While writing my thesis for my Master’s degree in ESL, I was amazed to see the strong connection in research between mastering a language and receiving large amounts of quality input in that foreign language. In short, the more you interact in a foreign language, the faster you’ll learn it. The trouble is, most of us don’t live with easy access to native speakers of the language we want to learn. That’s where the free app HelloTalk comes in.
HelloTalk connects you to native speakers of the language you want to learn who are learning your native language. They have support for over 100 languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, French, Japanese, Italian, Arabic, Russian, and German. Since I studied Mandarin Chinese for 4 years while I lived in China, I searched for native Mandarin Chinese-speaking men who are my age and was immediately connected with dozens. A nice touch is that HelloTalk lets you search by age, gender, language, and even location, so that you can find exactly the person you’d like to talk with.
I have legitimately had fun using Mandarin to communicate again and helping others with their English at the same time. More importantly, I’m using the language and getting linguistic input, which is the most critical factor in acquiring a language. I’ll post a full review of how the app worked for me in several weeks time, but you can try it out with me while you wait.
If you want to learn, practice, or refresh a language, why not give HelloTalk a try? It’s free to download on the App Store today.