Reviewers say the following about shopping for language learning software.

  • Consider your language needs. If you are looking for high levels of proficiency, an intensive, comprehensive program will be best. If, however, you are going on vacation or traveling for business, you may want a simpler, more focused, quick-study program that focuses on conversing, practical vocabulary and pronunciation.
  • Consider your skill level. If you are a novice in the language you want to learn, select a program designed for beginners. Learners with foundational skills in the desired language will want to use their time wisely, on more challenging options, and should check for placement tests or detailed guidance on the different available levels.
  • Test the software. Most digital language companies have demos of their software and apps on their websites. Given the diversity of language teaching styles and resources, these trials are a good way to test out whether a particular software's learning approach is right for you.
  • Virtual immersion vs. instructions in English. Many language learning programs use an immersive approach without any English, even for instruction. Some learners thrive in this virtual environment while others struggle. Use a trial or demo to determine what works best for you.
  • Assess your learning style. If you learn best by visual learning, a program with videos and images would be the best choice. If you learn best by listening, choose an audio-intensive program with plenty of pronunciation practice and sound files. If you learn best by practicing, a program with extensive games, activities, interaction and language practice will best enhance your learning.

Back to top