Very often the pace of life, work, and study simply does not allow us to learn a foreign language the traditional way, forcing us increasingly engage in learning by ourselves.
Thanks to the advancement of technology, you don’t need to sign up for English schools or hire expensive 1-on-1 teachers. You only need to find the right materials and master the language in a convenient way for you. And one of the most popular ways is to use smartphone applications. They do not take away your time at all. You can study in a traffic jam, on public transport, during breaks at work, at home, while waiting for the kettle to be heated, or before bedtime.
The applications that we will present in this collection require 10-20 minutes of practicing per day. While they may not be enough for all language learners, they can be a good bonus. This way you can keep your vocabulary in shape and gradually learn new things.
1. Duolingo: Learn Basic English for Free
Duolingo is the most popular mobile app for learning 100+ languages, including English. It has more than 1.3 million reviews and a high rating of 4.7/5 on the App Store, which is a very good result that speaks for millions of satisfied users.
Duolingo will help you learn English with practical exercises such as conversational dialogues, reading, listening, and writing. The material in Duolingo is presented playfully, so it is as easy as possible to memorize. The difficulty of the exercises and your vocabulary will increase as you go along.
Duolingo is even used in schools and universities – teachers recommend the program to their students as additional lessons in English. It’s especially nice that the app is free and available to iOS and Android users. You can also learn Spanish, German and French in Duolingo.
2. LingoDeer: Improve Comprehensive English Skills
LingoDeer is the overall best language learning app with a rating of 4.8/5 on the App Store. It is designed in a similar style as Duolingo but has more structured curricula and useful features. It teaches right from the alphabet and provides lessons up to B1 level. Each bite-sized lesson includes vocabulary, grammar, sentences, and culture. You can also test out easy lessons and start at a level most suitable for you. You only need to invest about 15 minutes a day to gradually acquire the language.
If you wish to travel to an English-speaking country, LingoDeer also provides a free travel phrasebook where you can learn day-to-day expressions in a variety of travel situations. All the audios are recorded by native speakers so you acquire the right pronunciation from the beginning, which saves you a lot of time in the latter stages of language learning.
While LingoDeer and Duolingo are great resources of beginners, read on to see where to find more materials once you’ve established a solid foundation.
3. TED: Learn English while Gain Knowledge
TED Talks are inspiring and educational videos from influential expert speakers in a variety of fields. It is a great resource for learning English with subtitles in 100+ languages. The speakers come from all over the world, which can help you get familiar with different accents. As it covers a wide range of topics such as education, business, science, and tech, you can also hit two birds with one stone, gain knowledge while learning English.
4. BBC Learning English: Learn British English and More
BBC Learning English is a great platform provided by BBC to help you improve your English. It consists of videos and radio broadcasts that explain English grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, news, culture on a daily basis. It’s a great way for intermediate-level learners to improve their communication skills and learn some culture-specific language at ease.
5. HelloTalk: Practice with Native English Speakers
HelloTalk is the most popular language exchange platform where you can chat and make friends with native English speakers. Simply put in your mother language and target language and wait for the platform will automatically recommend language partners for you. Of course, you’ll also need to help others learn your language as well.
Although HelloTalk is a great tool to practice your English speaking skills, which is deemed a very important aspect of language learning, it still requires you to put a considerable amount of time into practicing. Just like learning any other language, there is no shortcut to achieving fluency in English.
Finally, a few general tips for all mobile language learners:
Change the interface language on your phone
It might seem a trifle, but useful. Some studies show that people use their smartphones for up to 5-7 hours a day. So why not make your screen time count and use it as another guide to the world of a foreign language? At the very least, words that appear repeatedly on the display, such as weather, notifications, messages, settings, uninstall, and so on, will be remembered easily.
Subscribe to native speakers on social networks
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – at least. From the obvious – Instagram accounts of Hollywood actors, Twitter entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, writers like J.K. Rowling, and so on. Or just find the content of your interest, be it Instagram about food, clothes, analytical posts on Facebook about the economy, and so on. Let posts in English regularly pop up in your feed. The main thing then is not to be lazy to read them.