Here we are again! Another week, another language learning site review. This week I would like to give you the rundown on a site called Live Mocha. I must say I was intrigued by the name of the site which urged me to give a thorough review of its features. Once again I will start with the main characteristics of the website and comment on the way it works and after that I will give you the advantages and drawbacks of using it and my last thoughts on the product. So, are you ready to dive into another language experience with me?
Livemocha Main Features
As I mentioned the first thing that drew me to this language site was its name. Never heard of it and could never associate such a name to site providing language learning. By clicking on it, I noticed that the interface was different as well from the other sites that I reviewed. The dissimilarity lies in the layout. Live Mocha’s start page is very detailed without boring the learner. With a simple click of the mouse you can have a lot of information related to the site and your learning without having to search through dropdown menus and small letters in the edges of the page. Everything is very clear. You have three sections that explain the whole philosophy of the website. At first you have the word “learn” appearing when you first open the site, which underlines that you can actually learn to speak another language. Under that you have three options; the first one says “languages”; the second one is called “live classes”; and the third one is the “methodology”. The first section is easy to understand. By clicking on it you can have all the languages offered for learning on Live Mocha. They have over 35 languages available.
What I would like to focus on is the second feature called “live classes”. Despite the fact that you can learn on your own pace at your own time and alone with yourself, the option of live instructor-led classes is also offered. You can have intensive, online, virtual classes from anywhere you are with certified teachers. The options on hand are two: the first one is the Live Mocha classroom that makes accessible to the learner unlimited drop-in English conversation classes; while the second one is the Instructor-led Training for Organizations which provides the learner or learners in this case with intensive customized language training. Basically, the organization’s learners meet with the instructors of Live Mocha in virtual classrooms and are able to learn either by using Live Mocha’s award-winning course content or a customized curriculum adhering to their needs. Flexibility and convenience seem to be of key importance.
Feature three of the first section, the “learn” section, is the “methodology” that the site employs. Live Mocha sees the learning of a foreign language as a performing art and this is why they follow a learning plan called Whole-Part-Whole. This method consists of three steps that culminate in learning: demonstration, deconstruction and practice. At first, the learner watches videos or listens to conversations in the target language by native speakers that reflect real-life situations. When deconstruction takes place everything that the learner has watched or listened to is broken down into its vocabulary and grammar components so that the learner can grasp those parts easily. Once this is accomplished, it’s time for some practice on the part of the learner with writing, speaking and reading activities.
Now that we are done with section one, and a detailed one it is, the second section is described in just one word: “join”. By clicking on that you can create your free account and learn away! Don’t you just love when knowledge unravels itself in front of you without having to leave your house or pay for it? To me this is ideal.
Moving on to the third section, “explore” you can have a lot of information on the Live Mocha community and who’s in it and you can also submit exercises and get feedback from native speakers. Another feature of the “explore” section is the language exchange where you have the opportunity to converse with native speakers in the target language, but at the same time being given the option to help others who might be learning you language. All this information you can find out on the site without having an account.
Now, once you are persuaded to create an account on Live Mocha you will have your own personal dashboard with all your lessons. While creating your account you get to choose which language you would like to learn first. On the left side of your dashboard there are four features. You have the option to “get new lessons”; to view “your lessons”; to “help others”; and to connect to “language partners”. On the right side, you have your name and some options for your profile. Under it you have the picture of what appears to be a coffee bean and a picture of coins which signify the points you have earned. The first thing you do is click on “get new lessons”. According to the language you chose to learn there is a number of lessons that will appear on your dashboard for you to choose. When you choose one you can make it yours by buying it with your points. You start with a number of thousands of point and then you purchase your lessons. Each lesson has a title so that you can understand a bit what you are signing up for, but if the title doesn’t say much you can always click on the lesson and take a look at the objectives and what you will learn. Once you make it yours you can start learning and while learning and completing exercises you are collecting points. It feels like a game!
Pros of Using Livemocha
So, now that you have an idea of the way the site works and its philosophy, it’s time to discuss the advantages of using it. First and foremost, it’s free. Nothing more to say about that apart from “Enjoy your free learning”!
Secondly, the site uses all the skills necessary to practice and learn a foreign language. It compiles exercises based on writing, reading, speaking and listening. What I find amazing and really helpful is that once you complete a writing or a speaking exercise you can have actual feedback from native speakers.
Another advantage is that you can help others learn your language and by doing so you earn more points to purchase more lessons and keep your learning going.
You can have real life language exchange with native speakers. This is the best way to actually practice and learn the target language if you are not able to move in the specific country and literally be surrounded by the language you want to learn.
What I find noteworthy is that a lot of information is available to you without having to create an account. You are being informed as a prospective member of Live Mocha on the way it works and on all of its features so that after you have all of this knowledge you can decide whether or not you want to be a member.
Cons of Using Livemocha
There are of course some drawbacks to the site. First of all, the feedback that I mentioned earlier, although very helpful, is compulsory. Once you complete the speaking and writing sections you are directed to have feedback. This might be a bit annoying for those who do not feel so confident for feedback yet and would like some more practice.
Some of the lessons are created by the Live Mocha community, by members. Although I find it extraordinary that you can learn a language the way a native speaker looks at it, I also believe that not everybody can teach a language. So, that would be something to look out for.
Generally, Live Mocha is a great site for language learning, always in my view. I would recommend to prospective learners to use the site as it proves to be a fun and knowledge-providing way to learn. I am trying it now myself and so far I am very content with the way it works.
I would be very glad to read your thoughts in the comments section and I hope you enjoyed the review!
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