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How to Create a Language Learning App

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The study of foreign languages today is not a whim of "eternal students," It is helpful in expanding business horizons, especially in the search for new employment opportunities, and contributes significantly to improving intellect. In this article, we will describe how to develop a language learning app for your audience.

Global digital learning market for English language in 2015 exceeded $2 billions and is projected to reach $4 billions by 2020. Such an app can become a source of steady income. This claim can be supported by the success story of Duolingo creators - in 6 years the company got funded for more than $100 millions and was evaluated at $700 millions by the last round.

Seven Basic Principles of Creating a Language Learning App

Did you know that any offline course that is not compulsory (that is, not one that your future depends on, for example, as in a school) ends up losing most of its student audience? Not everyone who starts to learn a new language on an app reaches the end of the curriculum successfully. Some do not like the manner in which the teacher presents the material; some simply get disappointed with their own mental abilities. If you wish to promote your app in respective online markets and get as many five-star reviews as possible, you must carefully consider some very important points, discussed below.

1. Provide two-way communication with users

Once you’ve asked yourself "how to create a language learning app?" the first thing you should do is consider the means for motivating and collecting user feedback. You should have an option for your course to be reviewed not only within the Google Play/App Store markets but also directly in the application itself. This is the most direct way to improve your service, and gives you the opportunity to find out why that or another user did not bring their learning process to a logical conclusion. Note that such a functionality should be extremely simple in its implementation (like a pop-up window that does not require any links or manipulations with the keyboard), so that your students, leaving feedback about the application, go along the path of least resistance.

2. Use Only Proven Learning Resources

The second and no less important recommendation: the more the worse. Yes, you can provide your software with an extensive list of varying language courses, but it does not mean that those among them would be helpful to your pupils. One mistake, and users will start losing interest in your software. Don’t reduce the quality of the lesson presentation simply because your application allows for remote training. On the contrary, create something that will make people choose your application over traditional and tested offline courses (we will talk about this in more detail in the following paragraphs).

3. Focus on Fast Achievement

One of the main reasons people choose online learning, instead of traditional lessons that require them to be physically present, is the lack of time. That is why your app to learn languages should be focused on the fastest possible achievement of the desired results. It all boils down to this. People need to understand that, even if they devote a short period to studying (the less the better; as practice shows, a typical apprentice wishes to observe first results after 2-3 weeks), they will be able to make significant progress in their knowledge of the chosen language. That is why it is very desirable to provide separate types of courses in the application - intensives which, providing the maximum loads in a short time, are able to teach students the necessary basics.

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4. Create an Online Student Community

Any teacher with sufficient professional experience will tell you that, in order to increase the potency and efficacy of the language learning process, students should be provided with the opportunity to intercommunicate. That is why an integral part of any language learning app should be a student forum, in which students are able to discuss lesson topics and exchange opinions related to the organization and structure.

5. Develop the Option for the Live Streaming Communication with Real Teachers

A wonderful way to increase the interest in a language learning app is the introduction of functionality that would allow for group video conferences with real teachers. Such a solution will surely increase the level of confidence in your teaching methodology and will make the process of self-study more interesting and exciting.

6. Make Accents to Visualization

If you remember elementary school, then you’ll likely recall that most of the textbooks were accompanied by bright and informative illustrations that could visually explain the material to kids. In terms of teaching languages "from scratch" or from the level of reading and writing with a vocabulary suitable for adults, this approach will still be most useful. Therefore, try to minimize the amount of material described in dry text. For example, you can present your training program in an exciting quest format that would allow your students to not only gain knowledge, but to also have fun.

7. Provide Several Types of Courses to Meet Interests of Individual Users

In order to reach the largest possible user audience, you will need to create several types of language courses: for beginners, for the development of conversational skills, for advanced users (for example, with a technical bias), etc. Of course, this requires time and additional financial investments, which is why the best solution for saving on budget will be the creation of a universal template, based on which individual courses will be subsequently built.

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How to Make a Language Learning App

So, what steps does one have to take in order to create a custom app to learn different languages? Let us review in more detail.

  • Find good teachers. Unequivocally, you will have to turn to the services of highly qualified language teachers (preferably native speakers). This will ensure the minimum amount of mistakes in study materials.
  • Hire professional illustrators and designers. Creating vivid and memorable illustrations will ensure your applications stands out among many similar ones. In addition, you will need to find good designers who can create an extremely understandable and convenient navigation platform.
  • Engineer the modular architecture of the application. We all want to create the solution that soon becomes the ‘model’ for similar programs. Be prepared for the fact that, for it to gain rapid popularity, you will need to continuously expand and advance the existing set of courses. In order for these updates not to require an exhaustive budget each time, it is better to create a modular application.

