My high school Spanish teacher – a morning person who loved to teach first thing in the day and then coach wrestling in the afternoon – would keep the window open during the Chicago winter in attempt to invigorate sleepy, grumpy teenagers. Myself – a night owl by nature – learned to concentrate on loathing the window instead of Spanish, growing to hate mornings even more. The only reason I didn’t fail the class was that I managed to fake those rolled R’s with my frozen, chattering teeth. The Nulu approach to learning a language sounds a lot more productive and fun.
Nulu – Fluency In A New Language For You
Already included in the curriculum at several universities, the Nulu Languages application uses dynamic, interactive content to complement textbook materials. Translated current event articles allow learners to immediately identify with content, which helps bridge the understanding gap more easily. Articles range on topics from sports to politics, from technology to culture, travel, and more. Contemporary stories and more informal vocabulary – think tech terms like “hack”, “disrupt”, etc. – make approaching a new language less intimidating for students.
Students hear texts translated by native speakers, which is invaluable for improving pronunciation. A slick feature permits readers to hover the cursor over a text and see a translated sentence side-by-side, to self-check comprehension. Furthermore, a recently launched service allows Spanish and English speakers to converse with one another about articles.
The trouble with academic courses is that it’s always difficult to keep enthusiasm afloat on the sea of rules and grammar. What’s more, it’s hard to pretend like you’re immersed in a culture when you’re in a classroom. When studying resembles reading the same things that a morning commuter might, the desk-bound student stands a better chance of going native.
5 Minutes A Day?
The Nulu website advertises learning Spanish in just five minutes a day. This enticing hook has a too-good-to-be-true ring to it, but if practice requires an effort on par with glimpsing the news, it’s worth the shot.
To reinforce learning, Nulu personalizes review. Rate the difficulty of words, and Nulu will adjust how often you’re exposed to them. Other language programs like the Pimsleur recordings have proven that timely reintroduction of vocabulary is key for successful retention.
Now You’re Talking My Language
Childhood friends Eitan Geft and Avi Stieglitz cofounded Nulu. Geft taught English abroad for ten years. He no doubt learned that trying to master a foreign language requires an ample amount of humility. At a tech gathering in San Diego, Getz wore a sandwich board to list the skills the startup was actively seeking. The tactic drew a lot of attention, including the interest of eventual partner David Allison.
In the global market, there’s increasing demand for multilingual proficiency. But no matter the cash or business incentive, formal study often proves arduous, frustrating work. The engaging content of Nulu Languages gives the process an everyday, more natural feel. And if you leave the application’s window open, you won’t catch a cold.