By Sophia Sanchez
The spike in the number of technology-enabled classrooms in the past few years clearly indicates what a crucial role technology already plays when it comes to education.
The dawn of mobile phones has changed the way people access information. Almost everything we need is available at our fingertips and available on demand. The fact that the current breed of students is comfortable using cool new gadgets only goes to show that the influence of technology is here to stay.
The market is full of apps that make any classroom an interesting place for both students and teachers. From easy-to-use user interfaces, to customizable features to suit individual needs, these apps have been built to deliver great user experience. My experience using these below listed apps has been great. While some of them were recommended to me by my colleagues, a few others were suggested by my students. I’ve greatly benefitted from their uber cool features and I hope you will, too. Here is my favorites list:
- English LaunchPad: The app enables teachers to keep a track of students’ learning progress and also maintains a register that helps teachers check either individual or group progress. It also offers practice exercises, translation support, and virtual whiteboard. The app works on iOS and is available on App Store.
- Culips ESL Podcast: Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced language learner, Culips ESL Podcast offers podcasts on several topics, from general day-to- day conversations to specific questions. The best part is that the app allows users to translate each episode to a language which the user is familiar with. The app works on iOS and Android and is available on App Store and Google Play.
- StudyMode: Are you worried about that pending book report or research project report? StudyMode Mobile can put your worries to rest. The app gives you access to papers on a broad variety of research topics, flashcards, essays, and critique of classics written by Hemingway, Shakespeare, Melville, etc. What’s more, you can read book notes and AP notes for free. The app works on iOS and Android and is available on App Store and Google Play.
- MyWordBook: Developed by British Council and Cambridge University Press, this app provides users with vocabulary packs and flashcards, which can be downloaded for later use. The app works on iOS and Android and is available for free on App Store and Google Play.
- SpeakingPal English Tutor: An interactive app, SpeakingPal offers exercises, dialog with a virtual character, role-playing, and a series of mini lessons. It comes with speech and language recognition and provides instant feedback to students. The app works on iOS and Android and is available on App Store and Google Play.
- Voxy: Voxy is a language learning app that can be customized to suit learners’ requirements and interests. A popular app in the Spanish-speaking market, Voxy provides users with an option to connect with native English speakers to learn English. The users can even learn language through games. The app works on iOS and Android and is available on App Store and Google Play.
- Grammar Up: Grammar is the foundation on which a language stands and it is therefore important to know how these rules influence language usage. With over 1800 grammar questions across 20 categories, Grammar Up helps students learn by choosing a specific topic. The app works on iOS and Android and is available on App Store and Google Play.
- English Listening and Speaking: This app by Miracle FunBox helps English learners by providing conversational stories and transcripts, along with word chain games. The app can identify and assess pronunciation and also lets users bookmark lessons. The app works on iOS and Android and is available for free on App Store and Google Play.
- Busuu: A fun and easy app, Busuu helps users learn multiple languages besides English. The app draws support from 60 million native speakers who learn, teach, and practice with Busuu. It is interactive and can be personalized to suite individual education goals. The app works on iOS and Android and is available on App Store and Google Play.
- Lingual.ly: Lingua.ly helps users learn multiple languages through games. It uses the classic snake game where users can snack on words! It comes with a smart dictionary which users can access on the go. The app works on iOS and Android and is available for free on App Store and Google Play.
With so many great apps available for users, learning is now just a click away. Technology has changed the way we think and work. Adapting ourselves to technology usage is definitely the way forward. If you think there are other apps that are worth sharing, please use the comments section.
For more, see:
- Supporting English Language Learners with Next-Gen Tools
- Getting Smart Podcast | Supporting English Language Learners
- Meeting the Needs of English Learners in Big LA Schools
Sophia Sanchez is an online ESL/EFL instructor. Follow her on Twitter: @sansoph.
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