For learning Spanish, French, Italian, or Chinese as a Second language online, the website at Yabla.com offers its own variety of language program videos and activities. Here is a review of Yabla language learning software and their online language learning facilities.
Are you studying a foreign language like Spanish, French, Italian, German, Chinese or English as a second language? Do you have access to native speakers for listening comprehension and speaking / pronunciation practice? If you are studying one of these foreign languages but don’t have extensive access to native speakers for development of your language skills, then the Yabla Language Immersion website may just be for you.
Yabla is “language immersion through online video” and probably the most useful language website I’ve used so far. The videos come from a variety of sources, whether they are news reports, interviews, or just random scenes filmed in the country to illustrate authentic use of the language. Subtitles and translations appear under the video, which you can turn off if you’d like, and clicking on a word will search for its definition in the dictionary pane to the right. You can also slow down the play back so the speech is slower, or put it on a loop to repeat a certain word or phrase. Then you can choose the play game button to start the listening/cloze exercise and type in the missing word.
Yabla offers free online language learning videos and demos which is encouraging to potential subscribers. You have more than an ample opportunity to “prove” the Yabla subscription language learning website before laying out any of your hard-earned pesos, francs, euros or other cash currency. Their videos offer some distinctive features important to foreign language learners which include:
- A slow-play feature to aid in listening comprehension
- A repeat feature allowing stopping and repeating of a phrase or segment multiple times to increase comprehension and mimicking practice
- Short videos focused on a single theme or element. effectively isolating language learning themes
- Five levels of videos and interactive lessons ranging from easy to difficult
Currently, They’ve just added a new flashcards feature, and the Spanish & French sites also have blogs of language lessons on grammar and vocabulary. All of the languages have hundreds of videos available, and the French site does have some Quebecois videos as well.
Monthly subscriptions are $9.95 a month per course, with discounts for 6 or 12 month subscriptions ($54.95 or $99.95) with a 7 day money-back guarantee. For schools, institutes and other group pricing, the cost per year varies based on the number of users, from one up to one thousand for each language.
You can download many of the videos through the website or iTunes as well to take with you instead of watching them all online.
Spanish on Yabla
According to the Yabla website, videos are culled from “contemporary television, film and music”, with the videos intended for native speakers and made by native speakers. Yabla website videos also feature native speakers from different countries to provide listening comprehension access to a variety of accents and pronunciation. In the Spanish section videos website area called “LoMasTv.com”, for example, free video demo and paid program speakers are from Argentina, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Venezuela, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Chile, Honduras, Uruguay and Colombia. There are also some fun listening games in both French and Spanish. There is a section with Spanish for K to 12 Learners with materials and videos suited for young learners.
French on Yabla
For online French video immersion at the French.Yabla website, visit their “French for All” section, which features “authentic” French Video for adult learners, educators, and students using contemporary French TV, music, film, travel” and exclusive Yabla-prepared content. As with Spanish, there are free video demos and paid program speakers, but principally with Parisian and other regional French accents.
Chinese on Yabla
Italian on Yabla
Yabla Italian learning program of Yabla including 161 videos, Italian flash cards. When you watch the videos as a subscriber, you can click on any Italian word, and the words will be saved to your personal flash card list.
NEW! Subscribers can now watch all Yabla Italian videos on their iPhones (video with dual language subtitles) and iPads (Yabla Player for iPad)!
German on Yabla
Yabla German is an online video magazine for German learners who wish to improve their language skills. Authentic German videos include television programs, music videos, interviews, documentaries, and travel. Only Yabla German offers captions in multiple languages, pitch-correct slow play, integrated dictionaries and listening exercises.
Free demo video courses are avaliable, monthly price is $9.95. You can get unlimited access to Yabla’s growing video library of 500+ videos.
From what I’ve seen on Yabla, I highly recommend this resource. It is really unique from other online learning resources in several ways:
- The vast variety of authentic videos.
- Videos for all levels of German.
- Fabulous video viewing and learning features.
- Plenty of music videos to chose from – great for high school students who want to learn more about what’s trendy and hip in today’s German music scene.
- Reasonable prices.
Nothing is perfect, so yes, here are a few things that I find are missing in Yabla:
- More rudimentary beginner videos are needed.
- Yabla.com is geared more towards learners from high school and up. I think more German cartoons would make a welcome addition for younger learners.
- Some music videos have mature content matter, which may not be suitable in certain classrooms. However, yabla.com states that they can streamline your subscription account to omit these types of videos.