Babbel offers more gamified language learning
In a previous blog we received a lot of positive feedback for mentioning a few gamified language learning tools like Duolingo and Byki. If you want a somewhat more feature-rich language learning package and are willing to pay a low monthly subscription fee, try Babbel!
This site uses game based-learning to teach, reinforce and track your lesson progress in its array of 10 foreign language offerings (Danish, Dutch, French, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish — and English for the folks overseas).
Sign up for free and run a basic beginner’s lesson. The robust online game-based learning lesson demo for Italian learners begins with an opening screen that offers the option of doing the lesson with or without its speech recognition feature.
Click through the beginners lesson screens and interact with the lesson:
Step 1: Learn 4 simple greetings with photo hints and captions. (If you choose speech recognition, configure your computer microphone and repeat what you hear to receive feedback on how well you mimic what you hear.)
Step 2: Match one simple greeting with one of the 4 photos from the first step.
Step 3: Key in the correct Italian words beneath 4 individual photos.
Step 4: Participate in an actual dialog by filling in sentence blanks and listening to full Italian conversation involving greetings with multiple voices.
Step 5: Learn the difference between the informal and formal uses of the pronoun you (tu and Lei). Practice with individual examples and a self-quiz.
Step 6: A final review with a fill-in self-test.
Each step is accompanied by Italian speaker voiceovers. As you proceed through the lesson a segmented green progress bar gradually fills to the right. Your correct and incorrect responses are tracked and displayed on a final screen with a single vertical bar graph and your accumulated points so far.
At this point you can opt to sign up for the complete language package with a monthly cost ranging from $7.45 to $12.95 per month, depending on how many months you want to purchase. (The middle range of $8.95 a month for three months requires a one-time payment of $26.85, for example.)
The paid subscription buys:
- Six beginners courses involving situational conversation
- Vocabulary practices that imprint 3,000 Italian words, example sentences and another 1,000 useful sentences for everyday situations
- Italian grammar lessons (nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, verb tenses, using verbs and building grammatically correct Italian sentences)
- Special refresher practice and express training for polishing rusty skills. Learn Italian idioms, holidays, cooking terms; do special beginning, intermediate and advance writing exercises.
So if you don’t want to pay the big bucks for online language learning, but you want lots of features and access to more languages than Duolingo, Babbel is a good choice for learners who like the gamification feel in language instruction.