How To Choose The Best Language Learning App In 5 Steps

woman in white shirt using smartphone

While education is becoming more expensive all the time, this doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice on quality when choosing the best language learning app.

While education is getting more expensive, that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice quality. Nowadays, with technology reaching leaps and bounds, we find that we can learn what used to only be taught in the classroom from the comfort of our own home.

While there is no real end to the number of new resources popping here and there, not all are actually worth your time, effort, and money. To help you find the best one out there, this post will walk you through the 5-step, bulletproof process on how to find the best language learning application today.

In this post, we will cover the following:

๐Ÿ‘ The most effective ways to choose the best language learning app for your study efforts
๐Ÿ‘ What the different types of language learning apps are and how they differ from one another
๐Ÿ‘ How to choose the best language learning app based on your personal needs

One thing before we get started: If youโ€™re serious about learning a foreign language then be sure to check out our list of Language Resources. We have tested and rated dozens of online courses and language apps. Tap this link to find out more.

Step 1: Sort Through The Hype

woman holding phone to find best language learning app

Have you ever heard of “app overload”? Yep, that’s a real thing!

If you are looking for resources to study and learn a foreign language online, there are literally thousands of resources from which you can choose.

One of the best ways in which you can find the best platform for your needs is to create a personal list.

Crafting a list will help you limit the language learning applications to give yourself a high-quality type of research and expose yourself more thoroughly to the unique features of the apps.

After all, different apps will have different strengths, and some of these applications may or may not be a good companion, especially for total beginners.ย 

As a rule of thumb, remember that no one particular app will instantly turn you into a native speaker. Some people believe that using multiple apps will allow you to hear various accents and encounter different word choices to attain a more rounded experience.

So, whether you’re studying in a formal structure, such as a school, or you are trying to pick up a language to travel, you can bet that learning from more than one application is going to be your best bet for a more complete language learning experience.

Step 2: Check If The Desired Apps Offer Lessons For Your Target Language

woman with online tutor
No matter how many language learning apps are out there, the most important thing you should consider is whether your chosen brands offer lessons for your target language.

While it is true that you may want to focus on only one language today, there might come a time when you might like to learn some of the basics in another language.

For this reason, we highly recommend that you sign up only with apps that can provide 60+ languages at the very least.

The best language learning app is not defined by the number of languages it offers. However, by selecting your app this way, you’ll get more value for your money and you can seamlessly transition if you want to learn two to three languages simultaneously.ย 

Step 3: Review The Features Of The Apps On Your List

person holding phone to search for best language learning app

One tip regarding using language-focused applications is that they often have various quizzes that will help you become totally engaged with the content.

If you are looking to work in a particular field or live abroad in a specific country, you’re probably going to want to focus on the vocabulary that will most benefit you.

Therefore, finding applications with quizzes, audible pronunciation, motivating yet challenging games, and other valuable tools such as flashcards or built-in chatbots is necessary.

Some of these apps are also flexible in the sense that they offer different games and quizzes, which you can purchase from the app, so be sure to add up the total cost of all these resources before you make a purchase.ย 

The best language learning app will also have some level of interactivity as you need to interact with real-life speakers.

Some applications will use your selected language that you are trying to learn and match you up with another language learner on the platform who would make an excellent counterpart.

So, you get the possibility of learning from an actual native language speaker who is also most likely trying to learn your own native language.

This connection will allow several avenues of language learning to develop outside the application; if you don’t feel comfortable chatting with someone, there are a variety of other programs designed to explore how you can practice through interactive games and exercises.ย 

Step 4: Filter Your List Based On Your Learning Style, Need, And Level

woman thinking

As you continue to add details to your list, it would be wise to filter them now based on your specific learning style so that you can ensure that you’ll get to maximize your investment in the app.

According to educational theories, every person has unique learning styles, which means that what works for others may not work for you. For this reason, you should only focus on applications that offer adaptive customization or have the flexibility to accommodate your level.

There are even modern applications out there that can generate a learning plan just for you!

In addition, you can sort your list based on your need. For instance, if you are a professional looking to learn about business-related expressions or formal words to use at work, you no longer need to use the apps that will teach you the basics.

Instead, consider phrasebook language learning applications.

Step 5: Let Your Interest Guide You to the Best Language Learning App

human brain

No matter how well-suited a language learning app is based on your list and research, there are instances when we might end up not liking what we have chosen.

For this reason, it would be wise to get the top 5 applications on your filtered list so that you can try them out simultaneously and get a “feel” of what floats your boat.

But, at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to use the app, so you might as well sign up with something that can make you excited and motivated to learn every single day!

