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How to learn a language
How to learn a language

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4 Choosing and evaluating language-learning resources

Finding resources is only the first step. You may be overwhelmed by the amount of resources you find, and your time to spend using these may be limited. It’s very important that you choose the activities that offer the best solutions for your own individual needs as a language learner. But how do you decide which resource works best for you? Since many of the resources offer at least some content for free, you can try out what works and what doesn’t. Let’s look at a framework that can help you evaluate the resources you find.

The framework is divided into four primary categories: language learning, pedagogy, user experience, and technology, each with a number of criteria. The evaluation framework is presented as a list of questions to help you decide whether a resource meets your learning needs. Watch the video below to find out more.

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How many of the criteria does a resource need to meet to be considered apt for language learning?

Well, there isn’t really a minimum set of criteria that must be met, and as a learner you may find a resource useful or not depending on your purpose, your learning preferences, your location, your personal circumstances, and other factors. In addition, some criteria will only apply to a resource depending on what it is supposed to do. For example, there would be no point in evaluating a vocabulary resource negatively for not offering grammar practice, as that is not the point of the resource. We would, however, expect resources that claim to offer a full language learning experience, to receive a positive evaluation for a higher number of the criteria.