Brian

Rocket Portuguese Review – Not Quite Worth the Money or Time

Quick Review

Summary:

Rocket Portuguese is an online Portuguese course made up of audio and reading lessons. The course currently covers one difficulty level, which claims to bring beginning learners of Brazilian Portuguese up to an intermediate level. Interactive audio lessons and repetitive exercises provide learners with lots of practice in a variety of skills, but some may find it difficult to justify the price with how monotonous the course is.

The course would work best for learners at a low level that enjoy both audio and visual content, lots of explanations, and frequent practice activities. It probably isn’t the right resource, though, for those looking for an especially engaging way to learn or those on a budget.

Quality

The interface is clean and easy to use, but the voice recognition could work better.

Thoroughness

The course is structured fairly well, but exercises are overly repetitive.

Value

There are certainly resources that are better worth your time and money than Rocket Portuguese.

Price

Rocket Portuguese Level One is available for a one-time price of $149.95 or $27/month for six months.

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Magoosh Review — An Inside Look at IELTS and TOEFL Test-Prep

Quick Review

4.3 

Summary

Magoosh is an online test-prep company that supports prospective exam-takers primarily through online audio and video lessons. Courses are very thorough, and many include a guaranteed improvement on a previously received exam score. Some of the exams Magoosh helps students prepare for include the IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, SAT, and ACT.

Quality

The material seems to be mostly very accurate, and the interface is well-designed, but the video lessons could be more engaging.

Thoroughness

Lessons and practice exercises include extremely thorough instruction with plenty of examples and explanations.

Value

It’s one of the more affordable options and doesn’t seem to cut any corners, but watching videos is time-consuming.

Languages

English

Price

TOEFL IELTS
One Week $39 Three Months $69
One Month $49 Six Months $79
Six Months $89 Six Months + Essay Grade $99

Visit Magoosh

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Teuida App Review — Learn Korean with a K-Pop Star

Quick Review

Summary

Teuida is a Korean learning app that’s available for iOS and Android, with instructions in English or Vietnamese. The app takes a unique approach to language teaching by simulating conversations, including some featuring K-Pop star Nancy from Momoland. Users of the app have the opportunity to get lots of speaking practice and feedback on pronunciation through voice recognition technology.

Quality

The design is superb, and it’s easy to use, but the voice recognition isn’t perfect.

Thoroughness

It offers lots of speaking practice as advertised, but it’s lacking detailed pronunciation training.

Value

There aren’t a lot of similar alternatives, but there are definitely more efficient ways to get real speaking practice.

Languages

Korean for speakers of Vietnamese and English.

Price

The first lesson of every chapter on Teuida is free; a subscription is required for access to the full app. You can use the coupon code ‘ALR003‘ to get the 3-month subscription for $18.99.

1 Month $9.99
3 Months $20.99
12 Months $59.99

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Ling Review — Gamified Practice in Less Common Languages

Quick Review

3.2 

Summary

Ling is a gamified language-learning app with courses on over 60 different languages. Practice happens through short themed lessons, making for convenient and entertaining study time. It isn’t the most comprehensive resource out there, especially for more popular languages, but it can make a decent way to get started with a less common language.

Quality

The app is easy to use and visually appealing, but I found some mistakes in the material.

Thoroughness

There aren’t many explanations, and the materials are the same for each language, but practice is varied.

Value

For many of its less common languages, there aren’t a lot of viable alternatives, but the price feels high.

Languages

Over 60 languages, including less common ones like Thai, Tagalog, Serbian, Nepali, Albanian, Bulgarian, Bosnian, Finnish, and Khmer.

Price

Monthly $8.99
Annual $43.99
Lifetime $119.99

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Assimil Review — A Fresh Look at a Longstanding Resource

Quick Review

Summary

Assimil is a French company that has been selling language-learning resources since 1929. Assimil materials are available as books, CDs, and downloadable e-courses; there are a variety of available course types, and instruction is based on interacting with phrases in the target language. The popular Sans Peine or, With Ease, courses are for absolute or false beginners that would like to reach the B2 level, but we think you’ll need to incorporate some other study materials to make this happen.

Quality

The language materials are reliable, the audio is high quality, and the program is fairly easy to use after a bit of practice.

Thoroughness

Assimil is chock-full of explanations and thorough translations for all material, but you might need more to reach the advertised B2 level.

Value

There are cheaper resources out there, but Assimil provides super solid instruction for the price.

