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Busuu is a language learning website and mobile application based on the theory that it requires just ten minutes a day to learn to speak a new language. Although its free version offers features such as flashcards, writing exercises and corrections from native speakers, its premium option claims that just 22 hours of use equals one college semester of language study.

 

When using the premium version, one of the best features I found was the ability to download lessons that could be accessed offline. This differs from other language learning apps that require internet connection to use, meaning that when on the subway or flying, I was able to access all the content without any problems.

 

I also particularly enjoyed the social aspect of the platform, which uses community forums to chat with fellow learners to help stimulate conversation skills and practice what you’ve learned in real-life situations. For me this is a great feature as you can often feel as though you are learning a language before speaking with someone and realising you don’t know anything. With the community forums, you have the opportunity to test your skills with real people.

 

However, the course can at times feel very structured and formulaic, while lacking the authenticity to fully immerse you in the language. Much of the focus for learning is based on grammar exercises and vocabulary quizzes, rather than on videos featuring native speakers or articles written by language experts. Therefore, as an aid to learning Busuu is very helpful, particularly as it priced very reasonably, yet to get a more authentic experience it may be better to use an alternate method.

Pros
  • Premium version allows you to download lessons to access offline
  • Social aspect lets users speak in forums with fellow learners
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Course is very structured and doesn’t offer much flexibility in learning methods