Sunday, September 25, 2011

Learning a foreign language

Okay, so if I am wanting to learn a language, and I don't want to be spending money right now, what would you recommend?

We own some resources, but nothing that has seemed terribly effective for me.  But I guess the first question is what language I choose.  I have been assuming Spanish.  But there is something to be said for working on German, since I do actually know some of that.

Spanish makes more practical sense though.

Okay, so we own a very old version of Rosetta Stone.  But I didn't particularly love it, and I really don't have room to install it on my computer.
  • My library offers Mango online.  They say they focus on practical conversation skills, the goal is speaking.  I like that.  It includes cultural "stuff" which I definitely like.  Intended for travelers, which isn't exactly my situation.
  • Or one of our other libraries offers byki.  They seem to focus a bit more on vocabulary acquisition first.  But it is a bit hard to tell.

The libraries link to some other free stuff.
  • BBC programs, specifically Steps in 12 Weeks.  I like the idea of something from the BBC.  They also gear this to travelers.
  • LiveMocha.  Naturally, I gravitate towards anything with "mocha" in its name.  But with this one, I really don't understand their approach at all.
I'm leaning towards just starting with Mango, since that is what is available at my normal library... and if it doesn't seem like a good fit, then I go try something else.  But I'd love to hear if anyone has experience with any of these...


Michelle Smith said...

Nope, I've never heard of any of these. Except for Rosetta Stone, of course.

Did you decide on the German or the Spanish? My eldest is going to study German in addition to Latin, but the younger ones may opt for Spanish.

Jennifer said...

We also own a very old and not very loved version of Rosetta Stone Spanish. I look forward to reading the good advice others share.

Julieanne said...

Someone on the Crew just mentioned in my question about Rosetta Stone that LiveMocha is designed to help non-Spanish speakers practice their everyday Spanish by, in turn, helping a non-native English speaker practice their English.

We've decided on Spanish, but are still undecided about Rosetta Stone or something else. Hmmm.


Jill said...

We used Mango for a little bit from our library. It was not bad for older kids and adults. I tried it with my then 6 and 8 year old and it was too dry for them. They started the first few lessons out with enthusiasm, and then faded quickly.

Rodna Allman said...

We aren't doing a language right now. I do want to do Spanish soon though.