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Three Unlikely Applications to Supercharge Your Language Learning

Here at bravelearning.com, my inner geek is permanently at war with my inner technophobe. And this post is definitely going to be geeky: it’s tech and software through and through, although with a twist this time.

I’m not always a big fan of tech-enabled learning. Some of the tools I’ve reviewed were pretty awesome, and sometimes I just preferred to give you no-frills, unplugged solutions for learning. But every now and then I come across a piece of software that was definitely NOT designed with language learners in mind. I try it out and, if I’m lucky, I find that it’s really well-designed – and that it could be very useful for improving the way people learn languages. Today, I’m going to give you a quick introduction to three such solutions – you may have heard of them, but have you tried learning a language with them?

1. Google Drive

This, for me, is the Dropbox killer. It’s not just about the available size: it’s the ability to easily share and edit the documents I’m uploading. I was quite fond of Google Docs before – working from several locations, on several computers – and now I’m equally keen on trying out the Drive (loving it so far).

Language learning idea: Google Drive is the obvious choice for storing and synchronising your notes from classes – but it can do a lot more: try creating folders based on skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and populating them with material you can access anywhere (like interviews, songs, reviews, essay drafts).

2. Wunderkit

Whu-ha-where? This is a really, really fresh project from the people who gave you the (insanely usable) Wunderlist. This time, it’s a bigger idea: Creating and sharing workspaces, assigning and commenting on tasks…the Wunderkit is a gorgeous and easy way to work on anything.

Language learning idea: This software is just waiting to be used with your entire class – or with your language learning / speaking mates. Does your teacher know of a project you could work on? Do you find it hard to coordinate your notes, or just wish you had somewhere nice to practice your online speaking skills? Have a go at Wunderkit – you might just end up loving it!

3. DoggCatcher

The biggest mistake that smartphone users make? They don’t even use 10% of what it could do for them. Which, if you’re a smartphone owner and a language learner, annoys me twice as much. So be a good person and splash out on DoggCatcher. It costs about as much as a latte, and gives you an impressively effective way of managing podcasts – you decide when, what and how to download, and your media library fills up automagically.

Language learning idea: Get your tutors / friends from abroad to suggest good listening and video material. Organize your media with DoggCatcher. Watch, listen, but don’t stop there: write reviews, share comments, ask questions. Interact with the content – it feels much more interesting that way!

Have you tried any of these yet? Or do you have a favourite app which just happens to be really useful for languages? All of us would like to know. Comment below!

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