With the sheer number of online language learning platforms such as Busuu, Duolingo, Memrise, Rosetta Stone, etc at your disposal, it’s easy to write in-person conversations with native Englis, native Mandarin, native Japanese, native Spanish and other native language speakers off. After all, learning on your phone or computer is so much more convenient than actually going out to meet with a private tutor.

But are all these platforms the best way to learn a new language? While they sure do help people interact with language tutors, they are not always the most effective method you can use to learn and practice a new language.

The problem with online platforms

The main issue with learning a new language online is it often happens via some form of class, and classes are rarely structured in a way that aligns with how we as humans naturally learn languages

Most of them involve boring lectures and a whole lot of mindless memorization and repetition, which don’t really help promote long-term retention.

Think about it.

How did you learn your native language? Did you take a course? You didn’t, right? In fact, you didn’t even try to actively learn anything. You naturally picked the language up through constant exposure in the form of the people in your home speaking it all the time.

And by the time you’re ready for school, you’re already able to effortlessly communicate with people verbally. And people understood what you were saying even if you didn’t have perfect grammar.

So, if classes are not the way to go, what’s the alternative?

Enter: in-person conversations with native speakers