I've been hearing a lot about the MosaLingua app for some time now, so I thought I'd give it a try, and write a MosaLingua review!
So what is MosaLingua?
Well, on a very basic level, it’s a smartphone app that teaches you useful phrases in the language you’re learning:
- MosaLingua Spanish | iOS | Android
- MosaLingua French | iOS | Android
- MosaLingua German | iOS | Android
- MosaLingua Italian | iOS | Android
- MosaLingua Brazilian Portuguese | iOS | Android
- MosaLingua English | iOS | Android
The app then helps you remember those phrases using a flashcard system powered by spaced repetition – something I’m a big fan of.
So, in other words, you learn new phrases, and then you memorise them.
Nothing new, you might say.
True, there’s nothing new about useful phrases, flashcards, or space repetition, but the reason MosaLingua is very effective is that it gets the basics right.
What you’ve got here is an app that teaches you well-chosen, useful phrases that you’re actually going to want to use.
Then inside the app itself, you’ve got everything you need to practise and learn them:
- a good flashcard system that is user-friendly and works well
- …and complete control over which phrases you study and don’t
I completely accept that flashcards are not for everybody. I usually even recommend making your own digital flashcards, so that you can have more control over your learning.
But the thing about apps is that when you make them well, and they do the job they set out to do, they can be incredibly convenient as a portable language learning aid that you can carry anywhere and study throughout the day.
Let’s dive in to the MosaLingua app review and look at some of the features.
When you first launch the app, you’re met with a basic level test that gives you a rough assessment of your level.
Now, you can always change this afterwards, but it’s a good example of how the creators really make an effort to ensure you’re learning the right stuff, and not waste your time on phrases that are too easy or hard.
Once you have selected your level, the app then creates a personalised plan for you based on your results.
MosaLingua As A Spaced Repetition App
There are quite a few advantages that MosaLingua has as a Spaced Repetition App. The website gives you all of the science behind it but, science aside, I much prefer to judge an app on how useful it is, how easy it is to use, and whether or not I want to use it every day.
So there are lots of useful features…
- It always uses full sentences rather than individual words.
- By default, you study 5 cards at a time, but you can click more to increase this by 5 more cards, giving you control of the level.
- Within the app itself you have the option to record yourself on the card too and directly compare your pronunciation with the native speaker. You can re-record as much as you like until you get it perfect.
- Each card is presented to you in various different ways. As a card with a sentence in either English or Spanish, a card where you write the phrase, or a jumbled up sentence where you select the words. You also have the option to self-assess where you select how easy or difficult it was.
- You can also back up into the “Useful Lists” section, where you can view all of the cards you are currently learning or, if there are specific sentences you want to learn, then you can also add your own.
- Adding a card is simple, just click “Add Card” and then enter the phrases both English and Spanish, set the level – and you are done. The app will also automatically add the audio for the sentence if available.
Now, would you actually use all these features?
But what’s impressive is that they’re all well-chosen and practical learning aids, which I think demonstrate the creators know what they’re doing when it comes to language learning.
In terms of the content itself, you begin with straightforward language based on the results of the level test.
As you continue to progress through the app, you gradually unlock more materials like Proverbs, Fun Sentences and Things of Interest.
These introduce more and more everyday vocabulary that you might not get with a traditional course.
If you join the MosaLingua Academy you get access to TOEIC and TOEFL vocabulary and can earn a proficiency certificate when you reach your goals.
With a premium account, you also get access to the MosaLibrary of foreign language e-books, audiobooks and videos. You can find use this material to find new words in context and then add them to your flash card library.
Now, if you know my approach to language learning, you’ll know that I’m always banging on about dialogues, and the importance of seeing language in context. This is why I created the StoryLearning® method – because stories are the most fun and motivating way I've found to immerse yourself in a new language.
So, wouldn’t a flashcard app like MosaLingua deprive you of this all-important context?
Well, as it turns out… no!
Inside the app, there is also a series of dialogues. These are split up by topic and by level so you can select the ones you want to learn. You can click a button to add the transcription and the translation if you want.
But here’s what I really like… you can also select any part of the dialogue and add it to your flashcards, which then gets automatically added to your learning plan.
An interesting new feature that has recently been added is the “Hands Free” mode.
This lets you play any or all of the cards that you are learning in audio format. Cards are played in both the target language and English. Perfect for when you are travelling, running or in the gym.
All you have to do is set it to play and these continually loop until stopped.
MosaLingua vs Duolingo or Babbel
The difference between MosaLingua vs Babbel or Duolingo is that MosaLingua teaches vocabulary you would actually use in a real-life scenario.
You learn in context and the access to dialogues is also really helpful. Babbel is not as fun to use and Duolingo doesn't teach you things in context.
How Much Does MosaLingua Cost?
The MosaLingua premium version costs a measly $5, which is cheaper than a large Starbucks, and you get full lifetime access. Pretty good!
The other option is access to the MosaLingua Fluency bundle which gives you lifetime access to the app, the web version and MosaTraining.
You can download the MosaLingua App on iPhone or Android now:
- Spanish | iOS | Android
- French | iOS | Android
- German | iOS | Android
- Italian | iOS | Android
- Brazilian Portuguese | iOS | Android
- English | iOS | Android
There's also a MosaLingua web version in case you want to try it out on your laptop or tablet.
MosaLingua Review: The Verdict
Remember, no one single app is going to be a complete language-learning solution (despite what the app villain wants you to think), so you will need to supplement MosaLingua with all the usual advice I give on this channel, on the podcast and on the blog.
But because MosaLingua allows you to choose what you study by topic (restaurants, conversations, transport etc.), it really does prove to be a good complement to learning with more traditional methods.
All in all, MosaLingua is mightily impressive, and I definitely recommend you give it a shot if it sounds like your kind of thing.
Hopefully, you found this MosaLingua review useful and now have more insight as to whether or not the app is for you!