Hi guys! I'm Pablo, creator of Aprelendo. I'm a diplomat and as part of my job I'm always in contact with people from other countries and frequently need to communicate in several languages.
I have always been intrigued by how people can become fluent in a second language. Think about it, we all learned our native language without any difficulty. So, why is it so hard to master other languages? Well, for starters, we learned our native language in an immersive environment, whereas we usually attempt to study other languages on a very limited and sporadic basis, either due to lack of time, need or desire. We think that approaching the task in a more "rational" and "methodical" way will make things easier for us, but, on the contrary, this is rarely effective. You probably speak your native language without knowing all its rules by heart, but you still use it every day. In contrast, when you study other languages, you spend hours analyzing rules or different meanings of some words, but you can't even express yourself well or engage in a simple conversation.
It seems evident to me that something is wrong with the way foreign languages are taught in academic institutions around the world. Aprelendo is my small contribution to change that situation. It has also allowed me to combine two of my greatest passions: software development and languages.
Evidence shows that the best way to learn a language is through immersion. That's how we all learned to speak our native language. Also, people who become really fluent in a second language often use it at home in some way or another and have the help of a "caring and interested tutor" (either their parents or better half).
Yet, immersion can be quite difficult to achieve when studying a second language, as only a few have a "caring language tutor" at home, and it is even more difficult to find one in a work or everyday environment. It may even be materially impossible since your peers or friends may not understand that language or will not have the patience to deal with you, especially if you do not share a similar level of proficiency. Living in another country could help, but it's certainly not enough. Not to mention that only a few have the opportunity to live abroad.
In a context where the Internet has become a tool for reaching out and disseminating information, online learning has become increasingly popular. Some language learning services allow you to contact native speakers and chat with them at your best convenience. Other focus almost exclusively on vocabulary acquisition, using flashcards or other similar methods, such as gamification.
Aprelendo, on the other hand, is based on the idea that learning a new language by reading texts you like is easier, more engaging and more effective than reviewing flashcards, as most language learning services seem to do these days. Instead, we developed a method called total reading, which enables students to develop not only their reading comprehension -as the name implies-, but all their comprehension (reading & listening) and communication (writing & speaking) skills in a second language.
One word of caution: learning a new language is like running a marathon, not a sprint. It takes a lot of time, perseverance and effort. This will not change by using Aprelendo. Think of total reading only as a complement to other methods you may choose in your learning experience. In this regard, it is advisable to alternate your Aprelendo sessions with grammar lessons or other approaches that let you better understand the intricacies of your target language. Apart from that, while total reading can be beneficial to all, it yields better results for those who already have an initial knowledge of the language and want to improve or break out of the "learning plateau" that often afflicts intermediate or advanced students.
In sum, Aprelendo has been designed so that you can learn new languages from the comfort of your own home and adapting to your schedule and interests with the added benefit of improving all your levels of comprehension and communication in each session. As long as you can read at least 1 article a day using Aprelendo, we are confident that you will see results in just a few weeks. Give it a try and let us know what you think.