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Welcome to our first series: Learning Tools

Over the next few weeks, we will explore some of the tools & recommendations I give to all my students, regardless of level.

As with any learning process, tools exist to assist us - but we’re the ones putting in the real work. Having said this, there are ways to use these tools to really enhance our learning - and the better we get at using them, the easier it becomes for us to play and explore the language at our own pace.

The recommendation is that these tools be used as part of a holistic learning approach. Students who incorporate the following into their learning approach seem to make the most progress:

  1. A minimum of 10 minutes per day of learning / review activity

  2. Language Lessons / Conversation Practice

  3. Self-study / Review

  4. Watching / Listening to movies, shows, videos or music in the language

At a very minimum, a daily learning activity (#1) is required in order to be able to make any progress - especially when first learning the language.

I typically recommend Duolingo as a daily learning tool because of how successful their game-like model is at keeping students engaged and incentivized to keep a daily streak going. However, some might prefer a tool that provides a bit more lesson-type content and/or explanations in addition to presenting you with questions.

I always tell my students that, whatever they choose, it has to be fun for them. If it feels boring or like a chore, you won’t be able to keep it up past the first few days. Some people also need to have a bit more variety in their learning so they might use a learning app like Duolingo some days of the week, and do something different on the other days, like watching videos, going to an online event, or trying to practice the language out in the real world...

What about you: what is your preference when it comes to a daily language learning activity? Do you love Duolingo or are there other apps or tools you’ve enjoyed?

Comment below!

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