How effective is the Transparent Language app and how does it compare to other methods of language learning?
The Transparent Language app self-identifies as a “powerful and personalized language-learning system designed to advance your new language proficiency.” Its simple exercises focus on helping beginner learners memorize critical words and phrases.
Is it Effective?
Learners using Transparent Language should expect to enjoy building a strong linguistic foundation, even if they might not achieve the same levels of language proficiency as a learner who regularly attends a course. Whilst Transparent Language’s claim to “advance your new language proficiency” is bold and exciting, the app is really most useful as a very light introduction to a new language or as a supplement to other methods of learning.
The Transparent Language mobile app works in conjunction with Transparent Language’s website, synchronized to a Transparent Language Online account. Although user reviews have mentioned activation errors and other technological hiccups, the site, happily, does not currently list any cost.
The Native Speaker Experience
Transparent Language offers the opportunity to hear native speakers pronounce words in their language, which is an automated alternative to an actual, conversational experience. The native speakers will not always enunciate clearly or use correct grammar or sentence structures but any and all exposure to a foreign language is, to some extent, helpful.
The app also allows new students to search for words and phrases on Twitter to see how others use the language practically, on a day-to-day basis. However, users should always remember that Twitter is mainly a text- and picture-based social network, and if they are to reach higher levels of language proficiency, learners should also expose themselves to hands-on experience by listening and talking to native speakers.
This is perhaps one of the biggest differences between learning a language solely through an app and having real life contact with a qualified tutor. Most apps cannot account for human error as well as the inconsistencies and quirks of human speech.
Whilst the app’s Byki Slowsounds feature allows users to hear words slowed down and perfectly enunciated, a tutor could much better prepare a learner how to adapt to different accents and situations.
There are a myriad of supplemental tools available to the enthusiastic language learner to help reach fluency. As technology develops, the future of language learning remains bright and exciting. When used in conjunction with real conversation and personalized instruction, the dream to master any language becomes a much more immediately real and manageable goal.