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Question: 17
It is possible to make ten virtual servers available via two physical servers.
Select the correct answer.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 18
A human working for a cloud consumer can access a virtual server to set up or maintain a cloud service that belongs to
the cloud consumer.
Select the correct answer.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 19
The resource replication mechanism can encompass a hypervisor that can support the multitenancy cloud
Select the correct answer.
A. True
B. False
Answer: A
Question: 20
A ready-made environment must be hosted by and accessed via a virtual server.
Select the correct answer.
A. True
B. False
Answer: B
Question: 21
Which of the following cloud computing mechanisms are directly associated with the realization of the elasticity cloud
A. virtual server
B. automated scaling listener
C. resource replication
D. pay-for-use monitor
Answer: A,B,C,D
Question: 22
Which of the following cloud computing mechanisms are directly associated with the realization of the multitenancy
cloud characteristic?
A. automated scaling listener
B. failover system
C. resource replication
D. virtual server
Answer: A,C,D
Question: 23
Which of the following cloud computing mechanisms are directly associated with the realization of the resiliency
cloud characteristic?
A. automated scaling listener
B. failover system
C. resource replication
D. state management database
Answer: A,B,C,D
Question: 24
Which of the following cloud computing mechanisms are directly associated with the realization of the on-demand
usage cloud characteristic?
A. automated scaling listener
B. failover system
C. resource replication
D. pay-for-use monitor
Answer: A,D
Question: 25
Which of the following cloud computing mechanisms are directly associated with the realization of the measured
usage cloud characteristic?
Select the correct answer.
A. automated scaling listener
B. pay-for-use monitor
C. resource replication
D. state management database
Answer: B
Question: 26
Which of the following cloud computing mechanisms are directly associated with the realization of the ubiquitous
access cloud characteristic?
Select the correct answer.
A. failover System
B. multi-device broker
C. ready-made environment
D. virtual server
Answer: B
Question: 27
Which of the following cloud computing mechanisms is not directly associated with the realization of the resiliency
cloud characteristic?
Select the correct answer.
A. automated scaling listener
B. failover system
C. resource replication
D. state management database
Answer: A
Question: 28
The ___________________ mechanism is directly associated with the realization of the ubiquitous access cloud
Select the correct answer.
A. resource replication
B. state management database
C. multi-device broker
D. automated scaling listener
Answer: C
Question: 29
_______________________ is a form of dynamic routing whereby a cloud service consumer's request is redirected to
one of several redundant IT resources located on different clouds.
Select the correct answer.
A. Cloud balancing
B. Cloud bursting
C. Replication leveling
D. Virtual state caching
Answer: A
Question: 30
Two redundantly deployed cloud services need to be configured so that they are kept in sync with each other. Which
of the following roles would be most suitable for this task?
Select the correct answer.
A. cloud service consumer
B. cloud service owner
C. cloud resource administrator
D. None of the above.
Answer: C

Arcitura Technology learner - BingNews Search results Arcitura Technology learner - BingNews Classroom Technology Helps Leadership Academy Network Accelerate Student Achievement—Here’s How

To prepare students for the future, educators must foster creativity, effective communications, problem-solving skills, and collaboration. When the Leadership Academy Network (LAN) in Fort Worth, TX, decided to update its old smart boards, selecting ones that aligned with its mission and fully prepared students became paramount. BenQ Boards proved to be an ideal fit.

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Mon, 01 Jan 2024 18:10:00 -0600 en text/html
Beware of technology's negative effects on learners No result found, try new keyword!From smartphones and social media to TV and tablets, the modern day learner is incessantly inundated by technology. While it is important for children and teens to interact with, and develop an ... Sun, 17 Dec 2023 13:31:00 -0600 en text/html Driver education: How immersive learning can improve fleet safety and efficiency

Jason Cannon (00:00):

This week's 10-44 is brought to you by Chevron Delo 600 ADF ultra low ash diesel engine oil. It's time to kick some ash. If you've got school-aged kids, you've seen firsthand how learning has evolved, and driver training is not immune. You're watching CCJ's 10-44, a weekly webisode that brings you the latest trucking industry news and updates from the editors of CCJ. Don't forget to subscribe and hit the bell for notifications, so you'll never miss an installment of 10-44.

Hey, everybody. Welcome back. I'm Jason Cannon. And my co-host, on the other side, is Matt Cole. When I was a kid, school was pretty black and white. You either knew the right answer or you didn't, and the grade at the top of the paper, whether it was good or it was bad, it reflected your level of comprehension. But through the years, we've seen how students are taught and how that's evolved, and in some cases, it's customized, given everyone's brain works just a little bit differently.

Matt Cole (00:54):

As we've transitioned to this day and age of everyone being remote, it stands to reason that sitting in a desk and being talked at has been de-emphasized, thanks to technology.

Jason Cannon (01:03):

Part of that shift in emphasis is embracing immersive learning, where students are thrown into an experience and you don't even have to be there. Dr. Gina Anderson, who's CEO of Luma Bright Learnings, she joins the 10-44 this week, and she tells us how it all works.

Dr. Gina Anderson (01:20):

So immersive learning, it's like an authentic learning environment where you're in the actual, or you get to experience the actual environment that you need to know the information. So when you think about the Google, think about Google Map, where you take the person and you drop them in the map and you can look around the environment. It's giving someone the experience of doing that without the technology of the three-dimensional set. So virtual reality is putting on technology, so that you can experience it. But you need that component or you need the technology component. With immersive learning, you can create those experiences pretty easily through the technology that exists today. And what that provides the actual driver is an experience that they're going to have or that they have had to reinforce that information. A good example is drivers who have to go to, let's say, downtown Chicago, and they have to go to a grocery store and they have to drop a load.


If they've never been to that store, they don't know what that parking lot looks like. They pull in, and they hit the bolo. They could have trained with a trainer for eight months or however long, three months, and they've never been to that store. They go there, they park, "Oh no, I didn't see the bolo," and they hit it. But if that store would've created an immersive learning experience, they've gone out, they've taken their phone, they've scanned the environment, they've loaded it, they've identified the bolo, they've labeled the store number, they send that out to the driver.


They get that before they go to the store. They know what to expect before they get there. That's immersing them in that experience, so they know what to expect. So people are using this for parking lots. They're using it for terminals. If they've never been to a terminal, where to drop their keys. For cargo securement, for inspections of their trucks. It's really bringing in the authentic learning experience for the driver. It's not generic. You're not just learning about parking on a generic video. You're actually learning about parking in the environment you need.

Matt Cole (03:35):

Fleets have hundreds and thousands of trucks and nearly as many customers scattered all over the U.S. Who has time to go out and scout all these locations? Gina says, in most cases, this is a partnership with a shipper or receiver who is more than willing to help out, because in the end, they too stand to benefit.

Dr. Gina Anderson (03:51):

You don't have to do the work. You have people at those locations or your customers are there. We train them on how to do the scan. Everyone knows how pretty much how to take a panoram on their phone, so they have to take a panoram of the parking lot or the environment. And so, we worked with a client that has over 250 stores. They didn't go to every 250 store. There are individuals at every location that know how to take a panoram picture, and so, they load their panoram pictures. And then, most of these locations have a paper. They have a piece of paper that says, "This store, this information." It's all on a piece of paper. They already have the content. They just aren't using it in a way that is efficient and can save time on demand in real time. So it's about helping them get this information that's on a piece of paper about that store and about the dangers on that parking lot in an actual environment that's going to be easy for the drivers to use and access.

Jason Cannon (04:57):

There is an element of proactiveness here. You don't know what you don't know. So drivers and driver managers have to be proactive in understanding, "Hey, we've never been here before, so let's make sure this looks like we expect it to look." Gina tells us more after a word from 10-44 sponsor, Chevron Lubricants. Protecting your diesel engine and its after treatment system has traditionally been a double-edged sword. The same engine oil that is so essential to protecting your engine's internal parts is also responsible for 90% of the ash that is clogging up your DPF and upping your fuel and maintenance costs. Outdated industry thinking still sees a trade-off between engine and emission system protection, and Chevron was tired of it.


So they spent a decade of R&D developing a no compromise formulation. Chevron Lubricants developed a new ultra low ash diesel engine oil that is specifically designed to combat DPF ash clogging. Delo 600 ADF with OMNIMAX technology cuts sulfate ash by a whopping 60%, which reduces the rate of DPF clogging and extends DPF service life by two and a half times. And just think what you can do with all the MPGs you're going to add from cutting your number of regens. But Delo's 600 ADF isn't just about after treatment. It provides complete protection extending drain intervals by preventing oil breakdown. Before, you had to choose between protecting your engine or your after treatment system, and now, you don't. 600 ADF from Delo with OMNIMAX technology, it's time to kick some ash.

Dr. Gina Anderson (06:22):

So if you're going to a store, you're able to be able to get that information. So in our LMS, all the stores, the managers have them all labeled. If you're going to that store, you would be able to go into your phone, search that store, and pull it up that night before you go there. So those stores are all labeled and released, so you can go in. Now, you as a driver would have to have, if it's not directly assigned to you, if your manager didn't assign it to you, you would have to have the motivation to want to know what that store looks like. If you're going to ignore it and nobody assigned it to you, but really what people are doing, what our clients are doing is they are assigning those stores. So you know, once you get that load assignment, that's part of your information on that store.


