A perfect key to success by these PCAP-31-03 test prep

If you really to show your professionalism so just Passing the PCAP-31-03 exam is not sufficient. You should have enough Certified Associate in Python Programming - 2024 knowledge that will help you work in real world scenarios. Killexams.com specially focus to improve your knowledge about PCAP-31-03 objectives so that you not only pass the exam, but really get ready to work in practical environment as a professional.

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PCAP-31-03 learner - Certified Associate in Python Programming - 2023 Updated: 2024

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Exam Code: PCAP-31-03 Certified Associate in Python Programming - 2023 learner January 2024 by Killexams.com team

PCAP-31-03 Certified Associate in Python Programming - 2023

EXAM CODE: PCAP-31-03

EXAM NAME: Certified Associate in Python Programming



SCORES:

Section 1 → 6 items, Max Raw Score: 12 (12%)

Section 2 → 5 items, Max Raw Score: 14 (14%)

Section 3 → 8 items, Max Raw Score: 18 (18%)

Section 4 → 12 items, Max Raw Score: 34 (34%)

Section 5 → 9 items, Max Raw Score: 22 (22%)



The test candidate who has passed the PCAP-31-03 test demonstrates the following proficiency in Python programming:

- an ability to design, develop and Strengthen multi-module computer applications coded in Python

- an ability to analyze and model real-life problems in OOP categories

- experience allowing her/him to take a job as a junior developer

- sufficient skills to create and develop her/his own programming portfolio

- the potential to use Python in everyday life applications including DIY activities



Section 1: Modules and Packages

Section 2: Exceptions

Section 3: Strings

Section 4: Object-Oriented Programming

Section 5: Miscellaneous





Modules and Packages (12%)

PCAP-31-03 1.1 – Import and use modules and packages



import variants: import, from import, import as, import *

advanced qualifying for nested modules

the dir() function

the sys.path variable

PCAP-31-03 1.2 – Perform evaluations using the math module



functions: ceil(), floor(), trunc(), factorial(), hypot(), sqrt()

PCAP-31-03 1.3 – Generate random values using the random module



functions: random(), seed(), choice(), sample()

PCAP-31-03 1.4 – Discover host platform properties using the platform module



functions: platform(), machine(), processor(), system(), version(), python_implementation(), python_version_tuple()

PCAP-31-03 1.5 – Create and use user-defined modules and packages



idea and rationale;

the __pycache__ directory

the __name__ variable

public and private variables

the __init__.py file

searching for/through modules/packages

nested packages vs. directory trees



Exceptions (14%)

PCAP-31-03 2.1 – Handle errors using Python-defined exceptions



except, except:-except, except:-else:, except (e1, e2)

the hierarchy of exceptions

raise, raise ex

assert

event classes

except E as e

the arg property

PCAP-31-02 2.2 – Extend the Python exceptions hierarchy with self-defined exceptions



self-defined exceptions

defining and using self-defined exceptions



Strings (18%)

PCAP-31-03 3.1 – Understand machine representation of characters



encoding standards: ASCII, UNICODE, UTF-8, code points, escape sequences

PCAP-31-03 3.2 – Operate on strings



functions: ord(), chr()

indexing, slicing, immutability

iterating through strings, concatenating, multiplying, comparing (against strings and numbers)

operators: in, not in

PCAP-31-03 3.3 – Employ built-in string methods



methods: .isxxx(), .join(), .split(), .sort(), sorted(), .index(), .find(), .rfind()



Object-Oriented Programming (34%)

PCAP-31-03 4.1 – Understand the Object-Oriented approach



ideas and notions: class, object, property, method, encapsulation, inheritance, superclass, subclass, identifying class components

PCEP-31-03 4.2 – Employ class and object properties



instance vs. class variables: declarations and initializations

the __dict__ property (objects vs. classes)

private components (instances vs. classes)

name mangling

PCAP-31-03 4.3 – Equip a class with methods



declaring and using methods

the self parameter

PCAP-31-03 4.4 – Discover the class structure



introspection and the hasattr() function (objects vs classes)

properties: __name__, __module__ , __bases__

PCAP-31-03 4.5 – Build a class hierarchy using inheritance



single and multiple inheritance

the isinstance() function

overriding

operators:

not is

, is

polymorphism

overriding the __str__() method

diamonds

PCAP-31-03 4.6 – Construct and initialize objects



declaring and invoking constructors



Miscellaneous (22%)

PCAP-31-03 5.1 – Build complex lists using list comprehension



list comprehensions: the if operator, nested comprehensions

PCAP-31-03 5.2 – Embed lambda functions into the code



lambdas: defining and using lambdas

self-defined functions taking lambdas as arguments

functions: map(), filter()

PCAP-31-03 5.3 – Define and use closures



closures: meaning and rationale

defining and using closures

PCAP-31-03 5.4 – Understand basic Input/Output terminology



I/O modes

predefined streams

handles vs. streams

text vs. binary modes

PCAP-31-03 5.5 – Perform Input/Output operations



the open() function

the errno variable and its values

functions: close(), .read(), .write(), .readline(), readlines()

using bytearray as input/output buffer
Certified Associate in Python Programming - 2023
AICPA Programming learner

Other AICPA exams

BEC CPA Business Environment and Concepts
FAR CPA Financial Accounting and Reporting
CPA-REG CPA Regulation
CPA-AUD CPA Auditing and Attestation
PCAP-31-03 Certified Associate in Python Programming - 2023
PCEP-30-01 Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer

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http://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCAP-31-03
Question: 38
What is the expected output of the following code?
A. 3
B. 5
C. 4
D. an exception is raised
Answer: A
Question: 39
What is the expected output of the following code?
def foo(x,y,z):
return x(y) x(z)
print{f00(lambda x: x % 2, 2, 1) )
A. 1
B. 0
C. -1
D. an exception is raised
Answer: C
Question: 40
Assuming that the following code has been executed successfully, selected the expression which evaluate to True
(Select two answers)
A. a ( ) == 4
B. a is not None
C. b ( ) == 4
D. a ! = b
Answer: A,B
Question: 41
What can you do if you dont like a long package path like this one?
A. you can make an alias for the name using the alias keyword
B. nothing, you need to come to terms with it
C. you can shorten it to alpha. zeta and Python will find the proper connection
D. you can make an alias for the name using the as keyword
Answer: D
Explanation:
Reference: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/706595/can-you-define-aliases-for-imported-modules-in-python
Question: 42
Which of the following expression evaluate to True? (Select two answers)
A. len() == 1
B. len("""
""") == o
C. chr(ordCA) + 1) == B
D. ord("Z") ord("z") ord("0")
Answer: B
Question: 43
The__bases__property contains:
A. base class locations (addr)
B. base class objects (class)
C. base class names (str)
D. base class ids (int)
Answer: C
Question: 44
What is the expected output of the following snippet?
A. 3
B. 1
C. 2
D. the code is erroneous
Answer: A
Question: 45
A variable stored separately in every object is called:
A. there are no such variables, all variables are shared among objects
B. a class variable
C. an object variable
D. an instance variable
Answer: D
Explanation:
Reference: https://dev.to/ogwurujohnson/distinguishing-instance-variables-from-class-variables-in-python-81
Question: 46
What is the expected behavior of the following code?
A. it outputs 2
B. the code is erroneous and it will not execute
C. it outputs 1
D. it outputs 3
Answer: A
Question: 47
Assuming that the code below has been executed successfully, which of the following expressions evaluate to True?
(Select two answers)
A. var in Object.__dict__
B. prop in Class.__dict
C. len(Object.__diet__) == 1
D. var1 in Class, dict
Answer: A,C
Question: 48
The following expression
1+-2
is:
A. equal to 1
B. invalid
C. equal to 2
D. equal to -1
Answer: D
Question: 49
If you need to serve two different exceptions called Ex1 and Ex2 in one except branch, you can write:
A. except Ex1 Ex2:
B. except (ex1, Ex2):
C. except Ex1, Ex2:
D. except Ex1+Ex2:
Answer: D
Question: 50
With regards to the directory structure below, select the proper forms of the directives in order to import module_a.
(Select two answers)
A. import pypack.module_a
B. import module_a from pypack
C. import module_a
D. from pypack import module_a
Answer: A,D
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AICPA Programming learner - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCAP-31-03 Search results AICPA Programming learner - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/PCAP-31-03 https://killexams.com/exam_list/AICPA NASBA and AICPA approve revisions to CPE Standards No result found, try new keyword!The US’ National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) have approved revisions to the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional ... Wed, 20 Dec 2023 23:14:53 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Agile Certificate Online Course
Quick Facts
Online Yes
Format Instructor-led (Asynchronous)
Course Fee $1,795
CEUs 2.1
Course Availability 4 times per year
Time to Complete 5 weeks
Prerequisites None

The five-week Purdue Agile Certificate Online Course is a deep dive into the core principles and frameworks of the project management methodology.

