LingQ is a language learning platform that helps you learn a new language by reading and listening to stories in the target language. LingQ’s library offers a wide variety of learning content in over 20 languages. Content include podcasts, news articles, stories, interviews, radio shows, novels, song lyrics, and many more.
You can even import your own content and turn it into interactive lessons. LingQ teaching approach is premised on, among other things, the natural approach; one that emphasises communicative skills and comprehension. According to this approach, learners learn best when they are immersed in natural sittings where language is used authentically to serve needs-based communicative purposes.
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The way LingQ works is simple and easy. First, choose a lesson from the library, listen to the lesson and follow along, look up new words and phrases, save learned vocabulary, review and practice learned vocabulary. The Community feature further enhances social interaction among learners and enable them to exchange language learning tips, advice, and help.
To start using LingQ you need to create an account.Registration is free and you only need a valid email address and a password. During the registration process you will specify the language you want to learn, the level you want to start at (e.g., beginner, intermediate, or advanced), and a Daily Goal.
There are different Goals to choose from depending on how much time you are willing to invest in your language learning project. Each goal has a set number of coins you earn when you achieve it. For instance, the Casual Goal requires 10 minutes of learning per day and offers 50 coins. The Insane Goal on the other hand requires 60 minutes of learning per day and offers 400 coins, etc.
Once you select your Daily Goal, choose at least five categories to customize your lesson feed. Some of the categories provided include News, Podcasts, Books, Technology, Pronunciation, Health, Science, Culture, Grammar, Sports, Food, Politics, Travel, and more.
Now that you have completed your registration you will be directed to your account page where you can access lessons and courses. lessons are organized into various categories, browse through the collections to see which one you want to start with.
Click on any of the lessons to open it in LingQ’s reader and start learning. The reader is simple and easy to use. It allows you to listen to the lesson as well as follow along by reading the text. Listening enhances your pronunciation and speaking skills. Words that are highlighted in blue are new words that you need to define.
Simply click on any word and use the column on the right hand to choose meanings for the word. Select a definition or type in yours and click on the green checkmark to save the mark the word as known. Learned words are highlighted in yellow.
The Vocabulary tab is where you can access all the words and phrases you saved. You can review them there and you can even import lists of vocabulary items and use them in the review activities.
LingQ includes a Grammar Guide that helps you learn the basics of the grammar of the target language. The guide covers grammatical lessons related to areas such as verb conjugation, prepositions, punctuation, nouns, articles, and many more.
LingQ keeps track of all your learning activities and provides you with detailed stats so you know where you are in your language learning project. You get to track your listening hours, the number of known words you have saved, words of reading, words of writing, hours of speaking, lessons completed, lessons imported, and many more.
Community is a social space where language learners come together, ask and answer questions, give advice, find content, and help each other. Members can get help from fellow learners or they can ask teachers and tutors. There are various types of Forums included in Community. For instance, the Open Forum is a forum that is open to all members and is focused on everything related to language learning, Support & Feedback Forum is for sharing questions and problems related to the functioning of the service, Conversations Forum is where members meet to form discussion groups, etc.
Besides Forums, Community also includes other features such as Challenges and Writing Exchange. Challenges is a space where language learners engage with various language challenges and Witing Exchange is where learners get help with their writing.
LingQ Importer is a Chrome extension you need to install in order to be able to automatically import “web pages, articles, and video captions from sites like YouTube and Netflix into LingQ for studying using LingQ’s web and mobile language learning tools. The Importer will automatically grab the title, text, image, captions and original url and display them in the LingQ Reader so you can look up and track all word data using LingQ’s lookup, review and tracking functionality.”
Yes LingQ is available as a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.
LingQ is a freemium service. It offers both a free and paid version. The free version is pretty basic and lacks many of the interesting features that can help you in language learning. The premium version starts with 7.99/month (24 months), 8.99/month (12 months), 11.99/month (6 months), and 12.99/month (1 month). There is also the Premium Plus version which comes at different prices from 34.99/month (24 months) to 39.99/month (1 month).
Some of features included in the premium versions are: unlimited vocabulary LingQs, track all learning activity, unlimited imported lessons, vocabulary import/export, offline access on mobile apps, edit and print lessons, additional activities and more.
To learn more about LingQ check out these how-to video tutorials.
As a polyglot and a former language teacher, I find LingQ a very interesting platform that can help a lot with the learning a new language. I especially like the library feature and the wide variety of content types it provides. I also like the ability to import your content and use it in the platform in language learning.
That said, LingQ has few weakness it needs to address. First, there is the exclusive focus on vocabulary learning at the expense of communicative practice activities. Also, some of the video content sourced from YouTube does not work either because of copyright claims or because it is no longer available in the original in the platform. The last point is pricing. The prices are a little bit high especially given that a large portion of its audience is students.