Top Five Language Learning Apps

  1. Duolingo. Duolingo is the most popular free language training service, today. Thousands of users have noted its simplicity, accessibility, and versatility (Duolingo courses are multilingual; there are lessons in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and other widely spoken languages). As for the simplicity of the interface, Duolingo has no rivals in this area. In order to start learning, you do not need to register a user profile (although this can be done to monitor your progress). Duolingo employs text, graphic, and audio elements to ensure maximum productivity of the learning process. The structure of the courses is also one of the best and based on the transition from simple tasks to more complex ones (this is the main feature of this application because, in many tutorials, material is simply sorted into separate thematic sections). In addition, users who are well versed in some topics can skip them and move to those where their knowledge is lacking. The application is available on iOS, Android, and Windows platforms.
  2. Memrise. The free Memrise application allows for studying offline. It is not as popular as Duolingo, but also has a considerable fan audience. The advantage of Memrise is the support for over 150 languages. This service is characterized by its unique memorization techniques. According to Memrise creators’ opinion, new words and phrases are remembered more easily if they are used in sentences with words that are consonant to the students’ native speech. Additionally, users are presented with images associated with new words to support the memorization process by visual perception. There is one more exuding feature in Memrise’s learning approach - an active practice of the words just learned. Remembering another group of new words, you immediately begin to translate the text containing them. This application is available for iOS and Android platform users.
  3. Busuu. To start working with Busuu, you must register an account. Everything is simple after this: you select the language to study and desired difficulty level (elementary, intermediate, above average, or advanced - there are more than ten difficulty stages). The advantage of this free service is the low entry threshold for beginners. Because new grammar rules and words are applied to the context (text excerpts, individual sentences) immediately, students quickly remember them. Busuu also employs various idiomatic expressions, a reliable translation of which is problematic for the vast majority of modern online dictionaries. In addition, after finishing each of the difficulty levels, pupils are presented with a knowledge test that will help to check the level of assimilation. This service also offers a paid premium subscription, offering extensive in-depth studies; however, if your intention is to receive basic language knowledge, a free Busuu account would be more than enough. This application is available to owners of iOS and Android gadgets.
  4. AccellaStudy. This mobile service is dedicated to iOS platform users: a separate application version for each proposed language (around 20 currently), and all study material available offline. Due to the abundance of all possible teaching methods, any student can achieve good results with high probability. In particular, AccellaStudy uses voice questionnaires, illustrations, and also multiple repetitions, helping to adapt to the perception of new information, both audial and visual. Furthermore, one of the main features of AccellaStudy is the ability to form groups of words for memorization.
  5. 24/7 Tutor Apps. 24/7 Tutor service is similar to Accella in its focus on the iOS platform and separate applications for each proposed language, which allows joining the studies of a foreign language - anytime and anyplace. This service is equipped with a number of advanced training methods that help to keep users entertained during the course. Every part of the study process is adapted to easy memorization. To make it simple to master new material, the creators of 24/7 Tutor came up with many tutorials, written components, graphics, and vocal didactic materials (quizzes, image cards, tests, etc.).
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Cost to Develop a Language Learning App

Of course, not every professional developer can create a truly qualitative app for learning languages, and likely even fewer amateurs can do so. That is why the best solution involves turning to an experienced IT company that can implement the project qualitatively and rapidly. Of course, each company offers varying prices for their services. It’s always best to discuss not the cost of the application, itself, but the time it will take to create a minimal set of functions. Let us review the stages and periods for language learning app development:

  • Engineering. This stage involves discussing all the details of the future application with the customer, as well as selecting the right tools and algorithms for software implementation. The "price" of this issue is about 80 hours.
  • Design and graphics. The user interface in such applications carries not only an aesthetic value but also a practical one (the correct design and an abundance of illustrations help in memorizing the study material). In order to qualitatively design your course, designers will need at least 160 hours.
  • Coding. Writing code will take the most time in your project - around 720 hours.
  • Testing. Some movie hero once argued that mistakes made by teachers are less noticeable in comparison with medical ones but, ultimately equally costly. For exhaustive testing of the educational app, efforts of not only the team of professional testers (no less than 120 hours) are needed, but volunteers for the beta testing stage are also required.
  • Maintenance and technical support. No application for mass use is complete without technical support, especially for the learning apps that include participation of real teachers. In order to build updates, correct errors discovered by attentive students, and provide live conferences, developers would require about 40 hours per month.

Depending on the app complexity and taking into account hourly rates of developers from ex-USSR countries, the typical language learning app development can cost anywhere between $30000 and $100000.

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Ever Mused Over the Question "How to Build a Language Learning App?" Contact the Professionals!

Wondering how to make an app like Duolingo? If you are not a teacher of foreign languages with years of experience, you should not test fate by trying to create an application of this profile on your own. Moreover, if you do not have strong mobile developer skills, you can hardly generate a really useful and popular product. Do not waste your time, concentrate on the result and refer to professional developers, such as Applikey Solutions. Our team will create a language learning app for you, as soon as possible, that is guaranteed to find its audience of admirers and offer them something truly unique and not typical to other self-study services. If you want to discuss the details of your project further, fill out this form and we will contact you shortly to begin bringing your idea to life.



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