Developed by subject matter experts in project management and aligned with the Agile Practice Guide of the Project Management Institute, this standalone course equips learners with the latest Agile tools and methods, enhancing their ability to drive project success and Strengthen customer satisfaction.

In this asynchronous program, learners view on-demand lecture videos and complete practical assignments that will deepen their understanding of Agile concepts and tools. They’ll have the opportunity to engage with their instructor and peers through discussion boards. The program is supplemented by two key textbooks: Agile Practice Guide from the Project Management Institute and Agile Project Management: 2 Books in 1 by Sam Ryan.

Request
Information

To learn more about Purdue University’s online Agile Certificate Online Course and , fill out this form. You can also call (888) 390-0499 to speak to one of our program advisors.

* All Fields are Required. Your Privacy is Protected.

Purdue University respects your right to privacy. By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails and calls from a representative of Purdue University, which may include the use of automated technology. Consent is needed to contact you, but is not a requirement to register or enroll.

Are you enrolling from outside the U.S.? Click here.

“In designing the Agile Certificate Online Course, we made sure to closely follow the Project Management Institute (PMI) global standards. Learners can use this content to prepare for their certifications, and it ensures that they’re up on the latest and greatest tools and techniques.”

Rachel Lamb, Agile Instructor

Course Curriculum and Modules

The 100% online, instructor-led Agile Certificate Online Course is conducted in the Brightspace online environment. Learners will complete two to three modules per week, for a total of 12 modules.

Week One
  • Introduction
  • Agile vs. Traditional Project Management
  • Agile Mindset
Week Two
  • Project Life Cycles
  • Implementation Preparation
Week Three
  • Implementing Agile
  • Managing Agile
Week Four
  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Additional Agile Approaches
Week Five
  • Measuring Agile Projects
  • Ensuring Success

Learners can expect to spend an average of four to five hours each week on assignments, depending on prior knowledge and experience. Most course materials will be provided in Brightspace, but learners are responsible for purchasing their textbooks.

Agile projects have a 64% success rate, compared to a 49% success rate for waterfall.

Zippia, Agile Statistics

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, learners will be able to:

  • Define Agile project management and the benefits of using Agile approaches
  • Summarize the Agile mindset and Agile Manifesto and how they both contribute to project success
  • Describe how to prepare for effective Agile implementation, including key tools needed for a successful Agile approach
  • Explain methods used to manage Agile projects
  • Describe popular Agile approaches, including Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrumban
  • Explain measurement methods to ensure ongoing success

The Agile Certificate Online Course is advantageous to anyone who manages projects, regardless of industry. Current project managers, those interested in moving into a project management position and individuals who require Agile knowledge in their roles — including business analysts, marketing strategists and software engineers — will all benefit from this program.

After completing this course, some learners go on to pursue their Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI). Others choose to build on their skills with Purdue’s Project Management Essentials and PMP® test Preparation courses, with the goal to sit for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification exam.

Learners who are already PMI-ACP certified earn 2.1 continuing education units, which they can apply toward maintaining certification.


One career option for course completers is Scrum master. These individuals are part of a Scrum team working to meet sprint goals and are well versed in Agile methodology and the Scrum approach. The average annual salary for Scrum masters is upwards of $107,000.


Frequently Asked Questions

About Agile and the Agile Certificate Online Course

What is Agile?

Agile methodology is an adaptable type of project management. It has many frameworks for implementation, but at its core, it is about being flexible, collaborative and efficient. Teams work in short cycles, or iterations, to develop small parts of a project over time. This approach allows teams to respond quickly to changes and continuously Strengthen the product based on feedback. Agile works best for projects with shifting requirements and for those where not all requirements are known.

What are the benefits of completing this course with Purdue rather than learning about Agile myself?

The Purdue Agile Certificate Online Course is an instructor-led program, meaning you’ll benefit from having a subject matter expert available for guidance whenever you have a question or need further examples to aid in your comprehension.

Additionally, the Agile program is a paced program, with assignments due on a weekly basis to keep you on track.

What is Agile certification?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers an Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification. The PMI-ACP® is the PMI’s fastest-growing certification and demonstrates your mastery of Agile practices and principles to employers. Obtaining this certification can lead to a 33% increase in median salary.

The Purdue Agile Certificate Online Course meets the PMI-ACP® test prerequisite for 21 contact hours of training in Agile practices. Because the course focuses on the PMI’s Agile Project Guide, it also prepares you for the content you will find on the exam.

For more details about how to get Agile certified, including Agile certification cost, visit the PMI website.

What other certifications will this program prepare me for?

Completing the Agile Certificate Online Course is valuable in preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® test through the PMI. According to the PMI, half of the questions on the PMP test focus on Agile or hybrid project management approaches.

Find more answers on our full project management FAQs page, or contact a program advisor at PMonline@purdue.edu or (888) 390-0499.


Course Instructor

Rachel Lamb, PMP

Rachel Lamb is the designer and instructor for the Agile Certificate Online Course. Both PMP® and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified, Rachel’s focus throughout her career has been on process improvement and project management. She is available to assist learners with questions throughout the program. Visit our instructors page to learn more about Rachel.

Fri, 15 Dec 2023 01:14:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.purdue.edu/projectmanagementcertification/agile-certificate-online-course/
Learn Python programming with this bundle for $23.97 ahead of the new year

TL;DR: As of December 27, get The Premium Python Programming Certification Bundle for only $23.97 — that's 80% off.


Proficiency in programming languages is becoming increasingly valuable as the digital landscape grows and expands. Python is a preferred language among many because of its versatility and relative simplicity. This online learning bundle is a comprehensive collection of ten courses designed to help you gain Python skills and open doors to opportunities in the tech industry. It's on sale for $23.97 through January 1.

A very in-demand programming language, according to Statista, Python "runs on almost every operating system used today." So, getting started in this field could be the beginning of a bright new career. Whether you're a beginner or already have some coding experience, this bundle caters to all skill levels.

The Complete 2023 Python Course is a hands-on course that aims to introduce users to all things Python. It even breaks down how the software industry works, so you'll gain a thorough foundation on top of creating software programs and building automations.

From there, you can move on to more complex courses that include Python Advanced Concepts and Python Basic and Advanced Concepts. There's also Learn to Code with Python 2021 and the 30-lesson Automatic Stock Trading with Python, which teaches you to build a stock-trading bot that actually operates. 

Whether you're looking to kickstart a career in programming, enhance your current skills, or explore new areas within the tech industry, this bundle provides the tools and knowledge to help get you there.

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Tue, 26 Dec 2023 12:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://mashable.com/deals/dec-27-python-programming-certification
What Is Computer Programming? A Guide To Becoming A Computer Programmer

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

Are you interested in a career in tech, and you’re wondering, “What is computer programming?” In this article, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about this dynamic career path. We’ll explore job expectations, how to break into the field of computer programming and earning potential for computer programmers.

What Is Computer Programming?

Computer programming is a high-tech field that’s growing in popularity. Programmers work on code to find and solve issues. They come up with strategies for enhancing and streamlining code, and they use code to implement company initiatives.

While computer programmers come from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, all computer programmers must have knowledge of different programming languages.

Today’s more popular programming languages include C++, Java, Python and Go. Programmers should be familiar with multiple coding languages, especially these.

What Does a Computer Programmer Do?

Computer programmers’ main task is writing code. Code provides instructions to a computer, written in a language the computer can understand. Many programming languages exist, and computer programmers typically know several coding languages.

