These are new style language-learning websites that are trying to leverage community and/or new capabilities allowed by the internet:
- SpanishSense – they have podcasts, PDFs, daily emails and a lot more. This site has been done by the same people who have been doing really successful ChinesePod for several years now. It looks very slick.
- LiveMocha – they are doing social network style language learning. Others have done it before them, but LiveMocha seems to be a bit stronger on multiple modes of learning than other similar sites. Of course, building yet another social network is a pain and will be limiting factor.
- Mango – This website is an invite-only beta, but my invite arrived less than 30 minutes after registering. They have lessons for a number of languages, but the lessons themselves are in a power-point style presentation. I guess they hope that nice presentation will make up for somewhat inflexible format. And of course, they are still beta.
Among these three, my money is on SpanishSense. I feel that trying to do too many languages at the same time, means none will be done right.
It is true that internet allows to leverage Long Tail effect and create a super-niche website (with a niche per language), but I do not see how one company would have enough time and money to support all those niches well enough. This is my main annoyance with the WordChamp, which I quite like otherwise.