Want to learn language with Alexa and Echo? If you own an Echo, then yes, you can learn with this technology.
It is very doable because with Alexa, you’re forced to do 2 things:
- You have to listen and speak
You already know that listening and speaking are important. If you can listen, you can understand. If you can speak, others will understand you. That’s how you learn language.
Now, how can you learn with Alexa and Echo specifically?
What are Amazon Alexa & Echo?
Here are the the Basics.
What’s Alexa? Alexa is Amazon’s personal, digital assistant. It is like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Basically, you talk at it, give commands, ask questions and it (or she) will talk back, do basic tasks, like set alarm clocks, play music, or check weather, and give answers to most of your questions.
What’s an Amazon Echo? The Amazon Echo is a speaker built by Amazon.com where “Alexa” lives. You can see how it looks in the picture below. It looks like a regular, round speaker but it’s so much more.
How does it work? You activate it by saying “Alexa.” Then, Alexa will start listening to your request. You can request it to tell you the time, weather, news, stock quotes as well as set alarms, play music, play messages, make phone calls, buy stuff on Amazon and anything else you can connect to the web. Watch the video below to see Echo and Alexa in action.
How to Learn Language with Alexa and Echo
So, how can you learn language with Alexa?
Here’s a question back at you.
What’s a good way of learning language in general? Wait, let me answer it. It’s “listening” and “speaking.” You listen to new words, you repeat them and you start learning a language. Just like you would with a person.
Since Alexa is all about audio and talking, it has become a tool for language learning.
With Alexa, you can get “apps”which are called “skills” for all kinds of things, including learning languages and this is where you can start learning. As a side note, at the moment, all skills available on the Alexa Skill store are free. This is probably because Alexa and Echo are still fairly new technology and still have ways to go.
As you can see below, there are a ton of skills and options aside from just learning language with Alexa.
Language Learning Skills on Alexa
The first skill I recommend is the Daily Dose by Innovative Language
With the Daily Dose skill, you can learn 34 languages including popular ones like Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. You can learn language in 1 of 2 ways.
- Word of the Day. Every day, Alexa will teach you a new word in the language of your choice. For example, just say “Alexa, Spanish Word by Daily Dose” to get the word, its meaning and an example sentence. This is quick and simple and takes a minute.
- Daily Audio Lesson. Or, you can learn with full-on, professional 10-15 minute long audio lessons. In every lesson, you will hear a practical conversation which is then translated and explained by a native speaker and an English speaker. By the end, you will master it.
You might be worried that if you’re dealing with Alexa, you will hear “robotic” audio. The good news here is, you are not dealing with “robot” voices but actual, real humans.
The Innovative Language lessons are made by language teachers and voice actors for perfect pronunciation.
What about Innovative Language? They are a language learning program, or rather the company behind 34 language programs. With them, you can learn to speak 34 languages with audio and video lessons and a toolbox of resources like flashcards, word lists, voice recording and 1-on-1 interaction.
You can read more about them here. The Complete and Detailed Innovative Language Review
How to Maximize Your Learning with Alexa
In other words, how can you milk Alexa for all it’s got?
Well, picture this example. You buy a language textbook.
If you think about it, all you can truly do with it is read. So, you start reading and your reading improves. Then one day, you get clever. You start reading out loud. Now, you’re practicing your speaking your speaking and pronunciation skills. Then, you decide to memorize whole conversations out of the book. Then, for every grammar rule, you write up 50 examples.
Your normal, average person wouldn’t think of doing this.
That’s because it requires creativity.
That is how you take advantage and maximize learning.
Okay, nice example. What about learning language with Alexa?
You call on Alexa, you ask for the daily word or a daily lesson. It starts playing. You hear the audio and the translations. So, mostly, you’re just getting input; you’re just only listening, right?
Here are some ideas on how to learn language with Alexa and the Daily Dose.
- Shadow: Repeat what you hear. Shadowing is just repeating what you hear to practice speaking. In fact, make it a rule to say things 10 times.
- Write it down: Get a notebook and write down the word of the day that you learn from Daily Dose. Yes, even if you spell it wrong, write it down anyway.
- Review what you write down: Otherwise, you will forget it.
- Increase the frequency: Ask Alexa to tell you the Word of the Day three times a day. The more you hear it, the better you will remember it. Do the same with the lessons.
- Memorize the conversation: When you listen to a Daily Dose lesson, try and memorize the conversation for that day.
- Write down the conversation: Again, even if you’re spelling all the Japanese or Spanish words wrong, it doesn’t matter.
- Remember: Ask yourself three times throughout the day if you remember what the word of the day is.
Why does it work? Learning language is a lot like exercising. If you do 1 exercise for a muscle, like regular curls for biceps, you’ll make some progress. But, if you add in more exercises, like hammer curls, and challenge the muscle in new ways, you’ll grow faster. The same goes for any skill.
Now you know how to learn language with Alexa and the Echo.
Also, check out this post: Top 8 Skills to Learn Language with Alexa on Amazon Echo.
Do you have an Echo? If you have other unique ways of learning, leave a comment.
– The Main Junkie
P.S. If you want a language learning program that you can access on your computer and smartphone, check this out. You can learn 34+ languages with easy audio and video lessons.