Tag Archives: learning

PhraseBASE: Conversational Foreign Language Learning Social Network

PhraseBASE is a service where you can learn a foreign language and also practice it with native speakers of that language. Some of the features are free on the site, like learning phrases or using the E-Phrasebook Flash cards online. Some of the free services you need to sign up for to access the service (like the online flash cards). To use the full language lessons feature, you need to make a payment online. To check out PhraseBASE, click on the link below:


Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web

compare_3_lang_learn.pngVery Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web: LiveMocha, Busuu, and Hello-Hello

Livemocha, Hello-Hello.com and Busuu.com have free accounts you can sign up for. Each gives you lessons with a vocab review, a writing exercise, an audio exercise, and a chance to have the exercises graded by native speakers (you as a native speaker of a language have the ability to grade others as well) and to chat with native speakers to practice your new found language skills (not available in Hello-Hello.com just yet). Both LiveMocha and Busuu have paid subscriptions where you can have access to more contention and more advanced lessons. Here are some of the differences between the three services:



  • At free level ,able to download vocab lists from the site
  • More languages are available to you to learn at free level (like Arabic and Hindi)
  • Have more flashcards to review and fill in the black word exercises at free level to help you retain vocab and helps you with writing and audio exercises
  • Chat with native speakers
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community



  • The vocab is not conversational in nature (you say things like I am fat, and I am thin)



  • Vocab is conversational in nature. You learn things like hello, how are you. Welcome. Good day. What is your name?
  • To help with comprehension and vocab review, you are quizzed on a conversation a few people are having in that language. It is spoken at the normal pace and with the vocab you learned.
  • Chat with native speakers.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community


  • Free subscription limits you to only a few languages.
  • To download vocab and print it (like  flashcard review), you need the paid service (also get podcasts with paid service)
  • There is not enough vocab review exercises to prep you for the written and audio exercises. I felt that I retained little when I went into the written exercises and audio exercises.





  • The exercises are very practical and conversation in nature.
  • You can create flash cards for each lesson.
  • You can write notes in the notes section in each lesson.
  • Written exercises.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Graded by the community (you can also ask questions as you go along in each lesson that can be answered by the community too).
  • There also a dictionary and a translator section built into the design
  • Hello-Hello collaborated with the ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) to make this community.
  • Totally free. No upgrade to a paid subscription to access more lessons.



  • You do no have a traditional list of vocab like LiveMocha. You absorb the conversation but there’s a translation box under the lesson. This could be hard for beginners.
  • You can not chat with a native speaker (but this function will be available soon)
  • The audio files did not work in Google Chrome (this may be fixed with future updates to the site)
  • You are limited to a few language choices to learn (English, French Portuguese, Spanish)





Hello-Hello: Online Language Learning Community

hellohello_logo.pngHello-Hello is another online language community. It’s similar to sites like Livemocha, but there is a difference with this site, the ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) collaborated with Hello-Hello to help create the site. The lessons are great because they tackle very particle grammar like introducing yourself, what you look like, etc. You can write notes or create flashcards that you can share with other members of the Hello-Hello community. You can email other members and friend them. As a native speaker of a language listed on Hello-Hello, you can mark other Hello-Hello members’ submissions to written exercises. Another feature that is coming soon to Hello-Hello (it’s currently in beta) is a voice chat function to practice your language skills by speaking to another person. It is free and only has a few langauges (French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese). To try it out and create a free account, click on the link below:


Busuu.com: A Language Learning Community



Busuu.com is just like another website we reviewed earlier on this blog called Livemocha. Busuu.com is very similar to Livemocha in that you can review language vocab, listen to a conversation (but you can  answer questions based off the conversation in Busuu.com) which includes the vocab, and speak to others in the community to practice the language and write in the language and grade others in their written and audio assignments. What’s different is the availability of downloadable materials. To download vocab, you need to pay for an upgraded service (you can sign up for free service). What I like about Busuu.com more than Livemocha is that the vocab is practical conversational vocab, not just a review of random words in another language. What makes Livemocha better than Busuu.com is the multiple flashcard (which is free and you can print out) and vocab reviews that help prep you for the writing exercising and the audio exercises. You are also limited to a few languages with the free Busuu.com suscription, which is not the case with LiveMocha. You can learn many more languages for free at that site. Regardless, Busuu.com is a great place to learn a new language. To learn more about Busuu.com, click on the link below: