8 Mobile Apps for Learning English

mobile appsAn estimated 1 billion people are learning English worldwide, and that number is expected to grow. The mobile world is also growing, as Google urged businesses to make their websites responsive on mobile devices. The increased efforts to learn English mixed with “Mobilegeddon” has provided unique opportunities for people to learn English that were not available a decade ago.

Learning English on your phone means you can take English with you wherever you go. This process of learning is more flexible than others, and can also be a supplement to classroom learning or experiential learning.

Below are 8 mobile apps that can help you learn English on your mobile devices. Download one (or download them all) and improve your English skills in speaking, writing, and listening.

  1. Duolingo – This app won the “Best education start-up award.” Designed like a game, many who use this app find it addictive and enjoy hearing the chiming sounds when they answer a question correctly. The app also has opportunities to see what others are saying about phrases, vocabulary, and grammar. If a student gets far enough, they can unlock lessons that include more slang and colloquial language. The app is free and effective.
  2. FluentU – This app takes music videos, commercials, news reports, and more and turns them into English learning experiences. Students can watch a popular talk show and see interactive words at the bottom of the video. A student can click on a word for more clarification, an image, etc. to help explain the language. Unlike Duolingo’s fast paced learning, FluentU’s natural approach helps students ease into the English language and culture over time.
  3. Two Min English – This app has more than 200 two-minute video lessons on a variety of topics. Students can learn about English idioms, phrases, and common mistakes, as well as see the language from different perspectives, such as social English, business English, and travel English.
  4. Mosalingua – If when learning English you find that you often forget a word over time, this app may be able to help. By using the SRS (Spaced Repetition Software) method, students will review words just before they forget them. Reviewing these words before they forget will help them remember 1,500 of the most important English words for daily use.
  5. SpeakingPal English Tutor – In this interactive app, students learn through a series of quick, 5 minute lessons that can fit into any English learner’s busy schedule. The app’s speech recognition software creates a real video call so students can have short, fun dialogues with a video character.
  6. Busuu – This app allows students to talk with native English speakers. This helps students practice their English speaking skills. The app also helps other skills too, as they operate on the CEFR language framework, teaching key vocabulary, dialogue, writing practice, etc.
  7. English LaunchPad – This app can help both English learners and English teachers. The app offers features that help boost the English learning experience, such as practice exercises, lesson plans, grammar structures, whiteboard, quiz generators, student tracking, translator and flashcards.
  8. Voxy – In this popular app, students have the opportunity to learn English in a tailored way. With games for language practice, short quizzes to test comprehension, etc., English learners can understand the language based on their needs.

Whether learning on your own, adding extra time outside of class, studying for a language exam, or maintaining the language once learned, learning English has never been more convenient (and more fun). These are only 8 of the many other apps that can help students learn English. Find the one that’s right for you, and watch your understanding of the English language improve.


Phrasal Verbs You Just Can’t Make Up!

hugIt’s often incredible how many meanings you can get from the same two words when you use them in different contexts. Take “make,” the subject of today’s installment, as an example!

Make up/ – to reconcile differences with someone (e.g., after an argument)

  • After my first big argument with my boyfriend, it took a few days before we were both calm enough to talk about it and make up.

Note: “Make up” with this meaning can be used both with and without an object. In cases where we use an object, it comes after the preposition “with.”

  •  Why haven’t you made up with Mary yet? She’s your best friend!

Make up for/ – To compensate

  • I know from experience that it’s extremely hard to make up for a forgotten anniversary. Flowers, chocolate, and a massage are all good ideas, but they may not be enough!

Continue reading “Phrasal Verbs You Just Can’t Make Up!”

New York Governor Announces ESL Program for NY Spanish-Speakers

cell phone learningOnly 51 percent of New Yorkers speak only English at home. Spanish speakers make up most of the non-English population, about 25 percent of the city. Since approximately 1.87 million residents are speaking Spanish in New York, the governor has noticed that not everyone has the resources and time to commit to learning English. Learning English could significantly improve the lives of many New York immigrants, and the city wants to give back to a community that has given so much to them economically.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made New York the first state to offer English lessons via smartphones as part of a pilot program run by the social venture Cell-ED, according to an April 28 Latin Times article. Continue reading “New York Governor Announces ESL Program for NY Spanish-Speakers”