Language101.com is excellent at taking someone from knowing nothing to being conversational quickly. Language101.com immediately launches you into learning useful material and doesn’t stop.
If you are someone who is going to Russia, Germany or Mexico soon and think that it’s not worth the bothering learning the language because there’s not enough time, then language101.com may prove you wrong.
Who Should use Language101.com?
Anyone Who Wants To Become Conversational
People who are Beginners or Intermediates and want to Improve
Anyone Who Want a Good Accent
Someone Who Needs a Crash Course
Someone Re-Learning a Language
Anyone with a Smart Phone and or Uses the Internet Frequently
Who Shouldn’t Use Language101.com?
Those who have no Internet Connection or Intermittent Internet (slow is okay)
Grammar Oriented People
Anyone Who has Advanced past Being Fully Conversational
Young Children Who Cannot Read English
Aspiring Foreign Languages Writers
Language101.com is webware, software that runs through your browser over the internet. So if you don’t have internet you can’t use it.
Language101.com does not teach grammar or grammar structure. Personally I find this a plus, but some linguists may disagree.
If you are already advanced past conversational you would find language101.com to be basic. Although you may useful it to review your accent.
Language101.com is very conversation oriented. It will not teach you to write, but you will pick up reading from studying.
How To Use Language101.com
Language101.com has created hundreds of lessons. The lessons may be: song lessons, movies lessons, beginner lessons. Take a look here to see a short selection of the featured Spanish lessons. http://learn-spanish.language101.com/browse-lessons/.
You get to pick which lessons you want to learn. So I might pick a lesson about colors, a lesson about the airport, and a lesson about the Mexico City Metro. Getting to choose from the lessons which one I want to learn, is a major plus for me.
Once you pick what you want to learn, you study it by using the study interface. The study interface is the remarkable part of the program. It takes the content from the lessons you’ve chosen and presents it to you in a way that will allow you to “speed learn.”
The study interface teaches the sentences and phrases from the lessons you have chosen. For example, see in the picture to the left the words “How can I help you?” This is phrase #1 from this Russian lesson.
If you know how to say the “How can I help you?” in Russian you say it out loud and click the “I have said this out loud show me the answer” button. (if you don’t know then click “I don’t know.”) The hint line shows you how many words there are in answer (because sometimes there could be more than one way to say a phrase).
After you click a button the answer is given. An audio clip is played with the answer and the text for the phrase is shown where the hint used to be.
After hearing the answer, you can now grade yourself. How well did you say the phrase before you saw and heard the answer? Click on the button that best describes how well you did.
After you grade yourself, you have the ability to hear the audio at both normal and slow speed to practice. I really like that there are two speeds of audio. I find that many other programs I have tried have audio that is to fast for beginners and too slow for what is really spoken.
After you have studied the phrase, and said the phrase out loud you can click the next button and a new “study item” will appear.
Here’s happens behind the scenes. Language101.com takes into account how you graded yourself and how many times you’ve seen the study item. It then decides when you need to review to study item again. The idea — to learn the most in the least amount of time without forgetting.
Don’t take my word for this. Language101.com has a free demo. Go to language101.com select your favorite language and click the red “Try It” button to try it yourself.
The Language101.com Idea
Language101.com is a website designed around a central concept– Learning without forgetting. Now this sounds good, but how does it work?
It works by modeling how your brain works. Your brain is always forgetting. So you have to review what you learn. The question Language101.com has tried to answer is: how much should I review the old material in order to remember it, but not study it so much that I lose valuable time to learn new material?
The answer according to language101.com is spaced repetition. What is spaced repetition?
Repetition is the idea that the more we review something the better is it is remembered. But reviewing something over and over again isn’t very efficient because at the end of the day you can only remember one thing.
However, If we correctly space out the times at which we review, we can learn more things in the time until we need to review again. Spaced repetition attempts to allow you to learn the most things in the least amount of time without forgetting any of them.
According to Languge101.com a general rule is, if you know the 2,000 most common phrases in a language, you can speak the basic language. If you know the 500 most common phrases you can get around. So imagine that each phrase of a language is an item that can be studied and reviewed. Language101.com attempts to teach you a language, one phrase at a time.