Thursday, December 20, 2012

What To Look For In Language Learning Software And Programs

Learning Japanese
Learning Japanese (Photo credit: Hummy)
by H Gordon

Thanks to computers and the internet there are now so many ways to learn a foreign language. Even just 10 years ago the main form was books and audio cassette tapes.

However, nowadays there are entire software packages built for people looking to learn a language from the comfort of their own home.

Doing a Google search will yield a confusing array of results. There are so many to choose from that it can be quite confusing. I think this is why many people tend to go with what they see advertised, such as the popular and iconic Rosetta Stone, whose yellow packaging is very recognizable and they have quite a bit of brand recognition.

However, this course may not be right for you. The best thing is to do your homework and do a bit of research into a few different courses.

So what should you be looking for?

Type Of Teaching Method

Studies have shown that people often have different types of learning strengths. Some people do much better when they hear things. Others retain more information through what they have read.

Which type of learner are you? If you're not sure, that's OK. Most people are a mix of both, although usually stronger in one or the other. Some courses are very audio focused: Rosetta Stone, for example, is very audio driven and stresses full immersion.

This could frustrate some beginners or adults who need some sort of English guidance to help them along and explain various nuances. Other courses offer lots of media and games.

Who Is The Course Written For?

If you're a beginner, you obviously shouldn't be looking for a intermediate level course. Also, if you're trying to learn a language for specific use, such as a business profession, then you'll want a course that will teach you those things - a traveler's crash course wouldn't be appropriate.

However, some people just want an overview so they can communicate with locals on an upcoming trip. This is where a learn-for-travel type course would be perfect.

Courses that stress usage

It is known that the absolute best way to learn a language is to actually go out and use it! This means that the fastest way to success is to just jump in the deep end right away. I suggest even getting a supplemental book that will help you learn how to do this - or at least give you the motivation.

If you want more information on specific language learning courses check out our website section about the best language learning software. We offer some tips, suggestions, product reviews, and more. We also encourage your feedback on programs that you might have tried!

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