[Best pick] How To Learn Any Language With An App

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Apps are all the rage nowadays, and for good reason. They can help you out in just about every area of your life, whether it’s keeping fit, organizing your schedule, communicating with friends, or even learning a language. Just like any tool though, you need to know how to use it properly to really benefit.

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Here’s a user guide for optimal app use, provided courtesy of an app-addicted superuser.

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1. Learn from diverse sources (not just apps)

Beware the app which sells itself as the Holy Grail of language learning, the one-stop-shop, the answer to all your troubles.

This is a world of diverse sources of information, from newspapers and books to TV, radio, music and, yes, even real people. Would you limit yourself to one medium in your native language? Probably not, so why refrain from doing so in your new language? I encourage you to use apps extensively, but not exclusively.

2. Establish your purpose and plan your habits

Do you want to be fluent in weeks or are you in it for the brain training? The good apps are structured to help you fit your studies around your timetable. The best apps adapt themselves based upon your behavior. These apps encourage habit building, because the successful formation of a habit ensures your safe and regular return.

3. Remember that an app is just a tool

A good app spurs you on with implicit or explicit gamification. What does that mean? App developers have taken the addictive elements of video games and applied them to educational apps. Sneaky? Maybe, but it’s all for a good cause: to keep you learning! Rarely will you have heard someone bent over a textbook remark, “I’m completely addicted to learning Spanish!” Among all the rewards and extrinsic motivation, don’t forget your purpose and own, intrinsic motivation.

4. Give your feedback

We love feedback! Why? For two main reasons: Firstly, all that mumbo-jumbo about revolutions and changing the world does rub off a bit. This means there’s a wave of motivation propelling the app towards excellence, and app developers will be receptive to your input. Secondly, everything you touch within the app can be adjusted and improved quickly and to the benefit of everyone.

5. Make it social

No, I don’t mean posting your progress on Facebook. I mean social for real. I attribute the speed of progress I made in Italian to the competition/support engendered by Jim, my partner in study time. Find a friend to accompany you. Supplement your studies with an evening class. Borrow a book. Buy a book. Book a week away and attend a language school. Just don’t forget your phone!

If I may speak sincerely, the combination of app, language school, Jim, evenings out, and a choice book or two proved extremely potent.

END

That’s all for today’s [Best Pick]!

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