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Malayalam

PortalLearn Mini Review: Enjoy Learning Indian Languages Through Stories

PortalLearn

Price:

Free

Summary

Looking for an Indian language resource for intermediate level that’ll help you improve your proficiency? You should check out PortalLearn.

PortalLearn is an app that teaches 9 Indian languages and aims to help you learn these languages through interactive stories. The languages offered include Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kannada, Marathi and Gujarati. With this app, you can dive into captivating narratives, learning vocabulary and grammar naturally through context. Through these interactive stories, you can grasp language concepts, making the learning process more enjoyable and effective. These interactive stories and lessons focus on helping you hone your listening, reading, and comprehension skills.

PortalLearn offers personalization, allowing you to choose your own learning path with topics that interest you, be it cuisine, tourism, or animals. Unlike rigid course structures that dictate a predefined learning path, the platform offers you the flexibility to start with the topics that you prefer. This promotes personalized learning and keeps you motivated by allowing you to pursue your passions while acquiring the necessary language skills.

With its gamified approach, you can earn gems for completing stories and lessons as you progress. This incentive ensures that you’re not only having fun while learning, but also encourages participation. It also provides a tangible reward for progress, ensuring you stay motivated. Furthermore, PortalLearn incorporates flashcards to help you learn letters of the specific language that you’re learning more efficiently.  

What makes PortalLearn different from the likes of Duolingo, Babbel and LanguageCurry is that PortalLearn helps you learn Indian languages through story context. This approach is based on Comprehensible Input method. 

While PortalLearn isn’t suitable for complete beginners and doesn’t have a writing practice feature yet, it’s still an awesome app to help you practice other equally essential language skills.

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All Learning Resources Malayalam

35+ Malayalam Resources Online – Lots of Free and Beginner-Friendly Options!

Explore this extensive list of Malayalam resources and Malayalam tools and find the ones that could be essential additions to your study plan.

We’ve listed lots of Malayalam language resources and tools that are sure to help you practice and improve your language skills.

Our Malayalam Study Guide will also come in handy with lots of learning tips and additional resources.

35+ Malayalam Resources Online – Lots of Free and Beginner-Friendly Options! Read More »

Best Apps Malayalam

Best Apps to Learn Malayalam Online For Beginners and English Speakers

Learning Malayalam can be a rewarding experience. Whether you’re drawn to its rich history, planning to travel to Kerala, or simply want to impress your friends, this language journey opens doors to a lot of opportunities.

Yet, looking for quality resources to kickstart your journey of learning Malayalam can be quite challenging. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and spent hundreds of hours testing various resources to come up with a list of the best apps to learn Malayalam.

Best Apps to Learn Malayalam Online For Beginners and English Speakers Read More »

AmazingTalker Mini Review: Not Our Top Pick for Web Classes

AmazingTalker

Rating 2.5
Price:

From around $10 per 50-minute class

Summary

AmazingTalker is an italki and Verbling competitor that lets you book classes with language teachers and academic tutors of your choice. It has a lot of attractive features for students, but teachers complain about high commission rates and lack of support. It boasts a 3% acceptance rate for teachers and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with your class, they’ll rebook you another one for free. There are lots of teachers to choose from, or you can also use their AI Matching Service to find a tutor. The teachers’ profiles include videos, reviews, and their résumé. However, AmazingTalker doesn’t seem a great choice for teachers. It charges English and Japanese teachers astonishingly high commission rates of up to 30%. While these rates fall as teachers earn more through the site, they have to make $1,500 a month before the commission reaches levels comparable to italki and Verbling. Making it worse, there’s an additional 8% fee for payment processing and tax that all teachers have to pay, no matter what language they teach.  There have also been complaints on Reddit from teachers claiming to have been harassed by students and fellow teachers. However, we cannot corroborate these. Given all this, we’d recommend trying italki (review) or Verbling (review) first. Alternatively, check out our guide to the best platforms for online language classes.

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TeacherOn Mini Review: Lots of Teachers for Indian Languages

TeacherOn

Rating 1.6
Price:

Classes from 50¢ to $80 per hour

Summary

TeacherOn is an italki competitor that allows you to book online or in-person classes with language and/or academic tutors of your choice. It can attract scammers and the tutor quality seems hit or miss, but for some languages, it’s probably the only platform with available teachers. The website started life as TutorIndia, and it still leans heavily towards Indian teachers. For example, it has around 4,500 Hindi teachers compared to italki’s 89. There are also over 300 Kannada teachers, 38 Assamese ones, and 42 Odia ones; in contrast, italk only has 4 teachers for Kannada and 0 for Assamese or Odia. You can contact the first three teachers for free. After that, you can either post your requirements so that teachers can contact you or pay extra to contact more teachers. However, you should be cautious when using the platform, especially if you’re paying off site or meeting your tutor in person. We were shown fake profiles, while TeacherOn publishes a list of people banned for being scammers. There are no student reviews, either. TeacherOn encourages students and teachers alike to do due diligence on people before contacting them, and we echo this sentiment. TeacherOn has plenty of issues. However, for certain languages, it’s invaluable. It may be the only way to study some of them from abroad.

