It’s been a few days now since I told you about Mango, a great online resource for learning a new language, so I hope you’ve at least tried out a few phrases in a foreign tongue. However, no sooner have I given you the best new way of speaking to people with funny accents than I’ve discovered another. And this one’s got a social networking aspect to it.
LiveMocha offers over 20 language courses including Chinese, Japanese, Hindu, Arabic, Ukrainian as well as the favourites like English and Spanish. Each lesson comes with four stages of learning – learn, read, listen and magnet (which is where you drag and drop correct words into spaces) – and each course has four levels of difficulty from nouns to complex sentence structure and conversations. All words and phrases are delivered by a clear speaker and the pictures are great, if not a bit bizarre. There are also very useful quick tips available at each step.
However, LiveMocha’s unique selling point is its social networking aspect. As a user of the site you are able to see who else is on your course and, so long as you have a microphone you can speak to each other. You can communicate by typing but if you want to practise a new language then you should be speaking. This is an exciting Web 2.0 aspect which appears to have great potential. If I’m learning Spanish I can say ‘Hola’ to Pablo in Madrid and he can say ‘Good day, fine fellow’ to me. I just hope the people at LiveMocha don’t overlook the teaching side of the site in pursuit of social networking geld, dinero, soldi or simple cash.