Computer programming jobs might involve:

  • Write and test code for programs and apps
  • Update existing software programs in order to fix bugs or patch security vulnerabilities
  • Test and troubleshoot existing code for errors
  • Rewrite existing code to move it from one programming language to another

Computer Programmer Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 11% decline in computer programmer employment from 2022 to 2032. However, skills for computer programmers—especially coding in a variety of languages—could translate to several other positions as well, many of which have better growth projections. For example, the BLS projects software developers to grow by 26% and information security analysts to grow by 32%.

The BLS lists the median annual salary for computer programmers as $97,800. Workers in this role often enjoy other corporate perks like an annual bonus and a 401(k) package.

Computer Programming Degree Options

Regardless of job and industry, many employers prefer candidates to hold college degrees. The field of computer programming is no different. Aspiring programmers can pursue a variety of degrees in both computer programming and related fields. Below, we’ll take a look at just a few degree options for computer programmers.

Associate in Computer Programming

You can earn an associate degree in computer programming at a community college. Associate programs tend to be shorter than bachelor’s programs, lasting only two years versus four. They also tend to cost less: Two-year programs at public schools cost an average of $3,564 per year, versus $9,596 for four-year programs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Moreover, many community colleges offer programs that expose students to a variety of programming languages. Associate programs entail fewer non-technical courses as well.

Bachelor’s in Computer Programming

A bachelor’s degree in computer programming typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. This degree involves both general education courses and programming-related courses, preparing students to work as computer programmers.

Degrees that may qualify you to work in computer programming include information technology, computer science and information systems.

Master’s in Computer Programming

Most master’s programs entail two or three more years of study after you’ve completed your bachelor’s degree. Master’s students can usually study either part-time or full-time.

Master’s programs are a good option for those hoping to change careers or enhance their skills as software engineers or computer programmers.

Computer Programming Bootcamp

If you’d like to pursue a job as a computer programmer without attending a college or university, your best bet is to attend a computer programming bootcamp.

A bootcamp provides you with an immersive learning experience in a condensed schedule. Most bootcamps take four to 20 weeks of full-time study to complete, or up to 12 months for part-time students.

Bootcamps cost around $11,000 on average, but price varies significantly by company and program type. If you’re wondering how to pay for a coding bootcamp, consider scholarships and payment plans. In some cases, your employer might be willing to subsidize the cost of your bootcamp. Speak to your boss or HR manager for more information.

If you’re wondering whether you can find a job after completing a bootcamp, the answer is likely yes. Most computer programming bootcamps advertise a high rate of job placement upon completion, and some bootcamps even offer job guarantees.

Most bootcamps structure their learning modules specifically to prepare learners for their future careers. They may assign portfolio-building projects, teach interview skills and provide networking opportunities.

Once you complete a computer programming bootcamp, you’ll be eligible for computer programming roles and similar job titles like web developer, data analyst, technical support specialist and web designer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Computer Programming

What do I need to become a computer programmer?

Most employers prefer computer programming candidates to hold bachelor’s degrees, but you may qualify to work as a computer programmer by completing a coding bootcamp.

How much money does a computer programmer make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for computer programmers is $97,800. However, salaries can vary widely based on experience level, location and other factors.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 02:09:00 -0600 Christin Perry en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/what-is-computer-programming/
Learner Outcomes

Learning, Design, and Technology Program

Learner Outcomes

  1. Academic Knowledge:  Students will demonstrate a deep understanding of knowledge related to the nature, function and scope of instructional technology; historical, philosophical and sociological foundations; research; and program processes including planning, development, delivery, and assessment/evaluation. 

  2. Design: Students will demonstrate how to determine organization and learner needs, specify conditions for learning, and conduct task analyses, instructional sequencing, delivery, and project and resource management. Students will also demonstrate how visual elements, information literacy, and delivery media affect message design in traditional and online environments.

  3. Development: Students will demonstrate how to convert design plans into physical and computer-based resources aligned to professional learning goals, standards, and objectives. They will also demonstrate how to deliver these resources via physical and electronic media.

  4. Evaluation: Students will demonstrate skills required to conduct both formative and summative assessments of instructional episodes and resources. These include problem analysis, expert review, usability testing, and instrument development and validation.

  5. Practical Competence: Students will demonstrate the ability to translate academic knowledge into expert practice related to their professional roles and specialized areas of interest.

  6. Professional Engagement: Students will demonstrate intellectual engagement and a reflective stance with instructional technology practices through creative and scholarly pursuits, advisor research, participation and presentations in professional associations, and related activities.  

Thu, 01 Jun 2023 06:16:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.uwyo.edu/clad/learning-design-technology/learner-outcomes.html
Accounting Education Disrupted No result found, try new keyword!In Brief Although emerging technologies have disrupted the entire accounting ecosystem in recent years, the education realm has been one of the areas ... Fri, 29 Dec 2023 07:01:00 -0600 https://www.cpajournal.com/2023/12/29/accounting-education-disrupted/ What do tech vendors have in store for 2024?
2024

Dilok - stock.adobe.com

Technology developers who serve the accounting profession have planned a bevy of new products, features, capacities, integrations, partnerships, initiatives and other major developments for 2024 that are all aimed at helping practitioners be more efficient and produce more value. We wanted to learn more about the specifics, so we reached out to accounting solution providers of all types and sizes to get a 10,000-foot view of what professionals might expect over the next year. 

Many of the planned developments track the wider trends we observed from the 34 Vendor Spotlights we ran over the course of the year (see previous story), including a broad focus on AI and automation to Strengthen product functionalities; enhancements to the user experience via things like interface redesigns and workflow efficiencies; a big focus on integrations and partnerships to expand market reach and Strengthen product functionality; a continual move towards cloud-based platforms aimed at providing real-time data access, enhanced security and remote work capabilities; and more customization or personalization options. 

Though we cannot claim to have a crystal ball, we can see that 2024 will be a year where technology is front and center, used to further enhance the skills and capabilities of professional accountants as it continues on its journey of digital transformation. Below are the answers of dozens of accounting solutions providers to this one simple question: 

What are your accounting technology plans for 2024? This could include new products, new features, new partnerships, new integrations, new initiatives, new R&D, new areas of focus, or even new organizational shifts. The operative word here is "new." What will be new from you, in terms of accounting tech, in 2024? 

Next week, we hear what advice these vendors have for accountants (other than buying their products or services).

Wed, 27 Dec 2023 04:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.accountingtoday.com/list/what-do-accounting-tech-vendors-have-in-store-for-2024
Power of the peer group: Riding the wave of finance transformation

The JofA podcast took a road trip last week to the Future of Finance Summit, catching up with several leaders on highlights from the event and reflections on its growth since the first event in Nashville, Tenn., in 2021.

Tom Hood, CPA/CITP, CGMA, executive vice president–Business Growth and Engagement at AICPA & CIMA, leads off this compilation episode, sharing a favorite quote and how it applies to the summit's themes. He and other speakers explain how a growing community of leaders is applying the knowledge of the crowd to guide their organizations in transformative times.

Other speakers in this episode:

  • Carrie Kruse, CPA, CGMA, economic development administrator for the city of Des Moines, Iowa;
  • Scott Spiegel, CPA, CGMA, COO for AICPA & CIMA; and
  • Kelly Lorenz, AICPA & CIMA's associate director–Business Growth and Engagement.

The episode is the first of several that will focus on Future of Finance speakers and sessions, so be on the lookout for more, starting Thursday and continuing into 2024.

What you'll learn from this episode:

  • Hood's summary of the event's growth over the years.
  • Why Cruse considers the event the "top professional development opportunity of the year."
  • The reasons Spiegel is more energized now about a new finance apprenticeship program.
  • Why the summit's idea-sharing has been a "gold mine of opportunity" for finance leaders, according to Lorenz.

Play the episode below or read the edited transcript:

— To comment on this episode or to suggest an idea for another episode, contact Neil Amato at Neil.Amato@aicpa-cima.com.

Transcript

Neil Amato: Hey, it's Neil Amato again with the Journal of Accountancy podcast. Last week we took our show on the road to the Future of Finance Summit, and here are several people who share their perspectives on insights gained from that summit. First up is Tom Hood, executive vice president– Business Growth and Engagement at AICPA & CIMA. The question I start him off with is one on reflection about the event — where it's come from and where it's going.

