Language apps inspire students be immersive with learning


Hazel Waltenbaugh

SPA offers four different languages, Spanish, German, French, and Chinese. Students from all different languages can use Quizlet, including ninth-grader Riley Erben who uses Quizlet to study for her French class.

Language is not easy for everyone. No matter which grade or level, students can relate to the struggle of learning a foreign language. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with the rest of the class, but with technology today students can improve using different strategies.

Most people are familiar with Quizlet. It is used in teaching as a good tool for memorization and improving students understanding further. Beginning German in 9th grade, junior Anja Trierweiler has quickly passed through the levels. Through those years, Trierweiler realized the ease of using Quizlet to study class vocabulary and grammar tenses. Trieweiler doesn’t just take German as a required class. Her enjoyment of learning stretches outside of the classroom to study abroad, summer camps, and switching her phone to Geman.

“Almost every single app I use is in German,” Trieweiler said. “Instagram, Snapchat, and anything that comes in a German version. I don’t have to think about sentence structure or grammar I just kind of do it, and it feels really nice.”

Trierweiler has just come back from a Concordia camp where immersing herself with a language to the extreme was the most helpful way to learn.

“It felt weird to read words that I understood. It’s weird when I look at my phone and I see, oh hey that’s English. And I put it in German and I’ve been so lazy that I haven’t really changed it back and I’ve kind of gotten used to it,” said Trierweiler.

Believe it or not, Trierweiler’s drive for learning used to be more.

“I use to switch between different languages and used to learn a lot more. I tried to learn Chinese and Korean more than German, but after Concordia German just became so much easier and I actually learned a lot of day to day language by making the change. When I use maps to give directions to friends, all of it is in German and I have to translate it,” said Trierweiler.

Besides using electronics, students can improve by simply immersing themselves in the language. 9th grader Solvej Eversoll who lived in Austria said it allowed her to bond with the environment and learn the language faster.

“I think that it forces you to be immersed in a language and therefore helps you learn it quicker,” said Eversoll.

Although surrounding yourself in your language will be the quickest way to learn, its definitely not the most practical or available way for students. Spanish teacher Christine Piñero said the best way to learn your language is by connecting yourself with the culture. Culture can come from simple things like listening to music or watching authentic television programs.

There are many different ways to learn a language, however, most say the best way is by picking something that motivates you to learn, but also something that interests you. This could mean spending a few extra minutes on Quizlet every week, or something bigger like setting your phone in that language. It all depends on how much you want to devote to learning that language.

To read find more coverage about Language, read the Feature section of the December issue of The Rubicon.