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Should Language Apps be your primary tool for learning a language?


Should Language Apps be your primary tool for learning a language?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Language Apps be your primary tool for learning a language?

    • Yes
      7
    • No
      18


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Should Language Apps be your primary tool for learning a language? My personal opinion is that they are better suited as supplementary tools, like anki for example, rather than the main source of one's studies. They can certainly teach you some information, but leave you well short of where a good, more traditional text with audio, class, etc would leave you.

And although most users of more traditional methods are well aware of their limitations, well aware that it will take a lot of additional work and exposure to a language to reach a high level in it, it seems like many of the app users here think all they need is the app. What are your thoughts on this? Is an app all you're using to learn a language? Do you need anything else? 

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I never rely on language apps as my primary source for learning languages.  I still prefer to enroll in a traditional language school in order for me to learn the language.  I have quite a number of language apps on my computer right now, but I only use them to supplement my learning.  These apps can help me greatly as additional reference materials, but relying on them alone isn't good enough.  As much as possible, I have to try out various methods of learning languages.

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I don't imagine there is any app out there that could replace traditional course books, conversations with native speakers, doing grammar exercises with your hands and so on. As an additional tool, yes, that may be useful. But as the primary learning material? For me, that's out of the question. But maybe there are people who are more talented and for them an app is enough.

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No.

I always see study apps as tools used with language learning, not for language learning.
What I mean is that of course you should use language learning apps, but never use it as the primary and/or only tool!

Your primary 'tool' should be an actual human being who knows what he or she is doing.
However, keep in mind that humans can be as busy as you are, so they're not always there to help you.
So the time you're alone can be filled with multiple language apps (each app has its own purpose if you choose the right apps, utilising multiple tools will then improve your skills).

Other tools that are more important than apps are your own motivation and discipline.

Incidentally, this also answers the question "what can I use as my ONLY language learning tool"?
The only right answer is, "there is no way you can get anywhere using only 1 tool"!

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I definitely think that language learning apps facilitate the language learning process. Obviously it shouldn't be the only way that you learn a language, however I believe that we should make the most of the technology available to make the experience more interactive, rather than sticking purely to course books focused too much on grammar! It is about immersing yourself in the language and I think technology aids this. 

Going to the country, if plausible, is also essential! 

Look to the future!

 

Immerse yourself in language - immerse-app.com

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Like everyone else already said - no, you shouldn't rely on a language learning app if you want to learn language. They can often be clunky and in my opinion, nothing replaces a good teacher. Sometimes you'll want to ask a question and it'll take you some time to find out for yourself using an app. Although, I will concede that language learning apps can be useful for practice. As a matter of fact, it would probably be beneficial to practice in that way.

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Going to the country, if plausible, is also essential! 

I actually disagree on this one.
Of course being in the country is the ideal environment, but it's not the essential one.
If it would be essential, I wouldn't even be able to speak English to begin with.

You really have no idea how small this world has become thanks to technology.
And thanks to this, you can learn any language anywhere and any time. :D

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Your primary 'tool' should be an actual human being who knows what he or she is doing

Just a reminder, because someone might not know this, in the English language if you make an absolute statement that isn't always true, then the statement is false.

I disagree with your statement because not everyone's goal is conversation, and I believe that even if your goal is conversation, using a person as your "primary tool" is not always the most efficient. For example, trying to get a native speaker to teach you grammar before you even have the basics down is a poor choice imo.

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Just a reminder, because someone might not know this, in the English language if you make an absolute statement that isn't always true, then the statement is false.

I disagree with your statement because not everyone's goal is conversation, and I believe that even if your goal is conversation, using a person as your "primary tool" is not always the most efficient. For example, trying to get a native speaker to teach you grammar before you even have the basics down is a poor choice imo.

I'm aware of this, that's why I said "human being" and not "conversation partner".
You can use a human being for conversations, as well as pen pals or just people who can correct your mistakes.

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I actually disagree on this one.Of course being in the country is the ideal environment, but it's not the essential one.
If it would be essential, I wouldn't even be able to speak English to begin with.

You really have no idea how small this world has become thanks to technology.
And thanks to this, you can learn any language anywhere and any time. :D

I agree that you can learn a language anywhere and especially with the technology available to us nowadays it is getting easier and easier. It is about really immersing yourself in the language you are learning. Getting involved and technology allows us to do this more and more with more interactive experiences! 

However, I think that learning a language is more than just learning. You need to immerse yourself in that culture. You really underestimate what that can do for your confidence and language skills. I spent an entire year working in Argentina and learned how the Argentinians work and live, this was extremely beneficial for my confidence and speaking. 

