Top 8 Language Resources I Actually Use Language Resources

I review a lot of different language learning materials for this site. I love getting the chance to try out new resources, and I even go on to continue using some of the materials I review, but not all of them. There are just too many options.

In all honesty, I’d love to be able to use more of the resources I’ve discovered more often, but there really isn’t enough time for me to get to all of them. Not regularly, at least.

And this isn’t anything to do with the quality of the resources I’ve decided not to use. Some of them are really incredible, but they just aren’t what I, personally, need to use at whichever stage I’m at with my language study.

So, rather than spend a little bit of low-quality time with a large amount of resources, I’ve had to narrow the field. Instead, I’ve selected a few with which I like to spend a lot of high-quality time studying. This, of course, changes on occasion, but I’ve been pretty consistent with my choices over the past few years.

In this post, I’m sharing the eight language learning resources I use the most on a consistent basis. I’ve included how often I use them, what I use them for and how much they cost.

Not all of these resources will work for everyone, but they are what works for me. With these resources, I feel as though my study is equally balanced between the four skills I find necessary to being competent in a language – listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Top 8 Language Learning Resources I Actually Use

1. Memrise

I use Memrise EVERYDAY. It is probably the only resource I use every single day (although I have good intentions for other resources). The lessons are short and I can always find the time to fit in a bit of study on Memrise.

Why I use this resource // I use this resource to memorize vocabulary. It uses spaced-repetition to help you retain the words and phrases. There are a ton of great sets already setup on Memrise, but if they don’t have what you’re looking for you, you can create your own sets. I use several pre-made sets, but I also create my own sets from vocabulary I keep in my notebook.

How often I use this resource // Almost every day.

The cost of this resource // Free. There are, however, paid options if you prefer.

Try this resource for yourself.

2. iTalki

Between all of the languages I am studying, I take several iTalki lessons per week. I was hesitant to start using it, in all honesty, but the name kept coming up amongst language bloggers so I finally gave in. I haven’t looked back since.

Why I use this resource // I like to work with the teachers on italic because I get instant feedback on my progress and because teachers are perfect for helping you get pointed in the right direction.

How often I use this resource // I use it at least once a week.

The cost of this resource // $5+ per hour (or Free if you only visit for language exchanges).

Try this resource for yourself.

3. Assimil

I use Assimil several times per week. There are currently only 100 lessons per language so I am going to be pretty sad when I run out of lessons. They’ve started publishing materials beyond their With Ease series like this Japanese Manga book, so I’m eager to see what they’ll come up with for the languages I’m learning. Assimil is one of the first resources I buy when I start learning a new language and I highly recommend it.

Why I use this resource // I use Assimil because they are one of the few resources that helps you to develop all four aspects of your language learning – reading, writing, listening, and even speaking. They also offer various exercises and notes to help you fully delve into the language that you’re learning.

How often I use this resource // I use it several times a week.

The cost of this resource // $50-80.

Try this resource for yourself.

4. Pimsleur

I listen to Pimsleur several times a week while driving to and from work. I sometimes mix it up with foreign language music and/or podcasts. I’ve used Pimsleur for three languages now and it’s a really good way to make use of the time I spend in the car. It’s expensive, but I have found it to be a good use of my language learning money.

Why I use this resource // I use Pimsleur to work on my listening and speaking skills and because it’s a great use of all the time I spend commuting.

How often I use this resource // I use it at least once a week.

The cost of this resource // $120-$550.

Try this resource for yourself.

5. Lang-8

I try to use Lang-8 at least once per week, but that doesn’t always happen. I’ve found it really useful for learning to write and/or improving my writing.

Why I use this resource // I often use this to write short posts relevant to things that I might actually write or talk about in a real life conversation or article.

How often I use this resource // I try to use it at least once a month.

The cost of this resource // Free.

Try this resource for yourself.

6. FluentU

I love that FluentU uses native language content to help you improve your ability in and understanding of a language. They have a wide variety of videos available in several languages and I can always find something that interests me to work through. I really enjoy the music video and mini-movie series they have available.

Why I use this resource // I use FluentU to work on comprehension and to learn phrases that are used in everyday conversations in my target languages.

How often I use this resource // I use it at least once a week.

The cost of this resource // Free-$18/month.

Try this resource for yourself.

7. Practice Tests

I am using the HSK practice tests to study Mandarin. One of my goals with the language is to sit the HSK IV test at the end of this year and so I am using these books to gauge where I’m at with my learning. Practice tests – whether you plan on sitting the CEFL or the HSK exams – are a wonderful way to find out what level you’re at with the language you’re learning.

Why I use this resource // I use this resource to both practice for the test I plan on taking and to gauge what level I’m at with my learning.

How often I use this resource // I use it at least once a week.

The cost of this resource // $10-25.

Try this resource for yourself.

8. Native Language Films and Music

I don’t advocate using films and music as standalone learning tools until you’re at a more advanced level, but they can serve as a quick way to create the impression of language immersion when a real life immersion environment isn’t available to you. They’re also a really great way to grow attached to the culture tied to the language you’re learning which in turn deepens your relationship and interest in the language itself. I listen to music in my target language almost every day and I watch films or television shows every week or so.

Why I use this resource // I use native language films and music to create a temporary immersion environment. They are also great for picking up useful words and phrases.

How often I use this resource // I use it at least once a week.

The cost of this resource // Free-$3.99 (if you rent films on Amazon).

Try this resource for yourself.

I do, on occasion, use a few other resources to supplement my language study, but these are the eight that I use consistently.

If you enjoyed this list, I’m happy to announce that I’ve launched my Language Learning Gear page so that you can check out the various language learning resources I use and try them out for yourself!

I’d also love to hear about the language learning resources you use on a regular basis so please let me know what they are in the comments!.

Tips for Language Learning | Eurolinguiste



I'm a language lover, traveler and musician sharing my adventures and language learning tips over at Eurolinguiste. Join me on Facebook for daily language learning and travel tips!