Tom Hood: Neil, it's great to be back here on the show. Obviously, I love what you've been doing with this, so thank you for doing this and being here at our summit to cover this. This event for me, third year, it's pretty much tripled or more in size from the very first one, but it was imagined by our Future of Finance Leadership Advisory Group. I have to give them all the credit. I say I stand on the shoulders of giants, and those are the giants — CFOs of these major corporations who've been with us now three years.

We started the summit idea with our purpose, which is to transform the finance and accounting profession to power trust, opportunity, and prosperity. It's right off the Association's [site]. They adopted it and said: "We really want to impact the trajectory of all finance and accounting." We decided the way we're going to do that is with a community, basically a community of practice, getting together, sharing ideas, getting the best of the best, featuring some of the top stories, based on the current issues of the day. That's what we've done, and the growth and the energy in this conference this year is evident. I feel incredibly proud of this group and where we are. It went way beyond my imagination of where we could be, and the group is like: "Let's keep going."

Amato: What are some messages that resonated with you from this event in Orlando?

Hood: I think the key takeaway that I got both personally and what I heard from the group, it's probably both one and the same, is the power of the peer group and the power, if you will, of the crowd that's basically crowdsourcing what the future of finance looks like. We use polling, we use interactive, we had a ton of breakouts. What they all love: Peer-to-peer networking that stuck out. Everyone built a lot of relationships. We had a lot of time for them to get to know each other and work in groups and change those groups at every breakout.

The second piece was the subjects of the day. The major subject issues that we started with, that we designed this program around — transformation, digital transformation, Gen AI popped up in the middle of the year and we had to double down on that, and that was amazing. The workforce, talent, retaining talent, finding talent, and new ways of doing it, which all circled on nontraditional talent, registered apprenticeship, new ideas. That was a big one that we clicked in on.

Then the other one — we had ESG, a little bit of DEI, so we had almost all the top issues that they all want, and they were here for them to choose and work on. Many of them said it was hard to pick one or two when you got two in the same time frame. I think that's it. It's the power of the peer network, getting together to solve this problem and move our profession forward.

Amato: Speaking of moving it forward, what is your hope for the profession looking ahead to 2024?

Hood: I hope that the profession starts to really feel the transformation. We have a white paper that this Future of Finance group created called From Scorekeeper to Futurist, and I hope we get to that point. Everyone's talking about being a finance business partner, a value-added finance professional. No longer closing the books is the thing that we do. Yes, we do it, but it's about in service of how do we make the business better. Getting that finance leader in that strategic role, and believe it or not, we have tons of examples in our group and in this community already.

For instance, Gen AI, that session, the big issue was all of them were tasked by their CEO to get on Gen AI, not just for finance, for the whole organization, and not just for the whole organization internally, but how does it impact their customer segments and their product and service line? That's the seat at the table we've been talking about how long, Neil, like for 20 years? That's my aspiration, that in 2024 we move that needle one more big step forward.

Amato: It's been a great event. It's been great to be here, Tom. Anything in closing that you'd like to add?

Hood: The closing thing is the poll that we started this conference off, which changed slightly, but top five issues. Accelerated digital transformation, No. 1, that used to be talent, by the way. AI and Gen AI, at No. 2, that wasn't even on the map a year ago. Need for new skills, that's always been there, and it's always been about No. 3. But [with] emphasis on new skills, and that's what they're all saying. Finding and retaining talent and maintaining culture in a hybrid work environment, top 5. Three of those, maybe four of those top five, have been consistent. They just moved in priority.

But it gets back to this, and I close this conference today with my favorite quote, Jon Kabat-Zinn says: "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf." I really feel this group is helping us curate how we all ride these waves of transformation more successfully for the benefit of all of our businesses, not just finance, but in our leadership role as strategy partners to the whole business, which in turn will impact our whole economy.

Amato: Tom Hood, thank you very much.

Hood: Thanks for having me, Neil.

Amato: Next up on this Future of Finance Summit wrap-up episode is Carrie Kruse. She's a CPA who holds the CGMA designation. She's economic development administrator with the city of Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa. Carrie, I've seen you a few times at this event. Tell me why you come back, what you like about it, and maybe some of your takeaways from this particular one in mid-December in Orlando?

Carrie Kruse: Happy to. This is such a fun event. There are finance professionals from almost any and every industry I can possibly think of that attend this event every year, so that opportunity to network with my peers that work in every area of finance and learn about the cutting-edge things that they're doing in their organizations. A lot of us have the same challenges even if we're in different industries, so the energy at this summit every year is just electric.

People come with ideas, we want to share, we want to learn together. It is the top professional development opportunity of the year. I look forward to it. I've looked forward to it the last two times I've been here, and as long as it keeps happening, I'm going to keep coming back.

Amato: That's great. Certainly don't want to have you forget anyone, but is there anything from any of the sessions that you'd like to talk about as highlights, things that stuck in your mind, or maybe it was just a conversation with a fellow finance professional that you'll take away as a key lesson?

Kruse: I think the resounding theme this year is definitely Gen AI. It's what everybody is talking about. There are some large organizations that are really surprisingly far along in their Gen AI journey, but a lot of us haven't even started or are trying to figure out where to start with it. So I found myself in a lot of conversations about that and just the power of that tool and how it's going to change the way that all of us in the finance industry work. I thought that was really exciting.

We had a great session on coachability and both giving and receiving feedback. It seems like a commonsense kind of leadership thing we can all work on. But it really is something you have to intentionally prioritize in order to do well. I just thought that was a great additive thrown into the conference of just how to go back and be better leaders for our organizations.

Amato: I was mainly in a separate room recording podcasts, so I didn't get to too many sessions myself, but I did sit in on some of that coachability session from Kevin Wilde. That was interesting to me how as we advance in age and in career and title, that we tend to be less coachable. What do you think about that?

Kruse: Yeah, in some respects, I was surprised when he showed that chart, and in other respects, I wasn't as surprised. I think as we get further into our careers and into our lives, it's really easy just to have a full plate, and we get comfortable with our profession and the work we do. I think when it comes to coachability and receiving feedback, I can see why over time with those full plates that we become less coachable, unless we're intentionally working on that. It's kind of like a tool. You have to keep it sharpened.

Amato: Carrie Kruse, thank you very much.

Kruse: Thanks for having me here at the summit — so fun.

Amato: Scott Spiegel, the chief operating officer of AICPA & CIMA, recording from the Future of Finance Summit. Scott, you've been to previous Future of Finance Summits. First, how have you seen it grow over the years?

Scott Spiegel: Yeah, it's amazing, and thanks for having me. I was at the original Future of Finance meeting a few years ago, and this has grown tremendously. To feel the passion, the power, and the energy over the last three years grow the way it has, it's been really an amazing experience to see where this has come from. From its inception to now, it's probably three times the size.

Amato: What are some of the messages or conversations that stuck with you from this event?

Spiegel: What's awesome about this agenda is over the span of about two days, it crossed a lot of diverse subjects from women in leadership, to how to be a good leader or how to get coaching and mentoring, to AI, to a really informative session that I came out of around hiring and being from a different background in terms of recruiting into the finance and accounting profession. It was really inspiring. So, I think across two days to see just a wide array of subjects in a very short time frame was really powerful.

Amato: What can you as COO of a global organization learn from some of these sessions, the conversations with attendees, etc.?

Spiegel: The peer networking is probably No. 1. I think meeting people who are like-minded or going through the same challenges and issues that we are going through, I think it is really tremendous. You can feel the energy when we started talking about generative AI and the whole room really just buzzing to learn more. It is the hottest subject in the ecosystem right now. I think just paying attention and taking good notes and just really learning from that and bringing it back to our teams is going to be really an important thing.

Amato: We have now checked that podcast bingo card of, hey, we mentioned Gen AI because you can't have an episode these days without it. Tell me this, looking ahead to 2024, what's your hope for the profession?

