You’ve no doubt already heard of this gem, since it is easily the most popular app for learning languages, and although it isn’t centered around English (the app offers many other languages too, like Spanish, French and Russian, among others) it is undeniable that English is the most popular choice, with over half of all users learning it. Duolingo is amazing, but there are certain parts of the app which are only accessible to paid members, and some people find the notification system a little off-putting. But it is certainly worth a try, since it is a polished and effective app!
Memrise will not teach you how to use English fluently on its own: that’s just a fact that we’re going to have to get out of the way straight off the bat. However, it is excellent for its main purpose, which is building up your English vocabulary through fun tests and vocab checks, which will make you a stronger English learner overall, even though it may not cover sentence structure and other grammatical building blocks of the language, so you’ll need to use it along with another app or learning system.
Hello English is not for absolute beginners – you do need to know the basics of English before you start using this app. But, if you’ve got the basics down, then this is an amazing tool to help you start exploring the English language, with aspects such as vocabulary and spoken English being explained and worked on in detail. It also offers twenty-two different options for your first language (i.e. the language that the app will use) so it is flexible and a valid option for many people.
“As anyone who studies languages will know, the classroom can only get you so far.” Hayden Hill, a business writer at Britstudent.com and Writemyx.com, says. “At some point, you need to start talking outside the classroom, with real people, to get a proper grip of the language. I found that Lingbe works for this purpose, since it allows native speakers to exchange ‘talking minutes’ with learners, where they essentially teach them their language, then they will go to other native speakers and become the learners, learning the language of their choice with their minutes. It’s like a technological exchange system!”
busuu is not just an app to learn English on – it’s also a social media platform, where members can interact with each other, not only to learn their chosen languages but also to discover where other people are at on their language learning journeys. Sharing stories can really motivate you to keep going and learning, and if you make a friend while learning English then you’re likely to keep learning and get better at the language in order to communicate with them and have something to talk about, so busuu is a unique option in the English-learning apps market.
Awabe is an amazing app that you’ve probably never heard of. It allows users to work completely offline, unlike many others on this list, which allows you to learn over four thousand common English phrases and words, and it’s completely free, so you won’t have to pay like with Duolingo. Overall, it is an underrated and under acknowledged English learning app that you should definitely check out!
Google Translate is probably universally hated by high school teachers, since it reminds them of the messed-up homework which they will have received from kids trying to be clever and not realising that their teacher would notice the strangely advanced words they were using completely wrong in their work! However, when used responsibly, Google Translate can help you out of a pickle if you don’t know what one word means, or want to quickly check a simple sentence. It also has ‘verified’ answers for commonly translated phrases, so you can turn to these for security that the words you’re copying are correct!
This app helps you to learn English gradually and in a fun, game-based way, so it would be perfect for someone learning English as a side-project, who doesn’t urgently need to grasp the language. It feeds a user new words and phrases slowly, so that you can come to terms with them and understand them in a realistic time-period, with a card-style format for presenting the new words to you which will be reminiscent of school days spent learning a new language. Overall, it is a good way to get enthused by English, and slowly expose yourself to new words and phrases from the language.
This app works well for people of all abilities, from children to adults, since it has different difficulty settings for people who are at different levels with their English learning. Although the iPhone version costs money, you can get this app completely free on Android devices, and it focuses on building sentences and grammar, instead of just being a vocabulary learner like some of the apps on this list. It will help you to discover the fundamental grammar of the English language, instead of just learning new words all the time.
“This funny little app might not always be suitable for children, but it is a good way to discover something which isn’t always taught in classrooms: slang!” Kayla Viner, an education blogger at Australia2write.com and Nextcoursework.com, suggests. “It contains many different entries, user-submitted, which explain common and less common slang words in the English language. Just watch out, because they’re not all ‘safe-for-work’!”
English is one of the most spoken languages in the world and you’ll do yourself a favour by becoming fluet. It’s always good to keep practising your target language on the go, so turn your smartphone into a resource for learning English! You can learn a great deal from these language apps. They use a fun and intuitive system to teach you something new and exciting in a fresh way. Just pick an app and enjoy learning!
Michael Dehoyos develops web technology at PhD Kingdom and Academic Brits, while also assisting many companies with their marketing – namely, updating their strategies and concepts. He contributes to numerous sites and publications, one of them being an academic service called Origin Writings, which he is very proud to be a part of, since he is passionate about spreading his knowledge in order to help others.
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