While cooped up at home during quarantine, I have been trying to find things to do to fill my days. I have been spending a lot more time reading, watching films and catching up on work that often gets passed over for the regular day to day routine. One thing I have always wanted to do was learn a language through an application on the web or through an app on my phone. With all of the extra time, it seemed like the best time to make the move. So I decided to start learning Spanish using the Babbel app.
I already have a firm grasp of French and since my family lives in France close to Spain, I thought Spanish would be a great next language, as I often cross the border for dinners, shopping and visiting the sites. I also have family with places in Mexico that I have visited. Other languages that are options though Babbel include Danish, German, Indonesian, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish and Turkish.
Once you have selected a language, you will be given a placement test to judge your proficiency. From there, you will start your courses that are divided up into individual lessons. The lessons usually begin with learning vocabulary, verbs and conjugation of those verbs. The lessons continue with memorization techniques and fill in the blank conversational Spanish using the newly learned vocabulary or verbs and their proper tenses.
Each course has several levels which end with you receiving a certificate of achievement. Here is what the first course completion certificate looks like.
Whether you want to use the website browser version or the mobile app or both, Babbel makes it easy to switch back and forth, keeping your placement in tact. When on the go, completing your daily reviews of what you have learned on the mobile app version is quick and easy. Babbel keeps track of what you have reviewed and how many times you have reviewed it, giving the app an understanding of how well you have retained the information based on your success with the reviewed content over time. A calendar on the app shows which days you have done new lessons as well as which days you have done reviews of your learned content.
Babbel also helps you with your speaking by using your device’s microphone. While learning new vocabulary, you are prompted to speak the words aloud for recognition by Babbel. In the case of Spanish, Babbel also teaches both Mexican Spanish and Spanish from Spain as they have several pronunciation and grammar differences.
Due to Babbel’s ability to recognize which words you have learned in the longterm, those who may worry about how much time they have to commit can relax. Whether you do a 20 minute lesson five days a week or one day a week, you will continue to retain your knowledge. The idea of learning a new language can be intimidating. Common rebukes from those who may wish to learn a new language is that they have no time or no motivation to maintain lessons. I found that the Babbel app relieves these worries by making clear the student’s progress despite the time invested.
There are also several other “Courses” that are great for learning.
Refresher – For those who took Spanish classes in the past and want to test their knowledge and see where they place.
Grammar – Grammar exercises
Business Spanish – Mexican Spanish specifically aimed at helping those who want to do business with those in Mexico.
Listening and Speaking – Course to help improve these two area for you. Reading and writing can be a lot easier than when you are thrown into a conversation.
Countries and Traditions – Learn Spanish while also learning about the countries in which Spanish is spoken. A bit of culture, geography and linguistics.
Specials – Here you will find things like dating conversations, Spanish idioms, conversations for work environments and courses on improving your numbers.
Words and Sentences – Improve your vocabulary with this course which has thousands of words and sentences to practice.
The more language programs like Babbel evolve, the easier it becomes to learn a new language. With only a few hours a week, you could be on your way to learning a new language. Why wait?