Learning a new language is never easy. It takes time and dedication. Whether you are fascinated by another country’s culture or considering taking a foreign language for work, learning a new language offers several lifelong benefits.
Language education site Busuu has come up with an interesting way to teach new languages. The app, developed by Bernhard Niesner and Adrian Hilti, is aimed at making language learning accessible and easy for everybody. The name Busuu is from the Bantu language in Cameroon. As of 2005 there were only 3 living speakers of the language.
The idea is to combine learning with social networking. After creating a profile on the site or app, users have access to exercises such as vocabulary drills and dialogues in 12 languages. The languages available are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese and Chinese (Mandarin). They do have groups for the languages they don’t offer yet, so you can still find useful resources for them on the app.
Users enroll to study one or more languages. The study material for a language is typically broken down into around 150 units. Units consist of multiple-choice questions, speaking assignments, and writing assignments. Some sections within each unit include multimedia material, such as spoken multiple-choice questions.There are also interactive language courses that allow learners to communicate directly with native speakers who can help with exercises and practice language skills. It connects you to people learning your language and native speakers of your language.
The primary method for this interaction is via live one on one chat lessons which they call Busuu-Talk. You add friends just as you do on other social networks and you can interact with them depending on whether they are online or not. This way it is easy to see what languages everyone already know and which ones everyone is learning. For example, if you are learning German and someone else is learning English you can connect through Busuu and help each other out. This way everyone on Busuu is a teacher. If you are already familiar with a foreign language , this app is a great reinforcement for basic vocabulary and phrases you might need while travelling.
Learnng a new language requires a great deal of commitment although if you have a mobile app it reduces the chances of you making an excuse of ‘lack of time.’ You can download the Android app here.