Nowadays, people don’t think of language learning as a obligation anymore, but rather as a hobby, enjoying activity and even as a game. Undoubtedly, what has contributed to this change in perspective is making language learning fun, accessible and more practical, thanks to numerous dedicated apps.
However, due to differences among users, sometimes it isn’t as easy to find the exact app that suits your needs, so they tend to give up. There’s more to them than Duolingo, and in this article we’ll explore some of them, along with the benefits of using language learning apps.
How do language learning apps use AI?
Language learning apps leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance educational experience in various ways, ensuring accessibility, engagement, and effectiveness for millions of users worldwide.
While Duolingo serves as an exemplary case, numerous language learning apps follow similar principles:
1. Personalized Learning Paths
AI-driven algorithms analyze user progress, adapt lesson difficulty, and recommend tailored exercises. This individualized approach caters to diverse learning needs and keeps users engaged.
2. Gamification and Fun Learning
AI enhances the gamification aspect of language learning apps, making lessons enjoyable and interactive. Custom voices, characters, and engaging content keep users motivated and committed to their language learning journey.
3. Efficiency and Accessibility
AI streamlines language proficiency testing, making it more efficient and accessible. For example, Duolingo’s Duolingo English Test (DET) employs computer-adaptive technology, automated item generation, and secure at-home testing, reducing testing time and costs.
4. Language Assessment Enhancement
Language learning apps use AI to assess users’ proficiency accurately. These assessments are crucial for various purposes, such as university admissions. AI-driven advancements like the use of GPT-4 in language assessments contribute to more effective evaluations.
5. Responsible AI Standards
Language learning app developers, inspired by Duolingo’s example, are increasingly focused on developing responsible AI standards. These standards prioritize accountability, transparency, fairness, privacy, and security in the use of AI technology, ensuring the ethical and safe use of AI for educational purposes.
The benefits of using AI in language learning
The integration of AI technology in language learning, as showcased by Duolingo, presents a myriad of advantages that significantly enhance the educational experience.
Duolingo, a pioneer in the field, has harnessed the potential of artificial intelligence to revolutionize language learning. This partnership reached new heights in March 2023 when Duolingo joined forces with OpenAI’s GPT-4, the latest advancement in AI technology, and launched the so-called Duolingo Max.
The core benefit of AI lies in its ability to deliver highly personalized language lessons, tailoring the learning journey to the unique needs and preferences of individual learners. This personalized approach ensures that learning is not only effective but also accessible and engaging for learners of all backgrounds and skill levels.
Additionally, AI has empowered Duolingo to introduce innovative features, such as Explain My Answer and Roleplay, both powered by the cutting-edge generative AI technology of GPT-4. These features provide learners with invaluable insights into their progress and the opportunity to practice real-world conversations with AI-driven interactive characters.
If you’ve ever tried learning a language, you’ve probably come across Duolingo as the most used one. Is it the best? In most cases, yes. But you probably also know that, after a while, it may not feed your appetite completely, especially if you’re a more advanced student.
Duolingo, widely recognized as a language learning behemoth, has earned its reputation as a go-to platform for language enthusiasts across the globe. At its core, Duolingo’s success story is woven with the seamless integration of AI, which has played a pivotal role in shaping its effectiveness and appeal.
Duolingo’s AI-driven approach is characterized by its adaptability. It caters not only to beginners but also to those seeking advanced proficiency in their chosen language. The AI algorithms meticulously analyze user performance, continually adjusting lesson difficulty to match individual progress. This personalized touch ensures that learners of all levels find Duolingo’s lessons both challenging and engaging.
Moreover, Duolingo’s innovative features, such as “Explain My Answer” and “Roleplay,” represent the latest leap forward in AI-assisted language learning. Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, these features provide users with interactive insights into their responses and real-world conversation practice, an invaluable resource for advancing language skills.
Summary: While Duolingo may not be the sole solution for advanced learners, its use of AI remains at the forefront of its appeal, making it a fantastic starting point for language learners and a valuable resource throughout their language acquisition journey.
Memrise places a strong emphasis on vocabulary acquisition. It offers a wide range of vocabulary-focused courses in around 20 languages. Users can choose from a diverse selection of courses, including those created by Memrise and user-generated content.
The app incorporates spaced repetition techniques to help users remember and reinforce vocabulary effectively. This means that words and phrases are presented at intervals, optimizing long-term retention.
Memrise includes multimedia elements such as videos and audio clips to enhance the learning experience. These features expose learners to authentic accents and real-life contexts, improving listening and pronunciation skills.
Similar to Duolingo, Memrise gamifies language learning, making it engaging and fun. Users earn points, compete with others, and complete challenges to keep motivation high.
When it comes to artificial intelligence, Memrise employs AI algorithms to personalize learning paths. The app adapts to individual learning progress, ensuring that users receive content that aligns with their proficiency level.
For what it’s worth, Memrise offers an offline mode, allowing users to download courses and learn without an internet connection.
Now, not many platforms can brag about this feature. On Memrise, users can create and share their own courses, expanding the available content and catering to specific interests or niches within language learning.
