In Language Learning, Are Apps All Amazing? Are All Apps Amazing?

Welcome to Fluent Show episode 79, where co-host Lindsay joins me to catch up, talk about language, and discuss the hot topic of language learning apps.

If you've ever downloaded and used a language learning app, and then wondered "Am I doing this well? Could I learn more from this?", then our discussion will help you swipe and tap your way to fluency.

The Language You Use When She's Giving Birth

Source: British Medical Journal Blog

The British Medical Journal recently published a blog article sharing guidelines on how to speak respectfully to women during childbirth. Is this "political correctness gone mad", or does it matter how we refer to people in these settings? Would you expect that less dramatic and violent language can help mothers stay calm in labour?

Also, as ever: The important theme of "use her name", and how we'd expected to be addressed in different language environments.

If I got to the stage where I'm having a baby, I would expect to be called signora..not the equivalent of 'girl'

Tune in to our discussion to find out, and leave a comment below to share your own views.

How To Make Good Use of Language Apps

In this episode, we talked about language learning apps and how to use them.

Practical Tips

  • Use different apps on different devices if you have them, for example you could make your iPad your reading resource while you use the phone to text language exchange partners
  • Take most of the promises that come from language learning apps with a grain of salt - using an app without effort does not mean learning a language without effort
  • Customize your experience: Apps are not all you need to learn a language, but it can help you create a language learning environment that is unique to you. We find that when an app is not the only way you're learning a language, your experience and results gets be better.
  • Don't ever feel ashamed or embarrassed about your app choices and what works for you!

The Essential Language Apps To Try On Your Device

Apps can be roughly sorted into a few categories, and it's worth trying a few to find your personal preference

  1. A good dictionary app like WordReference, LEO, or even Google Translate
  2. A flashcard system like Memrise, Anki, or Smartcards+
  3. A language course app (often gamified) like Speechling or Duolingo 4. Our sponsors Clozemaster of course!
  4. A non-language related app that can help you stay productive like 30/30, Timeglass, Pomodoro, or Streaks

Which language learning apps do you use regularly? Can you manage without them?

Leave us a comment below or tweet @thefluentshow.