So it's not in a book and you got to go through and look through a book of information. You actually see and experience it. The driver's feedback on this is very positive actually, because it all can translate to their language in real time. Any information can be translated to their original language, and as you know, you learn best in the language that is yours. So the drivers rate them really high, because they really appreciate knowing what they're getting into. It's like, "Oh my gosh, this carrier really cares about me and really wants me to know what I'm getting into." If they have questions, then they can message and get real time information about that.

Matt Cole (07:51):

This type of immersive learning solves two problems, driver safety and liability, because the fleet is the one that's going to be responsible for a driver crashing into something on site.

Dr. Gina Anderson (08:00):

I think the carrier is concerned about, obviously, the cost, the rising cost of the accidents, the risk that it would be if somebody doesn't secure their cargo exactly right. Goodness, grief, I've seen some of the general information, we really have to build authentic experiences for the drivers that are meaningful. It's one thing to learn generally about cargo securement. It's another thing to go out with a trainer and have them show you, but the average learner isn't going to remember that. Unless they're experienced and they've done it a lot of times, they're still going to, if they get a new vehicle or they have a new experience, they have to be reinforced that information. So yeah, definitely a liability sense. If they don't have that secure, even though they've shown them, this gives them an opportunity to reinforce that information. So I think it's both.


I don't think you can say it's one or the other. I also think it gives you an opportunity to connect from a recruitment standpoint and build those connections. It's one thing to send out generic information. It's another thing to give an adult information what they need when they need it. And not every carrier, obviously, is doing this. They're still doing the same thing that you described originally. And drivers really do rate this high. They have the opportunity after every eNugget to rate them, and they do rate it high. And I think it's because, number one, they have the information, but they appreciate it. They leave us feedback, real-time feedback, that they appreciate that the carrier is doing this for them. And so, I think that says a lot from a driver perspective. It would be interesting to ask drivers themselves, "Is this good for your safety?" Yeah, absolutely. But it also shows that the carriers have some stake in really caring about the driver.

Jason Cannon (09:54):

The key to driver education and any type of education really is to ensure that the information that you're sharing is relevant and that you're not just slinging a bunch of information and stats around in the name of education.

Dr. Gina Anderson (10:06):

It's really important that you provide experiences for the drivers that are meaningful, because as adult learners in general, your attention spans are really shrinking, especially with the YouTube generation and TikTok. The learning scientists are studying the brain and attention to information, and it is documented in the research that our attentions and our neurons are really having shortened attention. So if you have limited attention for the learners, you have to focus it on information that they need when they need it. It's critical. It's critical. That's really...

Jason Cannon (10:46):

That's it for this week's 10-44. You can read more on While you're there, sign up for our newsletter and stay up to date on the latest in trucking industry news and trends. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments below. Don't forget to subscribe and hit the bell for notifications, so you can catch us again next week.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 16:37:00 -0600 en-us text/html
The Best Online Learning Platforms for 2024

Online learning sites enable us to expand our minds and creative spirit. No matter where you are in the world or how little prior experience you have with a subject, you can learn just about anything, so long as you have an internet connection. We test and review dozens of online learning platforms, and here we list the best ones for all kinds of non-matriculated learning.

"Learning" isn't limited to the education taught in school. There are sites where you can pick up new software skills, become a better manager, study the art of memoir writing, watch a tutorial on how to set up a sewing machine, and listen to a world-renowned master in their field explain how they got there. Are you looking for practical skills? Business skills? Professional development? Inspiration? Or are you a student who needs tutoring in AP History? You can learn any of these things and more.

Read on for the top services we've tested, followed by everything you need to know about online learning.

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks


Best for Inspiration

Why We Picked It

Everything about MasterClass deserves an A+. Instructors are among the top names in their fields. Each class is designed in painstaking detail. The production quality is superb. And what you learn from MasterClass is a combination of practical skill and inspiration.

Who It's For

MasterClass is for anyone who has a curiosity and desire to learn, from teenagers on up. It's for people who want insight into a chosen field, as well as those open to learning what they can from the highest achievers in other fields. Whether you're passionate about standup comedy, filmmaking, leadership, baking, music, or scholarship, you can find wonderful insight from MasterClass.


  • A-list celebrity instructors
  • Supremely high production values in videos
  • Well-thought-out course structure
  • Great breadth of topics


  • Video and course run times and year filmed should be clearer
  • Ads for other MasterClass classes are frustrating and senseless


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Khan Academy

Best for Free Academic Learning

Why We Picked It

Khan Academy is one of the best online learning sources because it clearly and strategically helps you learn academic subjects for free. Whether you need to master a mathematical concept or advance your understanding of macroeconomics, Khan has you covered. The videos, readings, and interactive components it uses to teach are well thought out and delivered with care.

Who It's For

Khan Academy focuses on learning materials for students in kindergarten through early college. That doesn't mean other people can't use it or find immense value in it. When you look at the available courses, however, you will notice that many of them closely map to the US education system. So for example, there are courses under the heading High School Physics. Khan Academy is especially adept at teaching math, science, computing, economics, history, and personal finance, among a few other subjects. You get sequential material, too, so you can work through one lesson at a time in order until you've learned what you need to know.


  • Free
  • No account necessary
  • Uses video lectures, readings, and quizzes
  • Impressive test-prep and college-prep resources
  • Generous language support


  • Missing some subjects, such as foreign languages and music
  • Caters uniquely to the US education system and needs


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free


Best for Free Access to University Courses

Why We Picked It

Coursera is different from many other online learning sites because it hosts real courses from prestigious universities and makes many of them available for free. In other words, you can get all the lectures (recorded to video) and reading materials from a class at, say, Yale University without paying anything at all. Coursera has other kinds of classes, too, but the university material is really what sets it apart. For some courses, there are options to pay for it and earn a professional certificate, bachelor's degree, or master's degree. If you don't pay, you still get the exact same learning materials, but you don't get any interaction with instructors or any grades on your assignments.

Who It's For

Coursera is for people who want access to real university classes and have the self-discipline to follow through on all the assignments, which can often take weeks or months to complete. You mostly learn through videos, readings, quizzes, and assignments. If you use Coursera for free, you may be able to get feedback on your assignments from other learners, but not the instructor. Coursera is best for learners who can handle college-level course material.


  • Offers real courses from universities for free
  • Partners with private corporations for job-specific skills
  • Reasonably priced certificate courses


  • Interface dated in some areas


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free


Best for Quizzes and Games

Why We Picked It

We picked Kahoot! as one of the best online learning platforms because it lets you create games, quizzes, and other interactive content for your learning materials. Whether you are designing games and quizzes or playing them, Kahoot! is easy to use. We love that it adds engagement to all kinds of get-togethers, whether in the classroom, meeting room, or living room.

Who It's For

Kahoot! is an ideal platform for businesses that need to teach something, as well as educational instructors who want to make their content more engaging. Once you have an account, you'll see other fun ways to use the platform to create, for example, trivia for family gatherings or activities at conferences


  • Encourages interaction in a fun way
  • Variety of uses, from business training to student learning
  • Easy to use as creator or player
  • Players don't require an account


  • Strict 120-character limit on question text field
  • No auto-advance option; host must manually move to next question or slide


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free


Best for Creatives Learning Practical Skills

Why We Picked It

Skillshare's videos teach you skills to lead a creative life. It covers everything from creative hobbies to tips for running a creative online business. This site offers short videos, sometimes as part of a much longer series, where you learn and practice mostly hands-on skills. You get additional materials, such as PDF handouts, and sometimes community forums where you can upload examples of your work to get feedback from other learners. While its pricing has jumped around over the years, Skillshare now has a reasonable annual cost.

Who It's For

Skillshare is for people who want to develop creative skills or need help learning the ins and outs of running a creative business. It's especially good at helping people with drawing, painting, digital arts, photography, cooking, writing, sewing, and other crafts. One aspect of Skillshare that we appreciate is that it does have some very short courses or lessons within courses that you can complete as a one-off. For example, if you just want to practice drawing cacti for five minutes, Skillshare has videos that will indulge your creative cravings.


  • Varied content topics all suited to creative types
  • Optional assignments and community interaction
  • Some free courses


  • Feedback from other learners is rarely insightful or instructional
  • No guarantee that instructors participate in community features


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free


Best for Programming and Vocational Skills

Why We Picked It

We picked Udacity as one of the best online learning platforms because it teaches highly specific, job-focused skills and gives learners an opportunity to create sample work to prove it. Udacity delivers rigorous courses, called Nanodegrees, that teach highly specific job-related skills, mostly in the tech arena. Some of the Nanodegrees have been created in partnership with big-name companies, like IBM Watson and Google. Learners come away not only with new skills but also—fairly often—sample projects to show their work, perhaps for a job interview.

Who It's For

Udacity is clearly for job seekers who want to work in a specific technical field and perhaps for a specific employer. How specific? There's a course called Self-Driving Car Engineer, developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, Nvidia, Uber, and other companies. Udacity does offer some more general business courses on topics such as marketing. That said, Udacity is best for people who are willing to pay a few hundred dollars per month to complete one of its highly targeted Nanodegrees.


  • Focused on specific job skill development, especially in programming and computer science
  • Nanodegree learners come away with relevant work samples
  • Self-service cancellation, data download, and account deletion


  • Expensive
  • Difficult to measure the value for job seekers
  • Less inspirational and motivational than other learning sites


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free


Best for Curious Minds

Why We Picked It

Wondrium is a subscription-based video streaming service that focuses on educational programming. Wondrium was formerly called The Great Courses Plus, and while it has expanded its catalog in recent years, it still has everything that The Great Courses Plus had. The courses come across as a series of TV lectures or simple documentaries. You can watch video courses not only on your computer, but also via Apple TV, Roku, and other devices. The service has an overwhelming amount of content on topics such as philosophy, religion, and the natural world.