Spiegel: Well, that's a great question. First, I hope we can attract many more candidates into the profession. Filling the pipeline with younger people who really show an interest in the profession, I think, is really important. It's been a great career path for me. I think [there's] a lot of ways to instill that confidence that it's still a great career path regardless. People think there's some disruption in the ecosystem. Disruption creates opportunity. I would say one [is] just filling the pipeline.

I think two, just staying ahead on the technological changes that are going on. There's so much talk about finance and digital transformation that's taking place. It's always going to transform, but there's a lot right now that's taking place, and the buzz of term of generative AI is probably no hotter of a subject right now.

Then I think three would just be talent. I would say keeping skill sets fresh and making sure that finance and accounting teams are upskilling and reskilling and learning all the time, I think, would be my third important thing for 2024.

Amato: You mentioned talent pipeline. The apprenticeship program for finance business partners up and running, adding more companies. Some of the genuine apprentices were here, the companies that are accepting those apprentices and developing them. What does that mean for the profession, and what have you seen from the program so far?

Spiegel: I think it's a really unique opportunity to bring more people into the profession. The interesting thing about the apprenticeship program is you can now attract people from nontraditional accounting and finance backgrounds into the profession, upskill them, rotate them through your accounting or finance departments or teams, or even in an accounting firm, let them get a broad base of experience. And now, by investing the time and energy into that person, you've now recruited somebody into the profession who you probably wouldn't have originally thought of.

I think the traditional model of having an accounting degree and sitting for the test — it works in a lot of cases. But there's a whole subset of people who are still learning what they really want to do in life. I think the apprentice program really gives people an opportunity to touch it, to feel it, to experience it, and then get heavily entrenched in it. I'm really excited about what the future of apprentices can do for this profession. By meeting some of those candidates here at the conference this week, I'm even more excited than I was coming into the week.

Amato: Scott Spiegel, appreciate you being on the show.

Spiegel: Thanks for having me.

Amato: Joining me for this segment of the show is Kelly Lorenz, associate director–Business Growth and Engagement at AICPA & CIMA. To me, she is the person who has been key to the growth of the Future of Finance Summit. We are now completing the third such event. Kelly, first, how have you seen the summit grow over the years?

Kelly Lorenz: Thanks for having me, Neil. I think one of the things that has been interesting over the three years is I joined the team and started leading the initiatives that we do around Future of Finance and with our executives as we were finishing planning for the 2021 summit. In 2021, we had a spike in COVID, so I'm changing jobs, and we have COVID spiking again, and we had an event planned. There were a lot of last-minute, Plan A, Plan B, Plan C [scenarios]. We ended up doing a little bit of a hybrid approach of an in-person summit with about 35, 40 people and then an online companion for everybody who couldn't travel.

That was a real experimentation. I think what I love about the work that we do on Tom Hood's team and with the Future of Finance group, we wanted to have regular touch points, and we didn't believe at that time in 2021 that we could get senior leaders at Fortune 500 companies to join us every other month for a chat, which thankfully proved false.

We actually have had them engaged and active. We have about 50 senior finance leaders from the Fortune 500 engaged in a bimonthly meeting, and as part of this cohort that helps us design — what are we focused on in terms of potentially new business models, potentially new learning opportunities?

Then how do we create an environment for the leaders to come together, meet with each other, learn from each other, and also build a relationship and a community for finance leaders? You think about accounting, which is the other side of our business, has long been concentrated around the CPA. It's very similar. If you're an accountant in one job, you can be an accountant anywhere.

Whereas if you're in finance and you're a leader, you can own so many different things depending on where you work. We were unsure if this would be successful because of that massive amount of diversity in companies, industries, functions that they owned, their backgrounds. We were concerned.

What we found was actually it has been a gem and a gold mine of opportunity for folks. Because when we went into 2022 and we were thinking about what subjects are we going to cover and who are we going to ask, we went first to our finance leader community and made sure we were hitting on the subjects that they were most concerned about that was top of mind for them day in and day out.

Then we also tapped some of them to come and do case studies. We were in Austin, Texas, for the 2022 summit. What really worked last year was this was the first time a lot of them were meeting face to face and they thought, this is my opportunity to grow, not only myself, but thinking about what my team can do as a result of attending a summit like this, and it's such a tight-knit community. By creating that intimate environment where they see the same folks year in and year out and they start to get to know each other and their needs, we have organic connections made.

Amato: Kelly, thank you very much and congratulations on a great event.

Lorenz: Well, thank you so much. Thanks, Neil.

Amato: Again, those speakers were in order Tom Hood, Carrie Kruse, Scott Spiegel, and Kelly Lorenz. We appreciate them taking time to be on the show. This is Neil Amato, and I appreciate you, the listener, taking time to listen as well. We plan one more episode this year. After that, we'll talk to you in early January. Enjoy your holidays. Thanks for listening to the Journal of Accountancy podcast.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 text/html https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/podcast/cpa-news-power-of-peer-group-riding-wave-of-finance-transformation.html
The Best Language Learning Apps for 2024

The Best Language Learning Software Deals This Week*

*Deals are selected by our commerce team

What language do you want to learn? Have you already learned a little, or are you starting from scratch? Is your goal to know the language so well that you can speak, hear, read, and write it like a native speaker, or do you have a different goal? Does the language you're learning use a different script? Is it hard for you to make unfamiliar sounds? Answering all these questions is crucial to finding the right apps for learning and practicing a language—yes, apps, plural. If you want to make real progress with a language, whether you're learning for school, travel, family, or personal enrichment, you need a variety of tools.

As with all kinds of education, learning a language takes dedication. Picking the right tools sets you up for success. Read on to learn which apps scored highest in our testing, as well as everything you need to consider when choosing the right language-learning tools for you.


Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

Rosetta Stone

Best Paid App for Beginners

Why We Picked It

Rosetta Stone is one of the best software programs for learning a language, especially for beginners. It excels at introducing new words and basic grammar, like conjugation and agreement, in a way that's compelling. When learning is going well, you don't even realize all the work that has gone into creating a program that introduces you to new ideas at the right time, and that's a huge part of what makes Rosetta Stone so good. Rosetta Stone also does an excellent job of getting you to commit to learning and studying for about 30 minutes per day with its wonderfully clear and structured lessons, which are laid out in an order you should follow.

Who It's For

Rosetta Stone is best for beginners and some students at the early intermediate level. Once you know a language well enough to converse a little and read with some fluidity, you're probably beyond what Rosetta Stone has to offer. But when you're just getting started with a new language and are still uncomfortable with it, that's when Rosetta Stone is best.

PROS

  • Excellent user experience
  • Highly intuitive
  • Polished interface on desktop and mobile
  • Optional online tutoring sessions
  • Great bonus content

CONS

  • No placement test
  • Repetitive at times

Duolingo

Best Free Language App

Why We Picked It

There really is no better free language learning app than Duolingo. Having tested dozens of language learning apps, we have no doubt that Duolingo would still be one of the best if you paid for it—which you can do with Duolingo Plus if you prefer to have a slightly improved experience with no ads, a special mode for practicing your mistakes, and other perks. What makes Duolingo so good? The content is strong and the design of the app makes it so that you can pick up and practice for a few minutes per day or sit down for longer study sessions. We love Duolingo's podcasts and Stories feature for the languages that have it. No matter what other tools you use to learn a language, you should incorporate Duolingo for daily practice.

Who It's For

Duolingo really is great for all language students. It's available on all major platforms and works great on mobile devices. You can learn as many languages as you want for free, and there are more than 30 languages to choose from. It works very well for beginners and intermediate-level students. And it's free. How can you go wrong with that?

PROS

  • Free with few limitations
  • No limit to how many languages you can learn
  • Clear structure, great exercises
  • Can test out of lessons that are too easy
  • Excellent podcasts
  • Low price for paid subscription

CONS

  • Quantity of material varies by language
  • Grammar lessons could be more prominently placed

SPECS

Price Includes All Languages, All Levels
Style of Program Interactive Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 37
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 4

Lingoda

Best for Group Classes

Why We Picked It

Lingoda offers small group and one-on-one classes via Zoom for very reasonable prices. More importantly, however, the classes are highly structured. You get PDFs of all the materials before the class, and the instructor works their way through the same PDF during the class. What Lingoda offers is completely different from tutoring, where a student often brings to the table subjects they want to practice or learn. In Lingoda, however, the class material is set ahead of time, and students work their way through all the classes in a particular level before advancing to the next one.

