Language app or language course ?

In my classes and around me, I often hear about online language learning apps.

Language learning apps have received widespread praise and are expected to transform the study of languages. They allow you to discover a language, at any time of the day or night, to practice on your own, and can be a very rewarding way to acquire basic vocabulary. But their effectiveness is debatable, particularly when it comes to writing or speaking skills.

As a French teacher, I asked myself the question:

Can an app replace a language course in class?

In my opinion, no. In my free time, I tried it. I registered on a language app to continue learning Arabic. Admittedly, the app provides a fun and user-friendly experience, it adapts to my level and allows me to have a flexible schedule according to my available free time. Plus, the app is free. So, I can say I enjoyed the app overall, it’s true!

On the other hand, the app sometimes seems monotonous with repetitive content. There is a lot of advertising, which can occasionally interfere with the learner’s ability to focus and learn. Also, it doesn’t always seem like the provided examples apply to real-world situations.

The most crucial missing component: live interaction! In a post-covid period, it seems essential to me to make most of our environment, our surroundings, to meet new people and to exchange ideas. For me, learning a language means discovering and learning from others!

What is the use for this kind of app?

My advice is to use – if you want to test them – the apps to start learning a language then switch to a course in a language class. I believe that an application could be useful to use in addition to lessons, in your spare time, to practice grammar or basic translation for example… in any case, this type of app will not make you independent or bilingual.

I completely understand that, if you are a beginner and are afraid of being judged, of speaking in front of others, online practice can be more reassuring. But it’s still much more fun to play in groups in a class, to do pronunciation activities with your classmates, – and above all – to have a sense of belonging to a community that develops beyond the limits of the class, right?

So, what are you waiting for to join our next sessions? Come and discover our language classes, put your knowledge into practice, meet new people and have fun!

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