Our top 3 recommend language learning apps

Pimsleur

Pimsleur is a great option for anybody looking to improve their understanding of a foreign language. Each Premium Plan includes more than 75 hours of audio content, taking you from beginner through to advanced level. Native speakers feature throughout the course to get you used to hearing the language.

Pimsleur’s method is effective but repetitive. We’d like to see Pimsleur incorporate better grammar explanations into their lessons.

Pimsleur

Effectiveness

Value for Money

4.0 out of 5.0 stars 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Effective at improving listening skills and overall language comprehension through repetition.More expensive than many competitors.
7 Day Free Trial included.

Ease of Use

Languages

5.0 out of 5.0 stars 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Modern dashboard. Very easy to use and navigate on desktop and app.40+ languages available, including Spanish, French, Italian, German and Chinese.
โœ… Pros
โŒ Cons
๐Ÿ‘ Huge library of audio lessons
๐Ÿ‘ Modern, user-friendly dashboard
๐Ÿ‘ Proven, effective method
๐Ÿ‘ Encourages speaking practice
๐Ÿ‘Ž More expensive than main competitors
๐Ÿ‘Ž Repetitive with limited reading practice

Summary


Pimsleur is a great option for anybody looking to improve their understanding of a foreign language. Each Premium Plan includes more than 75 hours of audio content, taking you from beginner through to advanced level. Native speakers feature throughout the course to get you used to hearing the language.

Pimsleur's method is effective but repetitive. We'd like to see Pimsleur incorporate better grammar explanations into their lessons.

Mondly

Mondly ticks the boxes that so many language apps fail to tick. The variation of games, quizzes and activities keeps users engaged on the platform and takes any boredom out of learning. It is one of the few language learning options that covers listening, reading, writing and speaking in one solution, without focusing heavily on grammar.

Mondly is suitable for beginner and intermediate learners. Advanced learners will likely prefer interaction with real people, although the app does cater for them too.

Mondly

Effectiveness

Value for Money

4.5 out of 5.0 stars 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Highly effective at improving listening skills, reading skills and overall comprehension. Provides an opportunity to speak through functional speech recognition tool. Cheaper than main competitors, including Yabla and FluentU. Free Trial Included.

Ease of Use

Languages

4.5 out of 5.0 stars 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Modern dashboard. Very easy to use and navigate. Interactive AR and VR exercises.41+ languages available including Spanish, Chinese, Italian, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, English and Japanese. Multiple language combinations, meaning you can learn from any language into any other.
โœ… Pros
โŒ Cons
๐Ÿ‘ 41 languages and language combinations
๐Ÿ‘ VR and AR experiences imbedded
๐Ÿ‘ Can be used remotely and on-the-go
๐Ÿ‘ World class speech recognition
๐Ÿ‘Ž Not the cheapest option on the market
๐Ÿ‘Ž Limited speaking practice

Summary


Mondly ticks the boxes that so many language apps fail to tick. The variation of games, quizzes and activities keeps users engaged on the platform and takes any boredom out of learning. It is one of the few language learning options that covers listening, reading, writing and speaking in one solution, without focusing heavily on grammar.

Mondly is suitable for beginner and intermediate learners. Advanced learners will likely prefer interaction with real people, although the app does cater for them too.

Free Trial Included

Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages is one of the more advanced language learning resources we have come across. Its lesson features, comprehensive courses and travelogues make it better than the majority of its competitors for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners.

It is more expensive than many short term because it requires a one-time payment, not a subscription. There is a free trial available for all learners.

Rocket Languages

Effectiveness

Value for Money

4.0 out of 5.0 stars 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Highly effective at improving listening skills, reading skills and overall comprehension.Not the cheapest option but justified pricing based on features and benefits available.

Ease of Use

Languages

4.0 out of 5.0 stars 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Simple, modern dashboard designed to be as easy as possible to use.12 of the world's most popular languages available including Spanish and French.
โœ… Pros
โŒ Cons
๐Ÿ‘ No Subscription Fees
๐Ÿ‘ Very Good App & Website
๐Ÿ‘ Comprehensive Courses
๐Ÿ‘ Money Back Guarantee
๐Ÿ‘Ž One-Time Payment Required
๐Ÿ‘Ž You May Require a Language Tutor

Summary


Rocket Languages is one of the more advanced language learning resources we have come across. Its lesson features, comprehensive courses and travelogues make it better than the majority of its competitors for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners.

It is more expensive than many short term because it requires a one-time payment, not a subscription. There is a free trial available for all learners.

One-time Payment Dependent on Language


image of man listening to spanish podcast

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