Spotify used to be something I scoffed at – a nice way to enjoy music every now and then, but little else. Recently, though, it got a lot more awesome, and several of its features would make every serious language learner pay attention. Have a look at four of those and see if they appeal to you!
This app was only developed recently, and its purpose is immediately clear. Listen Language collects language courses in over 20 languages and enables you to listen to them for free. The producers and companies involved in these courses tend to be the same from one language to another.
The groovy part: lots of free language courses right within Spotify. Premium users can download the playlist and learn on the go.
Needs fine-tuning: the method (translating phrases and words into English, with occasional grammar explanations) is only effective in short bursts. In the long run, there’s a lot missing from a syllabus based only on those.
These two apps do one thing really well: they display song lyrics synchronized with the song you’re listening to. Super-useful for an improvised karaoke session, and surprisingly effective for learning new words and pronunciation easily. TuneWiki provides more lyrics on the screen at one time (including previous lines), whilst musiXmatch is generally a slicker, sexier alternative.
The groovy part: pick the music you enjoy in the language you are keen on – and these apps should provide the lyrics to make you learn something new with ease. No need to search for lyrics and shuffle screens to navigate – it’s all on one screen.
Needs fine-tuning: TuneWiki is not great with non-English alphabets. musiXmatch handles this better, but only gives you two lines of lyrics at a time.
Remarkable music is worth making a remark about. And who says you only have to do it in your native language? Get thyself to a Soundrop app and start a chat room. Anyone who joins is welcome to choose the music you’ll all listen to, vote for the next track on the playlist – and the chat feature enables anyone to speak their mind about what’s playing.
The groovy part: learning languages is meant to be social, and this app gives you the chance to do that.
Needs fine-tuning: Most of the discussion is still in English (start your own chat room though, and other language speakers will come!
Is there a Spotify app you would use to learn another language? Are we missing something? Tune in and let everyone know!
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