How Effective Are Language Learning Apps?
The use of mobile Internet and the number of mobile device users are increasing day by day. Such changes are entirely determined. Now everyone strives for convenience and mobility in all spheres of life. With the advent of communicators and tablets, there is no need to use laptops when it is not always convenient (on a business trip, or at a meeting).
However, mobile devices would not bring so much benefit without special programs – mobile applications. The importance of mobile applications in education is growing, and the main reason for this is the opportunities they provide. Language learning applications are quite popular today. They increase motivation to study, allow quick file exchange, improve student learning outcomes, etc. In this article, learn more about the effectiveness of modern mobile applications and create a language learning app by following simple tips. Try to allocate enough time to study useful information.
Language Learning Apps: Definition and Types
A mobile application is a software designed for use on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Many mobile applications are installed on the device itself or can be downloaded from online mobile application stores such as the App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, etc., for free or for a fee. Mobile applications perform various functions, including optimization of the working environment, access to useful content, training, etc.
Applications that are used to learn a certain language are called language learning apps. They can be conditionally divided into several categories. The first category consists of electronic dictionaries useful for studying and learning new words. This category includes both sites and applications dedicated to this topic, as well as some Telegram bots or channels. They greatly simplify the search for the necessary words, because now there is no need to look for special dictionaries and terms in libraries. Sometimes they also have reference elements in their content to remind the user of some rules of pronunciation or grammar. In such applications, there is often an opportunity to check your vocabulary by testing.
The second category includes applications with a set of exercises for learning the language. They allow learning new words, the rules of their pronunciation, writing, and use, but are recommended for those users who already have a minimum level of knowledge. Such programs have many variable exercises for studying and consolidating knowledge of a language.
An example is Duolingo. This is an app for learning foreign languages. The course interface is friendly with an animated course mascot – an owl. Access to the course is possible by creating a student profile. The student is encouraged to choose their own daily learning pace, which can vary from 10 to 30 minutes. The user is informed about the violation of the regime by e-mail. Exercises can be discussed with other users on the forum. There is always an opportunity to scroll the Duolingo leaderboards down. The student can report to the administrator if a problem with the content is found.
The app is designed like a game. So, in each test, the user has 3 "lives". Losing them, the user cannot go to the next level and the test must be repeated. For the correct execution of exercises, the student receives points that can be exchanged for additional "lives" in tests, or allow access to phrase modules. Thus, Duolingo is the best choice for those who want to improve sentence construction skills and prefers learning through play.
Advantages of Using Mobile Applications in the Language Learning Process
Apps like Duolingo demonstrate high efficiency in the process of learning languages. Here is a list of benefits of their use:
- Access to learning anytime, anywhere;
- Students can communicate with each other and ask questions to which they do not know the correct answer;
- The opportunity to study for people with disabilities who cannot attend classes due to their health;
- Pocket or tablet PCs and e-books are lighter and take up less space than files, paper, and textbooks;
- Recognition using a stylus or touch screen becomes more visual than when using a keyboard and mouse;
- Educational materials are easily distributed among users thanks to modern wireless technologies (WAP, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, 4G, LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi).
Requirements for Language Learning Apps
The effectiveness of language learning apps usually depends on whether they meet the requirements:
- Compactness. Mobile learning components should be short in duration, given that they are available in an environment where potential communication interruptions are likely;
- High level of macro ergonomics. This implies high image and sound quality with small screen size, download speed, etc.;
- Ubiquity and availability. A mobile learning application should be accessible anywhere, regardless of location. This will allow the student to study at any convenient time;
- Access on demand. A mobile device should provide the student with on-demand access, maximizing the potential to deliver valuable content at the moment of need.
How to Make a Learning App Step-by-Step?
If you want to make your own language app, be sure that it is possible. The main thing is to follow the steps below:
- Decide on the idea of the program, its concept;
- Define basic functionality;
- Determine the basic distribution model;
- Work on UI/UX design;
- Create a detailed technical task;
- Work on creating the conceived idea;
- Test the functionality of the program;
- Promote the product.
Although mobile applications do not replace traditional learning methods, they create a new environment and opportunities for it. Mobile learning tools have become an important educational tool that helps in language learning. Mobile learning promotes independent processing of material, development of communicative and creative abilities, and preparation for life in the conditions of the modern information society.
In addition, it solves the problem of individualization of training. A mobile device and language learning applications ??help to repeatedly repeat the material at a pace convenient for the student and control the extent of its assimilation. Create your own language app and help others master the language without any difficulties!