In the past few years, a series of language learning social networks have popped up, and they make learning more fun, efficient, interactive and interesting than usual. The average language student can now turn an arduous task like studying into something enjoyable by meeting and interacting with native language speakers from around the world through these language education social networks. Here are 7 truly impressive social networks for you to use if you’re trying to learn a new language.
LiveMocha.com is a complete social network at its core. The site boasts over 6 million users and was named as one of Time magazine’s top 50 websites of 2010. In a Facebook like fashion, your personal profile appears with your picture and your friends list. You build your own profile and indicate which languages you want to learn and which languages you already know. Live chat is available with anyone that is online and people use the chat to practice their language of choice.
Earning points gives a huge incentive for learning as well. Users can earn Mocha points by being engaged in the site and completing coursework. You can earn Teacher points by helping other members with submission reviews, flashcards, and translations. If you earn enough teacher points, you can also earn free coarse sessions. After 5 minutes of being on this site, I already received a few chat requests from Farsi, Hindi, Arabic, Swedish, and Spanish speakers as well as requests to correct people’s English grammar that they sent me in audio and written form. I have to say that it’s quite rewarding to do such a simple task as correcting an English sentence and know that you helped someone out.
Bussuu is a language community that functions like a cool interactive game. It offers free interactive lessons, exams, text and video chat, writing exercises, reading comprehension tests and many other features. Users can write text in a foreign language such as Spanish and submit it to have a native Spanish speaker in the network correct their writing. Most of the features on the site are free though paid upgrades are available for features like audio samples, PDFs and Podcasts. Busuu must be doing something very right since they were selected as the Red Herring 100 European Winner of 2010!
Italki.com, pronounced I-talk-I, offers an enormous community of speakers of over 100 languages from over 200 countries. You can connect with new friends and language partners that speak the language you want to learn, find a language teacher, use the questions and answers section, and access a variety of other features to learn your desired language. In addition to being a social network, there really is an impressive body of resources to be found in this site.
Palabea offers community based language learning with virtual classrooms. Users can find friends and interact with them by audio or video conferencing, receive video and podcast lessons by accredited institutions, record their own lessons and upload videos to the site, and use translation tools powered by Babylon. The user interface of this site resembles a fun game like environment and offers very intuitive features for chatting and finding new friends.
Lang 8 offers language students the ability to connect with native language speakers from 180 different countries. Its focus is on writing correction wherein people can submit their writing to be corrected by other native language speakers and learn using this method. This is extremely helpful for people wanting to write term papers for school or companies needing to translate their text in a reliable way.
This site is another social network that connects people for the purpose of learning a new language. The site will match you up with a particular language speaker that also wants to learn the language that you speak and you can chat with each other to practice speaking , writing, or ask questions. In addition, there are many videos compiled in the videos section of the site and an active forum split up into different language categories.
My Happy Planet offers a great way to find new friends across the globe to chat with. When I entered that I am an English speaker looking to learn Spanish, the site responded with 39370 Spanish speaking members that I can add as a friend or chat with. There are also many video lessons to choose from and many written lessons that other members have posted. There seems to be a very active and vibrant community here.