With the advancement of technology, smartphone penetration rate has reached almost 84% of the world’s population as of 2022 (Statista, 2022).
Among the many features, the endless slew of apps available and readily accessible through a smartphone is probably the most prominent. The worldwide pandemic has also seen many people turning to their phones for entertainment and other productive activities while stuck at home. According to Statista (2022),the e-learning market overall was measured at an estimated USD 101 billion in 2019 and expected to grow to over USD 370 billion by 2026. Within the e-learning sector, language apps has undoubtedly exerted a strong presence. Duolingo (2022)itself recorded a total of 2.5 million paid subscribers at the end of 2021.
Sadly, lots of organizations dont have good language options to upskill their teams.
Vetting and ensuring the accuracy of cross-border terminology can be difficult on short notice, and finding a solution to learn terms can be difficult. Motivating learners to start learning is also difficult, whether you are in the Learning and Development team, or a team leader looking to upskill your team.
Apps provide an easy and quick way to control your learning experience - on your own terms.
So, how do language apps facilitate your language learning process?
Language apps serve a similar function to traditional classrooms—you are served with linguistic information required to communicate in the target language. IThe amount of time participants spent learning through the app also positively correlated with their learning gains. While we cannot undermine the value of language learning in the traditional classroom setting, these examples show that apps are certainly viable options for people seeking to pickup a foreign language.
At the end of the day - learners are practical individuals. Most learners would like to see progress and proficiency increase after using a tool to aid them.
In a research paper, Jiang et. al.’s (2020) study found that participants who were exposed to Spanish and French daily reached a level of proficiency in receptive linguistic skills (reading and listening) comparable to that of university students on language programs with only half the time spent. Jiang et. al. (2021) later found in a follow-up study that learners also made significant progress in productive skills like teaching. Another study by Loewn et. al. (2020) onEnglish-speaking learners of Spanish on Babbel found that grammar and vocabulary knowledge, and communicative ability increased over a span of 12weeks using the app.
How boring is language learning? Well kinda. And when you think of Business terms, it does not make it the most exciting.
We integrate progress and other reward elements for you to get full visibility into how you can become a better communicator and foster lasting work connections. A fairly recent article in the Guardian online asked the question of “how much can [language apps]teach you?” In it, Hepworth recounted her experience practising Portuguese with Duolingo, and recognised that some apps that “borrow elements from gaming…are pretty good at teaching you those building blocks”, and rightly so. In 2015, Rego purported that “learning foreign languages can be enhanced by mobile learning and by gamification strategies” that are “very important to engage and motivate students in learning beyond the institutional limits of formal education”. A more recent systematic review of 22 publications by Dehghanzadeh et. al. (2021) also reported an overall “positive effect…on learner’s learning experiences and their learning outcomes.” Gamification is a frequently utilised tactic in teaching nowadays, and is even more important in maintaining motivation[LINK] in language apps where learning is self-regulated.
One point raised by Hepworth in the same article, is whether language apps can confer the same sense of satisfaction derived from actual interaction with people in the target language. “An app can help you with the linguistic, but not the social,”says Hepworth. Understandably, language is a tool that helps connect people and learning a foreign language while looking at a phone screen may not seem like the most social activity. However, we need to recognise language apps as a supplement, a teaching material, and not a total replacement for the human interactions necessary in your language learning journey. While many apps focus on imparting receptive skills and linguistic knowledge like vocabulary and grammar points, it is not impossible for apps to help out with communicative aspects.
In fact, at Bluente, ‘communication’ and ‘interaction’ are recognised as vital parts of language learning, with our curriculum and content geared in that direction. Immersive exercises help you to experience actual situations in which you can utilise the language learnt, and conversation-style exercises where you can record oral responses recreate pseudo social interactions.
I’ll let you in on a secret… we also have plans in the pipelines to build a community where learners can mingle. Keep an eye out for our exciting new features! Our curriculum and content team also works around the clock to deliver high-quality content for effective leaning. In addition, we are constantly looking for ways to make learning fun through gamification of our courses and in-app special events that will keep you engaged. Bluente is young and will constantly evolve with the times and learner feedback, so that we can deliver a great business language learning experience.
Dehghanzadeh, H., Fardanesh, H., Hatami, J., Talaee, E.,& Noroozi, O. (2021). Using gamification to support learning English as a second language: a systematic review. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 34(7), 934-957.
Jiang, X., Rollinson, J., Plonsky, L., & Pajak, B.(2020). Duolingo efficacy study: Beginning-level courses equivalent to four university semesters. Duolingo Research Report, 20(4). https://duolingo-papers.s3.amazonaws.com/reports/duolingo-efficacy-whitepaper.pdf
Jiang, X., Rollinson, J., Chen, H., Reuveni, B., Gustafson,E., Plonsky, L., & Pajak, B. (2021). How Well Does Duolingo Teach Speaking Skills. Duolingo Research Report, 21(2) http://duolingo-papers.s3.amazonaws.com/reports/duolingo-speaking-whitepaper.pdf
Loewen, S., Isbell, D. R., & Sporn, Z. (2020). The effectiveness of app‐based language instruction for developing receptive linguistic knowledge and oral communicative ability. Foreign LanguageAnnals, 53(2), 209-233. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12454
Michigan State University. (2020, June 9). How effective are language learning apps?. Science Daily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200609095027.htm
Rego, I. D. M. S. (2015). Mobile language learning: How gamification improves the experience. Handbook of mobile teaching and learning, 76(1), 1-12.
Shortt, M., Tilak, S., Kuznetcova, I., Martens, B., & Akinkuolie, B. (2021). Gamification in mobile-assisted language learning: A systematic review of Duolingo literature from public release of 2012 to early 2020. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 1-38.