Summary: Memrise’s unique focus on vocabulary and its engaging, gamified approach make it a popular choice for language learners looking to build a strong vocabulary base. The app’s combination of AI-driven adaptation and user-generated content adds flexibility and personalization to the learning experience, making it suitable for learners of all levels and language goals.
Busuu is another prominent language learning app that distinguishes itself with a focus on social interaction and practical language skills.
For example, Busuu encourages users to engage in social language learning by connecting them with a community of native speakers. Learners can practice conversational skills and receive feedback from real people.
A unique feature of Busuu is the ability to record and submit spoken language exercises. Native speakers from the community provide feedback on pronunciation and fluency, enhancing spoken language skills.
What’s more, Busuu offers internationally recognized language certificates in partnership with McGraw-Hill Education. These certificates can be valuable for learners seeking to demonstrate their language proficiency for employment or academic purposes.
The app focuses on real-life language skills, providing lessons and exercises that are relevant to everyday situations. This approach helps learners apply their language knowledge in practical contexts.
Busuu uses AI algorithms to personalize lesson plans and review exercises. It adapts content based on the user’s strengths and weaknesses, ensuring efficient learning.
As for the language palette, Busuu offers courses in a variety of languages, such as Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, and others. Similar to Memrise, Busuu offers an offline mode, allowing users to download lessons for learning without an internet connection.
Summary: Busuu’s emphasis on social interaction, practical language skills, and speaking practice sets it apart from some other language learning apps. It offers a dynamic and community-driven approach to language acquisition, making it a great choice for individuals looking to not only learn a new language but also engage with native speakers and gain practical conversational skills.
Rosetta Stone is a renowned language learning platform that has been a staple in the industry for years.
It stands out in several distinctive ways, for example, it adopts an immersive approach to language learning, which means it focuses on teaching languages without the need for translation. Learners are exposed to the target language from the beginning, encouraging them to think and communicate directly in the language they are learning.
One of Rosetta Stone’s standout features is its TruAccent speech recognition technology. It provides learners with precise feedback on pronunciation, helping them refine their accent and speak more fluently. This feature is particularly valuable for those striving for authentic language skills.
Rosetta Stone emphasizes building a strong foundation in grammar and vocabulary. The app covers essential language elements in depth, ensuring that learners understand the structural aspects of the language.
For those seeking additional support, Rosetta Stone offers live tutoring sessions with native speakers. These one-on-one lessons provide an opportunity to practice conversational skills in a real-time, interactive setting.
The platform includes a phrasebook that helps learners acquire essential phrases and expressions for practical, real-world communication. This feature is beneficial for travelers and those who want to quickly grasp conversational language.
Rosetta Stone doesn’t solely focus on language; it also provides cultural insights, helping learners understand the cultural context of the language they are studying. This enriches the learning experience by providing a broader perspective.
Similar to other language learning apps, Rosetta Stone offers an offline learning mode, enabling users to download lessons for learning without an internet connection.
In addition to individual learners, Rosetta Stone also offers language learning solutions for businesses and organizations, making it a valuable tool for employee training and development.
Summary: Rosetta Stone’s emphasis on immersive learning, precise pronunciation practice, and comprehensive language foundation sets it apart as a platform for individuals who are serious about achieving high levels of proficiency in their chosen language. It provides a well-rounded language learning experience that goes beyond vocabulary acquisition and focuses on fluency, cultural understanding, and real-world communication.
Babbel is a language learning app that stands out with its practical and conversational approach to language acquisition.
Namely, Babbel is designed to help users engage in real-life conversations from day one. It focuses on teaching practical language skills that are immediately applicable in everyday situations, such as ordering food, asking for directions, and holding casual conversations.
The platform offers bite-sized lessons that are typically 10-15 minutes long. This format makes it convenient for learners to fit language practice into their daily routines without feeling overwhelmed.
The app includes speech recognition technology to help users improve their pronunciation. It provides feedback on pronunciation and offers exercises to fine-tune speaking skills. Moreover, learners can record their voice and compare it to native speaker pronunciation, facilitating self-assessment and improvement.
Babbel integrates grammar explanations seamlessly into lessons, ensuring that learners not only acquire vocabulary but also understand the structural aspects of the language.
Babbel offers courses tailored to specific goals, such as travel, business, or cultural understanding. This allows users to focus on language skills that align with their particular needs and interests.
Similar to Rosetta Stone, Babbel goes beyond language instruction by providing cultural insights and context, helping users gain a deeper understanding of the culture associated with the language they are learning.
The app tracks user progress and provides feedback on strengths and areas that need improvement. Users can easily see their advancement in the language.
Like all previously mentioned, Babbel offers an offline mode, enabling users to download lessons for learning without an internet connection.
Summary: Babbel’s focus on practical conversation skills, concise lessons, and cultural understanding makes it an excellent choice for individuals who want to quickly acquire language skills that can be applied in real-life scenarios. Whether you’re preparing for travel, business interactions, or simply want to engage in meaningful conversations, Babbel’s approach caters to learners with specific, goal-oriented language learning needs.