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With this application or website you are not going to be taught sentences like « birds are eating marmelde in a plate », the idea is that you are going to be able to talk about what you want. It is designed to make you learn some elements of the world you live in, elements that you need to know, that you ca use to speak your target language. Babbel provides conversations that you can have in your everyday life, and so the courses are said by native speakers. It is essential that you can hear your target language the way the native people speaks it. It is an important thing that you practice speaking before you use your target language with real people.
One amazing thing is that this application use the speech recognition. So you can get more skills in speaking, you can get more confidence from the first day you learn your target language. I think that it is better to learn a little bit everyday compare to learn a lot in one time.
Scientific studies show that our brain on the short-term memory can hold about seven elements of informations at a time, more or less two elements of informations. So the courses last for about 15 minutes to not being overwhelmed. So you can learn your target language more effectively.
With this application you are going to learn some words and sentences and to put them in your long-term memory. These words and sentences are sent to a native person to give you a feed-back which you are going to have it the day after. This application uses the spaced repetition system : when you say the correct answer, the system knows it, and it put more time before you see this specific word next time. It is maybe the best way to put an information which is in your short-term memory to your long-term memory.
The communication is very important, so there is a focus on that. So you are going to be able to understand what a native person is saying to you, not just the little words and sentences you need to ordre food in a restaurant.
The courses are designed in relation to your mother tongue. For example, an English and a French person want to learn the Spanish language, they are not going to have exactly the same courses. The French language and the Spanish language are both of them latin languages, so they are a bit similar. The English language and the Spanish language are different. So the grammar of the target language is introduced in a natural way, with dialogues, with , some activities, in a way that the newbie can try to know by himself the target language, before getting the rules.
It is a well known application. It contains 14 languages. It has two versions, one for the computer and one for the mobile phone. It has newbie, intermediate and advanced levels. Maybe when you will be at the end of the courses you will not have an advanced level. An intermediate level is more realistic. After this point, you need to study more to be better at speaking the French language.
It gives courses to learn some French words, the French grammr rules, and activities to practice. The activities to practice listening are a bit hard sometimes. The quality of the audio is nice, and the dialogues are well done as well, and they are made for different situations.
The courses have a nice structure, they are easy to follow, you can do it in a gradual way. Sometimes you can feel that it is a bit repetitive but it is necessary to print the informations in your mind. They provide several kind of exercises so you cannot really bother yourself while you are learning your target language.
I think that they can improve the program to recognize the speech. Sometimes when you say a word the programm does not catch it. The design of the application is very simple. You can check your calendar of learning. You can choose if you want to use the recognition program or not.
There is not a lot of grammar exercises, there is a bit of each elements of your target language. But there are many exercises to practice listening, and it is really nice if you go to France or in a French speaking country and you need to speak like you do it with your mother tongue. So you are going to get the knowledge for that. It is intuitive to use it.
What are the pros and cons ?
- It is easy and intuitive to use. Sometimes, with some application it could take too much time to learn how ot use it.
- These are short courses, so when you have more time than ususal you can do one more course.
- It helps to remember the lexicon or the grammar rules.
- It contains many exercises to practice what you have just learnt
- It contains a little bit of all the elements of your target language : words, grammar, listening, writing, reading.
- The conversations courses are nice, it contains several dialogues for several situations
- The quality of the audio is ok
- There is no enough oral support
- The program does not always detect what you are saying
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