Who It's For

The best way to describe Wondrium is to call it couch-side edutainment. It's not geared toward teaching you hands-on skills or helping you achieve a specific learning goal (though it does have some skills-focused classes). Instead, Wondrium feeds your curiosity with videos that explore ideas that perhaps you know nothing about. In that sense, it's wonderful for beginners or people who don't have any prior knowledge of the subjects it covers.


  • Excellent accessibility options
  • TV quality production values
  • Variety of content


  • No free account or content
  • Prices somewhat high


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free


Best for Taking One-Off Courses

Why We Picked It

We included Udemy in this list of the best online learning platforms because it sells discrete video courses on an array of topics. Many people end up using Udemy because they met an instructor through another context, and the instructor pointed them to Udemy to purchase their course. Generally speaking, Udemy's content covers both personal and professional development, with excellent lessons in management training, software use, and programming. We like that you can pay for Udemy courses one by one, with prices varying per course, or you can get access to a catalog of content with a business subscription. Regrettably, the subscription prices are high, and you need a minimum of five people for a business account.

Who It's For

Udemy is for three kinds of people: 1) those with a business subscription to the site who can simply explore what it has to offer, 2) people who are interested in a specific course offered on the site, and 3) instructors who want to host and sell their courses on Udemy. For the third use case, we didn't do detailed testing or analysis, instead focusing on Udemy from the learner's perspective.


  • Great learning courses for hard and soft professional skills
  • Interesting array of content
  • Clear resources for instructors


  • No subscription for individuals; pricing is per class
  • Price for Business accounts somewhat high, with a minimum of 5 people


User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Buying Guide: The Best Online Learning Platforms for 2024

How Effective Is Online Learning?

All the sites included in this roundup use video as the primary teaching method. Some add interactive quizzes, PDFs, links to additional resources, and discussion areas (usually little more than a section for comments) so that everyone engaged with the material can learn from one another.

Videos can be standalone, although usually, they're part of a series. A course might contain several hours of videos, but they're always broken up into parts. The best learning sites take care to plan out how much content goes into each video as well as the sequence of videos. In this way, your learning is cumulative. You're typically building new ideas or concepts on top of what you've already learned.

When quizzes are available, they can be private to you or shared with an administrator or instructor if your login is part of a business account or associated with a formal class or tutoring (in the case of Khan Academy). They help you track how well you've retained new information. Some sites offer certificates upon completion. They are not widely accepted by other institutions, but they may be helpful to you in some cases. For example, if your employer pays for you to have a subscription to a learning website, you can offer these certificates as evidence of using it.

A note on language learning: There are so many excellent websites and apps for learning a foreign language that we have a separate article for them. When you want a language app, you'll have specific questions, such as: Which one offers the language I want? How much time do I need to spend on it each day? How much does it cost? You might also want to know which apps are better for developing a base vocabulary versus advancing existing skills. Our roundup of the best language learning apps and websites covers all these points and more.

Similarly, PCMag has a separate article on the best courses for learning to create websites. It's another concrete skill that comes with specific questions. We have another entire article dedicated to the best online courses for Photoshop.

Stills of MasterClass videos

(Credit: MasterClass/PCMag)

Is MasterClass Worth the Money?

MasterClass is an on-demand learning website where you get hours and hours of video featuring top talent talking about their fields. Everything about it is extremely well made, and if you're interested in even one course, we think it's worth paying for a year's subscription. You will certainly find other courses if interested once you get into the catalog.

MasterClass is simultaneously binge-worthy, educational, and thought-provoking. The quality alone leaves you whispering, "How is this so good?"

In the recent past, MasterClass has done a good job of improving its lineup of instructors to include more top talent who are people of color and women (it was previously weak in this regard). The catalog of classes is growing all the time. The content is top rate, and the quality is exceptional.

Where Can You Take Real College Classes Online?

Coursera is one of the best online learning sites that offers plenty of free video courses and materials. It also partners with universities to make some of their degree programs available online. If you want the degree, you have to apply to the program and pay tuition to the school, just as if you were an in-person student. However, if you don't care about getting the degree and you just want access to real courses and materials from the likes of Yale, University of Singapore, and Sciences Po in France, then you can create a free Coursera account and have access to them.

No matter how you attend, you get video lectures, reading materials, quizzes, and in some cases the opportunity to submit assignments for peer-review (when you audit a course) or grades (with paid enrollment).

Recommended by Our Editors

Coursera interface

(Credit: Coursera/PCMag)

Coursera partners with private companies, too, to offer accessible education in a variety of fields from programming to designing with AutoCAD. Other examples of classes you can take include Introduction to Food and Health, Google IT Automation with Python, and Introduction to International Criminal Law.

What Are the Best Online Learning Platforms for Specific Job Skills?

If you need to learn specific job skills, there are two online sites that we recommend. One is Udacity because it teaches highly specific, job-focused skills. If you are aiming to get a job from one of the companies that Udacity partners with, the Udacity courses could give you a leg up. While Udacity offers a handful of courses that aren't technical in nature, the majority are, and they are highly specific. How specific? There's a course called Self-Driving Car Engineer, developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, Nvidia, Uber, and other companies.

The other site is LinkedIn Learning. We like it best for brushing up on general job skills, such as public speaking and developing interviewing strategies; we also love its video tutorials on learning creative software, such as Photoshop. Many of those software programs come from, which was acquired by LinkedIn some years ago. was the best resource for learning software for many years, and we're happy it lives on today at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Learning

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)

Learn at Your Own Pace

The next time you feel like you need some fresh ideas, take a spin through one of these sites and learn something new. You might find yourself caught up in wonderment at new and interesting ideas or taking notes on something useful. The beauty of online learning sites is that they don't require any commitment, so you can learn what you want at your own pace.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
ChatGPT is exactly what education needed

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on generative AI, adult learners, and higher-ed trends. This year’s 7th most-read story focuses on why ChatGPT was just what higher ed needed.

Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has dominated conversations in the media landscape and within the education industry. A key conversation focuses on weighing its benefits versus risks, and many higher-ed institutions have been quick to implement bans on the technology altogether for fears of plagiarism in written works. But is this the right course of action to take?

As technology evolves, industries must evolve alongside it, and education is no exception – especially in an era where students heavily and regularly engage in technology and its applications. Instead of being afraid of the unknown, educators and leaders should navigate these changes with curiosity and an open mind and embrace the shake up the education industry has been waiting for. ChatGPT can be the answer we’re looking for in our search for the ideal, personalized student experience–and ultimately student success.

ChatGPT as an innovative pathway

For students and educators alike, allowing for creativity in new types of learning in the classroom should always be encouraged. In a structured classroom setting, an educator can only be expected to teach a certain amount of curriculum, and learners can only retain so much information at one time. By harnessing the power of technology, learners can access a broader understanding of a topic, mitigating the structural bias of the institution and curriculum.

Utilizing technology–which generates perspectives aggregated from myriad sources–allows for an expanded understanding of a certain topic or theme, which was initially seeded within the four walls of the classroom, but now can be encouraged and further explored with support from platforms like ChatGPT.

Take, for example, a lesson plan on the War of 1812. A professor or educator can spend a lecture or semester teaching the curriculum, but if you ask ChatGPT what the biggest takeaways from the war are, it’s possible and likely a learner is provided with even more context and historical facts via the chatbot than what is possible for an instructor to cover from a set curriculum. Is this a problem? No–not if we’re viewing it as a lens to further support learning and broaden the scope of topics that can be covered. As educators, we are trying to light that spark of curiosity that will ignite a fire of lifelong learning. ChatGPT provides that adaptive capability to teach content, but at the learners’ interest to supplement the instructional direction.

Shifting the conversation

When ChatGPT was first released, questions swirled around higher ed about it stoking an increase in plagiarism, promoting a lack of critical thinking, and what the future would hold for classic functions like the college admission essay. If we go back to the War of 1812 lecture example, we can see the value of adaptive learning if we instead embrace these tech advancements. Instead of thinking about ChatGPT spitting out the answers about the biggest takeaways from the war and assuming the learner is using the tool for the sole purpose of plagiarism, we need to shift the thinking to how it can reignite curiosity in the curriculum. If one of these bullet points is different from what the learner may have originally come up with, there’s a new intrigue of the history and subsequent understanding of it, opening a new avenue for continued learning and interest.

In education, it’s about getting to the same point on the mountain, no matter where the learner starts. In this case, whether pulling insight specifically from a lecture or digging deeper into the curriculum with additional insight from ChatGPT, the learner is still understanding, analyzing, and writing the assignment. Educators can meet students where they are in viewing the tool with curiosity and encouraging it as a supplemental effort to their overall learning journey.

Looking ahead

As technology continues to evolve, the education industry has immense opportunities to harness these new applications. Thinking back, Wikipedia was the previous version of ChatGPT, assembling information more quickly and with limited control or monitoring from educators. This created a depth of knowledge at the click of mouse, which has become a valued resource for learners of all ages. This accessibility can provide different perspectives than those available within the classroom text and gives the curious mind the ability to decipher for themselves what is most valuable. Let’s face it–there will certainly be something to follow ChatGPT, just like there will undoubtedly be tools to ensure plagiarism is not the new norm. It’s imperative to start evaluating our tech stacks differently as a part of the learning journey–standardized academic assessment is not the only measure of success.

