by Maria Rotger

Are language apps effective? Or maybe not?

Language can serve as the gateway to different societies and cultures.

But are language apps effective? For this matter.

Learning a language can enhance your travel experience, personal ambitions, and career goals.

Are you looking for a way to completely immerse yourself in a new culture by learning the local language?

Then, you might be asking yourself this question: are language apps effective?

We know that they have been on the rise in recent years as popular apps are said to be revolutionizing language learning across the globe.

Millions of people are turning to language learning apps for a hands-on solution and the convenience of being able to learn a language from anywhere at any time.

More people are learning languages through the mobile language app Duolingo in the United States alone than in the public school system.

Their rise in popularity has people everywhere wondering how practical these applications are in teaching a new language. Can you learn a new language by using one of these apps?

How mobile language apps work

The Conversation website reports that most people use language learning apps based on personal interests, travel, or career goals. But we are still asking ourselves: are language apps effective?

It’s no secret that most people complain about the traditional ways of language learning, such as studying grammar and textbooks.

People are now seeking a more communicative approach, the ability to ask questions and hold conversations in their targeted language.

Each learning language app works a little differently but mainly teaches through an interactive method, with a significant focus on reinforcement and repetition.

They tend to prioritize communication over structure, with an emphasis on pronunciation.

It’s one thing to say a sentence grammatically correct, but what’s the point if the native speaker can’t understand your pronunciation?

The best language learning apps

It seems that language apps have been popping up everywhere recently, and it’s easy to see that this trend of language learning is on the rise.

Here are some of the best learning language apps on the market today:


This app has led the pack with over 100 million users worldwide, with its interactive and easy-to-use interface.

Duolingo courses are known to promote a sense of community and make you feel as if you aren’t learning a language alone.

You have the opportunity to learn 30+ languages, which is something other language learning apps may not offer.

They boost users’ language learning experience with rewards and daily reminders.


Memrise quickly catches up as a fast-growing language platform, with over 35 million users.

They provide courses that use flashcards and repetition.

They use user-generated content and target 16 different languages.


Babbel is a subscription-based application with a strong emphasis on academic learning practices and time-tested strategies.

They offer 14 different languages with the promise to deliver the shortest path to real-life conversations in your target language.

They also offer a subscription service for businesses to provide companies with an efficient and effective way to get their employees on board with the language learning process.

How effective are language apps?

Language learning apps can serve as a supplement when learning a language, but we shouldn’t view them as substitutes.

In other words, they can provide you with an introduction to the language.

With language apps, you have the opportunity to learn new vocabulary and phrases, and essential to intermediate conversational skills.

Shawn Loewen,  a director of the Second Language Studies program at Michigan State University, states that:

“Despite the fact that millions globally are already using language learning apps, there is a lack of published research on their impact on speaking skills. There are virtually no other studies that have investigated mobile language learning apps in a quasi-experimental way. Therefore, this robust and methodologically rigorous study makes an important contribution to the field.”

To become more fluent in a language, it’s best to:

➤ These apps are a great way to enjoy the process of language learning through fun games and competitions and are only getting better with time.

➤ While they can certainly provide a good head start in your target language, more work from outside resources is required to acquire a good grasp of that language.

Do you think language apps are an effective way to learn a new language? Which one is your favorite? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below! ↴

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Find more info on language learning on our videoblog:

Will language learning become obsolete?

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