Resources

The Internet contains a wealth of resources for not just learning a language, but developing the fundamental skills for accurate communication. Below are links to sites and tools that I use, have used, or have recommended for my students. Please note that these are not language-specific, and whereas some resources are universal, such as Memrise, others like conjugemos and Radio Lingua offer resources for only a select number of languages.

Vocabulary

  • Memrise
    Memrise is a flash card program which is useful for learning and reinforce vocabulary. Dozens of courses are already available, but it’s free and easy to create your own!
  • Anki
    Anki is a mobile app that lets you create your own flashcards that you can take with you on the go. You can define how often cards repeat and create multimedia cards as well. I prefer Memrise over Anki simply because memrise has you actually enter in the word or pharse and has its own algorithm for how frequently words appear.
  • Forvo
    Forvo is a database where users can record and upload sound files for words and phrases. I use this in conjunction with Memrise to add audio to my courses.

Grammar

  • iSL Collective
    iSL collective is a site where teachers can upload and share worksheets, presentations, and other learning materials. The site is available for English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Portugese. Even if you’re not a teacher, the site is still worth checking out, especially if you know you need extra practice.
  • Conjugemos
    Conjugemos is an online app that drills conjugation patterns. Although custom courses are mainly reserved for registered teacher/school accounts, the verb lists they have available are pretty comprehensive. Available for German, French, Italian, Latin, Portugese, and Spanish.

Writing

  • iTalki
    iTalki is basically a social network for language learners. You can find language teachers, exchange partners, post discussion topics, etc. What I am promoting is the “Notebook” feature. Similar to Lang-8, you can get feedback on your writing samples (by natives and other learners). Unlike Lang-8, which worked on a priority system, there is no ranking here, so your posts are thrown into the mix and may or may not get corrected. This is where finding native “friends” of the language you’re studying comes in hand.

Listening

  • LanguagePod 101
    LanguagePod podcasts are pretty fair. The format is pretty basic: dialog in foreign language, English version of dialog, explanation of words and phrases, revisit dialog. As I said, it’s fair, but a bit lacking without the for-pay materials.
  • Radio Linguia Network
    Radio Lingua offers a lot of different series for various languages. Again, you’ll get the most out of the programs with the for-pay materials, but without them, you’ll get a good base for basic conversation.

Other Resources

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