll take the 80/20 approach, covering the most frequently used words and phrases so you can learn more by doing less. It’s the smartest way to learn a new language.

OptiLingo Is a Versatile Language Learning Application

With Optilingo, you can learn on the go. Anywhere, anytime, any device. Fit your lessons in when you can and automatically sync your progress across all devices. You can also learn with the method you prefer: 

  • Are you a visual learner? Feel free to read through the content. 
  • Is your learning style more auditory? Listen and Repeat is perfect for you. 
  • Do you learn quickly? We’ve got you covered. 
  • Do you really want to push yourself and review complex lessons first? Then dive in!

OptiLingo’s hands-free mode keeps it flexible. Use the platform wherever, whenever, however. With hands-free lessons, you can learn during your daily commute, in the office, or at the gym.

OptiLingo will never limit you or how you choose to learn. Ever. Because your language learning program shouldn’t hold you back. 

Synchronization is important. After all, you work hard to progress in your language lessons. That’s why you can access OptiLingo from any device and watch as it syncs your progress automatically in real-time. That way you can streamline your journey to fluency, always moving forward, faster.

Jonty Yamisha

Husband, father, and accidental polyglot Jonty Yamisha founded OptiLingo after working to protect his native language, Circassian, from extinction. He's has helped thousands finally achieve their dream of reaching fluency by promoting SPEAKING over typing languages with OptiLingo.

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What is OptiLingo?

Dreaming of learning a new language? OptiLingo was founded in 2016 to help people who truly wanted to learn a new language but struggled and failed too many times to think it was possible. With OptiLingo, you can learn 20 languages in just 20 minutes per day.

"Our mission is to breathe life into those dreams again."