Tara

Learn French with Alexa

4.3 
Price: Freemium, Premium subscriptions start at $35/mo

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Subscribing to French With Alexa grants access to both audio and video lessons, quizzes, worksheets, and even live online French lessons where you can ask Alexa questions directly through a chat function. The program provides a course outline detailing 40 core lessons from levels zero to C2. Each core lesson has a number of supplementary videos and exercises to support them.

Given the lack of interaction, you will probably need to supplement your studies with oral and written practice through language exchange or tutoring (check out iTalki and Langcorrect for some options!).

Alexa’s approachable demeanor and decades of experience teaching French make her a good resource for those wanting a slightly more affordable alternative to in-person French classes. You can also check out her YouTube channel for some free content.

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Gymglish

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Gymglish provides immersion-style English language education. Unlike most apps, which offer unlimited learning upon purchase, Gymglish delivers 15 minute lessons to your email, 4 times per week. During each lesson, the AI will assess and adjust your skill level based on your responses to the last 150 questions. The lessons are designed for individuals who have a basic grasp of the language, and can understand grammar explanations in English without translation.

The daily lessons follow a humorous storyline, in addition to providing iconic songs or movie clips relevant to English (American) culture; they emphasize listening comprehension, grammar drills, new vocabulary, comics, and culturally-relevant videos. Unfortunately, with an exorbitant price tag and limited lessons per month, it’s more economical to experience the free trial and then look for an alternative resource.

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Wunderbla

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Wunderbla provides immersion-style German education. Unlike most apps, which offer unlimited learning upon purchase, Wunderbla delivers 15 minute lessons to your email, 4 times per week. During each lesson, the AI will assess and adjust your skill level based on your responses to the last 150 questions. The lessons are designed for individuals who have a basic grasp of the language, and can understand grammar explanations in German without translation.

The daily lessons follow a humorous storyline, in addition to providing iconic songs or movie clips relevant to German culture; they emphasize listening comprehension, grammar drills, new vocabulary, comics, and culturally-relevant videos. Unfortunately, with an exorbitant price tag and limited lessons per month, it’s more economical to experience the free trial and then look for an alternative resource.

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Frantastique Ortho

Price: Subscriptions start at $43/mo

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Frantastique Ortho was developed for native speakers and advanced (C1 and above) students who want to refine their written French. Therefore, it has a stronger focus on the particularities of French grammar and vocabulary than its French as a Second Language counterpart, Frantastique.

After seven days of assessment you will receive 15-minute daily lessons via email, tailored to your current level. Unfortunately the lessons are limited to 5 days per week, thus lowering its overall value.

What makes Frantastique unique is the precision in which its algorithm assesses and adjusts the difficulty of each lesson based on your responses to the last 150 questions. The daily lessons follow a humorous storyline with both French and Quebecois characters; they provide listening comprehension, grammar drills, new vocabulary, comics, and culturally-relevant videos.

Unfortunately, with an exorbitant price tag and limited lessons per month, it’s more economical to experience the free trial and then look for an alternative resource.

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LyricsTraining

3.3 
Price: Free

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Lyrics training is a free app that claims to improve your ability to recognize the different sounds in your target language. Through listening to different songs, you can reinforce vocabulary, expressions, and grammar concepts. Although it does not provide any translations or explanations for these skills, it does seem to train listening comprehension and memorization.

While listening to your chosen song, you will be provided with a choice of 4 words to help fill in an increasing percentage of lyrics; by the advanced level, you will be responsible for filling in 100% of the lyrics. Each of the 14 languages available seem to have a wide variety of song choices, and even if you don’t understand what the lyrics mean, you will probably be able to sing along.

If you would prefer an app that focuses more on comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar, check out Lirica.

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LangCorrect

Price: Free

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LangCorrect is a free community-driven writing site where users can both contribute to editing others’ work and receive feedback on their own writing.

After writing your piece, you may submit it to receive feedback from other site users. In order to ensure accurate feedback, multiple users can cross-check the corrections that were made and add comments.

Volunteers and Patrons have access to writing in up to 10 languages, but typical users can write in a maximum of two languages at a time. Everyone is encouraged to both write and correct others’ work on the site.

If you are looking to improve your writing skills in one of the over 100 languages available, trying out this resource is a must! However, if you’re studying a less common language and not finding many users to give you corrections, consider trying the exercise section in italki’s community features.

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

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Hotel Borbollón

Price: Subscriptions start at $65/mo

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Hotel Borbollon provides immersion-style Spanish education. Unlike most apps, which offer unlimited learning upon purchase, Hotel Borbollon delivers 15 minute lessons to your email, 4 times per week.  During each lesson, the AI will assess and adjust your skill level based on your responses to the last 150 questions. The lessons are designed for individuals who have a basic grasp of the language, and can understand grammar explanations in Spanish without translation.
The daily lessons follow a humorous storyline, in addition to providing iconic songs or movie clips relevant to Spanish culture; they emphasize listening comprehension, grammar drills, new vocabulary, comics, and culturally-relevant videos. Unfortunately, with an exorbitant price tag and limited lessons per month, it’s more economical to experience the free trial and then look for an alternative resource.
*Note: This app was tested while in the Beta phase

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Conjuguemos

Price: Free

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Conjugemos is a website that drills verb conjugations, vocabulary, and grammar. You can choose to either drill different skills through typing the answers in a flashcard-like system, or through various games such as crosswords, memory, word search, and multiplayer games.

While it is free for anyone to use, additional resources are available to teachers through a paid plan.

It should be noted that although the site technically supports Korean learners, the Korean section only has one activity in the present tense.

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WordBit

Price: Free

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WordBit is a free app that minimizes the effort and thought that goes into deliberate practice by presenting you with the opportunity to practice each time you open your lock screen.

Each time you open your phone, the app will overlay the lock screen and present you with either multiple choice translations for a given word, or a flashcard. You can choose to close the app to access the lock screen, or respond to the prompt. Although this app interferes with tasks on your phone that require immediate attention, it is no doubt effective at consistently exposing you to new vocabulary.

It is available in multiple languages, for both target and source languages, and there is a large vocabulary category bank to choose from, including vocabulary from each of the levels A1-C2.

There are some bugs in its programming, such as restarting your progress through each deck if you add or remove a category, and the ads at the bottom of the screen are easily tapped by accident.

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Interlinear Books

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Interlinear Books is a project for intermediate language learners from the creators of Cooljugator. They sell individual e-books in their original language, but with English translations between each line of text. Instead of translating full sentences that capture the spirit of the language, professional translators use literal (but understandable) translations to support you in understanding the original language’s sentence structure.

Another technique that the authors use to support your learning is to highlight cognates between languages. You may find translations for words whose English counterpart looks almost identical to that of the target language, even when those English translations are not the most commonly used. The authors suggest that you don’t read the translations as full sentences, but rather that you refer to them only when you encounter words or expressions that you don’t understand. Each purchase also comes with a unilingual version for you to try out for extra practice (and sometimes they even come with an audiobook!).

For intermediate learners who are tired of looking back and forth between a dictionary and their book, Interlinear may be a good intermediary to support you in the transition to unilingual books. Chinese is not supported yet, but check out Du Chinese or the Chairman’s Bao for graded reading material.

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