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language learning in the digital age

Speaking a language is like riding a bicycle… New refresher courses!

Posted on October 30, 2012 by

refresher courses

Katja Wilde, Content Project Manager at Babbel

“I studied French in school.“ How many times have I heard this as a Babbel Content Manager? Since so many of you seem to harbor a desire to dust off those language skills and polish them up without having to take a long, involved course at the same time, we’ve redesigned our refresher courses to make them even more effective and fun.

Studying languages is really like riding a bicycle . . . you never forget it. Just lack of practice and re-entry can make it tough sometimes. That’s why we here at Babbel have developed a new course concept so you’ll be to able to express yourself and communicate in everyday situations again.

Logically interlocking units bring dormant vocabulary and grammar knowledge back to life—and have you review them effectively in common dialogues. The idea here is to combine the refreshing of basic essentials with their use in an everyday speaking context.

You’ll repeat useful words and sentences and then use them in a dialogue. This prepares you for the grammar lesson that follows. So for example, once you’ve practiced “J’en prends 100 grammes” (I’ll take 100 grams of that) in the French “Shopping” section, you’ll go over the grammar of it once again in detail, including why and when you use the pronoun “en.” At the end, the grammar knowledge you’ve reviewed is combined with the vocabulary from the last lesson—the “grand finale,” as editorial director Miriam Plieninger calls it. And the cycle is complete.

New editions of the refresher courses are available for German, Spanish, French and English at This comes in parallel with the release of the Beginner’s Course 5 for German, and the Beginner’s Course 4 for Brazilian Portuguese. More refresher courses as well as new course formats for higher levels are planned for next month.

Link to courses:


Read this post in Italian (Italiano)



Great post. I completely agree with the analogy that you use here. Learning a language is not like leaning Biology or Philosophy. You need muscle memory, just like learning to ride a bike.

I can speak from experience that speaking a language is like riding a bike. I recently started studying German again as it was my first language and after growing up in the States and speaking nothing but English for most of my life, its pretty amazing how much German I’ve actually retained.

I truly believe that a good language program can go a long way towards activating those parts of the brain once again.

Hi ! Flora, thanks for your dedication in helping people learn languages. I’d like to ask a question, which I believe will interest other people, too.
I’m a teacher in a school that teaches French to foreigners, most of which speak English very well and have already learnt a bit of French. I was wondering if your refresher courses could fit my needs, and if you had plans for volume pricing ?

Thanks a lot in advance for your answer !

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