Who It's For

Lingoda is one of very few online language learning programs that's appropriate for beginners, intermediate, and advanced level students. If you've studied a language for several years but need so-called maintenance classes, Lingoda will do the trick. If you're just starting out with a language, Lingoda is also suited for you—although do expect to work on the language in your own time to supplement the practice you get in Lingoda. We don't recommend using only Lingoda for new speakers. Pair it with another class or learning app to get the best results.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Small group and one-on-one language classes via Zoom
  • Qualified, enthusiastic instructors
  • Excellent learning materials
  • Placement test provided

CONS

  • Classes for only a few languages
  • Doesn't include a software-based course

SPECS

Price Includes Small Group Classes and Materials
Style of Program Live Video Call Classes
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 3
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 60

Sign It ASL

Best for Sign Language

Why We Picked It

We tested quite a few apps and websites for learning American Sign Language, and Sign It ASL is by far the best. Working through a lesson feels a little like watching a television show because there are segments with characters who essentially perform short skits in ASL with narration and closed captioning to help you learn. After each skit are interactive sessions for practicing and quizzing yourself on what you've learned. Sign It ASL includes a lot of information about etiquette, culture, and other aspects of ASL that are essential to learning this language, and it does so wonderfully.

Who It's For

Sign It ASL is for teen and adult learners looking to learn American Sign Language. Because Sign It uses both narration and closed captioning, you can be hard of hearing or deaf and use this program. You can also be hearing. The team that makes Sign It ASL also has programs and YouTube videos for young children learning ASL called Signing Time. Sign It ASL is also appropriate for parents and family members of deaf infants and very young children who will need adult support in acquiring the language as they grow, and there's a special application process for those parents to get Sign It ASL for free.

PROS

  • Excellent content and compelling format
  • Accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people
  • Free for parents of deaf children under 36 months
  • Wonderful cast of instructors and actors
  • Buy once, own forever

CONS

  • No mobile apps
  • Small improvements to interactive quiz design would help

SPECS

Price Includes Video Lessons
Style of Program Quizzes
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 1
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 45-60

Fluenz

Best for Instructor-Led Videos

Why We Chose It

If you've ever tried Rosetta Stone and felt that it just wasn't for you, Fluenz is the best alternative. It is just as good as Rosetta Stone at teaching beginners and intermediate level students what they need to know about a language, but the teaching approach is completely different. In Fluenz, you get a virtual instructor in short class-style videos. Then you move into interactive practice modules, which are tougher than Rosetta Stone's and don't use the deductive method of learning that gives Rosetta Stone its unique feel.

Who It's For

If you learn better with a teacher than a game-like app, then Fluenz is for you. It's best for beginner and intermediate-level students. Fluenz doesn't offer too many languages, however, only Chinese (Mandarin with Pinyin only), French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Latin American Spanish, and European Spanish.

PROS

  • Excellent core content
  • Well suited for beginners and for long-term use
  • Thorough
  • App design prevents distractions

CONS

  • Limited number of languages
  • Only basic voice recording
  • No live web classes

SPECS

Price Includes 1 Level
Style of Program Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 7
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 45

Pimsleur

Best for Audio-Based Learning

Why We Picked It

Pimsleur uses a unique teaching method developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur, for whom the program is named. The Pimsleur method introduces you to words and concepts, has you repeat them, and then waits a specific amount of time before asking you to recall them again. The idea is that these timed intervals between moments of learning and recall strengthen your memory. Pimsleur courses have great content to boot.

Who It's For

Some adult learners start up with a new language and have a really hard time with pronunciation because they continue to say the letters and sounds they see as if they were in their native tongue. For those people, Pimsleur is exceptional. Pimsleur gives you the opportunity to hear words and practice saying them before you see them. This audio-focused language app is also ideal for people who need to practice a language while multi-tasking or who simply prefer audio-based learning. Pimsleur has courses for beginner, intermediate, and upper intermediate level students.

PROS

  • Excellent for learning to speak and hear spoken languages
  • Superb structure
  • Programs for 50 languages, plus ESL courses

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to learn new scripts

SPECS

Price Includes All Languages, All Levels
Style of Program Audio
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 50
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 30

Rype

Best for Inexpensive Tutoring

Why We Picked It

Rype is an online marketplace where language students find tutors and then sign up for low-cost sessions. We like that you can find tutors in a variety of languages with plenty of availability for a very good rate. It makes finding a tutor and attending a lesson extremely convenient.

Who It's For

Because Rype offers tutoring and not classes, it's best for language learners who are not true beginners. Intermediate level speakers and higher will get the most out of Rype. If you're a beginner level speaker who's at least ready to have short conversations or you have specific questions about the language that you want answered, then Rype may be a good option.

PROS

  • Inexpensive one-on-one tutoring
  • Good tools for finding instructors

CONS

  • Short sessions
  • May take time to find the right instructor

SPECS

Price Includes Individual Lessons
Style of Program One-on-One
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 9
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 30

Transparent Language Online

Best for Hard-to-Find Languages

Why We Picked It

Where do you turn when you need to learn a language that other language apps don't teach? Go to Transparent. It specializes in courses and lessons that teach boutique and hard-to-find languages. The amount of content for languages varies greatly, however. Transparent is better than some other language apps in terms of its speaking and listening exercises. It is more expensive than many other apps, and generally speaking, it's more challenging.

Who It's For

Transparent Language is for people who can't find the language they need to learn anywhere else. The only other app that offers close to as many languages as Transparent is Mango Languages, and Transparent is hands-down better.

PROS

  • Offers instruction in more than 100 languages
  • Clear learning path and structure
  • Excellent speech analysis
  • Appropriately challenging

CONS

  • Writing and spelling exercises could be more polished
  • Some languages have more content than others
  • Pricier than others

SPECS

Price Includes 12-Month Subscription
Style of Program Interactive Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 100
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 10

Yabla

Best for Getting Videos in the Native Language

Why We Picked It

Unlike most other language learning apps and services, Yabla takes a video-first approach. Diving into Yabla's material is more like going to YouTube than cracking open a text book. You learn by watching videos, some of which are in the style of a language learning lesson but many others are just interesting content—music videos, cooking segments, travel shows—in the language you're learning. What makes Yabla different from YouTube is the interactive questions you can answer after you finish a video to test what you learned.

Who It's For

While Yabla has some content for beginners, we think it's best for intermediate and higher speakers. Beginners with a few months of learning under their belt would do all right with Yabla too. It's refreshing for people who have grown tired of other language learning apps that drill you in the standard listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar lessons.

PROS

  • Excellent for sharpening language-listening skills
  • Provides exposure to new words and expressions
  • Uses a variety of speakers and accents
  • Videos with conversational pace

CONS

  • Lacks structure
  • Inconsistent quality
  • Few languages offered

SPECS

Price Includes 1-Month Subscription
Style of Program Videos
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 5
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) varies

Babbel

Best for Challenging Content

Why We Picked It

Babbel has a web app and mobile apps that help you learn and practice a new language at your own pace, even if that pace is quite fast. Interactive exercises can feel tedious at times, but they are also more challenging than what most other language apps offer. With Babbel, you learn concepts, words, and phrases unique to the language at hand—it's not a cookie-cutter course for each language, the way many of its competitors are. Bring a pen to take notes, and get ready to learn a lot.

Who It's For

Babbel is best for people who find learning languages somewhat easy, possibly people who grew up speaking two or more languages and are now studying a language in a familiar language family. This app is tough, so if you find most language learning apps to be too easy or too slow, then Babbel is one you should try.

PROS

  • High-quality lessons unique to each language
  • Helpful instructional blurbs for true beginners
  • Live classes available
  • Challenging content

CONS

  • Total amount of content varies by language
  • Layout could be clearer
  • Unmemorable lessons
  • Not a great value for the money

SPECS

Price Includes Subscription
Style of Program Exercises
No. of Languages Offered (Not Incl. English) 13
Average Duration of Lesson (Mins) 5

Buying Guide: The Best Language Learning Apps for 2024


What Is the Best Language Learning Software?

