What is the learning philosophy behind Langua?

👋🏻Alex here, co-founder of LanguaTalk, and designer of Langua. I'll answer this one.

The story starts with my mum. She has been learning Spanish on Duolingo for at least 8 years. She uses it every day, and has a streak of over 2 years. Impressive, right? However…

She still cannot speak Spanish confidently, nor can she understand it well when communicating with Spaniards. This is because whilst Duolingo is good at hooking you with its gamified experience, playing games on your phone does not prepare you for communicating in a foreign language.

Traditional classrooms are usually no better. All too often, when teenagers come to the end of their studies, they still can’t hold a conversation in their target language (I was one of these kids). Revising endless grammar rules and vocab lists isn't adequate preparation for communication.

What does work?

According to Dr. Stephen Krashen, an expert in second language acquisition, the key is to regularly receive 'comprehensible input'. 'Input' means listening and reading practice. 'Comprehensible input' is content that's just difficult enough to challenge you, whilst still being somewhat understandable. Having a sense of what's being discussed enables you to use the parts you do understand to guess the meaning of words and phrases. This makes learning more efficient.

Langua is designed to immerse you in authentic content that fits your level and interests. Through interactive transcripts and instant translations, we turn content that's beyond your level into 'comprehensible input'.

To help you build your vocabulary faster, Langua enables you to save both words and sentences, then learn them through flashcards that apply a spaced repetition algorithm. This shows you vocab just when you're about to forget it. By testing yourself at the right moments, you'll learn more efficiently.

Whilst it’s possible to reach a good level through a combination of listening, reading and flashcards, we want you to feel confident to speak and write in your target language too. That’s why Langua Pro gets you having conversations that are relevant to your life and interests.

This is achieved through a combination of AI technologies that make you feel like you’re speaking to a native. Not only will the AI reply to you intelligently, but it'll provide corrections.

In my experience, as well as preparing you for real-life situations, conversation practice is also fun and motivating. There isn’t the pressure of talking to a real person, and it gives you a hint of how it'll feel when you can speak fluently.

Of course, nothing beats finding a fantastic tutor who makes you feel comfortable to make mistakes (we have lots of talented tutors on LanguaTalk). But if you have a lower budget, or if you want to practice in between tutoring sessions, Langua is what you need. Try it for yourself, and you’ll see a huge difference in your progress compared to using Duolingo.