The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #30 November / December 2017
Extras
Review
LingoHut
by Chiara Grandola
November / December 2017 | 

First Steps, First Words

There's always a moment of uncertainty when you first attempt to learn a foreign language.

What do I do now? Where do I even start?

It can be overwhelming, really.

You could end up spending a lot of time browsing language forums and blogs and other places online in search of the perfect tool that will lead you to fluency.

But here's the thing - you shouldn't be thinking about fluency that early on in your language learning journey.

Your focus should simply be on taking the first step: getting exposed to the language. As much as possible, as often as possible.

Of course, that can be done in the old-fashioned way - grab a phrasebook, learn the essentials, rinse and repeat.

However, in a technology-dominated world scene, it'd be a shame to just ignore what the World Wide Web has to offer.

Don't get me wrong, I love phrasebooks and I use them regularly. Still, it's all written text and I believe you should get used to the sound and flow of the language from the very beginning.

Learning new words and phrases is all well and good, but when you don't know how to pronounce them, it's not much use.

Here's where LingoHut comes to the rescue.

LingoHut is a very effective way to start learning a new language and build a base.

What makes LingoHut different


While most platforms set English as the default language, on LingoHut you don't need to be an English speaker to learn a language.

Using a drop-down menu, you can immediately select your native language and the language you want to learn. It's as simple as that.

This was particularly handy to me since Italian and Spanish are notoriously similar and I could use my native Italian as a leverage to practice another romance language.

Plus, vocabulary comes with the definite article, which in romance languages like Spanish is crucial for getting used to the noun gender.

At the time of writing, the website just got a facelift. The interface is absolutely beautiful but what I love the most is how incredibly easy it is to navigate.

Language at a glance


Once you click on your target language, you get a pretty nifty overview on the best way to navigate the lessons.

Consider it a roadmap which is perfect even if you're just looking for a quick brush up.

Think of when you find yourself wondering about certain words or phrases in a foreign language, like - "How do I say ‘Where is the bus stop?' in Spanish?"

One click on the tab and there you go. ¿Dónde está la parada de autobuses?.

Let's get down to the nitty-gritty - how much does it cost?

Well, here's the best part: it's completely free.

Not only will LingoHut not cost you a penny, but you won't even need an account to use it.

How awesome is that?

Quizzes, Quizzes, Quizzes

Once you finish a lesson you can easily test yourself by playing a series of games. I usually have a go at the "vocabulary lesson" game, which quizzes you on the vocabulary with flashcards, before moving on to the next lesson.

Admittedly, LingoHut could benefit from the use of images. I consider myself a "visual" learner, so I would find the whole learning process way more entertaining and effective if vocabulary was linked to pictures. Visual representation of words truly helps when it comes to memorization.

Keep in mind, however, that you can only go so far if you use LingoHut by itself.

It's mostly geared towards beginners and there are no grammar explanations, so you obviously need other materials to move to the next level.

All in all, it is a great tool to become familiar with the sound of your target language and to acquire and review new vocabulary.

You'll find yourself drawn to using LingoHut because it acts as a handy reference page to consult every time you're struggling to remember a certain word or expression.

Chiara Grandola is the founder of Runaway Daydreamer (runawaydaydreamer.com). She's a native Italian speaker and is passionate about all things languages, travel, and entertainment. On her blog, she shares her favorite, tried and true, language learning tips and tricks along with some new discoveries


 
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Review - LingoHut
Writer: Chiara Grandola

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.

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