I've been hearing a lot about the MosaLingua app for some time now, so I thought I'd give it a try, and write a review!
So what is MosaLingua?
Well, on a very basic level, it’s a smartphone app that teaches you useful phrases in the language you’re learning:
The app then helps you remember those phrases using a flashcard system powered by spaced repetition – something I’m a big fan of.
So, in other words, you learn new phrases, and then you memorise them.
Nothing new, you might say.
True, there’s nothing new about useful phrases, flashcards, or space repetition, but the reason MosaLingua is very effective is that it gets the basics right.
What you’ve got here is an app that teaches you well-chosen, useful phrases that you’re actually going to want to use.
Then inside the app itself, you’ve got everything you need to practise and learn them:
I completely accept that flashcards are not for everybody. I usually even recommend making your own digital flashcards, so that you can have more control over your learning.
But the thing about apps, is that when you make them well, and they do the job they set out to do, they can be incredibly convenient as a portable language learning aid that you can carry anywhere and study throughout the day.
Let’s dive in and look at some of the features.
When you first launch the app, you’re met with a basic level test that gives you a rough assessment of your level. Now, you can always change this afterwards, but it’s a good example of how the creators really make an effort to ensure you’re learning the right stuff, and not waste your time on phrases that are too easy or hard.
Once you have selected your level, the app then creates a personalised plan for you based on your results.
There are quite a few advantages that MosaLingua has as a Spaced Repetition App. The website gives you all of the science behind it but, science aside, I much prefer to judge an app on how useful it is, how easy it is to use, and whether or not I want to use it every day.
So there are lots of useful features…
Now, would you actually use all these features?
But what’s impressive is that they’re all well-chosen and practical learning aids, which I think demonstrate the creators know what they’re doing when it comes to language learning.
In terms of the content itself, you begin with straightforward language based on the results of the level test.
As you continue to progress through the app, you gradually unlock more materials like Proverbs, Fun Sentences and Things of Interest. These introduce more and more everyday vocabulary that you
might not get with a traditional course.
Now, if you know my approach to language learning, you’ll know that I’m always banging on about dialogues, and the importance of seeing language in context.
So, wouldn’t a flashcard app like Mosalingua deprive you of this all-important context?
Well, as it turns out… no!
Inside the app, there is also a series of dialogues. These are split up by topic and by level so you can select the ones you want to learn. You can click a button to add the transcription and the translation if you want.
But here’s what I really like… you can also select any part of the dialogue and add it to your flashcards, which then becomes automatically added to your learning plan.
An interesting new feature that has recently been added is the “Hands Free” mode.
This lets you play any or all of the cards that you are learning in audio format. Cards are played in both the target language and English. Perfect for when you are travelling, running or in the gym. All you have to do is set it to play and these continually loop until stopped.
Remember, no one single app is going to be a complete language learning solution, so you will need to supplement Mosalingua with all the usual advice I give on this channel, on the podcast and on the blog.
But because Mosalingua allows you to choose what you study by topic (restaurants, conversations, transport etc.), it really does prove to be a good complement to learning with more traditional methods.
All in all, Mosalingua is mightily impressive, and I definitely recommend you give it a shot if it sounds like your kind of thing.
The full version costs a measly $5, which is cheaper than a large Starbucks, and you get full lifetime access. Pretty good!
You can download the Mosalingua App on iPhone or Android now:
Have you ever used Mosalingua before? Let me know how it went in the comments below!
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