Language Commons

Spaces and Resources for Language Learning

Be an Effective Language Learner & User

New! Virtual Reality in the Language Commons

If you're preparing for study abroad, or just want to explore new places without leaving grounds, stop by the Language Commons to try out a Virtual Reality headset or a google cardboard device. Learn more about VR here, or try out a tour of Berlin or Vienna via IES Abroad.


Language-Specific Resources


General Language Learning Web Resources & Apps

Try out these free online resources to maximize your language learning. Each site/app has 'help' resources for further assistance. 

  • Wordreference is a useful dictionary tool, especially for romance languages.
  • Quizlet can be very helpful for memorizing terms. The site and app include games, assessments, and flashcards that you can share with your friends. The premium version lets you associate images and audio recordings with your terms.
  • Duolingo has courses set up for 30 languages. Start from scratch or take a placement test to start. The website and app help language learning by keeping track of the time you spend on the site (allowing you to set goals of 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes per day) and using points and levels to measure progress.
  • BBC Languages lets you choose from activities, tests, and interactive videos for 40 languages!
  • Memrise includes courses of varying levels for over 40 languages, accounting for dialects and variations for some.The courses indicate how long each part will take to complete and lessons are categorized by conversation topics and helpful skills for the language
  • Busuu is an app with courses for several languages. In addition to audio and writing exercises, the app offers lessons specifically on dialogue. Also offers an offline mode.

Consider these paid resources as well:

  • Mango Languages offers conversation-focused practice in more than 70 languages, including some advanced levels and some less-commonly-taught languages. Methodology is informed by research, and activities are interactive and motivating.
  • uTalk offers vocabulary practice with motivating games and activities.


Media Project Support

If you're completing a video or audio project for a language class, UVA has many resources available across grounds.

  • The Commons offers 3 PC and 3 iMac computer stations that offer access to audio, video, and graphic design tools.
  • The One Button Studio in New Cabell 277 provides a simple yet robust video production environment that's easy to use--all you need is a USB drive! Reserve the studio at The OBS is open when New Cabell Hall is open, and support is available in the Language Commons Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.
  • In the Language Commons, beginning Fall 2018, you'll be able to boost the quality of your audio recordings by using our audio booth.
  • Check out the Wilson Studios for professional-grade equipment (can be reserved & checked out), media studio, and audio studio space.
  • Need some sounds, songs, and other media for your project? Check out Penn State's Free Media Library for resources!


UVA Organizations Supporting Language & Culture Study

If you're new to world language study at UVA, we encourage you to reach out to your instructors and to the language departments to learn more about the many language conversation groups, student councils, and societies that are active on grounds!