Creating personalized experiences for each learner is key. With this change to embrace advancing technology comes new opportunities for educators and students alike to create a better experience. Taking into account analytics skills, social and emotional learning, and importantly, the human experience, will always remain its cornerstone. ChatGPT is only one example of how educators and learners can start to analyze and shift grading practices, allowing for more curiosity and interest in the industry. It’s time to embrace the shakeup education has been waiting for and use the technology as a stepping stone to reimagine what success and experience looks like within education.

3 academic leaders weigh in on ChatGPT’s place in higher ed
The benefits of observational assessments in a ChatGPT world
For more news on AI in higher ed, visit eCN’s Teaching & Learning page

Latest posts by eSchool Media Contributors (see all)
Wed, 20 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 Joshua Sine, VP of Higher Education Strategy, Qualtrics en-US text/html
The Learning Network

Student Opinion

How Do You Feel About High School?

Scroll through some work by the winning students and educators who participated in our “What High School Is Like in 2023” multimedia challenge. Then tell us how well the collection captures your experiences.


Wed, 03 Jan 2024 18:07:00 -0600 en text/html
Where Can You Find Free Online Courses? Here’s What To Know

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Whether you’re gearing up for a big career change, or you’re just looking to learn something new, free online courses can help jump-start your journey.

What is the value of free online courses? Well, they can’t replace a traditional educational program, but these courses still offer a variety of benefits. Our guide explores a selection of the top free online course providers to help you choose a new educational experience (without breaking the bank). Let’s get started.

What Are the Benefits of a Free Online Course?

One of the best parts of a free online course is that it’s—well, free. When you don’t have to weigh the cost, there’s less risk involved with trying out a new subject. You can relax, enjoy and explore.

Free online courses can rekindle the joy of learning. They can also help you take concrete steps toward professional or educational goals. Learners can use free online classes to sample a new career field, build skills for a promotion or brush up on knowledge before going back to school.

Many free online classes are known as massive open online courses (MOOCs). MOOCs allow hundreds or thousands of learners to take a single course, usually for free or at low cost. Because of their affordability and lack of formal entrance requirements, MOOCs offer an accessible, low-risk way to learn.

Who Should Consider Taking Free Online Courses?

  • Career changers. Free online courses can help you learn about new industries and potentially qualify for entry-level positions. These courses can’t replace traditional degrees, but they can help you stand out in the job market.
  • Working professionals. Free online education makes it easier to stay on top of industry trends. You can also use free online courses to showcase your drive and dedication when applying for a new role.
  • Students. Learners can use free classes to prepare for exams, review difficult concepts and curb learning loss over breaks from school. Users can find study resources for elementary school through graduate school levels via MOOCs.
  • Lifelong learners. If you want to gain perspective on world events, pick up a new hobby or explore a topic of interest, there are many online learning options available at no cost.

Online Platforms with Free Courses


A pioneer of the MOOC model, edX began in 2012 with 155,000 enrollees. It now boasts over 42 million users.

This aggregate site offers free and paid classes, along with micro-credentials, degrees and professional certificates. Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), edX operated as a nonprofit until it was purchased by education technology company 2U in 2021.

edX provides diverse course content from over 160 partners, including Ivy League schools like Cornell University, international institutions like Oxford University, prominent companies like Google and nonprofits like the Smithsonian Institution.

Students can take courses in the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities. They can also study areas like law, tech and healthcare. edX’s micro-credentials and degrees focus on business, technology and social services.

Learners can audit most classes for free, but they must pay $50 to $300 per class if they want graded assignments and completion verification. Financial assistance is available to qualifying students.


The world’s largest MOOC provider, Coursera delivers programs that reach over 100 million learners worldwide. Stanford University computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng founded the company in 2012.

Like many MOOC platforms, Coursera offers content from multiple educational partners. Users can access classes from universities like Yale and companies like Microsoft. Coursera’s learning pathways include standalone courses, degrees, short guided projects and micro-credentials.

Course topics span the arts and humanities, health, mathematics, business, sciences and technology. Learners can study several languages and delve into personal development topics like mindfulness. Coursera’s tech-related MOOCs are particularly robust, with classes in areas like web development, data science and cybersecurity.

Learners can take many courses at no charge, but to receive a certificate of completion, they must buy annual or monthly memberships. Costs range from $49 per month for specializations and professional certificates to $9,000 for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Coursera also awards scholarships and partners with organizations to provide educational access to underserved populations.


London-based FutureLearn emphasizes social learning. Users can create a profile to interact with other learners. Courses typically include peer feedback and discussion opportunities.

This MOOC hub’s academic partners include several U.S. universities but primarily include international institutions, particularly those from the UK, Europe and Australia. Course content also comes from private and nonprofit organizations.

FutureLearn students can delve into STEM fields like computer science, engineering and mathematics. Individuals can sharpen business skills and explore literature, law, politics and history. Creative arts courses investigate areas like fashion and film, and language classes include less-common offerings such as Irish and Norwegian.

Participants can take many FutureLearn courses for free. They can also upgrade to gain certificates of completion and extended access to course materials. ExpertTracks, micro-credentials, and online degrees all require payment.

Canvas Network

Canvas is a widely used learning management system (LMS) for K-12 and higher education. Canvas has more than 30 million users, so many students and parents may already know of it. The company also offers free online classes, specializing in career development resources for education professionals.

Educators can learn strategies for helping at-risk students, teaching remotely, navigating copyright issues and using the Canvas LMS, among other subjects. Depending on the class, instruction is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.

Courses on Canvas Network are mostly free and self-paced. The site offers only short courses and does not provide certificates of completion. Some individual instructors may include that option.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy, a nonprofit, focuses on elementary and high school education—unlike many other MOOC platforms. The platform boasts over 140 million registered users across more than 190 countries.

Khan Academy offers courses in subjects like language arts, science, economics, life skills and art history. Depending on the topic, levels range from pre-K through high school. Learners can also complete prep courses for the SAT, LSAT, Praxis Core and MCAT.

Classes are entirely free, and the site provides resources to help teachers and parents support their students’ success.


Unlike aggregate sites, technology educator Udacity publishes its own courses. The for-profit site develops classes in collaboration with industry leaders like GitHub and Amazon.

Udacity divides its offerings among eight schools, each focused on a tech discipline like artificial intelligence, programming and development or data science. Students can enroll in short courses or longer “nanodegree” programs. Free options fall into the short-course category and last from two to 16 weeks.

Nanodegree programs require paid participation and include academic and career support, discussion forums and project reviews. There is no free certificate option, but credential-seeking students can save through Udacity’s discounts and scholarships.


Many MOOC hubs offer only curated content from partner organizations. Udemy, however, allows anyone to create, upload and teach courses. For this reason, Udemy users may need to vet potential classes more carefully than students on some other MOOC sites. However, Udemy courses feature many highly qualified educators teaching a broad array of subjects.

Udemy divides its courses into 12 broad categories, including IT and software, business, lifestyle and design. Niche topics include TikTok marketing, tarot reading, day trading and aerial photography.

Most of Udemy’s over 204,000 classes require a fee, but the platform also offers more than 500 free options. Course prices range from $19.99 to $199.99, and the site runs frequent sales. Class fees include lifetime access and a certificate of completion. Udemy also provides a subscription option.

Cognitive Class

IBM’s Cognitive Class delivers free, self-paced online training in data science and cognitive computing. Learners can earn badges to showcase their skills in areas like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, Python and JavaScript.

Cognitive Class offers individual courses, which typically run from three to 20 hours, along with 10 learning paths in areas like data science fundamentals and deep learning. These three- to five-course sequences allow students to explore subjects more in-depth. Learners can refine their class search using factors like topic, experience level, target skills and preferred language (English or Chinese).

To earn a badge, students must complete review questions and pass a one-hour exam.  For many courses, Cognitive Class allows unlimited auditing before participants try for their badge.

General Assembly

This career education provider focuses on high-impact, in-demand skills training. General Assembly’s programs cater to both beginners launching new careers and professionals seeking to enhance their resumes. Offerings include career preparation bootcamps, available online and at more than 30 campus locations worldwide.

Along with free courses and workshops, students can pursue the company’s intensive bootcamp programs. General Assembly’s bootcamps cost $4,500 to $16,450. The platform also offers some free resources. Learners can attend live-streamed webinars to explore topics like data, design and digital marketing. Beginning coders can learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript basics through the free Dash web development course. General Assembly also offers no-cost career development classes and e-books.

MIT OpenCourseWare

Through OpenCourseWare, MIT has provided free online access to the university’s curricula since 2001. Published under a Creative Commons license, OpenCourseWare materials are free to download, use, share and adapt. Since launching its pilot website with 50 courses, OpenCourseWare has grown to include the entire MIT catalog.

OpenCourseWare does not issue credit or certificates, but learners can follow a self-charted path through a vast array of topics like sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and arts. Students can search for courses by topic, department and level. Users can also filter classes by whether they offer features like exams, online textbooks or lecture videos.

The Open University

Chartered in 1969, the Open University is a pioneer in leveraging technological innovation to widen educational access. Originally reaching students through television and radio, The Open University began online instruction in the 1990s. Today, the UK-based public college offers degrees, diplomas, certificates and standalone modules and courses.

