Guest Post, Marketing Tips Get the Most Out of Your Learning: How to Use a Living Language Online Course

Excited to start learning a new language? Before your patrons dive into our courses, here are a few pointers, straight from the Living Language editors, on how to best use our online programs.

Librarians, for more information about our digital programs for libraries, please visit If you already have a free trial code, click here to get started. We hope you enjoy these useful tips.

Happy language learning!

Our online courses include the following:

  • Vocabulary and phrases flashcards related to each lesson’s topic.
    laptop-slide-1You can select different modes of study, including card view or list view. You can also move the cards into your “Mastered” deck once you feel you know it well enough. You can toggle between the “Mastered” and “Study” deck to move cards between the two. Click on the ? icon in the flashcards for more information on how they work.

    For languages with non-Roman scripts, you can toggle the transliteration on and off beneath the card. You can also study all the vocabulary flashcards at once by clicking on “All Vocabulary” on the index page for each level in your language course. You can navigate to the index page at any point by clicking on the name of the course at the top of your screen.

  • Grammar notes to explain how your new language works. Many products contend that grammar can be learned intuitively by exposure to a language; this is not entirely true for adult learners, and these notes are an important part of learning a language using our method. They will explain grammar to you in the simplest terms so that you can easily gain tools to put the vocabulary together yourself without having to memorize phrases. Most grammar sections will contain native speaker audio links for the foreign language so that you can hear pronunciation for the words being taught. As you read through these notes, be sure to click on these audio links and repeat the words out loud as often as possible to make them stick in your mind.
  • Take It Further sections contain more information on grammar and new vocabulary.
  • Dialogues for hearing everything you’ve learned in a realistic context, as spoken by native speakers.
    The dialogue will play automatically when you enter it; you can toggle the “Autoplay” off and just click on the audio icon to hear individual lines. Click on the speech bubble itself to turn it over to see the English translation. For languages that include transliteration you can use the “Transliteration” toggle to see or hide it.
  • Culture notes allow you to explore important aspects of understanding a foreign culture to improve communication.
  • Our games test and reinforce vocabulary, phrases, grammar, and general comprehension.
    Each game will include instructions for that game before you enter it; if you’re unclear how the game itself works, click the ? icon once you’re in the game for further instruction. Similar to the “All Vocabulary” section there is also an “All Games” section where you will have access to all games in a particular level. You can access this from the index page.

  • Our courses are designed to be used linearly; you will be guided from section to section and lesson to lesson so that you have the correct understanding of grammar and vocabulary under your belt before you move on to the next topic. The “next” and “previous” buttons at the bottom of each section will send you to the next section, but you can also move forward by clicking on the primary section links in the left-hand column.

  • Be sure not to ignore the topics in the right-hand column
    Here you will often find games testing the grammar or vocabulary you just learned, along with supplemental instruction and culture notes that will help reinforce your understanding of both your new language and a new culture.

  • Freedom to choose what’s best for your learning style.
    The linear instruction does not mean you can’t go at your own pace or jump around; our courses don’t lock you into a path, and if you encounter a grammar note or vocabulary section you’re already familiar with, you can skip it. Once you’ve completed each lesson, you can also go back and review any section you feel you need more practice with. You can also jump to different lessons by using the “Select a lesson” menu in the upper right.

  • Remember: Everyone masters a language at his or her own pace, so be sure to go at the pace that works best for you. We have no firm requirements for how long our course will take you; this is up to the individual learner. A good way to judge your pace is to test yourself: use the games liberally until you are getting gold medals with no problem, and revisit the flashcards until you have managed to get them all into the Mastered deck. Promise yourself at least a few minutes of study every day if possible, and you’ll be surprised how the language sticks with enough repetition!
    Most importantly: keep going. Perseverance is key to learning anything, but especially learning a language!
    Click here to learn more about our method.

    Click here to learn more about our method.

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