Before you start on any platform, you want to know if it’s worth your time. There’s a lot of options out there, and we’re all busy with our lives. When you sit down to choose a platform for language learning, you want to know your time and indirectly, your money, will go towards success.
While it’s frustrating to walk away from something we wasted money on, it’s even more frustrating to walk away from something with the feeling we wasted our time. We can always get money back; time, we cannot. So when looking at language learning platforms, a fair question to ask is, “what makes a platform successful?”
How Are Language Courses Organized?
To see if any platform is successful, we need to look at the organization of language learning platforms. So what kind of language learning platforms are there?
- Self Study (Conversational): These are conversational programs focused on a single person learning language. Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, and Duolingo are a few examples.
- Self Study (Academic): These are limited due to the intense dedication required. Imagine a very rigorous course without a teacher. Foreign Service Institute (FSI) is an example.
- Teacher Program (Conversational): Night and weekend classes where students meet in a setting to practice conversing in the target language. Teachers and students have materials to assist them. Students have homework to help develop their skills. Berlitz or Rype are two examples.
- Teacher Program (Academic): This type of language learning is the one most people are familiar with experiencing. It involves a classroom setting, high school or college. Often, they use dated methods and focus more on the mechanisms of language than fluency.
Which Language Learning Program Works Best?
This is another complex question. The least effective method tends to be the teacher based programs. There are many reasons for this.
One of the most challenging aspects of learning a new language is getting over making mistakes. Struggling saying basic words and phrases can be embarrassing. Add to this the struggle to remember nuances of words, to master pronunciation, or to even remember a simple lesson starting out, and the result is that many people shy away from the speaking part of language learning in these courses.
Classroom settings typically go at one pace. If you fail to keep up, you fall behind. This makes additional lessons useless because you’ve not mastered previous ones.
Language as a Subject
Many classrooms are hyper-focused on grammar and syntax. The problem with learning language like this is that while you may build up an understanding of how the language works, you end up feeling as though you’ve learned very little when you discover that you struggle to speak a simple sentence.
Not Enough Use Cases
Teaching courses are often limited to how many times you can hear and speak the language during a class session. This leads to not having enough experiences to develop familiarity with your target language.
To summarize, if you’re a fast learner who can dedicate time for continuous practice to master a language, then the academic setting will work for you. However, most people prefer to learn at their own pace. Most people need to see results to continue learning. Most people want to study a language by speaking it, not being tested on it for credit. The result is that most people prefer self-taught classes.
How Are Self-Taught Classes Better?
If you’re someone who’s looking to develop a passing level of proficiency without much focus on grammar or morphology, then self-taught classes are the better fit for you. These programs have many benefits over the classroom taught programs, but they’re not without their problems.
Not as Rigorous
Self-taught courses focus more on vocabulary acquisition, speaking, and listening than reading and writing. This means a lot of the more complicated parts of the language are pushed aside to focus more on the daily utility value of the target language.
Ability to Make Mistakes
If you’re a shy person who doesn’t like the idea of speaking out in front of a class, then self-taught programs are going to be ideal for you. You can practice these programs in the safety of your own home, on your way to work, or while you’re out going for a walk.
If you struggle with learning in general, you can repeat and review as needed. You control the speed of these programs. You can also move your lessons around to fit your schedule. This makes it easier to stick to a program. Plus, because many of them have built-in ways to review, you can often test yourself to make sure you’re where you need to be on your way to learn your target language.
Because you’re in charge of how you progress through these programs, you can reach A2/B1 proficiency between 3 – 6 months with roughly 30 – 60 minutes of study, several times a week. This is much faster than academic programs that have to follow the structure of semesters and courses.
In summary, if you’re more focused on learning a language for the sake of speaking it, but you’re not willing to commit regularly to a taught course, then self-taught programs will be best for you. You won’t master the reading and writing aspects of these classes, however.
The truth is that most language learners that have moved on past academic settings need flexibility in their programs. The result is that self-taught programs tend to win out. So where does the language learning platform OptiLingo fit into this?
Why OptiLingo Succeeds
Of the self-taught platforms, many of them have perks that make them successful in specific areas, but the only one that’s built to learn a language fluently rapidly is OptiLingo. It does this through Guided Immersion and Spaced Repetition Systems (SRS). And because it focuses on high-frequency phrases and commonly used words, the result is that users can achieve fluency within 3 – 6 months by using the course 30 – 60 minutes a day.
Guided Immersion exposes the user to native speakers using common phrases to communicate. It functions the same way that toddlers learn a language, through dialogues with native speakers. Users pick up on the familiar words and phrases to develop fluency. Guided Immersion also provides context and support with each lesson for further understanding.
Spaced Repetition Systems also help support users in their rapid path towards fluency. Users will regularly retest previous lessons before starting new ones through a new lesson. They revisit previous lessons before moving on to new material with regular self-tests. Users clearly see results, inspiring them to continue their language development.
Will OptiLingo Make You Fluent?
A certain degree of dedication is required to succeed in any language learning endeavor. However, OptiLingo’s program uses science-backed, proven methods for rapid language acquisition. It’s designed for people who want to focus on speaking a different language fluently. Sure, there are other options, but OptiLingo is the only language learning platform built by a language activist.