Live Mocha: An Online Language Learning Community

While learning a second language in a school classroom is effective, there is nothing quite like immersing yourself into the culture and society of another language. Whether you wish to learn Spanish, French, Arabic, or all of the above, there are many online language learning communities that you can utilize to connect with native speakers all around the world. The most popular of these learning communities is LiveMocha.com and a blog post from a Spanish language learner will assist you in getting the most out of the site.

Live Mocha is a free site that offers online courses and opportunities to connect with native speakers of the language you wish to learn. Vice versa, there are several people on the site that will wish to learn the language you speak. As a native speaker of English, you have the opportunity to see the work of others who are learning your language and you receive points for the amount of feedback you give to these users. As a native speaker, the users whose work you are reviewing will rate your helpfulness. This rating system allows you to differentiate between the users who are interested in helping others with a new language and those who are simply signed up to learn rather than assist others.

Signing up takes only a minute and requires you to enter your native language, the language you want to learn, an email, and a password. The site then directs you to three questions to point you in the right direction for the type of language learning you wish to do. Following these questions, Live Mocha will suggest the types of courses in which you should get started. After entering my information, I was presented with these courses:

I chose to start with the first option I was presented with and from there was given the option of choosing from four levels:

(SCREEN SHOT LEVELS 1-4)

From there, I was prompted to begin Lesson 1 of Unit 1, which covers a variety of subjects as you can see from the screen shot below:

In order to use this resource most effectively, Ryan’s blog post suggests the following steps:

1. Sign up to do the free courses, but ONLY do the reading exercises.

Ryan suggests to skip the other exercises that involve simply clicking pictures to answer questions as they do not do much to help you learn reading, writing, speaking, or listening. Keep in mind that the point of Ryan’s blog post is to assist the user in learning a new language as quickly and efficiently as possible.

2. Immediately review your exercises and offer feedback to those learning AND teaching your language.

Ryan makes a good point that mutual help within this learning community is beneficial. By giving help to those learning your language, you are more likely to receive help from those who speak the language you are learning.

3. Make sure to rate the helpfulness of the feedback you receive.

By rating your feedback, you are not only gaining points for yourself, but also helping others see the usefulness of the user you are rating. Ratings allow all users of the community to be able to judge how helpful a user will be with teaching the new language.

4. Once you have connected with the native speakers via messages and activities, be sure to connect with them via chat.

Ryan asserts that this chat tool is the most powerful resource that Live Mocha has to offer and as such, is the best way to connect with native speakers of the language you wish to learn. Speaking is notably the most difficult part of learning a new language and being able to chat is a good way to practice conversation with a native speaker to help you along the way. The best part of Live Mocha is that often times, the native speaker you engage with will also be a learner of your language, allowing you to teach and learn from each other all in one conversation.

Overall, I found this blog post to be a very helpful guide to utilize this recourse in the most effective way possible. Live Mocha is just one of many online language learning communities that learners can use to gain proficiency in a language or start a new language from scratch.

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17 Responses to Live Mocha: An Online Language Learning Community

  1. Holly G. says:

    Sarah, I think this sounds like a really neat tool. While I can’t think of many ways it would be helpful for me as a secondary History teacher, I think it would be great for foreign language classes as well as maybe English (because students could practice grammar and spelling through correcting someone else!). I also think this would be a great idea for us as students, because I’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language better (especially Spanish because I may have a high Latino population in my future classrooms), I never wanted to spend the money to do so. Therefore, I think this will be a great tool for me to get to the level of Spanish understanding I always wanted to. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Meagan W. says:

    Great post Sarah! I was never very good at spanish in hish school and wish I knew of tools like this when I was studying the language. Although I will be teaching at the elementary level, spanish is a skill that is being taught earlier and earlier. I feel like this with tool I would be able to learn with the students and be able to gain from this program as a teacher but also have my students learning as well. I love that there is a focus on grammar as well, I feel like that is a skill sometimes over looked in the learning of a language. I have met many people that say they can speak spanish but can not write it because that is where the grammar is so obviously pointed out. I think this is a great tool and I’m sure you will be using tools like this when you start to teach spanish!

  3. Sarah, thanks for the positive review here! 🙂 It’s true that I wrote my post about the quicker ways to learn a foreign language. Sometimes certain software has features which don’t make learning quicker at all, but sometimes they can be of real help. I feel that connecting with other native speakers is the #1 thing you can do to learn a new language, and that’s what’s good about Livemocha. Cheers!

  4. Kate H. says:

    Sarah, I have never heard of Live Mocha, but feel it would be an excellent tool for the classroom! I would have loved to know about this during my high school french courses! The idea of connecting with native speakers in the language you’re trying to learn is awesome. It will also give students a more global perspective. I also agree with Meagan that I like how there is a grammar aspect to the program as well. I can understand French when it is spoken, however have trouble writing and spelling it correctly. This is a great tool that will greatly aid students learning new languages. Thanks!

