I know…I know…you’re probably wondering why I as the founder of a language learning company would spend time suggesting other language learning tools. Well, in all honesty, my focus and the focus of Bridge the Gap is to help determine what are the best ways for you to learn to speak Spanish. I’ve had many students that used apps along with our programs as well. Ultimately, I am more about your individual path than I am about everyone signing up for Bridge the Gap’s programs. This is why we offer language coaching sessions where you can speak with one of our language coaches for 30 minutes. During this conversation, the language coach assesses where you are in the learning process and what your goals are. From there, the coach gives you several suggestions personalized to your own situation. This session is complimentary for everyone who signs up for our $19 5-day Spanish challenge and only $25 when purchased alone.
So, anyways, back to what to what this blog post is all about…
You have so many options when it comes to apps to learn Spanish (or any other language for that matter). Rosetta Stone. Duolingo. Busuu. HiNative. HelloTalk. And, the list goes on and on. So the question goes…which app is best? Which one is going to help you reaching your Spanish goals fastest?
Duolingo is definitely going on the list of favorites. We all remember when Duolingo came onto the scene and made language learning fun and easy. They did this by gamifying the experience. Also, who isn’t inspired to keep up their learning streak when the iconic little green owl shows up and reminds you to?? Cute, right?? Honestly, I’ve used Duolingo and I love Duolingo. The reason is because it’s a great entry learning app. It makes language learning un- intimidating, and for many people that is necessary. Duolingo breaks down the fear that most adults probably have when thinking about learning a new language. AND! Even more importantly, it is FREE! Of course, you can pay for extra features, but even with the free plan, you can learn so much.
Tandem is another favorite. The focus of Tandem is more on actual conversation practice. I would say that if Duolingo is like dipping your toe in the lake, Tandem is like diving right in, which is necessary when learning Spanish (or any language for that matter). After having experience with both and skimming a comprehensive article comparing the two, I chose Tandem as a favorite over a similar app HelloTalk for a couple of reasons. Tandem really does focus a lot more on one-on-one interaction, and most of the users are really committed to learning and it shows. The one caution that I have for both apps is that sometimes the vibe of some conversations can be online date-y depending on what each user may be looking for.
Lastly, I’d like to add Beelinguapp to the favorites list. I recently learned of and tried this app, and I’m so glad I did. This app focuses on listening, reading, comprehension, and vocabulary. I specifically enjoy it because of the vocabulary. It can be easy to get through learning grammar and even practicing conversation without effectively expanding vocabulary. However, a wider vocabulary will increase how comfortable you will feel entering into any conversation. If grammar is the foundation of language, vocabulary are the building blocks.
So when it comes to apps, these are three of my favorites. I would recommend these to both my students and others. The goal is just to get more and more people learning Spanish in effective ways that work for them.
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