Do Language Learning Apps Work?

Do Language Learning Apps Work? image 0 app-reviews


Do language learning apps work? If so, which one should you choose? In my opinion. Yes, they can work with the right process in place. Also, the best app to choose is whatever option that YOU enjoy using most.

If any of the following issues are common for you…

  • ⚠️ Forgetting what you learn.
  • ⚠️ Guessing your way through sections.
  • ⚠️ Questioning if the app you are using is effective or not.

I suggest you follow the tips provided below and (in linked video) to ensure that you are effectively learning and retaining the language you wish with your chosen app. See below for the 3 MOST COMMON MISTAKES made when using an app to learn a language and how to avoid them.

MISTAKE #1. Focusing On Fast Progress

One of the easiest mistakes is to focus on fast progress rather than taking the time to analyze the details as you go. This technique will only set you up to forget most of what you thought you had learned.

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solution, slow down and analyze

Forget about beating the current section quickly, slow down and analyze the details. Here are some tips on how you can do so.

  1. Ensure you read through all tips provided within the app.
  2. Take note of new vocabulary and phrases as you play.
  3. Practice the vocabulary and phrases by memory ONLY… NO APP!

MISTAKE #2. Failing To Review

Most apps are sectioned off into stages covering a single topic at a time. As we progress through the app, this minimizes our chance to review the terms previously covered. And as stated earlier, most users are focused on forward progress rather than going back to review.

solution, implement a review strategy

The easiest solution to this problem is to go back and play through previous sections consistently. However, another method that I find much more effective is to construct an external review process. Here’s how it works.

  1. Upon completing each section, note down the most challenging words and phrases within for review. I suggest cue cards or using an app like ANKI (DESKTOP & APP) (APP VERSION).
  2. Schedule in at least 5-minute sections of time to review these terms regularly.

MISTAKE #3. Memorizing NOT Understanding

There’s a big difference between memorizing or understanding an answer. It’s easy to think you know all the answers when they are on the screen right in front of you. A much more effective way to learn is to challenge yourself in coming up with the answers unguided. Rather than scanning through a list of options and choosing the option that you remember was correct the last time.

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solution, close the app!

Focus on learning how the phrase works, not just how to say it. Understanding the structure of each phrase will not only help you remember it. It will also help you understand how the language actually works on a grammatical level. Here are some tips to get started. 

  1. Select just 2 – 3 new phrases from each section for deconstruction.
  2. Write out each phrase while labeling the grammatical structure.
  3. Use this structure to build new phrases that you can use.
  4. Repeat this process to cover as many phrases as you wish.


If you wish to speed up your progress using any language learning app. I challenge you to apply these tips into your routine for just a single week. If you don’t feel way more confident playing through your chosen app afterward. I would honestly be very surprised!

Please let me know how it goes for you by leaving a comment on the video linked within this article. Also, let me know which app are you using to study and why you like it? I’m curious! Before signing off, I would like to mention that if you are currently using Duolingo or thinking about it. I have a series on our YouTube channel where myself and a native Japanese speaker guide you through each section. I am sure you will find it very useful, even if you’re not using Duolingo!

If you enjoyed this article or found it helpful, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share it and check out our YouTube Channel. Including all kinds of study tips and fun Japanese lessons. Some even filmed in JAPAN!

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