Languages

The majority of courses are for speakers of French, but instruction is available in 13 different source languages.

English speakers can find the popular With Ease courses in Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. There are also phrasebooks and writing courses for a variety of other languages like Japanese, Chinese, and Russian.

Price

Prices vary by course. The Spanish e-course is €47.30, the Spanish With Ease book (no audio) is €25.50, and the Spanish With Ease Superpack is €71

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Best Online Courses for Learning English — A Look at More Than 35 of Them

Undoubtedly one of the most practical languages one can learn from a global perspective, English is used just about everywhere in one form or another. Tourism, business, education, media… it’s everywhere.

The world’s number of English learners is massive, and this has given way to the production of a huge number of viable resources for learning English online. For beginners and those looking to get well-rounded practice in a variety of English skills, online courses are often the best way to go.

In this post, we’ll look at over 35 of these online courses for English learners. The “Top Tier” category contains our favorites, and we’ve listed the others roughly in order of how fond we are of them. While we have tested a ton of the courses ourselves, others we haven’t yet had the chance to try, so we made our best guess based on the information we could find regarding where to place them.

This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but it should help you narrow down your search or give you a good place to start.

Top Tier

BabbelPimsleur, Language Transfer, Memrise, Magoosh, Cambly, Duolingo

2nd Tier

Lingodeer, Busuu, BBC Learning English, Lingoda, Chatterbug, Rocket English, ABA English, ESLPod, Perfectly Spoken, Alison, Learn English Network, mmmEnglish, Live Lingua, English Central

3rd Tier

Hello English, Glossika, EdX, Coursera, Udemy, MOOEC, Mango Languages, Living Language, uTalk, USA Learns, ESOL Courses, engVid

Stay Clear

Transparent Language, Language101, Mondly, Rosetta Stone (more…)

Super Chinese Review — An Interactive Mandarin App

Quick Review

3.8 

Summary

Super Chinese is an app for learning Mandarin that claims to help users, “Learn efficiently using our proprietary artificial intelligence.” Produced by the creators of HSKOnline, it’s available for iOS and Android, is free to download, and requires a subscription for full access. Language practice happens in a variety of interactive exercises that test learners’ abilities in reading, writing, listening, and speaking Mandarin.

Quality

The app is easy to use and fun, but animated videos aren’t especially engaging.

Thoroughness

Practice is varied, and lessons build on each other nicely, but I think it’s doubtful you’ll come away fluent or proficient at writing.

Value

There are cheaper resources out there, but study time with Super Chinese should equip you with some practical language skills.

Languages

Mandarin Chinese

Price

A subscription to Super Chinese+ is €59.99/year, €24.99/three months, or €9.99/month. You can save 15% with the coupon code ‘alr15’.

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The 29 Best Apps for Learning English in 2020

Coming out just ahead of Mandarin Chinese, English is the most widely-spoken language in the world. It’s become a lingua franca in many places for tourism and business, and learning the language can pave the way to a mountain of personal and professional opportunities.

Given its popularity, it’s no surprise that there is almost an endless number of ways to learn the language. One of the most accessible and convenient methods is through language apps.

There are so many apps catering to English learners, though, that sifting through them to find the ones that do a great job or offer just the type of practice you’re looking for can be a challenge.

We’ve tried out a ton of these language apps and have come up with this list to help learners narrow the field. The list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but we’ve tried to mention the most popular ones and those that we like the most. They’re sorted into categories by what they do best, though some could admittedly fit into more than one category.

Take your time and good luck! There are sure to be at least a few that meet your needs.

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Skritter Review: Solid Chinese and Japanese Writing Practice

Quick Review

4.2 

Summary

Skritter is a language app that teaches learners to write characters in Chinese and Japanese. It uses handwriting recognition technology in conjunction with a spaced repetition system to teach stroke order, meaning, and vocabulary. Users can choose from many pre-made study decks, including some from popular textbooks or programs. It’s also possible to create your own decks.

Quality

The app has a great design and quality content; the handwriting recognition isn’t perfect, but it’s rarely inaccurate.

Thoroughness

It sets out to teach reading and writing and does a great job, but some additional explanations would be nice.

Value

The SRS makes practice efficient and worthwhile, but some people may only want to pay for a month at a time.

Languages

Chinese and Japanese

Price

One Month $14.99
Six Months $59.99
One Year $99.99
Two Years $179.99

 

You can save 45% on your first six months by signing up using the link below.

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