Launched in 2006, The Open University’s free learning platform OpenLearn provides over 1,000 courses ranging from one to 100 study hours. Users can also access videos, games, quizzes and articles. Over 6 million people use OpenLearn each year.

Course subjects fall into eight categories covering a variety of academic topics. Some courses allow learners to earn digital badges or statements of participation. Students can’t contact instructors, but they can communicate with peers through each course’s comments section.

Sun, 31 Dec 2023 22:43:00 -0600 Ilana Hamilton en-US text/html
The Best Language Learning Apps for 2024

The Best Language Learning Software Deals This Week*

*Deals are selected by our commerce team

What language do you want to learn? Have you already learned a little, or are you starting from scratch? Is your goal to know the language so well that you can speak, hear, read, and write it like a native speaker, or do you have a different goal? Does the language you're learning use a different script? Is it hard for you to make unfamiliar sounds? Answering all these questions is crucial to finding the right apps for learning and practicing a language—yes, apps, plural. If you want to make real progress with a language, whether you're learning for school, travel, family, or personal enrichment, you need a variety of tools.

As with all kinds of education, learning a language takes dedication. Picking the right tools sets you up for success. Read on to learn which apps scored highest in our testing, as well as everything you need to consider when choosing the right language-learning tools for you.

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

Rosetta Stone

Best Paid App for Beginners

Why We Picked It

Rosetta Stone is one of the best software programs for learning a language, especially for beginners. It excels at introducing new words and basic grammar, like conjugation and agreement, in a way that's compelling. When learning is going well, you don't even realize all the work that has gone into creating a program that introduces you to new ideas at the right time, and that's a huge part of what makes Rosetta Stone so good. Rosetta Stone also does an excellent job of getting you to commit to learning and studying for about 30 minutes per day with its wonderfully clear and structured lessons, which are laid out in an order you should follow.

Who It's For

Rosetta Stone is best for beginners and some students at the early intermediate level. Once you know a language well enough to converse a little and read with some fluidity, you're probably beyond what Rosetta Stone has to offer. But when you're just getting started with a new language and are still uncomfortable with it, that's when Rosetta Stone is best.


  • Excellent user experience
  • Highly intuitive
  • Polished interface on desktop and mobile
  • Optional online tutoring sessions
  • Great bonus content


  • No placement test
  • Repetitive at times


Best Free Language App

Why We Picked It

There really is no better free language learning app than Duolingo. Having tested dozens of language learning apps, we have no doubt that Duolingo would still be one of the best if you paid for it—which you can do with Duolingo Plus if you prefer to have a slightly improved experience with no ads, a special mode for practicing your mistakes, and other perks. What makes Duolingo so good? The content is strong and the design of the app makes it so that you can pick up and practice for a few minutes per day or sit down for longer study sessions. We love Duolingo's podcasts and Stories feature for the languages that have it. No matter what other tools you use to learn a language, you should incorporate Duolingo for daily practice.

Who It's For

Duolingo really is great for all language students. It's available on all major platforms and works great on mobile devices. You can learn as many languages as you want for free, and there are more than 30 languages to choose from. It works very well for beginners and intermediate-level students. And it's free. How can you go wrong with that?


  • Free with few limitations
  • No limit to how many languages you can learn
  • Clear structure, great exercises
  • Can test out of lessons that are too easy
  • Excellent podcasts
  • Low price for paid subscription


  • Quantity of material varies by language
  • Grammar lessons could be more prominently placed


Price Includes All Languages, All Levels
Style of Program Interactive Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 37
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 4


Best for Group Classes

Why We Picked It

Lingoda offers small group and one-on-one classes via Zoom for very reasonable prices. More importantly, however, the classes are highly structured. You get PDFs of all the materials before the class, and the instructor works their way through the same PDF during the class. What Lingoda offers is completely different from tutoring, where a student often brings to the table topics they want to practice or learn. In Lingoda, however, the class material is set ahead of time, and students work their way through all the classes in a particular level before advancing to the next one.

Who It's For

Lingoda is one of very few online language learning programs that's appropriate for beginners, intermediate, and advanced level students. If you've studied a language for several years but need so-called maintenance classes, Lingoda will do the trick. If you're just starting out with a language, Lingoda is also suited for you—although do expect to work on the language in your own time to supplement the practice you get in Lingoda. We don't recommend using only Lingoda for new speakers. Pair it with another class or learning app to get the best results.


  • Affordable
  • Small group and one-on-one language classes via Zoom
  • Qualified, enthusiastic instructors
  • Excellent learning materials
  • Placement test provided


  • Classes for only a few languages
  • Doesn't include a software-based course


Price Includes Small Group Classes and Materials
Style of Program Live Video Call Classes
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 3
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 60

Sign It ASL

Best for Sign Language

Why We Picked It

We tested quite a few apps and websites for learning American Sign Language, and Sign It ASL is by far the best. Working through a lesson feels a little like watching a television show because there are segments with characters who essentially perform short skits in ASL with narration and closed captioning to help you learn. After each skit are interactive sessions for practicing and quizzing yourself on what you've learned. Sign It ASL includes a lot of information about etiquette, culture, and other aspects of ASL that are essential to learning this language, and it does so wonderfully.

Who It's For

Sign It ASL is for teen and adult learners looking to learn American Sign Language. Because Sign It uses both narration and closed captioning, you can be hard of hearing or deaf and use this program. You can also be hearing. The team that makes Sign It ASL also has programs and YouTube videos for young children learning ASL called Signing Time. Sign It ASL is also appropriate for parents and family members of deaf infants and very young children who will need adult support in acquiring the language as they grow, and there's a special application process for those parents to get Sign It ASL for free.


  • Excellent content and compelling format
  • Accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people
  • Free for parents of deaf children under 36 months
  • Wonderful cast of instructors and actors
  • Buy once, own forever


  • No mobile apps
  • Small improvements to interactive quiz design would help


Price Includes Video Lessons
Style of Program Quizzes
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 1
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 45-60


Best for Instructor-Led Videos

Why We Chose It

If you've ever tried Rosetta Stone and felt that it just wasn't for you, Fluenz is the best alternative. It is just as good as Rosetta Stone at teaching beginners and intermediate level students what they need to know about a language, but the teaching approach is completely different. In Fluenz, you get a virtual instructor in short class-style videos. Then you move into interactive practice modules, which are tougher than Rosetta Stone's and don't use the deductive method of learning that gives Rosetta Stone its unique feel.

Who It's For

If you learn better with a teacher than a game-like app, then Fluenz is for you. It's best for beginner and intermediate-level students. Fluenz doesn't offer too many languages, however, only Chinese (Mandarin with Pinyin only), French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Latin American Spanish, and European Spanish.


  • Excellent core content
  • Well suited for beginners and for long-term use
  • Thorough
  • App design prevents distractions


  • Limited number of languages
  • Only basic voice recording
  • No live web classes


Price Includes 1 Level
Style of Program Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 7
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 45


Best for Audio-Based Learning

Why We Picked It

Pimsleur uses a unique teaching method developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur, for whom the program is named. The Pimsleur method introduces you to words and concepts, has you repeat them, and then waits a specific amount of time before asking you to recall them again. The idea is that these timed intervals between moments of learning and recall strengthen your memory. Pimsleur courses have great content to boot.

Who It's For

Some adult learners start up with a new language and have a really hard time with pronunciation because they continue to say the letters and sounds they see as if they were in their native tongue. For those people, Pimsleur is exceptional. Pimsleur gives you the opportunity to hear words and practice saying them before you see them. This audio-focused language app is also ideal for people who need to practice a language while multi-tasking or who simply prefer audio-based learning. Pimsleur has courses for beginner, intermediate, and upper intermediate level students.


  • Excellent for learning to speak and hear spoken languages
  • Superb structure
  • Programs for 50 languages, plus ESL courses


  • Expensive
  • Difficult to learn new scripts


Price Includes All Languages, All Levels
Style of Program Audio
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 50
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 30


Best for Inexpensive Tutoring

Why We Picked It

Rype is an online marketplace where language students find tutors and then sign up for low-cost sessions. We like that you can find tutors in a variety of languages with plenty of availability for a very good rate. It makes finding a tutor and attending a lesson extremely convenient.

Who It's For

Because Rype offers tutoring and not classes, it's best for language learners who are not true beginners. Intermediate level speakers and higher will get the most out of Rype. If you're a beginner level speaker who's at least ready to have short conversations or you have specific questions about the language that you want answered, then Rype may be a good option.


  • Inexpensive one-on-one tutoring
  • Good tools for finding instructors


  • Short sessions
  • May take time to find the right instructor


Price Includes Individual Lessons
Style of Program One-on-One
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 9
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 30

Transparent Language Online

Best for Hard-to-Find Languages

Why We Picked It

Where do you turn when you need to learn a language that other language apps don't teach? Go to Transparent. It specializes in courses and lessons that teach boutique and hard-to-find languages. The amount of content for languages varies greatly, however. Transparent is better than some other language apps in terms of its speaking and listening exercises. It is more expensive than many other apps, and generally speaking, it's more challenging.

Who It's For

Transparent Language is for people who can't find the language they need to learn anywhere else. The only other app that offers close to as many languages as Transparent is Mango Languages, and Transparent is hands-down better.