Immerse yourself in language - immerse-app.com

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Like everyone else already said - no, you shouldn't rely on a language learning app if you want to learn language. They can often be clunky and in my opinion, nothing replaces a good teacher. Sometimes you'll want to ask a question and it'll take you some time to find out for yourself using an app. Although, I will concede that language learning apps can be useful for practice. As a matter of fact, it would probably be beneficial to practice in that way.

I believe that actually language learning apps should be used as 'tools' to facilitate language learning in class and online with a teacher. They can make the whole experience much more interactive and interesting for the learner. You cannot underestimate how much technology can help with things like this! 

Immerse yourself in language - immerse-app.com

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With all that technology may offer nowadays, one can get the hold of everything that may help in language acquisition. However, just think back for a second, go back to the times of your parents and grandparents. They did not have the luxury of having anything like we have today, like gadgets, applications, online dictionaries, tools for learning a language, etc. All they had were books, and teacher who used just their book, head, imagination and a blackboard to teach anything, and everything. And learners acquired languages as well as they have today, without any of the tools I have mentioned above.

I am of the opinion that any gadget like that should  not be a primary tool in language learning, but should be its asset. The more you are exposed to any language, the better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think a combination of books and apps is the best option. The textbooks can be used for a majority of the learning and then you can use the apps to supplement or improve upon what you've already learned. When I first delved into learning a new language, I used an app exclusively. At first, during the beginning lessons, I did great and I was learning at a fast pace. But as I moved further into the program, it got harder and harder until I had no idea what I was doing or why. I had no clue whether to put a noun before a verb or why, all of the grammatical aspects were lost on me. So I would definitely vote for a mix of the two, because an app just isn't going to teach you everything you need to know.

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Although apps can be a great tool for learning a language, I don't think they should be the primary tool, simply because they cannot simulate the experience of speaking a language in real life. I've used apps, mostly Duolingo, to supplement college German courses and to keep me practicing when I am not able to take a live class. I admit I have learned a lot this way, but what I'm really looking forward to is to study German in Austria soon,and really immerse myself in it. However, apps allow people who might not have the opportunity to travel or take classes to study a language, which is wonderful.

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If you only learn with a language app, you'll be missing out on other aspects and uses of the language that won't be found in the app you're studying. It's simply not feasible for an app to prepare you for everything out there when it comes to language. They can be very helpful in learning vocabulary and other things, but nothing beats communicating with real people and reading real articles written by native speakers.

 

Has anyone been completely satisfied studying a language from only a single app? If so, let me know!

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Hello everyone, my name is Jorge Solis. I do not think that a language learning app should be a primary source for learning. I think an app could be a wonderful aid in your learning experience, however, I firmly believe that your primary source of learning should be everyday conversations with people who speak the language fluently. If you are not in an area where you can practice your skills, then you can look for conversation videos online.

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Hello friends,

I feel that apps are not primary tool for learning.

If someone start to learn a language he have to join a institute.

Apps can help him for learning different words.

But primary tool is teacher who can guide us and with whom we can communicate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think in order to learn a language it is necessary to have an in person teacher who can help you both pronounce and correct your speaking.  Learning via language apps are good to help memorize words and learn different tenses but they aren't helpful in pronunciation.  There have been so many words I thought I was saying correctly until my teacher who was fluent in the language told me what I was doing wrong.  While apps are very helpful learning tools I think a teacher is necessary.

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I think I have to agree with everyone in saying that language apps should mostly be for supplemental use or a learning aid, not your entire way of studying. I can only speak about DuoLingo from experience, but I don't really feel it helped me with conversations and speaking practice and instead focused more on grammar and vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, I will use it any time I feel like I need a quick refresher on something I feel confused about, but having a textbook or someone/something explaining to you why such and such is the way it is really can't be replaced in my eyes.

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I think apps are useful as an introduction (especially those that don't use the roman alphabet) but after that, they're more supplementary and a teacher (and in my experience, classmates) are the way to properly learn languages. Apps are useful for memorization, but learning a language requires someone to teach you what you did wrong as well as immersion. A teacher is required for the former and a classroom with classmates help with the latter.

Apps helped me a lot since I learned the really basic stuff like alphabet and phonetics when I started enrolling in lessons, but a month in a classroom taught me more than six months with an app did, so I can't say it was my primary tool for learning.

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Yes. There are some pretty awesome apps out there, and working two jobs kind of limit my time to the point that I don't know if I want to sign up for a language class for now. A language learning app is a good alternative for me, and if I push myself through procrastination, I find that I can learn a lot for a few minutes everyday.

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I don't think so, I think the primary source should be actual talk, listening and talking + repetition is the best way to do it. I think apps are great help but it should be only a supporting hole not the real deal. It is nice to have an app with nice interface and easy to use specially if you get bored easily, but i think you should definitely try to take a class or self educate in a more consistent way than an app. 

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