The best app for learning a foreign language depends on your needs and your goals. Apps and online services let you learn at your own pace and in spaces where you're most comfortable. The trick is figuring out what you need to work on at different stages.

When you first start out, you might like a program that tells you exactly what to study for an intensive 30 minutes per day. Rosetta Stone and Fluenz are both exceptional at that. Add in a mobile app with more bite-sized content so you can refresh your memory in short bursts. Duolingo is especially good for practicing on the go, as is the study aid Quizlet

Some language learners find that looking at written language trips up their pronunciation. In that case, you might be better off starting with an audio-focused program, such as Pimsleur or Michel Thomas. Between the two, Pimsleur rates higher in our testing.

If you're already an intermediate or advanced speaker, small group classes or one-on-one conversations with a tutor are excellent options. Lingoda offers one-hour small classes and one-on-one sessions, all conducted over Zoom. Babbel now has similar classes that it sells separately from its app subscription. Between them, we recommend Lingoda more highly. Another place to get human instruction is Rype, which focuses on one-on-one tutoring in 30-minute sessions. Not quite ready to converse? Try Yabla, a site that's flush with videos of native speakers, which can help you acclimate your ear and expand your vocabulary.

Sometimes, you need resources that are specific to the language you're learning. For example, when learning American Sign Language, you really need either a live instructor or videos. Sign It ASL, an online course whose video lessons have the feel of a television show, is extremely effective. 

Similarly, for languages with a script that's new to you, it's best to find an app that includes content for teaching reading and writing. In some cases, you might pick up two apps, one that focuses solely on reading and writing and another that teaches speaking and listening. There are plenty of apps that teach only writing for Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, and other non-Roman scripts.


How Do You Learn Language Best? 

One of the hardest parts about learning a different language is that if you succeed 100% of the time, it's not difficult enough. If it's too easy, you're not learning. It's uncomfortable for many people, but it's another reason you need to explore all your options and language learning apps and resources that match your skill level. 

For example, podcasts are a great way to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Babbel and Duolingo both have good podcasts. If you can understand about 80% of what's being said, that's right where you should be. If you're not into podcasts in the first place, you might get frustrated and give up.

A few apps, including Lingoda, offer placement tests so you can find out which level is the most appropriate place for you to start.

Duolingo quiz with sound

Duolingo is the best free language learning app, offering bite-sized interactive sessions. (Credit: Duolingo)


What Is the Best Free Language Learning App?

The best free app for learning a language is Duolingo, hands down. We recommend it enthusiastically, no matter your level or language goals, as it has just about everything. You won't become fluent using only Duolingo, but it is excellent for helping you study and keep up your skills.

It's available as a web app and mobile app, and it works well whether you're a total beginner or already have experience. You can study as many languages as you like on Duolingo. It has more than 30 languages with instruction in English, plus more options if your preferred language of instruction is something else.

If you're not a beginner, Duolingo lets you take a placement test to find the right place to start. It also makes it easy to practice specific skills because it has lessons that focus not only on vocabulary themes (Family, Hobbies) but also on verb tenses and grammatical rules (Past Imperfect, Dative Case).

You can practice exercises in bite-size lessons or explore content for intermediate and advanced speakers, including Stories and podcasts, which are only available for some languages. Duolingo also has some gamification aspects, so you can set a goal for yourself and compete against others. The more you hit your goal, the more bonus points you earn. It's a wonderful app that's totally free. You can support Duolingo by paying for a Plus account, but it's not necessary to get everything this app has to offer.


Is Rosetta Stone Worth the Price?

Rosetta Stone is the most polished language-learning app, with plenty of extras. Among paid programs, it continues to be our top pick, with Fluenz being a close second. Rosetta Stone is often on sale, so you can expect to pay less than the list price to get it. If you and your family members study multiple languages often, the Lifetime membership is a good deal because it gives you access to all of Rosetta Stone's languages for your lifetime for one flat rate (usually you can get it for about $179 on sale).

Rosetta Stone is reliable, accurate, and thorough, with more than 20 languages. We like its rigor, especially for beginners. You know what to do every day, and you can plan to spend about 30 minutes per day completing your lesson. If you follow this routine, Rosetta Stone has enough content to keep you busy for months. Again, you won't become fluent in a language using only Rosetta Stone, but it's superb at getting you started and helping you build a foundation so that you can add more tools to further your learning.

For all these reasons, Rosetta Stone is ideal for anyone who is new to a language and wants to develop a base vocabulary and grammar. It's well-structured, clear, and moves at a deliberate pace. Use Rosetta Stone faithfully for a few months, and you'll learn to speak, read, write, and understand basic words and phrases.

Rosetta Stone Spanish storyboard

Rosetta Stone uses an immersion teaching style in its interactive software. (Credit: Rosetta Stone)


The Best Language Software With a Virtual Teacher

Some learners do best when they have an instructor to guide them. When you're starting with a language, seeing another human being speak it, watching their facial movements, and seeing their smile can make it feel less intimidating. Fluenz gets it. This program uses videos of a teacher to introduce new lessons and review concepts, then follows them up with interactive learning exercises and quizzes. It's as rigorous as Rosetta Stone, but it uses a completely different approach, which some people prefer.

Fluenz quiz screen

Fluenz has prerecorded video-based lessons with an instructor, plus interactive exercises. (Credit: Fluenz)

As Fluenz progresses, the instructor walks you through lessons in not only pronunciation and grammar but culture, too. If you learn best when you see a familiar face, Fluenz is a great program to pick.

Fluenz offers seven language courses: Chinese (Mandarin with Pinyin writing only), French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Latin American Spanish, and European Spanish.


Lingoda interactive class on Zoom

Lingoda's small group classes are limited to five students. (Credit: Lingoda/Zoom/PCMag)

The Best App for Group Classes and Speaking Practicing

Lingoda is our top pick for live, video-based group classes designed to get you speaking. With Lingoda, you take a placement test and then commit to a package of classes, which you pay for upfront. Classes take place over Zoom and are limited to five students. One-on-one sessions are also available for a higher per-class cost.

The curriculum and levels used in Lingoda are based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Lingoda offers classes in French, German, Spanish, English, and Business English.

Babbel multiple choice question

Babbel is the best language learning app for people who like challenging content. (Credit: Babbel)


What Is the Most Challenging Language Instruction App?

One app stands out for having lessons that are harder than others: Babbel. While testing this app, we kept a notebook by our side and quickly filled it with words and phrases just to keep up. Not everyone can jump into tough language-learning content, but some people can and like it.

For example, if you're learning a language that's linguistically close to the one you already speak, such as German and Dutch or Spanish and Portuguese, tougher content might be best for you. Additionally, experienced language learners might find Babbel's content just the right speed.

Babbel has 13 languages, assuming your language of instruction is English. You can learn Danish, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. There's also a course for learning English, with instruction available in French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

Recommended by Our Editors


If you've studied a language before and find that most language learning apps are too easy, you might want to try an app that gives you movies and TV shows in your target language, plus some tools to help you learn the words, phrases, and expressions that are new to you. Two good apps offer this: Yabla and Lingopie (which didn't score high enough to be included in our final list of the 10 best language apps). Both Yabla and Lingopie let you watch videos with the option to show closed captioning in the native language as well as English subtitles. You can look for content from a particular country or region if you're trying to acclimate your ear to a certain dialect or accent.

Yabla conversation quiz screen

Yabla helps experienced learners practice listening and comprehension. (Credit: Yabla)

What makes them different? Yabla offers six languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, plus an English program for Spanish speakers. When you sign up, you choose just one language. Lingopie has six languages as well (French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish). When you pay for an account, you get access to all the content in all the languages. Yabla has more interactive exercises for practicing the new words you learn, and in terms of genre, it offers both instructional learning videos and entertainment. Lingopie has only entertainment—no lessons on grammar or anything else—and only flashcards for interacting with new words you learn along the way.


The Best Audio-Focused Language Apps

If you're the kind of person who can get immersed in podcasts and audiobooks, you might consider an audio-focused language learning program. Two that stand out are Pimsleur and Michel Thomas. (Michel Thomas did not score high enough to be included in our top ten.) Each is named after the person who created the learning technique used in the program. Both were sold as tapes, then as CDs, and now as apps.

