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czwartek, 6 sierpnia 2015

God, bless the tech: Duolingo & Memrise

Hello guys! How are you? I need to tell you one thing: little miracles can happen. After two months of being gone, my dog was found. We literally had no hope, and thought he would never come back, but today life surprised us in a very positive way. Never underestimate the unpredictability of life!
Anyway, today is the day, when I start my new series: God, bless the tech. (P.s: My new blog address is here: https://papercoffeestore.wordpress.com/ )



It will be all about my favorite apps, websites, and online things. The first post will be all about Duolingo and Memrise, as I believe education could be the panaceum for almost everything. Both Duolingo and Memrise are apps designed to help you with learning, but despite many similarites, they also differ quite a lot. I'm going to discuss both of them to highlight their essence.


source: pulsosocial.com/

1. Duolingo -  Perfect tool for learning languages. Courses are targeted at users of many languages, not only English, but the greatest variety of languages is offered to people, who ca n speak English. They can choose from Spanish, French, German and Portuegese to Dutch, Swedish, Italian or Turkish. They are many more courses to come, including Polish, Hindi and Hungarian ones, but they haven't been finished yet. When it comes to non-English users, they have less options, sometimes only English. Those, who are fluent in Spanish can't also complain though, because they're offered 6 courses. Myself, I have been using Duolingo for awhile, and I'm content with its form and functionality. It definitely helped me to get down to Spanish and recall what I learnt during German lessons in high school. What needs to be said is that you both learn how to say something and write it, so I would call it a rather effective approach, plus it has a nice motivation mechanisms - you're sent e-mails to remind you about your daily learning time. There are daily goals, so you can feel as if you accomplished something big, after 20 minutes of quality time with Duolingo. Plus, you can also use Duolingo as a website: https://www.duolingo.com

The only two cons I can think of is that there aren't too many languages to choose from, even if you're willing to learn everything in English (I wanted to go for Arabic, but it wasn't possible), plus it's for languages only, so it can't be your multifunctional learning tool. The greatest advantage, aside from amazing content, would be its price - 0. It's complately free, so don't hesitate to give it a try!


source: www.mustseeon.net/

2. Memrise - if I say "universal", Memrise could pop up in my head, because it's truly like that.  It is based on popular mechanism of so called "flashcards", which help you memorise almost everything. Memrise seems to be all about Aristotle's quote "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.".  Unlike Duolingo, it offers courses on variety of subjects ranging from arts, literature, history and languages, to maths, science, geography and the natural world. It can also help you to prepare for standardized tests, such as college admissions, SAT, driving license, CAE or IELTS. It can be easily accessed via computer, because it also functions as a website, aside from being an app. Thanks to Memrise, I was able to start learning Arabic online,  but anyone interested in Japanese, country mapping, Morse Code, anatomy and many other subjects, should be satisfied after having chosen Memrise. Obvious advantages are price (again, it's FREE), and the variety of available courses. The cons, on the other hand, can be its flashcards' mechanism, as it's boring for many people. 


To sum up, I would say both of these websites/apps are wonderful in their own ways, and can definitely improve the quality of your online learning. Speaking from personal experience, combining both of them, helps me a lot to stay on the right track and improves my language skills. I would definitely recommend you to see if they can work for you. It costs nothing, and who knows how many little miracles could a little learning bring? You will never know if you never try.

Have you ever used Duolingo and/or Memrise? If so, what's your experience with them? Do you study online? What language would you like to master? Let me know!


Have a lovely day,
Jessie




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