Language Learning Apps

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Can You Really Learn A New Language With An App

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Language learning apps are now more popular than ever before, allowing people to pick up a new language at any time. Researchers at Michigan State University have examined how effective these apps really are. "Despite the fact that millions globally are already using language learning apps, there is a lack of published research on their impact on speaking skills," Professor Shawn Loewen, Michigan State University. 85 undergraduate students took the same Spanish test before and after using a language learning app for 12 weeks. The students studied using a popular subscription-based language learning app called ‘Babble’. Their speaking level was measured using the well-established Oral Proficiency Interview test. The study found that nearly all of the students improved their ability to communicate after using the app. 59% of the participants improved their oral communication by at least one sublevel on the ACTFL proficiency scale. Those who logged more hours in the app received the best results, while 36% of participants ended up quitting. This shows that it is necessary for learners to put in the time and effort for these apps to be effective.

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