Learning a language with your child
Are you thinking about learning a new language with your child? Perhaps you want to give them a stronger connection with their heritage or hope to expand their horizons and career opportunities in later life. From Spanish to Arabic or Hindi, there are plenty of options available – or how about Chinese, the most spoken language in the world?
Whatever language feels most appropriate, there are lots of benefits to picking up a second one. It promotes curiosity, develops problem-solving skills and offers social benefits for young people. But don’t feel like you can’t join in – new research shows that adults can learn new languages quickly, too.
Hiring a tutor and travelling are expensive ways to encourage your new hobby, though, especially if you’re already short on funds. You might need to look into a bad credit loan or similar alternatives. Or you could try one of the many cheaper language-learning apps that have appeared in recent years…
Below, read a quick summary of four of the main options on the market right now.
Duolingo is one of the most popular and widely known language-learning apps available. As you’d expect, then, it has an appealing and easy-to-use interface, which promotes its traditional lessons and short exercises.
Its ‘streak’ feature is especially helpful in motivating to return to the app and keep learning every day. Imagine the pain of losing a 100-day streak!
There’s a free version that’s worth testing out, while Premium memberships offer ad-free offline access for around £60 for a year.
A relative newcomer to the game, Drops is a super-fun app that features lots of game-like exercises including a wordsearch and time-limited spelling challenges. It’s got a fun, colourful layout which helps to appeal to young ones, while its ‘travel talk’ feature is handy for learning useful phrases when travelling.
Like Duolingo, you can try Drops for free before upgrading to an affordable paid version on a monthly or yearly basis.
Memrise is especially interesting thanks to its home videos from native speakers. Though they can be of mixed quality, these videos are helpful for hearing how to pronounce new words.
The app also records all the words you master, which is great for seeing how far you’ve progressed together. Again, there are free and paid versions available, with bonus features including offline access and chatbots.
Another of the big names in the language-learning world, Babbel has a sleek design, lots of quality learning content and great speech-recognition technology. Each course is created slightly differently depending on your native language – so the Spanish course is different for native English speakers compared to native German speakers, for example.
It’s slightly pricier than its competitors – though a yearly subscription still offers good value given the volume of content here!
Language-learning apps offer a convenient and relatively cheap way to pick up new skills with your little one. Not sure which to go for? Try out a couple of them for free to see which app you both take to most!