Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Social Learning Sites and Online Communities for Language Learners

The following IHEC Blog guest post is by Karen Schweitzer who previously wrote “Making the Most of Your Study Abroad Experience” on IHEC Blog back in May. I think her current post fits very nice with the focus of IHEC Blog:

Social learning sites and online communities are great places for language learners to learn a new language while connecting with others around the globe. Many of these social sites feature user-generated lessons, language partners, and other learning tools. Here is a list of some of the best social learning sites and online communities for language learners:

Livemocha - With over two million members speaking over 25 different languages, Livemocha provides an excellent community for self-paced language learners. Within this site, users will find over 160 hours of self-paced lessons for each language, native speaking language partners, and tools to build conversational skills.

iTalki - This all inclusive social language learning site features resources for learning over 90 different languages. iTalki allows file sharing, knowledge-based wikis, Q & A, and multimedia chat.

Babbel - Babbel is a fun, interactive way to learn Spanish, German, English, Italian, and French. This site allows users to learn by themselves or practice with one of the 400,000 other members worldwide through online chat and courses. The courses help users to learn effectively by incorporating interactive elements, video, sound, and pictures.

Busuu - This web-based language learning community offers the opportunity to learn from native speakers and online material. The image and sound based courses cover over 150 learning units of diverse topics and grammar.

MyHappyPlanet - MyHappyPlanet is an online language community for learning a wide range of languages. The site uses social learning to connect people around the world with one common goal. On this site, users will learn through live chat, language videos, messaging, and user-generated lessons.

Palabea - Palabea is an online social language learning site that features tools for talking to native speakers, improving writing, and learning new languages. Simply sign up for a free account to start learning your choice of over 100 new languages.

Ling - This social community makes learning a new language fun and easy for beginners and advanced learners alike. Signing up for a free account gives you access to unlimited lessons, 300 LingQs, live conversations, writing help, and the ability to make friends worldwide. - The community gives language learners a way to learn and practice language with over one million members speaking over 100 different languages.

SharedTalk - SharedTalk gives language learners access to a global community of people dedicated to learning and exchanging languages. Throughout this site, learners will find the opportunity to connect with a language partner, practice skills with voice chat, and improve writing skills with text chat.

PhraseBase - The PhraseBase social language network has over 119,000 members that provide and benefit from language learning. Through this network, users can memorize phrase translations and practice phrases with native speakers. This site also features video lessons and flashcards for English learners. - This award winning online community operates on the principle of connecting people around the world with one goal: language learning. With this concept, Huitalk offers you the opportunity to learn and practice through chat, forums, activities, vocab lists, and articles.

xLingo - xLingo is an online language exchange community for discovering, connecting, and sharing languages from around the world. This exchange community is a great place for practicing your skills, making new friends, and sharing your language with others through blogs, flashcards, chatrooms, and forums.

LearnHub - LearnHub provides an online language community for learning and teaching languages. Within this language community, learners will find video and audio lessons, tests, discussions, and a large community of learners to connect with.

AddLang - AddLang offers a place for intermediate language learners to practice the skills they already know through various instant messengers. Members of this online community can practice or learn languages, discuss translations, work on grammar, and improve vocabulary.

Unilang - Unilang is an online language community that connects language lovers around the globe through online foreign language resources, forums, and live chats. The member-generated resources consist of courses, videos, podcasts, grammar tips, dictionaries, vocabulary lists, pronunciation guides, and exercises.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes about
top online colleges for


  1. Hi David,
    Great post, but making online programs fiscally viable without sacrificing quality is a challenge, but online courses can bring new monies to the institution

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    Good day.

  2. Online learning has become revolutionary so it’s been worthy in learning various languages too. Good resources are collated here. It’s my personal experience that online communities really help in learning things easier and faster too. If one is interested in learning it through specific degree, then nothing like that. For this you can refer:
    You can approach the university offering this degree by filling up the form available on the site itself.

  3. There are thousands upon thousands of words in the English language. I have heard it said that the average person who grows up under the English language must learn an average of 20-30 words per day beginning with his or her first day in this world and continuing until the age of 18! Wow, how much we have learned and the majority of this learning was probably not in a formal teacher-student environment.
    There is a lot to learn in a short amount of time. But one thing we can do to improve our growth in any language is to focus on those vocabulary words which are most commonly used. I found many sources online for free that feature lists of the most commonly spoken words in English. For example, the 250 most spoken words or the 1000 most spoken words.

  4. The development of the Interactive Social Language Education (ISLE) platform is an effort to create an international community of learners of all ages to explore and acquire second language skills through a wide variety of digital media channels that both create an immersive electronic learning experience and complement local informal and formal instruction. ..... MTTC test

  5. At times when we learn, we need the kind of help we do not even know we need. These study guides were one such deal for me.