Why Babbel is a platform that helps me approach learning at my own pace and care for myself while promoting learning post-brain injury.

As a Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”) survivor, learning can be incredibly difficult. My brain doesn’t process information or approach studying the same way a brain that hasn’t endured trauma or impact can. That’s why it’s incredibly important for myself and other TBI survivors to have the support in alternative learning formats to help us process what others so naturally can—because my brain works twice as hard as someone without these limitations. I was sharing with my friend Rachel how surprisingly well I was doing with my Babbel Spanish lessons. I was shocked at how inclusive Babbel, he language learning platform, is for me. Rachel encouraged me to share this blog post detailing more about my journey and draw parallels for how Babbel may support others within the custom learning community who are searching for support in becoming bilingual. Below are but a few points highlighting how Babbel’s diverse learning formats support alternative learning plans

About This Article: How I Notice Babbel Supports Those Who Manage…

  • Learning Disabilities/Limitations

  • Shorter Attention Spans

  • Anxiety 

  • Mental Health Struggles

  • Eye Strain

  • Hearing Difficulty

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s)


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How Babbel Is Helping Me Learn Spanish
After A Brain Injury:

1.Lesson Structure

Babbel teaches you the language you’re studying in multiple formats. I’m able to piece together tools from the lesson structures provided to map out my own unique and effective learning journey. Information is available via:

  • Babbel Live

Babbel live is a new feature offering users to attend lessons via an online classroom. This is designed to foster community with others learning the language, practice speaking skills, and ask questions with an instructor who is fluent.

  • Podcasts

There are three dedicated Spanish-speaking podcasts available to listen to for free with Babbel. I love the “A Zero To A Hero” podcast episodes. I often listen to the podcast on my days off from lessons. It is an English-speaking podcast that weaves in Spanish phrases and sentences, focusing on one topic per episode so listeners can then engage in a conversation on what they learned. I love the hosts “Catriona, a total beginner, in her journey towards fluency in Spanish.” She is learning from her co-host, Héctor Hernández, Babbel’s Spanish editor. Together, they provide immediately applicable conversation pieces in a non-overwhelming way. Plus, I love the sound of Héctor’s voice. It’s so soothing and helps me to properly pronounce my Spanish words. 

  • 2-Minute Stories

These are just as they seem…stories in 2-minutes that put the “new vocab in action.” 

  • Culture Bites

This hub is where I can learn more about the Spanish cultures and read fun facts/pieces of history. 

  • Babbel Magazine

I LOVE the Babbel writers. There publish a variety of topics discussed which I haven’t even thought about––aka why I love this feature. I’m able to filter the articles posted by language, which is helpful so I don’t have to weave through pages of content. My favorite articles are Vintage Spanish Words For Passionate Reader and 7 Struggles Spanish Learners Understand All Too Well (and yes, I love this article 13x more because it references a Taylor Swift song in the title.) 

  • Games

Three games allow me to get outside of a textbook-style approach to learning and switch to more interactive reading. Based on the option I choose to play, I get to creatively input what I had just learned and allow for the different forms (written, matching, arranging) to help me see what I may be struggling to understand.

  • Audio Support

My FAVORITE part about Babbel’s Spanish lessons is the ability to replay the audio. Having the text narrated to me eases my mind. I’m able to ensure I’m learning the correct pronunciation from the start so I don’t have to un-learn anything I should have never grasped in the first place.  I can also replay these multiple times. Most learning platforms adhere to one maybe two audio replays and then fail you if you need to hear it again.

  • Community

I appreciate the opportunity to connect with others we may know who are learning with Babbel too.

  • Revision 

I’m able to repeat and review lessons unlimited times. There is always an encouraging display to take a few moments to do so, which I appreciate. Even when I score 100% on a lesson or game, the review is still prompted by providing audio, written, and additional reading overviews. I love this because it reminds me that we don’t learn something once, twice, or even a few dozen times after being introduced to it. We remind babies and toddlers to pronounce words and try forming sentences a zillion times when they’re learning their first language. Why wouldn’t we do this when learning another?


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2.Learning Time

When I first learned Babbel lessons are 15 minutes, I rolled my eyes. I thought how would I ever become fluent in such a short time? Well, that amount of time is why I am so successful. Because I have to pace myself while learning, Babbel lessons are the perfect length before I hit the “I need to take a break” stage and process all I had just learned. I usually aim for about an hour of learning and because each lesson is 15 minutes (sometimes less), I’m able to take a break before continuing on. Unlike most language learning programs, Babbel doesn’t time me out or overload me with notifications to do more and study harder. Babbel is like the cool mom of language programs that walks alongside you, cheering you on where you are and who is there to catch you if you stumble…without a lecture or “I told you that you weren’t ready.” The smaller chunks of information allow me to pause and dive into the other learning support options to make sure I retain the information. I often play the games, read the 2-minute stories, or search the Babbel Spanish blog, before beginning the next lesson. Overall I’m less overwhelmed when I choose to study more lessons in one sitting.

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3.Retaining Information

Retaining information is another big concern of mine. New and thought demanding info doesn’t stick as easily as it used to and I’m quite self-conscious of it. But, with Babbel, I’m reassured by the support and gentle guidance I receive with all of the options to review at any point. Before each lesson, there is a review portion from what was introduced during the last learning session. There are also opportunities to review the vocab and the grammar/sentences/information in the games or other bonus options. 

 

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Babbel doesn’t penalize you for staying curious and seeking support to help you process the words and lesson. 
— Macaila Britton

 

Have you tried Babbel? I’d love to hear your Experience in the comment section, below.

Click here to begin your language learning journey with Babbel.


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