  5. Elizabeth L. says:

    Sarah, I agree that this tool would be extremely useful in the classroom. I am minoring in spanish and I am going to use it to improve my vocabulary and fluency. The number of hispanic students now entering our public school system outnumbers any other minority group and the ability for a teacher and for students to be able to speak spanish is going to be an extremely valuable asset in the classroom. I think that this tool offers a variety of levels that both students and teachers can use to master the language. It is definitely interactive, which is a lot more engaging than trying to memorize all of the vocabulary and grammar rules the language has. Students will be motivated to use the tool and will not even know how much they are learning during each lesson. Great post!

  6. Kyle W. says:

    First of all, it’s so cool that the author of the blog post you used commented on this! Hi, Ryan! Thanks for the awesome post!
    Also, this is quite possibly the coolest language learning tool I’ve seen in a long time. While I’m not planning on teaching a second language in high school, I want to learn one, and I can see this being a helpful tool. It’s like a mix of Rosetta Stone and online chat rooms, which is an awesome combination. The fact that students/users can also provide feedback to others attempting to learn a language is great, because it encourages mutual sharing of knowledge. I actually cannot wait to start using this tool!

  7. Emily D says:

    This is so cool! Who knew that there were learning communities to help people speak a new language?! I love how you laid everything out for us, and I would totally try using this tool. I can see how this resource would be excellent in a language classroom as an enriching side to the teaching. The students can easily take what they learned and build on that knowledge by interacting with native speakers. I may go sign up right now!

  8. Hilary S. says:

    Sarah, this is a great post! I think this is an extremely useful tool and even if it may not be age appropriate for my elementary school students, I could use this to improve my own Spanish skills. I hope to teach in an inner city or even a Spanish speaking country, so I’ll have to work hard to keep my skills sharp. I plan to start using LiveMocha this Summer to refresh my memory of the Spanish I’ve learned for my semester in Sevilla! Another thing I liked about your blog post is that you wrote it very clearly, I feel like from looking at your post and the steps, I can easily create an account and get going! Thanks!

  9. Sydney B. says:

    Sarah, this is a great tool! It is interesting to read about this website because I have tried to learn languages in the classroom and it just doesn’t work for me! So, I thought a website would definitely not work. However, after reading your post, I understand that it is more than just memorizing certain words and conjugating verbs. This website is about connecting you to a native speaker! This would be great for middle school or high school foreign language. It can also work in the elementary setting as well. By connecting students to other people, they can learn about other cultures and the basics of that language! Good job!

  10. Katie R. says:

    Sarah, this tool is very innovative and looks like a great way to teach students! It gives them direct contact with the language that they are learning and allows them to immerse themselves in the language right through their computer screens! This would be a great tool for a foreign language teacher to use in the classroom to help her students understand the native language better by connecting them to a real native speaker. Good work!

  11. Patrick C says:

    Sarah, this tool is great. This seems like it is a great way to learn a language and have students learn a language. I like how you can get help from native speakers and it seems to be a great tool to use for practicing a language. I feel like this could be very useful during the summer months when students are not in school and are not in class learning the language. For me I think this would be a very cool tool to keep up with my skills since I have not taken any language since high school and I feel like it would be a good way to brush up on my skills. Overall this looks like a great tool, great post. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Allie W. says:

    This is an awesome tool! I always struggled with learning languages in the classroom and this seems to be an awesome way to introduce it. I agree with Patrick in that it would be an awesome way to brush up on skills I haven’t used since high school, especially in the ever diversifying classrooms today.

  13. Rebecca S. says:

    Like a few others have said, at first I was skeptical about learning a language on a website, but after reading your post, I love the level of collaboration within this tool and think it will really help with language acquisition. The ability of native speakers to give feedback to non-native speakers is great and is something very unique for a website. It’s almost like getting feedback from your Spanish teachers in school. I also like that there are three different “categories.” Oftentimes, websites don’t let encourage practicing speaking a language, so I really like that this website does and even allows for feedback on your speaking abilities. I can definitely see how this would be a great tool to use in classrooms!

  14. Kendall C says:

    This is really cool! Definitely a step up from just learning language vocabulary from flashcards or speaking with others at the same level of language as you are. Plus, with the mutual exchange, it seems like both parties will be invested in wanting to learn the next languages. This is cool for foreign language teachers especially, then, and could easily be assigned as an extra credit assignment to reaffirm the things taught in class. Cool find.

  15. Riley K says:

    I’ve always struggled with learning new languages especially with Spanish. I took Spanish for seven years in school and definitely did not retain as much as I should have. This is a fun and easy tool which helps to guide and focus willing learners to quickly retain the information which will make them learn the language quicker than taking a regular class. I especially like how there are different levels which require you to do certain tasks in order to be completed. Employing this in a Spanish class could be very helpful and an exciting new way to teach a foreign language.

  16. Alex H. says:

    This sounds really cool. There is a new program that is just coming out of beta testing called duolingo, that teaches you a language while translating the web as you browse. This might be even better because it is a learning community, so you can get actual human feedback, which I’ve always found to be better when learning languages.

  17. Hannah D. says:

    Sarah this is a really cool tool! It would definitely be useful in the classroom. I like how not only can you get something out of it (like learning a language) but you can also put something into it by helping others learn English. I agree with Alex that it is great to get real human feedback and that you are working in a learning community. It is a really cool concept! I struggled a bit learning a new language in school, so I am sure other students can relate to that in my own classroom. This tool would be really helpful! Great post!

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