5 of my favourite apps for learning English


Photo by Dawid Liberadzki on Unsplash

Every day I discover new apps for learning languages, I test them out to the best of my ability, but at the end of the day it comes down to personal preference. I don't think any of them are a complete resource on their own yet but they certainly have their merits when used in combination with each other and with a good language coach/practise partner!


Duolingo is one of the most popular free language learning apps in the world, if you're starting a language from the beginning or want to review the basics again then it's a great resource. If your level is B2 or above I would suggest starting an online course in your language with skill share or getting involved in a social group. You need to be reading and communicating to get beyond the dreaded B2 plateau that so many of my students arrive stuck on!


Like Duolingo, Memrise is free, and like Duolingo it has a fairly great backstory to it, I heard a podcast with the founder Ed Cooke about how he came up with the idea and it's great. It still feels like a game, and you very much respond like Pavlov's dog to the reward system built into the app. That's ok with me though if I'm learning! For me, Memrise is best used for targeted learning, imagine you need to memorise vocabulary for a finance meeting suddenly, well here's a course with all the words you could ever need. Or you're off to London for a week and realise you don't know any slang, you can download a quick course to complete on the flight there and you'll be less lost when you arrive.


I got very excited about Lingvist when it first appeared last year, waited anxiously for the English to Spanish course to come out, and then when it finally did, I stopped using it within a week, so I guess that doesn't bode particularly well. After reading other peoples' reviews about it however for this blogpost, I feel inspired to start again. I remember the clean layout really appealed to me the first time I tested it, so I'm going to set myself the challenge of completing it in the next 100 days and I'll keep you updated!


This one isn't free but you can trial it for 15 days without paying, it's interesting as it uses authentic (real) videos from the web and then teaches you vocabulary and grammar from them. It means you're learning with context and the way native speakers use the language. Which is perfect really :)


This app is a nice allrounder, you have listening activities, speaking, reading and writing. Another thing I like about it is that like the tree in Duolingo you can see where you are in the course which can be a good motivator! You have the option to have your answers corrected by native speakers also using the app and of course, you can get involved and correct theirs too which adds to the feeling of being part of a community.

So what do you think of these apps? Are there any more that you've used or have heard good things about?