Babbel is a language learning app that enables you to learn a wide variety of languages including English,Danish, German, French, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, among others. Babbel is a available for the web and as a mobile app for Android and iOS. I have been experimenting with Babbel for some time now and I find it a powerful alternative to Duolingo. I used to teach EFL (English as Foreign Language) back when the Internet was still in its infancy and I wish Babbel was around at the time. It would have saved me so much hassle.
How does Babbel work?
To start using Babbel, you need to register and open an account. Registration is free. When you flog in for the first time, Babbel provides you with various questions to build your language learning profile. Questions include which language you want to learn and why, your proficiency in that language, what you want to achieve (e.g., learn the basics, get conversational, or speak with ease in any situation), how much time you want to spend learning the target language per day, your learning style (solo, social, etc), and more.
Babbel teaching methodology is based on the trio: learn, review, repeat. To start your language learning journey it is better to take Babbel’s placement test to know exactly which level you are, unless you want to learn a new language from scratch in which case you don’t need a placement test. Depending on your language proficiency level, you will be provided with various courses. Each course contains several activities and exercises that cover major language learning areas including vocabulary, grammar, speaking, writing, and listening. After finishing a lesson, you can click on Review to test your knowledge of what you have learned. Repeat and practice till you have fully grasped the lesson before you move on to the next one.
Babbel offers over 60.000 lessons covering various topics and levels of difficulty from learning the basics to more advanced courses. You can search for courses based on language proficiency levels (e.g., beginner, intermediate , upper intermediate, etc) . Or you can search for courses by theme. Babbel lessons cover different topics «from understanding the basics, to travel, work, relationships, living abroad, and many special topics about culture.» Babbel also offers certificates of completion that you can download from your dashboard.
How to track your learning progress on Babbel?
Babbel allows you to track your learning progress using the My Activity tracker under My Progress on the Homepage ( for desktop users ). Android and iOS users can access it from the Profile screen. Babbel’s tracker lets you see your in-course progress, reviews, achievements, and many more.
Another good feature I like in Babbel is the speech recognition which is integrated in several lessons. Speech to text requires learners to use their microphones to speak and interact with the materials in the lesson. While learners are offered the choice whether to use speech recognition or not, this feature is key to developing learners’ speaking abilities and pronunciation skills by getting their vocal system familiar with the phonetics of the new language.
Babbel’ s Review
Babbel embeds a section called Review where you can review your learned materials. Babbel makes use of spaced repetition to help users review the right words. After you finish the lesson take some time away then come back to the Review section and test your learning skills.
What is Babbel Live?
Babbel Live allows you to join online live classes taught by certified language teachers. Classes are limited to 6 participants. Babbel Live supports the following languages: German, Spanish, French, and Italian. All Babbel classes use Zoom and they are not free. You are only offered two first classes for free and you need to play for the rest.
How much does Babbel cost?
Babbel offers various types of subscriptions: 1 month for $13.95, 3 months for $9.95 per month, 6 months for $8.45 per month, and 12 months for $6.95 per month. Babbel is available for the web, Android and iOS.