English is a notoriously tricky language to master. The rigid rules that most languages are built upon are frequently, and nonsensically broken, which makes it difficult for beginners. Apps have made this learning process far easier than in the past due to their interactive nature – making learning both interesting and, in many cases, fun.
App Name: Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th Edition
Developer: Oxford University Press
The Oxford Dictionary is an essential accompaniment for any beginners to the English language. This app is a traditional dictionary, with a whole host of additional features that may make learning just that little bit easier. Included are common phrases, pronunciations, definitions, verb forms, and much, much more.
App Name: Language Coach
Developer: Jourist Verlags GmbH
If you find learning a new language difficult without having a context for the new words, Language Coach may be ideal for you. All the words and phrases included in the app have illustrated pictures to put them into perspective. There are multiple exercises to choose from, as well as nine different languages, all designed with beginners in mind.
App Name: Essential Grammar in Use Activities
Developer: Cambridge University Press
Grammar is arguably what makes English a difficult language to learn. This app contains over 600 questions that test the most common grammatical errors. Having to put the correct form of a word, in the correct place in a sentence provides enough challenge to be genuinely beneficial when learning.
App Name: Learn English: Babbel.com Basic & Advanced Vocabulary Trainer
Developer: Lesson Nine GmbH
This app caters for both the beginner and experienced speaker, by having a whole range of features. As well as having the typical pronunciation, definition and writing exercises, the app also has voice recognition and uses this to evaluate if you are saying words correctly. A unique and feature rich app that should make learning a novel experience for anyone that uses it.
App Name: Sounds: The Pronunciation App FREE
Developer: Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
Knowing how to spell words is one challenge of learning a language, but is useless unless you pronounce the words correctly in general speech. This app literally speaks to you, to tell you how to pronounce the most common words in the English language.
App Name: Learning English with New York Times
Developer: The New York Times Company
The best way to learn a language is to become immersed in the culture and surrounded with the language – The New York Times Learning English app is a perfect way to do that. It takes the most popular stories and simplifies the language to the level of a beginner. After reading the articles there are comprehension questions to test your understanding of what you just read.
App Name: BBC News
Developer: BBC Worldwide Ltd.
Similar to the New York Times app, but without the simplified English – read the latest stories, from a renowned news agency, in the same English as those who speak English as a first language. Being exposed to this level of vocabulary will force you to become more fluent, and if you are struggling there is an inbuilt definition search.
App Name: Word Wit
Developer: Ballpoint, Inc.
Word Wit combines a gaming aspect with the most difficult words in the English language. If you regularly get stuck between ‘affect’ or ‘effect’, ‘council’ or ‘counsel’, then this app will be just what you have been looking for. It puts you against the clock in a beautifully designed app that makes learning colourful and fun.
App Name: Vocabador
Developer: Vocabador LLC
If you happen to like Mexican Wrestling and are learning English, or just want a more exciting way to learn, then look no further. Vocabador is an English vocabulary game that tests knowledge in the form of cartoon Mexican wrestling…
App Name: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Oxford Bookworms Stage 1 Reader
Developer: Oxford University Press
Reading is a brilliant way to learn the English language, and this classic novel has been adapted for beginners. The story is compelling enough for all ages to enjoy, as well as being simple enough for all ages to learn English from. There are many books you could read to help learn, but few are this optimized specifically for learners.
Even with these apps, learning English isn’t going to be simple – but they will, without a doubt, make learning more exciting than just reading a vocabulary book. Some will be more useful than others, but hopefully there is a wide enough range to satisfy everyone.