There are many software products out there, covering every language under the sun. How do you get through the minefield and select the one best suited to your needs? This article shows you how.
Many people find language learning software a convenient method. You can learn on the go at your own speed. Software can handle great depth of material a lot better than carrying heavy books around.
It may also be cheaper and more practical to use software than investing the time and hassle to go to the country. But you must choose your software tool carefully.
Here is a checklist to help you make the right choice:
o Price. You can get some software courses for free online while others can cost hundreds of dollars. As with most things in life, you generally get what you pay for. However, make sure you stick to your budget.
o Know what you’re getting. Most language software gives only one language e.g. Spanish. Sometimes it only gives you a single level (e.g. beginner’s or intermediate) so you may have to buy more modules later. Other products provide as many as 101 languages in one package.
o Read reviews from independent websites. Many websites try to sell you one solution: be cautious of their claims. Use websites which are independent of any one supplier/product to identify the best product for you.
o Does it use memory tools? To get the most from your time, your chosen software needs to build in common memory and accelerated learning techniques e.g. association, visual/auditory learning, memory hooks and more.
o Try before you buy. Many software products provide this option: however, please do check. Sometimes you can contact the vendor direct to ask them. Some vendors, such as Rosetta Stone, offer a money back guarantee.
Do your research well in choosing the right software and you could soon be on your way to becoming fluent in your chosen language.
Finally, language learning software is not for everyone. Some people really thrive on the personal and social contact that in-person language courses (or even private tutors) can provide. Be careful how you invest your money.