Apps demolish the language barrier

by Riona Garner, Staff Witer

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Outside of books and social media, the world is uncharted territory for most with language as the border.

According to Auburn University’s Twenty-Five Reasons to Study Foreign Languages, four out of five new jobs in the US are created as a result of foreign trade. Meaning employees must be bilingual. However, some high schools are only limited to one alien language. McEachern, only having Spanish and French to choose from, leaves students feeling limited and unmotivated in classes that do not connect with them interest wise.

“The choices are very limited,” junior BrieAnna Trimm said. “I think there should be more choices like Latin or Russian.”

However, there is another way for students to learn another language without having to have it added to the school.

There are many apps available such as Memrise, Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, etc. when it comes to learning a foreign language. Apps like Rosetta Stone teaches students the correct pronunciation of words, phrases, and sentences by having the user repeat them back. The American accent may be thick, but everything else would be correct.

“It’s an easy and simple way to learn languages quickly,” sophomore Ashanti Jacobs said. “It helps me learn words ahead of time.”

These apps are also a great tool to use for studying, students who are struggling, and staying ahead of the class.

“I think it would be a good idea (using these apps),” sophomore Kadi Henderson said. “Our generation focuses more on technology than we do pen and paper.”

In September of 2017, The Daily Telegraph posted an article titled “Bilingual App Program for Preschoolers is Being Expanded.” Australian preschoolers are learning languages such as Japanese, French, Mandarin, Indonesian, Spanish, and Italian through tablet apps and interactive games.

70 percent of preschool teachers reported that the learning tool boosted the preschoolers interest and understanding of other cultures.

Technology is what captures this generation’s attention. Using it productively in or for school related things could be life changing for most students.

“I do use them (foreign language apps),” French teacher Madame Katherine Conner said. “My favorites are Memrise and Duolingo.”

Conner utilizes these apps for enrichment and also for kids who need support.

She does, however, believe that a student could never have a conversation in that language if they are solely taught by an app instead of another human being.

“If you are traveling then you just need to know how to read and speak it (that language),” Conner said. “If you are going to stay and establish a relationship then you need to know that language.” 

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