Monthly Archives: March 2012

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

Key trends of language learning point towards online language learning

busuu.com is on a quest to define the future key trends of language learning. In collaboration with IE Business School, a leading postgraduate education institution, we present: The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012! 

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

More than 45,000 busuu.com users from 230 different countries responded to our survey, held at the beginning of March 2012. Let’s have a look at our users’ preferred methods for improving their language skills, what encourages or hampers their learning process and many more exciting outcomes!

The future of language learning relies on online methods!

With 23% of the vote, our community defines language courses abroad as the most efficient learning method. No wonder, who wouldn’t prefer to have a nice holiday abroad whilst simultaneously improving language skills? ;-)

Web 2.0 platforms such as busuu.com are a close second, with 20% preferring to study languages through these interactive online communities. Our users even found this method more efficient than learning with a personal teacher (15%)!

The survey clearly shows that language learners regard grammar books and language classes as less attractive forms of learning. Only 8% of our users like to learn languages in a classroom, and books and CD-ROMS are considered the most efficient method by a mere 6% and 3% respectively.

Interestingly, mobile learning is not yet a popular option for learning languages. Only 2% identified this method as most efficient for them. We are curious as to how this perception of mobile applications will change in the future.

 The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

63% of our users believe that combining different learning methods will be most important in the future. Those who opted for a single method clearly preferred online learning (27%). Only 6% rely on traditional methods and 4% believe that mobile learning will be important for future language learning.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

Flexibility and direct contact with native speakers are the key advantages of online learning

35% of our users who preferred online learning value this method for its flexibility which allows them to learn whenever and wherever they want. Almost a quarter of the respondents learn languages online in order to learn with native speakers. 16% believe that this method is efficient and 15% learn online because it’s an economical way to learn languages.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

How much money do people spend over their lifetime on language learning?

To keep it short and simple: a lot! The lifetime average spending of our users on language learning is approximately 740 Euros (975 USD). More than 17% of our users have spent more than 1,000 EUR (1,300 USD) in language learning over time.

Those who decide to invest in language learning have a good reason to do so: 78% of our users believe that foreign language skills will improve their career prospects and 72% are confident that the ability to speak a foreign language will directly improve their financial situation.

Why do people learn languages?

The reasons that motivate people to learn a new language have certainly changed in recent years. The main reasons for our users to take up language learning are travelling (46.5%), fun (37.6%) and business (37.1%). What is also interesting is the fact that 30% of our users learn languages for mental training.

 busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

What makes learning a language difficult?

Let’s see what our users have to say about the challenges of language learning: 23% think they don’t have enough time to learn languages. 19% believe that not having access to native speakers slows down their learning process and 14% have trouble staying motivated. No wonder over 15 million users learn languages with busuu.com, where these main challenges are tackled right away!

busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

What is the language of the future?

An impressive 51% of our users agree that English will be the language of the future! The second most voted language is Chinese with 22% and Spanish comes in third place with 7%. The rest of our users are split between languages such as Russian, Arabic, German, Japanese and others.

Concerning the topic of which language children should learn, English and Chinese are still the top choice with 40% and 11% respectively. However, the other main Western languages follow closely behind: 11% vote for Spanish, 10% for French and 8% for German.

Who learns languages on busuu.com?

Users on busuu.com cover all age ranges: Almost two thirds of our users are between 14 and 35 years old. 32% are between 36 and 60 years and a notable 6% of our users are older than 60! Congratulations to the so-called “silver surfers” for taking up the trend of online language learning!

Interestingly, an impressive 58% have a university degree and 23% have an MBA or a PhD.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

This educational background is also represented in the current activity of our language students. 30% are studying and 41% are working either for a company or as entrepreneurs or freelancers. As already indicated by the age ranges, 6% of our users are retired.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012 

What does this mean for the future of language learning?

To sum up, people mainly learn languages for travelling, entertainment and business. However, the ability to speak different languages is also seen as very beneficial for opening opportunities for career progression and financial stability.

The numbers certainly show that, whether used in combination with other learning methods, or as an interesting alternative, online learning is the tool of the future. People look for a flexible and interactive tool that offers them direct access to native speakers. We’re glad to be on the right track with our language learning solution!

Many thanks to all of you who took part in this survey! We look forward to further discussing our results about the future trends of language learning with you in the comment section below!

busuu.com Easter Egg Hunt

Are you ready for the Easter Egg hunt on busuu.com?  We’ve just finished hiding 80 golden Easter eggs in our learning content, so let the hunting begin!

 busuu.com Easter Egg Hunt

Hurry up and start looking for those golden Eggs – you might get lucky and win one of the 10 Premium MembershipsPremium Membership we are giving away! All you have to do is look carefully in our learning content. If you find one of the 80 golden Easter Eggs, just click on it and you automatically enter the raffle.

