Why Join Us?
Why should you use high tech tools for learning languages?
We are fortunate to live in an age where it’s possible to take advantage of many helpful high tech tools to help us learn languages. Here are some examples of why you should use them.
- The Reading Tool. Learning to read a foreign language can be very difficult. If there are unknown words or grammar you can choose to stop and look them up, which breaks your rhythm, or you can ignore them, which leaves a hole in your comprehension. Using a mouse-over dictionary gives you the advantages of both methods – you can read without breaking your rhythm, briefly glancing at the definitions, and get good comprehension.
- The Essay Correction Tool. Whether you want to become a better writer in your second language (L2), or just use writing as a way to bolster your other skills, it can be cumbersome if all you do is write your essays. It’s helpful to get corrections from a native speaker, but this can be expensive and time consuming. The essay correction tool is free, and as the community becomes large we hope you will see much faster turn around than with a single teacher.
- The Forum. Beginning language learners and experts alike can sometimes be stumped by certain language learning issues, and feel a bit isolated in their studies. There are libraries, teachers, classes in schools, study groups, etc to help with this situation, but they can be inconvenient and costly. You can communicate with fellow learners and ask as many questions as you want in the forum. You can share links and experiences, or just hang out with people you have something in common with. It’s free of course.
- Chat. Some of us study languages for months or even years without the opportunity to practice conversing in our L2. Teachers and classes can be expensive and inconvenient. It may be difficult to find L2 speakers where we live. We may also have a hard time finding a place to text with someone. With the Chat tool you can check to see who is in the lobby, select an L2 speaker, send a text message and even make a voice call, all for free.
- Find a Teacher. Some of us prefer to be guided by a teacher through the whole process of learning a language. Others like to use teachers for conversation practice only. And still others fall somewhere in between. But there may not be classes available in your area, or it might be inconvenient to go in person. Why not find a teacher on this site to make things easier? You can meet for video lessons, using communication tools like Skype, or just voice if you prefer. Because our teachers live all over the world, it increases your chances for having lessons at times that fit your schedule. Lessons aren’t free – please see individual teacher profiles for prices.
Why use Language Tools instead of other websites? What is special about our tools?
Hopefully you are now interested in using high tech tools to facilitate your learning process, and you want to know what makes our site special.
- Most pop-up dictionaries won’t give you definitions for phrases, don’t color code words that you’ve looked up before, and don’t keep statistics. Ours does all three. You can click and drag over any length of text and get a definition for the whole phrase. You can change the shade color of a word to show if it’s known, unknown, being learned or ignored. And this information is stored, along with statistics, so that when you load another lesson the words will be shaded appropriately. Another thing that some learners will find special about our reading tool is that, along with romanization, they have the ability to split and join words in languages that are difficult to parse, such as Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean. We also support 104 languages, which is more than any other reading tool we know of.
- A good mixture of free and pay tools will ensure the community stays strong and vibrant. There are many language learning sites out there that are somewhat one dimensional. They tend to wither, become less interesting, and sometimes die. Not LT. Free tools will attract large numbers of users, while pay tools will pay for the running of the site. After running the site, we will reinvest most remaining income in new tools. Profits will go to the School in Africa. We have several tools planned for the future, including one large one in a few months, so this should keep us growing and diversifying.
- Some essay correction sites require users to correct essays before ever getting corrected, and restrict correction to the user’s karma stores. Some places even require some payment. Ours is completely free. Also, it uses auto-tracking so corrections are consistent and clear, and there is no need to try to figure out your own system of crossing out, shading, etc.
- Most stand-alone language forums suffer from being one dimensional, and eventually diminish over time. Most don’t have off-topic sub forums. Most language forums which are components of multi-purpose websites are poorly designed, hard to search and hard to look at. Ours is a well designed, easy to search forum that is part of a diverse community, which should keep it vibrant and interesting. Our off topic sub-forum provides a fun place where members can hang out.
- Not many multi-faceted language learning sites have chat, and few if any have voice chat. Our chat will rival the best of the stand-alone language exchange chat sites, but has the advantage of being wrapped up with our varied community, and that will keep it a very lively place.
- There are lots of places to find language teachers online. We believe we have the best search function. You can specify times, days of the week, and exact dates if you need that kind of accuracy. Try out LT. We would love to have you as a member!
Why should you join us today?
We would like you to join today, in this beginning phase of our existence, to give us early momentum which will keep us in the black so you can continue to enjoy free tools. It will be exciting to be in on the ground floor of what will become a thriving community run language learning website. Establish yourself as a pillar of the community. This is your playground - come play today!