Thursday, 5 November 2015

5 invaluable tools for language learners

Tools for language learners
I've been learning German for about 8 years, and before that I was learning Spanish. I'm by no means an expert polyglot but I have found a few tools that are helping me along the way, and I use all of these regularly. Learning languages is no easy task, but hopefully these websites/tools/apps will help you on your quest ;)

Tools for language learners

1. Quizlet

Quizlet is available both on the web and as an app and allows you to learn through flashcards and mini games. You can either create your own set or learn from other people's. I find this extremely useful for learning vocab. Since I've been in Germany I've carried around a small notebook and use it to write down words I come across that I don't know and then add them to a Quizlet set and learn them. It can be used for almost anything and I've also used it for learning the theories, theorists' names and terminology for other subjects.

2. Memrise

Memrise works in a similar way to Quizlet and is also useful for learning vocab, however Memrise makes the process a bit more fun. This is perhaps better for beginners though there are huge amounts of courses and I still use this app/website. This is a much better tool for general vocab learning than Quizlet and I also like the review feature, where it reminds you to go over vocab previously learned so you don't forget it!

3. Hellotalk

I found this app recently and have found it super useful and a great confidence builder. It's alright learning loads of vocab but what’s the point if you're never gonna use it?! This app allows you to find conversation partners so you can chat in the language you want to learn and you can help them with your native language. There's also a feature which allows you to correct each other's sentences so you know what mistakes you're making - something which is both awkward to do in person and also not that frequent. I often find that in face-to-face conversation people won't correct me if I misconjugate a word or use the wrong preposition as it breaks up the flow of conversation, but on the app it doesn't!

4. Verbix

This website is a life saver for me when I'm writing German. I always check I've conjugated words correctly with this site. It gives you every conjugation in every tense and every person, and there's many languages on there. Simple website but something which should be bookmarked by every language learner.

5. Netflix

Lol yep. I'm serious. I don't have a TV in my room (and I can't spend all my time in my flatmate's room) so Netflix is bae very useful. Since I'm now watching the German Netflix there's always options for either Gereman subtitles or German dubbing. I started rewatching series I'd already watched in German and I'm now watching a new one. It's helpful to get used to hearing the language spoken at a normal pace (ie not the slowed down, unrealistic version your language teacher uses). Even if you're not in the country of the language you're trying to learn, you can use Hola (a chrome extension) to change your browsing country thingy or find other programmes to watch online.

Are there any tools for language learners you find invaluable?

Hannah Lane

How to do well in a language oral exam


  1. these are really useful tools, thanks! i started learning spanish and german but if i don't keep up to it, i forget everything. listening to netflix in the language is a fab idea, i'll be doing this more often! x

    1. Glad you liked it! :) Yeah I haven't used my Spanish in a really long time and I'm afraid I've forgotten most of it. It's so important to use your language regularly, I think Netflix is perfect for that! X