PROS / Students can easily talk to one another, and user-created course content is always improving.
CONS / You have to pay for extras such as flashcard printing and writing help in addition to already high monthly membership costs.
VERDICT / Livemocha has numerous English-learning tools and hundreds of hours of content to keep you busy and help you practice.
With its clean and professional appearance, Livemocha is a good site for learning English online. The best feature of the site is its use of social media. This integration means that the site is constantly changing, so there is always new content to study. In fact, students themselves post much of the content. This makes Livemocha more relevant to your life, and it is a major reason we chose Livemocha as our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winner. If your goal is to improve your cultural and conversational English, Livemocha is an excellent web service to consider. Using the tools available on the site, you can converse any time you want to with students from all over the world.
Livemocha is one of the best places online to learn English. The extent to which the company has embraced social technology is unmatched in the field of language learning online. Students are actively sharing, conversing and teaching each other using Livemocha's learning platforms, which interface conveniently with popular social networking sites such as Facebook. Every day, the forums at Livemocha are growing. We believe the site has real potential to dominate the language-teaching world, just as websites such as Wikipedia.com have replaced Encyclopedia Britannica collections in the last two decades.
Livemocha's website is exceptionally easy to use. Each time you log in, you can navigate directly to the point in the lesson where you last studied. In each section, you can see how much further you need to go to complete a lesson. If you are not confident about your knowledge of English or your speaking skills, there are additional practice sessions available at every level. Students can also opt for one-on-one tutoring, but they will have to pay extra for the service.
Quality of Instruction
Livemocha earns high grades for tutoring because the company gives students access to native speakers. It starts when you get an invitation to work with someone specific. Then, that person's profile pops up on your screen. You can then determine if this is the tutor for you based on country of origin, interests, age, looks (there's a photograph) or any other criteria you prefer.
Livemocha's range of levels is impressive. Furthermore, its collection of English-language content is growing richer day by day as users upload articles and videos. This up-to-date material will keep you motivated and will help you talk with your peers about current events.
Livemocha has many options for lessons. In fact, it is the only English learning web service we reviewed that offers options for further exercises on particular aspects of English grammar. Photographs and graphics on the site are of good quality and are used in a clever way.
Unfortunately, the way Livemocha relies on translation makes it less useful than competing English learning web services. It also lacks specific listening activities and speech-recognition software offered by competing web services.
Variety of Offerings
Livemocha is dedicated to teaching conversational English to students who already have some knowledge of the language. However, you can choose to view the site in nine of the internet's 10 most popular languages, excluding Arabic. When you choose a language other than English, the navigational buttons and instructions appear in the native language of your choice.
Although there are some options for learning specific subjects, Livemocha does not offer extensive content designed particularly for students who need to practice vocabulary for jobs, such as those available in the restaurant industry or in health care. Instead, Livemocha focuses on conversational English. One way to get around this limitation is to find international study partners with experience in your field.
Additional standout features of Livemocha include its large number of learning tools. These include fill-in-the-blank exercises, writing and speaking practice, a Phrase Arcade and many games. In addition, you can build a set of flashcards as you progress through your lessons. You can do this by selecting how confident you are in your knowledge of the words used in the lessons. You can also use Livemocha's handy flashcard sets created by other users. To help you choose the best option, students rate the card sets that they use. You can view these flashcards free with your membership, but you have to pay extra to print them as PDFs.
Live interaction offers some of the best learning opportunities available from Livemocha. First, the chat feature is popular and lively. This portion of the site is so dynamic that no matter what time of day or night, you can find people who want to practice English with you. You can also earn points in chats by conversing with students who are trying to learn your native language.
Another important benefit of Livemocha is its audio-recording software. As soon as you read something aloud and submit it to the site, a native English speaker will be able to listen to it and give live feedback. As mentioned above, Livemocha uses English speakers who want to learn other languages to help the students learning English, and vice versa. This builds confidence on both sides.
Recently, Livemocha has added options for its students to upload stories and articles.
Compared to other online English learning web services we reviewed, Livemocha has outstanding audio capabilities. Students can converse with one another via instant messages, and they can record audio files to send to fellow members. There's even a place where members can look at a queue of entries that other members have made. Students looking for correction in their English speaking or writing can use this tool to submit their audio or written files. Native English speakers can then choose the ones they are interested in correcting.
Ease of Use
Navigating through the curriculum and extra features of Livemocha is simple, but the token system used as currency on the site is frustrating. If you haven't earned or purchased enough points, many of the site's features are unavailable to you.
All in all, Livemocha is an English learning website that anyone who is studying English should check out. The chance for interaction in English can't be beat because there is a plethora of people who want to practice their English. The forum is full of opportunities to make friends and practice English with them.
We applaud Livemocha's founders for implementing a high-quality audio component. Progressive lessons and many hours of English content also make the site worth considering. If you can already speak and read some English but are hoping to brush up on your cultural and conversational skills, we highly recommend Livemocha.