The demand for foreign languages is on the rise. At the same time, the ongoing digital transformation promises to make learning easier and more engaging than ever before. Having previously developed a successful learning solution, our team has decided to share some insights that would help you create your own learning language app that is both efficient and fun to use.
Language Learning Market: An Overview
The world economy is on a steady move towards globalization. Opportunities for international collaboration and talent diversification emerge on a nearly daily basis. In response, both small businesses and multinational corporations drive the demand for language learning as a valuable asset for their workforce. According to UoPeople, a non-profit educational organization, the most relevant languages to learn for business are:
- Mandarin Chinese
At the same time, the international reach of businesses increases the proportion of overseas customers. To appeal to this audience, one must offer localization to their native language. Finally, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has prompted a massive shift towards remote work, which raised the competitiveness bar even higher. The combined effect of these factors is a boost to an already thriving language learning market. According to some estimates, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.7%, reaching $21 billion by 2027 – a lucrative opportunity by any measure.
Advantages of Language Learning Apps
While the language learning market is quite diverse, apps and digital services are certainly spearheading its movement. The top tier of the foreign learning market players is comprised of digital services and education companies that have successfully transitioned to digital form:
- Rosetta Stone
- Pearson MyEnglishLab
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Such dominance is not coincidental. A language learning app has a number of advantages over traditional methods.
Personalization: Digital services allow for a much higher degree of customization than traditional learning, both in terms of content selection and user-specific adjustments. On top of that, app users can approach the process at their own pace, choosing a suitable time and difficulty level, which is beneficial for convenience and performance.
Interactive Media: Perhaps the most significant shifts in language learning came after the introduction of digital media and the ability to interact with content. Learning apps take this advantage to the next level by offering a vast selection of interactive materials that can be seamlessly integrated into the course and produce results in real-time.
Progress tracking: Assessment is a major part of the learning process, both for illustrating the progress and course correction. Integrating it into a language learning app not only makes it much easier and accurate, but also allows to analyze long-term patterns at little to no cost.
Motivation: The digital learning format offers interesting possibilities for boosting engagement through chatbots and other AI-driven technologies, making the process more enjoyable and efficient.
How do You Develop a Language Learning App?
As with any educational media, the success of a language learning app is based on three main principles: engagement, quality of resources, and accessibility. Of course, this concise definition gives only a basic idea of how to create a learning app. Below is a closer look at each of the principles.
The key to success in any learning process is to communicate to the learners the importance of their achievement. This can be done in multiple ways, from creating rewarding animations to adding gamification techniques like achievements and progress bars. However, arguably the most essential component is communication. Regardless of whether a learning language app involves real tutors or is fully automated, the users are supposed to feel that their involvement in the process makes a difference.
Aside from the connection to the tutors, it is beneficial to create a sense of community. This can be done in multiple ways, from integrating user accounts with social networks to creating means of socialization, which can also have a positive effect on motivation.
For the most part, this is aspect is self-explanatory. Nevertheless, it does not amount to getting good educators or obtaining quality materials. Language learning is a fluid process that should take into account changes in user needs, not to mention the evolution of the subject itself. Because of this, a good learning language app may need manual and, occasionally, automatic testing to keep it up to date.
Mastering a foreign language is a challenge in its own right, so it makes sense for an app to not complicate matters further. There are many factors to take into account here, from redesigning the parts that look confusing to keeping the distractions to a minimum to adding visualizations to the learning materials. The ultimate goal should be the perception of simplicity, no matter how complex and feature-rich the app really is. This aspect requires continuous UX research to inform the development process.
Case Study: Wo Hui Mandarin by Swagsoft
A good example of a successful language learning app is Wo Hui Mandarin developed by Swagsoft for iOS. The main premise behind the app is simplicity and usefulness, with applicable knowledge being the ultimate goal. Unlike traditional learning courses, which present new materials based on complexity, our app takes usage frequency into account. This allows users to apply their skills in the real world sooner.
The learning process is presented with an image of mountains that represent progress, which adds to the simplicity of perception and motivation to “scale the summit of knowledge.” Each segment is broken down into palatable chunks to achieve continuous improvement.
The app also incorporates an algorithm that curates the learning process and introduces content to maximize possible combinations. In other words, the product is engaging, visually appealing, and understandable, has dynamic difficulty adjustment that improves accessibility, and provides quality content that can be applied in real life.
Language learning has become both an indispensable asset and a lucrative business opportunity, with apps and digital services leading the way. To stay ahead of the competition, you need to create your own learning language app that is accessible, engaging, and based on quality materials. With our skill and expertise, our team will gladly help you with the development process to create a rewarding and efficient learning solution.