  • Offers instruction in more than 100 languages
  • Clear learning path and structure
  • Excellent speech analysis
  • Appropriately challenging


  • Writing and spelling exercises could be more polished
  • Some languages have more content than others
  • Pricier than others


Price Includes 12-Month Subscription
Style of Program Interactive Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 100
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 10


Best for Getting Videos in the Native Language

Why We Picked It

Unlike most other language learning apps and services, Yabla takes a video-first approach. Diving into Yabla's material is more like going to YouTube than cracking open a text book. You learn by watching videos, some of which are in the style of a language learning lesson but many others are just interesting content—music videos, cooking segments, travel shows—in the language you're learning. What makes Yabla different from YouTube is the interactive questions you can answer after you finish a video to test what you learned.

Who It's For

While Yabla has some content for beginners, we think it's best for intermediate and higher speakers. Beginners with a few months of learning under their belt would do all right with Yabla too. It's refreshing for people who have grown tired of other language learning apps that drill you in the standard listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar lessons.


  • Excellent for sharpening language-listening skills
  • Provides exposure to new words and expressions
  • Uses a variety of speakers and accents
  • Videos with conversational pace


  • Lacks structure
  • Inconsistent quality
  • Few languages offered


Price Includes 1-Month Subscription
Style of Program Videos
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 5
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) varies


Best for Challenging Content

Why We Picked It

Babbel has a web app and mobile apps that help you learn and practice a new language at your own pace, even if that pace is quite fast. Interactive exercises can feel tedious at times, but they are also more challenging than what most other language apps offer. With Babbel, you learn concepts, words, and phrases unique to the language at hand—it's not a cookie-cutter course for each language, the way many of its competitors are. Bring a pen to take notes, and get ready to learn a lot.

Who It's For

Babbel is best for people who find learning languages somewhat easy, possibly people who grew up speaking two or more languages and are now studying a language in a familiar language family. This app is tough, so if you find most language learning apps to be too easy or too slow, then Babbel is one you should try.


  • High-quality lessons unique to each language
  • Helpful instructional blurbs for true beginners
  • Live classes available
  • Challenging content


  • Total amount of content varies by language
  • Layout could be clearer
  • Unmemorable lessons
  • Not a great value for the money


Price Includes Subscription
Style of Program Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 13
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 5

Buying Guide: The Best Language Learning Apps for 2024

What Is the Best Language Learning Software?

The best app for learning a foreign language depends on your needs and your goals. Apps and online services let you learn at your own pace and in spaces where you're most comfortable. The trick is figuring out what you need to work on at different stages.

When you first start out, you might like a program that tells you exactly what to study for an intensive 30 minutes per day. Rosetta Stone and Fluenz are both exceptional at that. Add in a mobile app with more bite-sized content so you can refresh your memory in short bursts. Duolingo is especially good for practicing on the go, as is the study aid Quizlet

Some language learners find that looking at written language trips up their pronunciation. In that case, you might be better off starting with an audio-focused program, such as Pimsleur or Michel Thomas. Between the two, Pimsleur rates higher in our testing.

If you're already an intermediate or advanced speaker, small group classes or one-on-one conversations with a tutor are excellent options. Lingoda offers one-hour small classes and one-on-one sessions, all conducted over Zoom. Babbel now has similar classes that it sells separately from its app subscription. Between them, we recommend Lingoda more highly. Another place to get human instruction is Rype, which focuses on one-on-one tutoring in 30-minute sessions. Not quite ready to converse? Try Yabla, a site that's flush with videos of native speakers, which can help you acclimate your ear and expand your vocabulary.

Sometimes, you need resources that are specific to the language you're learning. For example, when learning American Sign Language, you really need either a live instructor or videos. Sign It ASL, an online course whose video lessons have the feel of a television show, is extremely effective. 

Similarly, for languages with a script that's new to you, it's best to find an app that includes content for teaching reading and writing. In some cases, you might pick up two apps, one that focuses solely on reading and writing and another that teaches speaking and listening. There are plenty of apps that teach only writing for Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, and other non-Roman scripts.

How Do You Learn Language Best? 

One of the hardest parts about learning a different language is that if you succeed 100% of the time, it's not difficult enough. If it's too easy, you're not learning. It's uncomfortable for many people, but it's another reason you need to explore all your options and language learning apps and resources that match your skill level. 

For example, podcasts are a great way to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Babbel and Duolingo both have good podcasts. If you can understand about 80% of what's being said, that's right where you should be. If you're not into podcasts in the first place, you might get frustrated and give up.

A few apps, including Lingoda, offer placement tests so you can find out which level is the most appropriate place for you to start.

Duolingo quiz with sound

Duolingo is the best free language learning app, offering bite-sized interactive sessions. (Credit: Duolingo)

What Is the Best Free Language Learning App?

The best free app for learning a language is Duolingo, hands down. We recommend it enthusiastically, no matter your level or language goals, as it has just about everything. You won't become fluent using only Duolingo, but it is excellent for helping you study and keep up your skills.

It's available as a web app and mobile app, and it works well whether you're a total beginner or already have experience. You can study as many languages as you like on Duolingo. It has more than 30 languages with instruction in English, plus more options if your preferred language of instruction is something else.

If you're not a beginner, Duolingo lets you take a placement test to find the right place to start. It also makes it easy to practice specific skills because it has lessons that focus not only on vocabulary themes (Family, Hobbies) but also on verb tenses and grammatical rules (Past Imperfect, Dative Case).

You can practice exercises in bite-size lessons or explore content for intermediate and advanced speakers, including Stories and podcasts, which are only available for some languages. Duolingo also has some gamification aspects, so you can set a goal for yourself and compete against others. The more you hit your goal, the more bonus points you earn. It's a wonderful app that's totally free. You can support Duolingo by paying for a Plus account, but it's not necessary to get everything this app has to offer.

Is Rosetta Stone Worth the Price?

Rosetta Stone is the most polished language-learning app, with plenty of extras. Among paid programs, it continues to be our top pick, with Fluenz being a close second. Rosetta Stone is often on sale, so you can expect to pay less than the list price to get it. If you and your family members study multiple languages often, the Lifetime membership is a good deal because it gives you access to all of Rosetta Stone's languages for your lifetime for one flat rate (usually you can get it for about $179 on sale).

Rosetta Stone is reliable, accurate, and thorough, with more than 20 languages. We like its rigor, especially for beginners. You know what to do every day, and you can plan to spend about 30 minutes per day completing your lesson. If you follow this routine, Rosetta Stone has enough content to keep you busy for months. Again, you won't become fluent in a language using only Rosetta Stone, but it's superb at getting you started and helping you build a foundation so that you can add more tools to further your learning.

For all these reasons, Rosetta Stone is ideal for anyone who is new to a language and wants to develop a base vocabulary and grammar. It's well-structured, clear, and moves at a deliberate pace. Use Rosetta Stone faithfully for a few months, and you'll learn to speak, read, write, and understand basic words and phrases.

Rosetta Stone Spanish storyboard

Rosetta Stone uses an immersion teaching style in its interactive software. (Credit: Rosetta Stone)

The Best Language Software With a Virtual Teacher

Some learners do best when they have an instructor to guide them. When you're starting with a language, seeing another human being speak it, watching their facial movements, and seeing their smile can make it feel less intimidating. Fluenz gets it. This program uses videos of a teacher to introduce new lessons and review concepts, then follows them up with interactive learning exercises and quizzes. It's as rigorous as Rosetta Stone, but it uses a completely different approach, which some people prefer.

Fluenz quiz screen

Fluenz has prerecorded video-based lessons with an instructor, plus interactive exercises. (Credit: Fluenz)

As Fluenz progresses, the instructor walks you through lessons in not only pronunciation and grammar but culture, too. If you learn best when you see a familiar face, Fluenz is a great program to pick.

Fluenz offers seven language courses: Chinese (Mandarin with Pinyin writing only), French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Latin American Spanish, and European Spanish.

Lingoda interactive class on Zoom

Lingoda's small group classes are limited to five students. (Credit: Lingoda/Zoom/PCMag)

The Best App for Group Classes and Speaking Practicing

Lingoda is our top pick for live, video-based group classes designed to get you speaking. With Lingoda, you take a placement test and then commit to a package of classes, which you pay for upfront. Classes take place over Zoom and are limited to five students. One-on-one sessions are also available for a higher per-class cost.

The curriculum and levels used in Lingoda are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Lingoda offers classes in French, German, Spanish, English, and Business English.

Babbel multiple choice question

Babbel is the best language learning app for people who like challenging content. (Credit: Babbel)

What Is the Most Challenging Language Instruction App?

One app stands out for having lessons that are harder than others: Babbel. While testing this app, we kept a notebook by our side and quickly filled it with words and phrases just to keep up. Not everyone can jump into tough language-learning content, but some people can and like it.

For example, if you're learning a language that's linguistically close to the one you already speak, such as German and Dutch or Spanish and Portuguese, tougher content might be best for you. Additionally, experienced language learners might find Babbel's content just the right speed.

Babbel has 13 languages, assuming your language of instruction is English. You can learn Danish, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. There's also a course for learning English, with instruction available in French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Recommended by Our Editors

If you've studied a language before and find that most language learning apps are too easy, you might want to try an app that gives you movies and TV shows in your target language, plus some tools to help you learn the words, phrases, and expressions that are new to you. Two good apps offer this: Yabla and Lingopie (which didn't score high enough to be included in our final list of the 10 best language apps). Both Yabla and Lingopie let you watch videos with the option to show closed captioning in the native language as well as English subtitles. You can look for content from a particular country or region if you're trying to acclimate your ear to a certain dialect or accent.