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Malayalam Aksharamala Mini Review: It’s Pretty Good

Malayalam Aksharamala

Rating 3.0
Price:

Free

Summary

Malayalam Aksharamala is one of our favourite apps for learning the Malayalam script, but it’s far from perfect. Plus, you’ll have to put up with over-the-top audio, since it’s designed for young children. Using Malayalam Aksharamala, you can select different symbols to practice drawing. The app will show you the stroke direction, although the stroke number and order can be confusing. (You might like to pair it with a workbook or the Malayalam Alphabets app to get this information.) We also found that it sometimes struggled to follow our strokes. What we like about Malayalam Aksharamala, though, is that it includes audio recordings of the script and also gets you to practice choosing it from other similar-looking symbols. We think this practice will be invaluable in helping you to not just be able to draw the symbols but also distinguish them when reading.

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My Language Exchange Mini-Review: Millions of Active Users

My Language Exchange

Rating 4.2
Price:

Freemium, Gold Memberships start at $6/mo

Summary

My Language Exchange has been growing since 2000. Although the website seems out of date, it still has an active community of millions of language-learners who speak almost 200 native languages (including less commonly studied languages). You can choose a pen pal by reading their bios, or there is a chat room available for you to instantly connect with a language exchange partner — note that if you create a Gold account, you can initiate chats with other users, but as a regular user, you will have to wait to be contacted. Using the Cormier Method, the website provides tools to help intermediate speakers effectively practice with other learners. It advertises a Chat Companion with lesson plans to accompany your exchange, or lesson plans developed by teachers (although the quality of these resources varies drastically).  You can also find language teachers on the site, but given that the transactions take place directly between you and the teacher, you may feel safer using a 3rd party platform like italki or Verbling Although there are outlines on how to participate in language exchanges, how these outlines are followed depends entirely on you and your partner(s). My Language Exchange will help you build connections with other learners, but it’s up to you to plan how to practice. The concepts can also be used with any language exchange platform, such as Lingbe, italki, Tandem, and Amikumu.

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Learn Malayalam with EliKutty Mini Review: Fun & Accessible Malayalam Lessons

Learn Malayalam with EliKutty

Rating 3.5
Price:

Free

Summary

Are you learning Malayalam as a second language and looking for an engaging and comprehensible resource? We’ve got you covered.

Learn Malayalam with EliKutty is a frequently updated YouTube channel that mixes one-minute Malayalam lessons with videos about EliKutty’s life with her Malayali husband. 

Eliza Keyton, aka EliKutty, is an English teacher and US expat. While not a native speaker, her lessons have a pedagogical foundation and are easy to understand. Eliza’s content ranges from short, bite-sized videos—one-on-one and group lessons—to longer playlists such as the Beginners and Pronunciation Playlists that follow a learning plan that you can use for self-study. These work well to help non-native speakers and heritage learners connect with the fantastic language of Malayalam.

Her One Minute Malayalam series will help you learn things like different ways to say “no” or “give” and how to make conditional sentences. Eliza also has a Malayalam Alphabets series on how to learn the Malayalam script, which nicely explains the subtle differences in pronunciation. 
Aside from her YouTube, Eliza has more free content accessible via Facebook and Instagram, Discord, as well as her website. The learning content is easy to follow, and Eliza does well to highlight the challenges faced when learning Malayalam to help you overcome them. 

What makes Learn Malayalam with EliKutty different from resources such as Fluent in Malayalam and Moags Malayalam grammar-coursebook, is that it delves deeper into helping you understand Malayalam grammar and the content is kept up-to-date.  

Because Eliza is also learning, sometimes her accent and pronunciation isn’t as accurate as what’s spoken in Kerala. However, this should not deter you from trying out this resource. Although the content can seem unstructured for a complete beginner and could have more vocabulary, if you’re a beginner Malayalam student, you will likely find it a short-and-sweet way to supplement your studies.

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Malayalam Smart Slate Mini Review: Don’t Waste Your Time

Malayalam Smart Slate

Rating 1.0
Price:

Free with ads

Summary

The Malayalam Smart Slate app from BigKnol aims to teach you the Malayalam script. Unfortunately, we don’t think you’re likely to learn much from using it. When you open the app, you’ll be able to choose between Practice and Write. Under Practice, you can view the script, complete with audio recordings and occasional example pictures and words. There’s no actual practice involved, however. Under Write, you can draw something and it will tell you which Malayalam symbol it thinks you’ve drawn. However, this doesn’t mean you’ve drawn it correctly: we found that even if you scribble on the screen, it will produce a symbol for you. Unfortunately, this app seems to be missing a key stage: the one where it teaches you how to write the symbols. There’s no explanation of stroke number, order, or direction, nor do you get the opportunity to trace the symbols. Save yourself some time, and try Malayalam Aksharamala or Malayalam Alphabets instead.

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