Summary: A survey of various online language learning tools which mesh vocabulary and grammar study with social networking.
This article appeared in the Mar/Apr 2010 issue of Russian Life. The text of this article is not available online. Follow the link to the full issue listing to see if the back issue is available through our webstore.
Weblinks related to this story:
Lingro A very cool glossed reading tool that lets you use the web to learn to read Russian better. Enter a Russian website address (like a news site)?while at the lingro.com site, and indicate that you want to translate from Russian to English. The page loads (in Russian)?and then you can click on any unknown word on the page and up pops a dictionary balloon.
LinQ Several levels of membership, from free to $79/month. Learn vocabulary online or by downloading audio files (everything from radio talk shows to short stories) to your iPod. There are online lessons and you can arrange writing consultations with tutors via Skype, or join in live conversations.
Live Mocha Probably the best-known of the sites we visited, this nice service integrates friends and an online community with learning resources, language skill tests, and interactive flashcards. Users help one another and there are tools for beginners through intermediate level.
Quia Like LingQ, this is a cross pollination of social networks and language learning, with the ability to find teachers, interact with activities and quizzes, and use online exercises to improve your language skills. Intended largely as a supplement to classroom courses, it can nonetheless be used by individuals.
Teach Russian Mainly an online resource center for Russian language teachers, it nonetheless is full of useful reference materials for students. Loads of free exercises you can download and work through. (Disclosure: This site is run by the folks who helped us compile our Uchites insert.)
Word Champ This site has lots of flashcard sets you can access, plus a nice audio implementation; it seems to be used by lots of teachers. You can create your own flashcard sets and work through them, and can also connect up with language tutors. Different paid membership plans, starting at $9.95.