The ten lucky winners will get a free one month Premium MembershipPremium Membership. As a Premium Member, you have access to lots of extra functions and exercises. Practise your pronunciation with our voice recording exercises and audio for all key phrases and dialogues. Or improve your writing skills by commenting on our Video Units or National Geographic Pictures.

To take part in the Easter Egg Hunt, you just have to:

  1. Go to busuu.com
  2. Start searching for the hidden Easter eggs in the learning units
  3. …and if you find one, just click on it!

So start hunting for those golden eggs now and win a one month Premium MembershipPremium Membership! We will inform the lucky winners by e-mail after Easter.

Happy Easter and good luck with the Easter Egg Hunt!

 

New writing exercises with pictures from National Geographic

Learn with National Geographic Pictures on busuu.com as part of our Live Units! You can improve your writing skills by practising new picture-based writing exercises, no matter your level! As with the Video Units, the National Geographic Picture is updated daily.

National Geographic Picture of the day

National Geographic is known for its award winning pictures which we are sure that you will enjoy commenting on. Choose from several high quality images and write a text which you can send to native speakers for correction. Practising your writing skills has never been so picturesque.

The National Geographic Picture is a Premium function Premium Member, but to introduce you to this new exercise, we allow you to try it out for free! You will be rewarded with 10 juicy busuu-berriesbusuu-berry for this exercise.

Free access until 1 April 2012 – Try it out now!

National Geographic Picture of the day

The National Geographic Picture is part of our Live Units, access them:

  1. Via your regular course structure. As this is an essential tool to practise your writing skills, you will see the Live Unit icon Live Unit in all your courses. Just click on the Live Unit and choose National Geographic Picture.
  2. If this is not enough, you can also access the National Geographic Picture through the Live Unit link of your Resources menu whenever you want. The Resources menu is in your home area and in your course area.
  3. You also have a direct access to the writing exercises using the National Geographic icon on the left hand side of your home area.

National Geographic Picture of the day

Remember that our Live Units also include daily updated Video Units with interesting videos from various sources as National Geographic, BBC Earth, etc. Comment on your favourite topic, for example animals, nature, travelling, news etc.

If you are learning English on busuu.com, The Guardian news articles will help you improve your reading comprehension. If you stumble across an unknown word, just look it up in the integrated dictionary provided by Macmillan.

So you can practise your listening, reading and writing comprehension with our Live Units. Check out the updated Live Units featuring the National Geographic Picture now!

If you want to use the Live Units after the 1st of April 2012, upgrade to PremiumPremium Member now and take advantage of all our Premium functions!

Let yourself be inspired by the amazing pictures of National Geographic and practise your writing skills now!

Customise your profile on busuu.com

Make your profile stand out with a new feature on busuu.com!

If you’re a Premium MemberPremium Member, you can now create a Photo Gallery to share your favourite images with our community.

My Photo Gallery

You will have the option to show a larger profile photo and you can display up to three pictures in your Photo Gallery. This new feature is part of your profile page and will be visible to busuu.com members only.

Give your profile a personal touch in three easy steps:

  1. Click on Edit below your profile picture
  2. Click on upload photo and choose a picture
  3. Click on submit

Photo settings

You will now see your updated profile with the Photo Gallery and a large profile photo. Click on each picture to see it enlarged, the “next” button enables you to easily navigate through the Photo Gallery. Of course, you can change the pictures whenever you like, so that your profile is always up to date!

And if you’re not a Premium MemberPremium Member yet, upgrade now from only 4.99 EUR per month to start customising your profile!

Have fun updating your profile on busuu.com!

New: Test your language level on busuu.com!

We have an exciting new feature on busuu.com: You can now test your language level to find out which course you should begin with, when taking up a new language course.

The Level Test will greatly improve your language learning experience on busuu.com. Take the Level Test to evaluate your language level, before starting to learn a new language. Depending on your test result you will automatically be directed to the course that is more appropriate to you: A1, A2, B1 or B2.

The Level Test will be accessible for all users when taking it for the first time.
Premium MembersPremium Member can take the test more than once to track their progress.

busuu.com Level Test

The test covers the most important skills in language learning: listening, reading, writing and comprehension skills.

Starting with our A1 course, the Level Test questions and vocabulary will gradually become more difficult in order to identify your level.

While taking the test, you can see the difficulty of the questions in the upper right corner to see where you’re at. The maximum score is 100%. When finishing the test, you can immediately start learning to keep improving your language skills.

busuu.com Level Test

Are you curious to see your language level progress? As a Premium MemberPremium Member, you can do the Level Test as often as you want to compare your results and check your progress. Just go to your Level Test History to see all the tests you have taken.

Whenever you add a new language, you will first be asked whether you would like to do the Level Test in order to identify the best course for you. Throughout the course you can then access the Level Test at any time via the Resources menu on your home area or your course area.

busuu.com Level Test

Not a Premium MemberPremium Member yet? Upgrade now and track your learning progress with our new Level Test!