I’ve been watching this YouTuber’s videos about language learning for over a year now. I stumbled upon his videos as there’s tons of polyglots out there on YouTube land all trying to outdo each other when it comes to learning multiple languages.
I love his videos because he takes a genuine and authentic approach to his learning of Swedish and effectively describes the same journey I’ve been on and does it so articulately. Just because he’s learning Swedish means nothing for me because I can APPLY the things he’s sharing to my own language of French.
In this video he shared a new app called Speakly and it sounded like something I’d want to try out.
Now, I deliberately did not learn French from an app even though I did download one DuoLingo and tried some others but they never really grabbed me because I found them too basic. I wanted something that could begin from my level as I wasn’t a beginner but I also wasn’t advanced – I was intermediate.
So I downloaded the app to try it out and here is what I shared on Twitter as a thread.
My intention was to try it out for 5 days until I decide to upgrade to Premium which I was looking at around $14 for one month and one language. I don’t need access to the other languages as I’m not learning them obviously.
Some feedback over the 5 days of using this app…
Initially I was looking forward every afternoon to using the app and indeed I made it through the first few chapters achieving over 1200 words (or so it says) at the Intermediate I level.
What I did enjoy were the supplementary exercises related to dialogue that would pop up in the middle of the session (I chose to have a daily 15 min lesson). You would listen to the question, read the sentence and respond.
I also LOVED the Spotify list and the suggestions for music which introduced me to new artists whom I would never have found otherwise.
Another positive aspect to the app was being able to listen to a transcription and then view it in the Original language (English) and in French – and you could slow down the speed. It makes SUCH a difference to READ and LISTEN at the same time because your ear picks up the auditory cues of how the words sound.
I find sub-titles in French now SO VALUABLE that even my YouTube viewing (and I watch a LOT of YouTube), I elect to watch videos with sub-titles on. Specifically, French videos have French sub-titles and I watch them first a couple of times before turning on the English to see what I missed.
One of the things I DIDN’T like was that some sentences that I have to say are simply not picked up as correct by the app and methinks it’s because of my heavy Australian accent. If I have to repeat this bloody sentence, “j’ai rancontrè un viel ami dans la rue par hasard” I’m going to strangle someone. I’ve repeated it so many times that I say it in my sleep and I can never get the sound right for it to register as being correct. As a result, I don’t progress and as a result I get frustrated.
Will I continue using it? Sure – for a month, it will be a great little add on to incorporate some daily 15 min practice into my day.
What apps are you using to learn your new language?