Pimsleur app screens showing lesson breakdown and example phrases

Pimsleur offers audio-focused lessons, plus interactive app content for select languages. (Credit: Pimsleur/PCMag)

Pimsleur, named for Dr. Paul Pimsleur, uses a spaced repetition method. In other words, the program uses specific intervals of time between when you first learn a word and when you're asked to recall it, and these intervals are designed for maximum language retention. Each lesson takes about 30 minutes, and you're supposed to do exactly one lesson per day. For select languages, you can find a version of the Pimsleur app with interactive exercises, too.

The method used in the Michel Thomas app is different. Michel Thomas was a polyglot who developed a method of informal teaching. It involves putting people into a classroom and teaching them words that can be used as building blocks. That way, you get to speaking quickly and can mix and match the words you've learned to say in several sentences. When you buy the Michel Thomas program, you hear the recording from one of these classrooms, and you're supposed to play along as if you were there in person.

Mango Languages conversation lesson

For learning a language that isn't widely taught, Mango Languages is one of the best places to look. (Credit: Mango Languages)


The Best Apps for Hard-to-Find Languages

Most language-learning software is available for Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. What do you do if you need to learn Igbo or Ojibwe?

When you're in a bind to find an app for a language you want to learn, there are two sources to try: Transparent Language Online and Mango Languages (which didn't make the cut for this list). Transparent has programs for more than 100 languages. Some of those programs are short, but the company is adding to them over time. Mango Languages is an option if you're stuck, though it's not an app we highly recommend. For some languages, however, it may be your only option.


The Best App for Learning ASL

There are several useful apps for learning American Sign Language, but our clear favorite is Sign It ASL. This app meets the unique challenges of teaching fingerspelling as well as more complex signs, grammar, culture, and etiquette. 

Sign It ASL video lesson with lesson breakdown

Sign It ASL is the best service we've tested for learning American Sign Language. (Credit: Sign It ASL)

As you might guess, the content is entirely video-based, using pre-recorded and professionally produced videos. Sign It ASL manages to convey a lot of information in relatively long (up to an hour) video lessons that are entertaining and engaging.


Make Sure Your Apps Are Tough Enough

However you choose to learn a language, stick with it! Don't be afraid to change the app you use as you progress. When an app feels too easy, it's time to stretch yourself in new ways.

If any of the apps in this list sounds right for you, click the link for an in-depth review. If you're looking to learn something other than a language, from coding to sewing, see our roundup of the best online learning services.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-language-learning-software
How Digital Badges Motivate And Engage Learners

The LinkedIn 2022 Learning Report shows that employees increasingly want and expect development opportunities that add long-term value to their careers. Digital badges (also known as ebadges and skill badges) are an increasingly popular way to link learning experiences to career benefits, and to spark enthusiasm in the process.

To learn more about digital credentialing, I reached out to long-time learning professional, John Talanca, to share his experience launching a digital badge initiative to thousands of employees at Kellogg’s beginning in August of 2021. Now, Talanca is VP, Head of Skills & Capabilities Training at Novartis where he leads all learning & development efforts for the US commercial organization.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Digital Badges Show the Value of Training and Drive Motivation

Kevin Kruse: What were you trying to accomplish with digital badges?

John Talanca: We were looking for a way to “elevate” a few key programs in our curriculum portfolio—programs that are central to our performance as a commercial organization. The goal of the digital credentialing program was threefold:

1) motivate employees to focus on the course and skill attainment,

2) motivate those who did not initially pass to refocus and make time to successfully pass the assessment, and

3) provide commercial employees with a public, visible recognition of their hard work and success.

Launching Digital Badges: The Strategy, Framework, and Rollout to 3,000 Employees

Kruse: How do digital badges work exactly? Do they pair with your existing programs?

Talanca: We decided that the launch would consist of the complete history of six current key programs. We would “badge” every person who had earned a certification across one or more of these courses. After this initial launch, we would then implement a process to award new certifications on a monthly basis, or as a course was completed.

The decision to digitally certify some of our key programs required a significant amount of planning. Digital badging requires a strategy, an implementation framework, a governance model, and a recordkeeping process.

Kruse: And the genuine rollout? The launch?

Talanca: Implementation was relatively straight forward. Most of the work (easily 85%) revolved around defining our digital certification strategy ahead of time, setting standards, gathering existing data on those employees who already qualify for a badge, and implementing a process to manage the process on an ongoing basis. That took approximately 2 months of planning and leadership signoffs. Luckily, we had records that tracked successful test completions, but we still had to combine these data sources into a master report for upload onto our badge platform.

On the day of launch, we issued nearly 4000 badges to over 3000 employees across the 6 courses I mentioned earlier. The genuine process of issuing these badges took less than one hour of administrative time.

Choosing the Right Digital Badge Platform and Early Communication

Kruse: One challenge I imagine you might face with the launch is showing employees why the badge is valuable. How did you do that?

Talanca: One thing we did was choose our digital certification provider carefully. We chose Credly primarily because of their stature and reputation in the digital badging space. The fact that thousands of organizations use Credly adds to its credibility, and therefore the value, of their badges.

Another thing we did was send out an informative email to everyone who had earned a badge, explaining the badging process, its benefits, and described what the employee needed to do to accept the badge. We also took the opportunity to congratulate the employee on their successful effort to obtain important knowledge and skills. We urged them to share this badge recognition via social media and internal company channels of communication.

Badges Drove Engagement and Even Became a Recruitment Tool

Kruse: How was it received?

Talanca: Once employees received their badges, the positive feedback started pouring in. It overwhelmed us. Here’s what we began to see:

  • Each of these key learning programs contained an test which measured the learner’s gained knowledge. We saw a dramatic increase in passing scores on participants’ first attempt, as well as increased numbers of retake attempts to pass the exams. Employee feedback revealed that seeing colleagues get certified and get a badge motivated them to pass the exam.
  • More than 50% of badge earners shared their accomplishments via social media—primarily on LinkedIn and in email signatures.
  • Several leaders were contacted by individuals outside the organization who stated how impressed they were that the company issued digital certifications to their employees. Based on this, these individuals even inquired about how they could join the company.
  • While the certification program was launched only within the commercial organization, many other functions inquired about the program, stressing their desire to launch a certification process.
  • Post-launch we implemented a monthly badge issuance process of awarding any badges earned during the previous month. Excited employees were calling us wondering where their badge was—they didn’t want to wait a week or more to receive it!

Lessons Learned: Plan to Have to Sell the Concept to Others

Kruse: What lessons did you learn that might help inform someone who is about to roll out a certification process of their own?

Talanca: Despite the success of the program, we did learn some things which would impact our preparation.

First, we wouldn’t have assumed that most people are aware of digital certifications and badging. Although our employee audience had a healthy blend of millennials and Gen Ys, we were very surprised that many employees were not aware of digital badges. Knowing this, we probably would double down on pre-launch communications.

Second, we were surprised that one of our key learning partners who owned and delivered one of these important courses did not care about certifying their course. We had to quickly work with them to convince them to "co-brand" the certification. It worked out, but more lead time would make the rollout even smoother.

Lastly, our senior commercial leader was concerned about our employees sharing their certifications and skill attainments on LinkedIn. The thought was that this exposure would ultimately result in our employees being “poached” by other companies who value the skillset. Although the opposite of this happened (as I mentioned earlier, it acted almost like a recruiting tool), if we could do it over, we would have looked for positive examples like this to share with executive leadership prior to our launch.

Digital Badges: A Quick, Easy, and Effective Way to Spark Learning

Digital badges make sense. By making your training carry value beyond the walls of your organization, you increase the motivation and engagement of your learners. The result in Talanca’s case was increased enthusiasm, an increased rate of course completion, and even interest from people outside the organization.

Kevin Kruse is the Founder + CEO of LEADx, a platform that scales and sustains leadership habits through micro-coaching and behavioral nudges. Kevin is also a New York Times bestselling author of Great Leaders Have No Rules, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, and Employee Engagement 2.0.

Sun, 12 Jun 2022 22:59:00 -0500 Kevin Kruse en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2022/06/13/how-digital-badges-motivate-and-engage-learners/




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