Tackle any language with my favourite tried and tested language learning resources. With the best language resources, you’ll be speaking the lingo in no time!
How successful you are at learning to speak a language depends not only on your strategy but on the amount of enjoyment and engagement you have with your language resources.
Before I learned my first foreign language, Italian, I tried out numerous language resources, books, and services to see what worked best for me. I then went back to these trusted tools when I wanted to learn French, Arabic, and Norwegian.
I still keep an eye out for new and exciting ways of picking up a language without the stress or pressure that comes with learning a language. Below, I have started to collate my personal favourites that I have benefited from massively and hope you will too. For more tips, check out my post on 10 ways you can improve your language learning.
It’s no secret that I’ve been a fan of Mondly for years. Its ease of use, friendly interface, and variety of interactive lessons are super important to me. I’m currently using Mondly to learn Norwegian with short bursts of fun and interactive lessons daily. One of the best features of Mondly’s app (which sets it apart from other apps) is that you can learn from your native language. That’s right, you don’t have to be a native English speaker to use the app. This feature is especially useful if you speak other foreign languages and want to keep them fresh while learning another language! They have 33 languages, most of which aren’t available on other language learning apps which is why Mondly is my favourite app of them all. Click here to get 95% off Mondly using this link.
2. 78 Free Online Dictionaries (Free eBook)
Regular dictionaries are not only bulky and expensive; they also date very quickly. While learning Italian and French I started discovering a series of free online dictionaries. I found these resources to be so beneficial that I decided to collate a series of free online dictionaries as used by linguists and polyglots in as many languages as possible. Check them out here.
Babbel is a great online language-learning program. I recommend you use this reasonably priced tool as part of a balanced language routine. Lessons last between 10-15min which makes it perfect for when you’re short on time. I used it to help me improve my French pronunciation. Currently available in 13 languages, it offers good quality content that is challenging. Its intuitive interface and design make it enjoyable to use too. You can start playing with it for free here.
4. Rosetta Stone
While Rosetta Stone is the godfather of language learning and worth mentioning since they are constantly updating and improving. I used it to learn Arabic. One particularly great feature is the ability to book live lessons with a human! Yup, you get live time with a native teacher through the program! Check it out here. Once you complete a unit in the program, you can schedule a 50-minute session with a teacher, where you can see them by video feed and both of you talk via the headset. The teachers are friendly, patient very professional and clearly excellent and experienced teachers of the language. With over 30 languages to choose from and a 6-month money back guarantee, it’s worth investing in.
I feel like italki is the secret weapon of the polyglot world. Literally, every linguist I’ve spoken to uses italki to connect with native speakers online to help then learn languages. italki allows learners to connect with both professional teachers for lessons and native speakers for more informal sessions. This is a very convenient way to learn and maintain your development as all sessions are run via Skype. Some teachers even offer a free trial.
Verbling is a great language resource to get a personalised experience. Verbling is an online platform where language learners take lessons with professional teachers. There are 38 languages to choose from and you also get to choose the teacher! It’s also VERY affordable, lessons on average cost only $15.
7. LingQ – The Linguistic Institute
From English to Korean, Finnish to Ukrainian, you can learn just about any language with LingQ. LingQ works by creating ‘links’ on words that you want to learn. With these ‘word links’ you are then able to learn them via flashcards, multiple choices quizzes, plus listening via audio tracks. All of this is accessible either from your laptop or smartphone.
8. Rocket Languages
To help me learn French, I started using Rocket Languages. One of my favourite features is the ability to record my voice and receive tips on how to improve my pronunciation. You can even learn Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Russian plus many others.
9. Michel Thomas
Michel Thomas deserves a medal for his simplification of language learning. His ground-breaking approach of being able to break down a language and teach to back to students without homework, written tasks, or memorisation is truly incredible. I learn both Italian and French in only a couple of months. These audio tapes feature Michel Thomas himself teaching two students who are completely new to the language, so you learn as they do. After listening to his course you’ll learn correct grammar without even realising it and be able to form sentences without any effort. Such a shame that this method hasn’t been adopted in schools.
Another popular audio course is Pimsleur which a lot of polyglots use to learn multiple languages efficiently. Personally, I prefer the Michel Thomas Method, but you never know what might resonate better with you. It’s definitely worth considering.
I stopped lugging around dictionaries years ago when I discovered the Ultralingua app. While learning Italian I found their app indispensable. Dictionaries are available in a variety of languages including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Plus you get added functionality like conjugating thousands of verbs, view all standard tenses and forms, and conduct searches.
12. Women in Language
This year, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at Women in Language. This brilliant online conference was recorded and is now available to access online. Featuring over 25 inspiring Women in Language, there is something for everyone, no matter what your experience is with languages. The four key topics include:
Starting Languages – perfect if you’re just in the early stages and need a leg up to learn languages better on your own
Mastering Languages – exactly what you need if you’ve already studied a couple of languages or one to a reasonable level and you’re ready to take things further
Living with Languages – a great range of presentations about language in your everyday life. From positive language learning for kids to living abroad
Working with Languages – curious about the various ways you can bring languages into your working life? There’s plenty here for you too!
English and Teaching Resources
I was first introduced to this tool over a year ago and I’m really impressed with its power and ease of use. Grammarly said it best when they say they are World’s Best Grammar Checker. I’ve installed their plugin in my browser which allows me to proofread, correct spelling and sentence structure on the fly whenever I’m writing a new article, email, or Google document. That way I don’t have to write everything in MS Word and copy it across. Making it super easy to write and edit new articles on the go.
14. MyTEFL – Footprints Language Education & Magoosh
Dream of teaching English overseas over 40 countries? Then you’re going to need to be TEFL certified, which you can do with Footprints Language Education Ltd. At the moment, you can get 10% off an online course and a certificate printed for free and mailed to you.
BONUS: 15. Learn Italian FAST in Just 8 Hours (eBook for Only $9.85)
I wrote How to Learn Italian FAST in Just 8 Hours! after 10 years of personal experience learning Italian. This method is for beginners. Beginners to both language learning and to Italian. I wrote this book for those of us who are daunted by the task of learning a language and who procrastinate because they don’t know where to start. All those years ago when I first started learning a language, I knew nothing about grammar. Suddenly having to learn all these new terms PLUS new words was a daunting task.
This book simplifies everything and is broken down into 9 steps. Each step explains the core elements of grammar supported with examples and pronunciation. The learner is provided with manageable and useful parts of the grammar that they can implement straight away. After Step 2 you’re able to start creating your own sentences.
What the learner gets is a basic working knowledge of the Italian language.
Like it? Pin it for later!
Want to know more about learning languages? Start here!
- 14 Top Language Learning Resources You Should Use
- 10 Pro Tips: How to Learn a Language with a Full-Time Job
- How to Learn Your First Foreign Language in 8 Simple Steps: A Beginner’s Guide
- 11 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Should Learn a Language
- 23 Cool Gift for Language Learners They Will Actually Use and Love
- 42 beautiful Inspirational Quotes for Language Learners
- Language learning tips: 11 Polyglots Reveal The Secrets of Their Success
- Top 10 Best Ways to Learn a Language Better and Faster
- How to Learn Italian Before Your Trip
- Language Learning Tips for Anyone Who’s Ever Doubted Themselves
- Free Travel Phrase Guides
- How a ‘Potato’ improved my French Pronunciation
- How Many Languages are there in the World?
- Hilarious Idiomatic Expressions that Will Brighten Your Day
That’s it for now!
Be sure to check back regularly as I upload more resources. For exclusive offers, make sure you sign up for the newsletter using the form below.
Over to you!
What are your best language resources? What tools do you use?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.