Online Language Tutorials: Babbel Reviewed

Each week, the Education Techie reviews tech tools that can help students and teachers. This week, the Techie is reviewing language learning tools. Today's review: Babbel.

babbel online language learning

What Is It?

You can use Babbel online, as a program on your computer or as a mobile app on an iPhone. Babbel uses a combination of courses and community interactivity to teach language. There are eight languages available for learning, including both standard and business English, Portuguese and European languages like German, French, Spanish and Swedish. The only paid feature on Babbel is the coursework. Membership is month-to-month and costs less if you sign up for more months. For example, a one-month membership is $12.95, while a six-month membership is $7.45 a month, a total of $44.70.

Babbel French lesson screencap

Before you purchase a membership, you can try a course for free on Babbel by signing up for a trial account. When I signed up for this trial course, I selected French as my desired learning language, and I chose the refresher course. You can also select from other class options, including three beginner levels, a travel vocabulary course, useful sentence instruction and vocabulary building.

My lesson began with three phrases themed around restaurants. The phrases were listed on the screen and spoken by a voice. After a couple of exercises, the program asked me to repeat the phrases using voice recognition software. You can configure a microphone to recognize your voice to confirm that you are speaking in a proper accent. I didn't find the lesson terribly challenging, but I did appreciate that it started with relevant conversation topics. In addition to the courses, users can access message boards and chat with other Babbel members.

What Makes It Cool?

Babbel has a clean, easy-to-use interface that I liked. The site features a handy FAQ section, and there is a money-back guarantee for courses if you don't feel like you're making significant progress after 20 days. The FAQ section says that this guarantee is unconditional and unrestricted.

What Are Its Drawbacks?

Currently, Babbel only offers lessons in Portuguese, English and a few European languages. The selection of languages is good for travel and some business, but I don't think the selection is wide enough to satisfy all users. If you're interested in learning Russian, Polish, or an Asian, Middle Eastern or African language, for example, you will have to look elsewhere.

Where Can I Find It?

Visit Babbel's website to try a free course.

This is the first in a series of reviews of language learning tools. For the rest of the week, the Techie will continue reviewing language learning tools, starting with Mango Languages. Come back to read more of these reviews!

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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