Summary: Drops is a phone app for iPhone and Android that covers 33 languages. Daily games test the user on thousands of vocabulary words, and many of these words are ideal for everyday use. Drops has an entertaining, user-friendly interface, but it also lacks grammar lessons, and it works better for some languages than others. For anyone looking to supplement their vocab lessons, this app is worth considering; however, the free version might be more worthwhile than the paid version.
Quality Though cute and easy to use, several visuals are hard to distinguish, and some games aren’t too useful for retention.
Thoroughness This app won’t help with grammar or verb conjugation. However, it does offer hundreds of unique vocab words.
Value The free app is a great supplementary tool to help round out your vocabulary, but the paid app doesn’t offer many useful extras.
I Like The daily reminders keep me accountable.
If you already know a word, you have the option of swiping up and removing it from your lessons.
Though the app works better for some languages, the sheer amount of languages is a plus.
Great audio examples.
I Don’t Like It can be difficult to tell certain images apart, which means you’ll likely identify them incorrectly during your review.
Some of the categories seem to include random, unrelated words.
This app isn’t ideal for beginners, as it skips over basic lessons.
Drops only teaches you a single verb form, meaning you’ll need different apps to learn how to conjugate.
Price: A monthly subscription costs $9.99, a yearly subscription is $69.99, and a lifetime subscription is $159.99. You can use the app up to five minutes every ten hours for free.
Summary: Mondly is a below average online language learning resource. It does some things right and other things poorly. It’s pretty cheap, and a decent enough crash course that could help you before a trip abroad. Still, it wouldn’t be my first choice.
Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better.
It’s decent for learning vocabulary but a lot of material isn’t explained very well.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
Daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges – these functionalities encourage you to practice every day.
The vocabulary included is useful and drilled in an effective way.
It’s fairly inexpensive.
I Don’t Like…
The content and exercises are the same for all levels and languages.
The exercises are mostly passive and won’t help you use the language.
The order of lessons and topics isn’t very well thought out.
The interface is not user friendly and the platform is visually unappealing.
Price: There are three plans… $9.99 per month for one language $47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language $47.99 per year ($4/mo) for all languages
Strangely, I was able to access multiple languages even though I only signed up for one month at $9.99.
Summary: The Transparent Language Essentials Courses aim to get absolute beginners engaged and interacting with the language they’re learning and speaking the basics in no time at all. While there are lots of different exercises for you to work through, the material isn’t all that helpful and it does get very repetitive. Although the courses aren’t all that useful or in depth, with over a hundred languages on offer it might be worth checking out if you want to learn the very basics of a more obscure language such as Buriat, Kazakh or Turkmen. But, even then, I’d try to find other resources first.
Quality While the exercises are for the most part well-designed, diverse and easy to use, it is the core material itself which is lacking.
Thoroughness There are hardly any explanations at all, you just have to endlessly memorize words and phrases.
Value I would only consider using if it were free and I was studying a very rare language.
I Like I really like the fact that they offer up courses in languages that are usually overlooked.
It’s pretty well-designed, easy to use and has lots of different activities to work through.
I Don’t Like The core material is severely lacking and you won’t learn much grammar or how to form even a basic sentence yourself.
It gets very repetitive and so I didn’t find it that fun to work through.
You learn virtually nothing about the different cultural contexts of the languages you’re learning.
Their teaching methodology is the biggest issue, leaving you memorizing lots of words and phrases in isolation.
Price: There is a free two-week trial period for you to try it out. Otherwise, it is $24.95 per month or $149.95 for a whole year if you just select one language. If you want access to all of the languages it is then $49.95 per month and $249.95 a year.
Summary: One of the most famous language teaching courses out there, Michel Thomas is a household name and his audio lessons aim to teach you your language of choice, naturally, intuitively and without any memorization involved. With 18 languages for you to choose from, the courses are aimed at absolute beginners and at the end you should be able to understand and speak to a basic level. I tried out the French foundation course and found it to be severely lacking and as such cannot recommend it at all. You may, however, have more luck with the other language courses that they offer.
Quality Very easy to use, the audios are decent quality but Michel Thomas’ discouraging manner means that students get flustered and this detracts from the content’s quality.
Thoroughness Michel Thomas doesn’t go into much depth and any explanations he offers up are just at a surface level.
Value I wouldn’t use these even if they were free due to Michel Thomas’ teaching style which ruins the material.
I Like Um…in all honesty I’m not sure if I enjoyed any of it!
I Don’t Like Michel Thomas never praises the students, often interrupts them and creates a negative learning environment.
The pacing of the lessons often seems off to me and in certain places they feel very hurried.
All of the lessons are almost identical and so it does get quite monotonous working through them.
Summary: One of the most famous language learning resources out there, the Rosetta Stone method relies on immersive teaching so students will only find the material in the language they’re learning. Starting off with the basics, the units get progressively harder and cover a large range of topics. Suitable for beginner and intermediate students, it is more expensive than competitors and the exercises get very repetitive after a while. While it isn’t a bad resource, you can definitely find something better.
Very easy to use and navigate, the content is well presented but the similar format becomes deadly boring after a while.
While a lot of material is covered, you have to infer everything from the pictures that you are given. As such, there are no explanations at all.
It’s not as good and more expensive than other resources.
It’s easy to use and navigate – the content is very clearly laid out.
The extra features in the ‘Extended Learning’ pack make the material a bit more interesting to engage with.
While it is not particularly fun to use overall, I do believe that learners would improve their language skills using Rosetta Stone.
I Don’t Like…
The main units are very repetitive and I think I would find it demoralising after a while if I kept using it.
It doesn’t explore the cultural context of the language at all.
There are no explanations about any of the content and so you have to infer the meaning of everything through pictures.
It’s too expensive.
Price: The price varies by subscription length:
$79 for 3 months $119 for 6 months $179 for 12 months $249 for 24 months