ExpoLingua is one of the largest events dedicated to learning and teaching foreign languages. It takes place annually here in Berlin. I stopped by to discover all the new apps and resources for German learners, as well as, meet some of the language influencers that I follow on YouTube.
I was pretty impressed by the popularity of the event. Well, I knew that there were many people like me desperate to improve their German, but not that there would be a queue to access a language event 😂.
Of course, the event was not exclusively for German learners – it was for all types of languages, including Esperanto. The event boasted more than 150 exhibitors from 30 countries, an extensive workshop and masterclass program, and thousands of visitors. While most of the exhibitors were language schools, some 10-15% of the booths had something to do with digital language learning solutions – apps and websites. Here are some interesting apps and resources relevant for German learners:
VHS stands for the Volkshochscule – a non-profit educational arm of the Ministry of Labor and Research of Germany focused on adult education and learning. They offer thousands of courses across Germany, but in recent years German language courses have become the most demanded courses. They exhibited yesterday at the event and they now also launched free online German courses accessible to everyone. Courses include A1 to B2 levels, with B2 being geared towards finding a job.
I gave their B1 course a try. It consists of animated conversations on daily life situations such as travel or shopping followed by exercises.
Lingolia offers online courses for multiple languages, including German. Although some advanced material is behind a paywall, they still offer tons of useful stuff for free. For example, they have a neat grammar section that clarifies grammar rules and provides examples.
This app’s unique selling proposition is that it helps you learn a language by chatting with native speakers around the world for free. I used HelloTalk a bit and it’s essentially a messenger/social media app for language learning. They match you with native speakers, you can translate sentences and review your vocabulary at a later point.
What was cool about this particular app is that their representative at the booth was their user who volunteered to represent them at ExpoLingua. This shows that they have some loyal users who see value in the app.
I mentioned Deutsch Perfekt in a few of my posts as one of the best learning resources a German learner might have – they have a website full of useful reading material, but first and foremost they are a subscription-based magazine for German learners. I get one every month and just love it. It costs 7 Euros per month and it might seem pricey for some folks. I was happy to discover their competitor “Die Sprachzeitung” at ExpoLingua which is also 3 times cheaper.
They publish a monthly newspaper for language learners. Unlike Deutsch Perfekt, they mostly focus on the current news. I got a copy of their August edition, here is a photo:
Just like Deutsch Perfekt, each article can be easy, medium or hard and comes with the most important vocabulary explained on the same page.
Deutsch mit Marija
I also took part in a meetup with some language influencers. Someone I wanted to meet in person was Marija who runs a YouTube channel Deutsch mit Marija for advanced learners (B2-C1). Last week I took my B2 Telc exam and her videos were instrumental for my preparation. I will write an entire post about my preparation strategy and the resources I used next week.
There were many other exhibitors focused on helping German learners, but I either found their offering dull and ineffective or they are a language course =). Overall, the exhibition was a good place to get to know the language learning companies, innovations happening and meet some of the language influencers who help thousands of us make progress every day.