Yabla conversation quiz screen

Yabla helps experienced learners practice listening and comprehension. (Credit: Yabla)

What makes them different? Yabla offers six languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, plus an English program for Spanish speakers. When you sign up, you choose just one language. Lingopie has six languages as well (French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish). When you pay for an account, you get access to all the content in all the languages. Yabla has more interactive exercises for practicing the new words you learn, and in terms of genre, it offers both instructional learning videos and entertainment. Lingopie has only entertainment—no lessons on grammar or anything else—and only flashcards for interacting with new words you learn along the way.

The Best Audio-Focused Language Apps

If you're the kind of person who can get immersed in podcasts and audiobooks, you might consider an audio-focused language learning program. Two that stand out are Pimsleur and Michel Thomas. (Michel Thomas did not score high enough to be included in our top ten.) Each is named after the person who created the learning technique used in the program. Both were sold as tapes, then as CDs, and now as apps.

Pimsleur app screens showing lesson breakdown and example phrases

Pimsleur offers audio-focused lessons, plus interactive app content for select languages. (Credit: Pimsleur/PCMag)

Pimsleur, named for Dr. Paul Pimsleur, uses a spaced repetition method. In other words, the program uses specific intervals of time between when you first learn a word and when you're asked to recall it, and these intervals are designed for maximum language retention. Each lesson takes about 30 minutes, and you're supposed to do exactly one lesson per day. For select languages, you can find a version of the Pimsleur app with interactive exercises, too.

The method used in the Michel Thomas app is different. Michel Thomas was a polyglot who developed a method of informal teaching. It involves putting people into a classroom and teaching them words that can be used as building blocks. That way, you get to speaking quickly and can mix and match the words you've learned to say in several sentences. When you buy the Michel Thomas program, you hear the recording from one of these classrooms, and you're supposed to play along as if you were there in person.

Mango Languages conversation lesson

For learning a language that isn't widely taught, Mango Languages is one of the best places to look. (Credit: Mango Languages)

The Best Apps for Hard-to-Find Languages

Most language-learning software is available for Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. What do you do if you need to learn Igbo or Ojibwe?

When you're in a bind to find an app for a language you want to learn, there are two sources to try: Transparent Language Online and Mango Languages (which didn't make the cut for this list). Transparent has programs for more than 100 languages. Some of those programs are short, but the company is adding to them over time. Mango Languages is an option if you're stuck, though it's not an app we highly recommend. For some languages, however, it may be your only option.

The Best App for Learning ASL

There are several useful apps for learning American Sign Language, but our clear favorite is Sign It ASL. This app meets the unique challenges of teaching fingerspelling as well as more complex signs, grammar, culture, and etiquette. 

Sign It ASL video lesson with lesson breakdown

Sign It ASL is the best service we've tested for learning American Sign Language. (Credit: Sign It ASL)

As you might guess, the content is entirely video-based, using pre-recorded and professionally produced videos. Sign It ASL manages to convey a lot of information in relatively long (up to an hour) video lessons that are entertaining and engaging.

Make Sure Your Apps Are Tough Enough

However you choose to learn a language, stick with it! Don't be afraid to change the app you use as you progress. When an app feels too easy, it's time to stretch yourself in new ways.

If any of the apps in this list sounds right for you, click the link for an in-depth review. If you're looking to learn something other than a language, from coding to sewing, see our roundup of the best online learning services.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Making the most of technology to drive success for online learners

Technology enables universities to offer personalised learning at scale, widening accessibility and boosting diversity within student cohorts. However, universities must implement strategies to centralise siloed data and deliver effective communications with prospective students to optimise the use of technology. A session, held in partnership with Salesforce, at the 2023 THE Digital Universities Europe event, brought together technology experts from the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and the customer relationship management platform Salesforce to discuss the myriad challenges facing the university – from reducing attrition rates and offering personalised support to forging agile collaboration among departments.

In 1995, the UOC became one of the first universities in the world to offer an asynchronous educational model to students. With a rise in student enrolment from hundreds to approximately 87,000 students, the university is creating a niche in Spain’s higher education sector.

In the beginning, UOC attracted more mature learners. The institution has seen a surge in younger applicants because it provides more flexibility to balance professional pursuits or travel, said Josè Manuel Rivera López, customer relationship management director at the university. Although the surge in student enrolments is welcomed, it comes with challenges. Meeting the expectations of a large student population requires connecting all the digital touch points within the student journey, monitoring each engagement effectively and streamlining processes with automation.

In 2015, the university collaborated with Salesforce to equip their teams with a modern cloud-based technology stack, enabling them to personalise engagement with prospective students and applicants. “The reason we chose Salesforce was [because] we needed a single source of data. We needed the data in a single place, with a single model,” said López.

By using Salesforce Customer 360, the UOC is not only automating digital touchpoints to reduce the administrative burden on staff but also deepening their relationships with prospective students thanks to personalised and dynamic communications. The Salesforce platform makes it easy to centralise fragmented data and get a 360-degree view of each individual – leading to agile collaboration among departments, López said.

López shared examples of how data insights support the university during hectic periods, such as when there is an influx of student enquiries about courses and degree programmes. Streamlining recruitment and admission processes helps the university stand out in a competitive market and bolsters a yearly 10 per cent enrolment growth.

López also shared that this experience provided a valuable learning experience, which helped the institution identify the best practices to stay connected to its 100,000 graduates and offer them new learning opportunities. Finding similarities among various service processes across the campus is another reason why UOC is piloting Salesforce to personalise academic advising for students. Technology is crucial in driving efficiency and reducing cost, and so is the change management that accompanies its implementation, López concluded.

The panel:

  • José Manuel Rivera López, customer relationship management director, Open University of Catalonia
  • Julio Villalobos, education strategic industry advisor, Salesforce

Find out more about Salesforce.

Mon, 11 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 text/html
15 Best Foreign Languages to Learn for a Child

In this article, we will be looking at the 15 best foreign languages to learn for a child. If you would like to skip our detailed analysis of language learning for children, you can directly go to the 5 Best Foreign Languages to Learn for a Child

Why Language Education Matters in the Early Years

In a world where globalization heightens with every passing day, learning foreign languages can open people up to a plethora of new experiences, including travel, career, and cross-cultural relationships. While there are over 7,000 living languages today, accessing just a few will change your worldview. Research has shown connections between language learning and skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, information retention, and empathy. Thus learning new languages serves several cognitive benefits as well. 

According to Scientific American, language learning should start at a younger age, preferably before the child reaches ten, which makes childhood the best age to teach a foreign language to a child. Before adolescence, it is easier for the brain to adjust itself to a second language, an ability which decreases with age. The point, however, is not to discourage adults from language education. Acquiring a new language is a beneficial skill at any point in one’s life, but kids may find it slightly easier to get accustomed to this process while also gaining several benefits in the process. 

A 2021 study by D'Souza et al. discovered that kids who grew up as bilinguals found it easier to distinguish visual changes as well as shift their attention from one image to another quickly. Another research from 2013, titled 'Bilingualism in the Early Years', concluded that bilingual children tend to demonstrate higher empathy, including the understanding of other perspectives, desires, thoughts, and intentions. Robust language systems that work by detecting changes in the rhythm and tone of certain words will also enable their learners to get better at understanding tone of voice, another benefit picked up by this study. Tonal languages such as Yoruba, Mandarin, and Cantonese can offer these benefits, and they’re also some of the most spoken languages in the world. 

It might seem daunting to push kids to pick up a second language, but if kids can excel in learning programming languages, human communication is no different. In fact, language learning is a prime example of how the first step is the toughest, but the rest comes easy. In 2017, Grey et al. discovered that bilingual kids find it easier to pick up other languages in the future because they already have a strong foundation for language learning. Thus, these kids receive an edge in careers that may require multilingual candidates. 

Career Opportunities for Multilingual Kids 

The primary reasons for encouraging kids to become multilingual include higher education and career opportunities. In the QS World Universities Ranking published in June 2023, 11 of the top 50 universities are in Asia, while six are in Europe, minus those in the UK. Many of these countries do not have English as an official language or do not actually use it as a medium of instruction. For students wanting to get into any of these universities, having access to the country’s language will open a lot of closed doors. 

After education, career paths are another brilliant reason for kids to learn other foreign languages. It makes it easier to conduct business in various countries and tap into foreign markets, but it also paves the way for diplomatic careers. The United Nations has five official and working languages other than English. Official languages are those in which the UN documents are available while working languages are used for internal staff communication. 

For people who might not speak either of the six UN languages, their lives are made easier by translators and interpreters. According to a report by The Business Research Company, the global translation services market was valued at $22.7 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.2% until 2027, reaching a value of $27.86 billion by the end of the forecasted period. As the demand for foreign languages increases, the industry is bound to grow. A 2019 language industry survey by EUATC found that some of the industries with the highest demand for translators were legal, governmental, travel, media, and finance. Furthermore, Industry Research valued the interpretation industry at $9.4 billion in 2021, projecting it to reach $17.5 billion by 2027, at an expected CAGR of 10.7%. According to ZipRecruiter, foreign language linguist jobs in the US can pay up to $153,000 per year, whereas interpreter jobs can pay up to $80,500 per year. 

