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Learn New Languages with Livemocha.com [ARTICLE]

What is Livemocha.com?

LivemochaBabies’ babbles reflect what they hear in social situations. Teenagers often “learn” more from hallway conversations and locker room chats. The age-old method of acquiring knowledge and language through social connections is now available to help you learn new languages on the World Wide Web. Livemocha.com combines online learning and social media to give you an interactive online learning community.

The Basics

Livemocha.com offers free and premium online courses that include interactive lessons as well as listening, reading, speaking and writing exercises to help users learn any of 35 different languages. Reinforce what you learn through quizzes and social connections with native speakers.

The Livemocha.com model of “reciprocal learning” immerses learners into their new language through speaking, writing, listening, reading and critiquing other members’ work. Just like good old-fashioned peer pressure, Livemocha.com’s social learning features will motivate you to learn. You’ll find global community support from the site’s 6 million members, connect with native speakers in chat rooms and see your progress in weekly reports.

It’s all through the Internet and it’s all for free. Pay for premium content if you want audio or video downloads, grammar cards, phrase books and personalized instruction from Livemocha.com experts. Paid crash courses can help worldwide adventurers facing a time crunch-or procrastinating students.

Paths to Learning a Language

Since Livemocha.com offers so many paths for learning a language, look at these hypothetical examples to see how it might meet your needs:

  • Paul Picks Up Mandarin
    Paul heard that Mandarin Chinese could overtake English as the most popular language on the Internet. He’s only ever spoken his native English, but he thinks he could further his career by acquiring Mandarin. Paul finds a free Livemocha.com course, and within seconds he’s learning online.

    The coursework starts by teaching him to write and speak Mandarin basics like “hello,” “good evening” and “how are you?” then it tests his knowledge with Skill Builder quizzes. After completing a basic course, Paul writes a story about his typical day-in Mandarin-and submits it for review by native Mandarin speakers around the globe. Native speakers edit and critique his work and offer rankings to assess his spelling, proficiency and grammar. By reading or listening to the reviews, Paul refines his learning and moves on to the next course in Mandarin.

  • Vicki Visits France
    Vicki will be traveling to France in February. She doesn’t know the language, and she needs to rapidly acquire basic language skills so she can order off of a menu, meet new people and ask for directions. She finds a 90-day, traveler’s crash course on Livemocha.com. After paying a nominal fee, she’s immediately enrolled and has access to coursework designed to teach her more than 500 words and phrases using electronic flashcards as well as downloadable conversational audios and videos.

    Using online chat sessions, native French speakers help Vicki practice common phrases and craft personal introductions. Vicki quickly gains confidence in her French and meets a few new friends along the way.

  • Sam Snaps Up Some Spanish
    Sam is a native German speaker who also is fluent in English. She minored in Spanish while attending a stateside university several years ago. Now she wants to refresh, and even advance, her college-level Spanish-speaking skills. Sam starts with a free Spanish 101 course at Livemocha.com. Though she starts out rusty, Sam starts recalling enough of her Spanish basics to skip to a more advanced course. Livemocha.com’s self-guided learning makes this easy. Quizzes help Sam remember and retain common words and phrases, and the native Spanish-speaking online community helps her refine and learn from short writing assignments. She also can record and submit voice clips for feedback on her conversational skills. Sam loves the support and customizable learning options so much that she enrolls in a premium, Active Spanish course.

Getting Started

Register for free on Livemocha.com with some basic user information like your native language, the language you want to learn and your current language skills. You’ll access all language lessons directly through the Livemocha.com website.

If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: Livemocha Demo

Livemocha.com will suggest that you use a variation of your first and last names as your username (ie. john.smith), but consider overriding the suggestion with something more generic (i.e. world.traveler) if you want to keep your personal name private from Livemocha.com community members.

Start with a free, basic language track to learn language basics like common nouns and verbs then progress to complex conjugations. Motivated learners may choose an “active” track to rapidly achieve conversational skills in a foreign language. Take a traveler’s crash course for $9.95 or participate in fee-based courses, single-language courses that let you work at your own pace starting at $19.95 a month. Save close to $90 by making a one-time payment of $149.95 for year-long access.

MochaPoints Maintain the Will to Learn

MochaPoints motivate students to advance their skills more rapidly. Complete a course or submit writing or speaking assignments and earn MochaPoints. Help others learn by writing reviews, evaluating translations, creating flashcards and contributing tips to anyone practicing your native language. Once Livemocha.com recognizes you as a teacher, you can improve your teacher score through effective tutelage and get rewarded with free learning exercises.

How do they make money?

In addition to its paid, premium service offerings, Livemocha.com makes money from unobtrusive advertising on the site. Be sure to check out how they can help you save money on traditional courses and/or increase your income by building a new skill set.