To complete any project, you need the right tool for the job.
You wouldn’t try to pound in a nail with a wrench, would you?
When it comes to language learning, there’s so much more in your toolbox than just hammers.
And somewhere out there, you’re bound to find the right language learning tools to help you learn your target language.
Online learning tools are a convenient option. For instance, online language courses or online language learning communities might be just the tool you need to propel you towards fluency.
If you’re looking to learn a language quickly and efficiently, immersion programs for adult learners are another powerful tool.
But regardless of what tools you’re using, they may start to feel dull or get worn down over time. To keep moving forward, you need something new and unique. That’s why these six innovative language learning tools are worth keeping in your toolbox!
Why Use Innovative Language Learning Tools?
These innovative language learning tools help you see your target language in a new light. When you use the same tool over and over again, you’re only approaching the language from one angle. Using an innovative language learning tool helps you approach the language from a new perspective.
Why is it important to change your approach? In real life, you’re unlikely to be presented with the language in the exact same way one learning tool has presented it. The more experience you have seeing the language in different contexts, the more likely you are to be able to use it effectively in the real world.
Additionally, these tools will help you break out of your rut. If you use the same few learning tools over and over, chances are you’ll get a little bored of them. Too much repetition can make it feel like your brain is going numb. If you change up your methods regularly, though, you might find that you don’t get bored as easily and that your mind stays focused—now that’s a recipe for language learning success!
Finally, innovative learning tools can cram learning into a wide variety of situations. Many language learning tools combine learning with other fun activities, like reading or watching entertaining programs. Not only are these tools flexible, but they also help you to combine leisure time with learning time.
6 Innovative Language Learning Tools to Work into Your Daily Routine
With Readlang, any website you visit can become an instant language learning tool.
Readlang is a downloadable web reader for language learners. Once you’ve signed up and installed Readlang, you can instantly translate any text. This means you can read (and understand) text in your target language or you can read things in English and instantly look up words in your target language.
But Readlang offers more than simple translation. Any words you translate are saved and you can practice them using flashcards.
Because Readlang uses whatever webpage you’re visiting, it’s perfect for any level of language learner. If you don’t know where to start, you can access popular articles through the Readlang website.
Since Readlang works with over 40 languages, most languages you might want to learn are likely included.
A free subscription gives you unlimited word translations, unlimited flashcards and 10 phrase translations per day. For a $5 monthly subscription, you get unlimited word and phrase translations and unlimited flashcards.
If you like watching videos—and who doesn’t?—then FluentU is the innovative tool that can help propel you at warp speeds towards fluency.
Each video is captioned and the captions are annotated to give you all the tools you need to understand the video while improving your language skills. You’ll have easy access to any word’s definition, an associated image and several example sentences. If you want to see how a word is used in other contexts, you can simply click it to see other videos that use that word.
“Learn mode” is another exciting feature that FluentU offers to language learners. In this mode, videos, pictures and example sentences are integrated into flashcards and exercises to create an engaging learning activity.
Since FluentU is flexible, it’s perfect for any level of language learner. You choose what you watch and how often you watch. FluentU will take your history into account to present you with appropriate questions and teach you based on what you’ve already learned.
FluentU offers Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.
You can use FluentU online or download the FluentU app for iOS or Android devices to take it with you wherever you go.
Internet Polyglot is a free online tool that aims to help you expand your vocabulary through games.
Internet Polyglot offers five different games for learners, including a picture game, a typing game, a guessing game, a matching game and a word search. Using this array of different activities can help you cement new vocabulary words in your memory by seeing them repeatedly in different contexts.
You choose your thematic word set and which game you want to play. Because you choose your word set, Internet Polyglot is flexible for any level of language learner—simply choose a word set you feel you need to work on.
Internet Polyglot offers dozens of language options. Popular options like Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Japanese are available, but there are also less common options like Amharic, Esperanto, Farsi and Tamil.
One particularly unique feature of Internet Polyglot is that you can select the language you’re learning and the language you speak. If you’re learning multiple languages at a time, this can be a helpful way to study them simultaneously, particularly if they’re similar. For instance, if you speak some Spanish and also want to learn Portuguese, looking at both languages simultaneously will help you see the overlap.
Understanding authentic content can be hard but, thankfully, tools like LingQ take a lot of the work out of the process.
LingQ focuses on teaching you a language through authentic content like news articles, books, audiobooks, songs, podcasts and even recipes.
As you’re enjoying content, LingQ allows you to look up unfamiliar words and save them to study more later.
LingQ provides plenty of content, but you can also import content on your own, allowing you to use LingQ’s features with blog posts, messages from friends and more.
With over 20 languages available, you’ll have easy access to popular options like Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, but you’ll also find some less common languages like Polish.
LingQ works online and is also downloadable for iOS or Android.
Clozemaster aims to provide you with plenty of exposure to in-context vocabulary through a language learning game.
The game is fill-in-the-blank style. You’ll be presented with a sentence in your target language along with its translation. Then, you select which word to choose to complete that sentence. You can choose to play as a multiple-choice game or input the text yourself.
Clozemaster offers a terrific array of language options, including popular choices like Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. However, Clozemaster also offers particularly rare options, like Basque, Breton, Gaelic, Galician, Occitan, Piedmontese and Welsh.
It’s important to learn the most frequently used words in a language, and WordBrewery wants to help you do just that.
WordBrewery selects sentences from actual news reports to ensure that the phrases are relevant examples of what you might encounter in the real world. These sentences feature high-frequency words so that your learning will be focused and targeted.
WordBrewery shows you one sentence at a time. From there, you have a number of options. You can listen to audio of the sentence, see a translation of the sentence, view the sentence’s original source article or add the sentence to your list to study more later. You also have additional options with each individual word in the sentence. For instance, you can click any word to hear it pronounced, see its translation and/or add it to your list to study more later.
WordBrewery is designed to be used in short bursts throughout the day, so it doesn’t require a huge time commitment. Plus, leveled options are available for all levels of language learner.
It has 20 languages available, including popular ones like Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, and a handful of less-common options, like Serbian.
With these six innovative language learning tools, you’ll always have the right tool for the job!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.