Resources to Help Children Acquire Foreign Languages

Not every important language in today’s world is easy to learn, but even the most difficult languages can be tackled well through the proper resources. School might be the best place for kids to pick up a new language, but there are gaps in what languages are accessible in American schools. According to a report by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National K-12 Foreign Language Enrollment Survey, Romance languages are the most common foreign language courses in US high schools, with 46% of all classes focusing on Spanish and 21% on French. 

In this environment, companies such as Duolingo Inc (NASDAQ:DUOL) become instrumental. Duolingo Inc (NASDAQ:DUOL) is a language learning platform that offers 43 languages, including lesser-spoken ones like Welsh and Irish and fictional ones like High Valyrian and Klingon. According to a study conducted by the company itself, finishing five sections of a language on Duolingo Inc (NASDAQ:DUOL) can be equivalent to five semesters of reading and listening to the said language. In the third quarter of 2023, 26 hedge funds were long Duolingo Inc (NASDAQ:DUOL) with stakes worth $1.36 billion. This is compared to 30 positions in the second quarter of 2023 with stakes worth $1.31 billion.

While platforms like these can surely come in handy, many people may need to supplement their language learning with additional resources like those offered by Coursera Inc (NYSE:COUR) or Udemy Inc (NASDAQ:UDMY). Coursera Inc (NYSE:COUR) is an educational platform that offers courses in over 40 languages, using a classroom-like model to facilitate learning. In 2023, Coursera Inc (NYSE:COUR) expanded to offer VR features in Chinese language courses, which enhance learning by complementing the existing course material. Through VR technology, learners can virtually travel to Chinese settings, where they can interact with native speakers. In the third quarter of 2023, Coursera Inc (NYSE:COUR) was a part of $133.2 million. This is compared to 21 hedge funds in the prior quarter with stakes worth $125.1 million. The hedge fund sentiment for the stock is positive.

Udemy Inc (NASDAQ:UDMY) is an online learning and teaching marketplace offering foreign language courses for beginners, advanced learners, and those looking to learn for fun. Udemy Inc (NASDAQ:UDMY) also offers generic courses like ‘How to Learn and Memorize the Vocabulary of Any Languages’, which can help kids in any language learning program. Over the past three months, Udemy Inc (NASDAQ:UDMY) has received Buy ratings from 5 Wall Street analysts. The stock has an average price target of $14.43 and a high forecast of $20.

Now that we have established how language learning can be beneficial for kids let’s take a look at the 15 best foreign languages to learn for a child based on several metrics.

15 Best Foreign Languages to Learn for a Child

15 Best Foreign Languages to Learn for a Child

Our Methodology

In order to devise a ranking for the 15 best foreign languages to learn for a child, we undertook a three-prong process. First, we utilized the Power Language Index by Kai L. Chan to shortlist the 20 most influential languages in terms of economy. Next, we shortlisted the 15 which had the highest number of speakers. Lastly, to organize the 15 languages in a ranking, the FSI Language Difficulty Ranking was used. The FSI categorizes languages into five categories, with those in Category 1 being the easiest to learn. For all the languages equal in terms of difficulty, the tie was broken based on economic influence. 

Note: The difficulty level is determined for English speakers. Furthermore, the language with the most speakers and economic influence is English, which will not be added to this list because we are working off the notion that it is not a foreign language for American children.

By adopting the unique combination of these three factors, we were able to come up with 15 foreign languages that are easy to learn and highly opportunistic for English-speaking children. Economic influence is essential because it determines how many career opportunities one can expect to come out of learning this language. 

The number of speakers holds importance because it showcases how many people you can practice the language with. It is also somewhat telling of how helpful the language will be during travel because a high number of speakers may symbolize that a language is spoken in more places. Lastly, FSI rankings will help kids and parents make an informed decision about which language they want to invest time in, given its average learning duration.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

15 Best Foreign Languages to Learn for a Child

15. Korean

Rank of Economic Influence: 14

Number of Speakers: 81.7 million

FSI Category: 5 

In February 2023, Korean was the 5th most popular language on Duolingo Inc (NASDAQ:DUOL), with 11.8 million learners, up from 7th place in 2022. While South Korea is certainly coming up in terms of its economy, one of the biggest reasons behind the growing popularity of the language is the ‘South Korean Wave’, characterized by the Korean media industry. Hits like ‘Parasite’ and ‘Squid Game’ have brought much attention to the language, as has the internationally acclaimed pop group BTS. According to FSI, it takes 88 weeks or 2,200 hours to reach proficiency in Category 5 languages. 

14. Cantonese

Rank of Economic Influence: 11

Number of Speakers: 86.6 million

FSI Category: 5 

Cantonese is one of the best foreign languages for a child because it is the second most commonly spoken variety of Chinese. While most Cantonese speakers live in Southern China, in the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, the language is spoken by Chinese communities worldwide. The language is also spoken in Hong Kong, which is considered an optimal place for startups, considering its tax-friendly system and lack of exchange controls. It is also one of the wealthiest economies in the world and a region well-known for its technological advancement. 

13. Standard Arabic 

Rank of Economic Influence: 9

Number of Speakers: 274 million

FSI Category: 5 

Standard Arabic refers to the language spoken in Saudi Arabia and taught in schools throughout the Middle East. Despite there being differences in Arabic dialects all over the region, most Arabic-speaking individuals will be able to understand modern standard Arabic. One of the biggest reasons for indulging in this language is travel because Arabic is the official or co-official language of around 25 countries. Countries like Jordan, UAE, and Egypt are rising fast in terms of their tourism potential, attracting more and more people. Egypt is also known for its media industry, so knowing the language can expose people to consuming the content in its original language. Arabic is also one of the official languages of the UN. 

12. Japanese 

Rank of Economic Influence: 4

Number of Speakers: 123.4 million

FSI Category: 5 

Japanese is the most popular Asian language on Duolingo Inc (NASDAQ:DUOL), with 13.8 million speakers worldwide. When looking at US language industry jobs, Japanese linguists are the second highest-paid, with an average salary of $153,000 a year. Many consider Japanese a ‘gateway’ to learning other Asian languages like Mandarin or Korean. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is the largest one in Asia in terms of listed companies. In 2021, TSE had 3,784 listed companies. Media is another reason kids may be inclined to learn Japanese, with the US being one of the largest markets for Japanese anime. 

11. Mandarin 

Rank of Economic Influence: 2

Number of Speakers: 1.1 billion

FSI Category: 5 

Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken Chinese variant and is the 2nd most spoken language in the world. Chinese has also commanded business and economic importance for years, considering that it is the second-largest economy in the world, with a nominal GDP of $17.96 trillion. It is one of the fastest-growing languages in the world and will open children up to many opportunities. This is why Chinese is one of the best foreign languages for a child to learn. Mandarin Chinese is one of the official languages of the UN as well. 

10. Hindi 

Rank of Economic Influence: 16

Number of Speakers: 609.5 million

FSI Category: 4

According to FSI, 44 weeks or 1,100 hours are needed to reach proficiency in Category 4 languages. India is one of the world’s most rapidly advancing countries in technological development, with over 25% of Silicon Valley startups managed by Indians. Hindi is one of the best foreign languages to learn for children because it will facilitate cross-cultural communication with one of the world’s largest economies as well as film industries, i.e. Bollywood. 

09. Russian 

Rank of Economic Influence: 12

Number of Speakers: 255 million

FSI Category: 4

Despite being one of the tougher languages on this list, Russian has one of the highest educational benefits. The number of Russian research publications in the STEM field has been growing, even though many tend to stay within the country due to the language barrier. Once kids learn the language, they can access an abundance of educational content that might otherwise have been out of reach. Russian is one of the six working languages of the UN. These are the reasons why it is one of the best foreign languages for a child to learn. 

08. Malay

Rank of Economic Influence: 17

Number of Speakers: 200 million 

FSI Category: 3

For the purpose of this list, Malay refers to both the variants spoken in Malaysia and Indonesia, which are mutually intelligible. It is the only Category 3 language on this list, which requires 36 weeks or 900 hours of instruction for proficiency. Malaysia and Indonesia are highly emerging economies, making this an excellent language for career progression. Learning either variant will provide access to both countries, so it is like learning two languages with one. Malay is also the official language of Singapore, one of Asia's strongest economies. 

07. German 

Rank of Economic Influence: 3

Number of Speakers: 133.2 million

FSI Category: 2

German is the only language in Category 2 of FSI because it is a unique language that requires 30 weeks of study due to its similarity to English. Germany is not only the world’s 4th largest economy in terms of GDP but also one of the best-ranked countries for higher education. Furthermore, Swiss German is the most spoken language in Switzerland. ETH Zurich in Switzerland is the seventh university on the QS rankings, first if you consider universities outside the UK and USA. 

06. Portuguese 

Rank of Economic Influence: 19

Number of Speakers: 263.6 million

FSI Category: 1

Category 1 languages are closely related to English and can be learned proficiently in 24-30 weeks or 600-750 hours of study. Portuguese is the official language of several territories and countries other than Portugal itself, such as Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, etc. Portugal and Brazil are highly popular for their tourist destinations, as well as football potential. For kids who love the sport, learning the language is a great way to connect more with the sports coverage. 

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Foreign Languages to Learn for a Child

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Disclosure: None. 15 Best Foreign Languages to Learn for a Child is originally published on Insider Monkey.

Thu, 21 Dec 2023 23:41:00 -0600 en-NZ text/html

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