Summer Boarding Courses
Which is the best English learning app for a language learner?
What’s the best English learning app for a language learner? Technology enables us to learn so much with just the touch of our fingertips these days. Whilst you’re waiting for Summer to join us at one of our Summer Schools in the UK, why not boost your English language learning with an app?
There are plenty of apps which you can download to help you learn English; but what is the best language learning app?
We’ve taken hold of our smartphones and done the research for you!
We cannot name the best as they are all good in their own way, but here’s our favourite 10 English language learning apps to help you start learning English before you join us for a Summer School in real life!
Busuu is a popular language learning app (it has 90 million users) designed by linguists. If you want to improve your English vocabulary, grammar and spelling, using Busuu is a great place to start.
What we particularly love about the app is that your speaking and writing exercises are corrected by native speakers. You can even perfect your accent with English speech recognition exercises.
There is both a free and paid version of the Busuu app. We recommend trying out the free content first to find out how to learn English, and then try the paid version if you’re happy with it.
British Council Learn English Apps
The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, has a number of learning apps that you can download to help you with your English grammar and speaking and listening skills.
They have podcasts, videos, pronunciation charts and grammar word challenges too. Our favourites include:
LearnEnglish Grammar (UK edition)
Whether you’re a beginner or expert, you can practice your English grammar at different levels covering 12 grammar topics. Activities include reordering words, labelling and fill-in-the-blanks questions.
Need extra help? The app is currently available in Spanish and Japanese to assist your learning.
This app is free.
LearnEnglish Sounds Right
The sounds and pronunciation of the English language can be difficult for learners. Now you can practice the English phonetic alphabet easily with the Sounds Right app: just tap the sound and you will be able to hear it, along with 3 example words that use that sound!
This app is free.
Want to learn about English culture too?
We particularly love the British Council’s LearnEnglish GREAT Videos listening app, which explores London’s attractions and other important sites around the UK! Why not take a look before you study with us this Summer to see some sites yourself?
This app is free.
BBC Learning English
What better way to learn English than with the BBC? Their app is simple to use, updates daily and is perfect for learning and practicing your English grammar, knowledge and pronunciation.
This app allows you to listen to some great videos and is specifically fantastic for learning the latest phrases that we are using over here in the UK as native speakers. The lessons are fun and topical too; expect to be tested with some quizzes to see if you are taking the lessons onboard!
We recommend this app particularly for our SBC Headington and Oxford College students. The videos feature real-life news clips, Business English sections and snippets from popular BBC shows. Have fun!
This app is free.
Now this is a fun app! Would you like to learn English through real-world music videos, funny advertisements, news and talk-show interviews? If you are an audio-visual learner, this might just be the app for you.
Almost like watching YouTube, you can click on the video you want to watch and follow along with the English captions. If there is a word you don’t understand or want to learn more about, you can click on the word in the caption to find out more.
This app is particularly useful if you want to focus on English listening with a real English conversation and learn the vocabulary used within.
If you want to start learning English quickly as a beginner, Duolingo English can help!
They recommend learning with the app 20 minutes a day. You will learn 7 news words in each lesson. These words are based on a topic such as science or school.
There’s lots of different exercises that they will ask you to complete, which involve many interactive games to learn English. These exercises can include having to repeat a phrase or match pictures.
Advanced users can also use this app to improve their writing, speaking and vocabulary. If you’re not sure what level you currently are, Duolingo also have a handy English test to help you understand your proficiency.
Their exercises nclude plenty of review opportunities so that you do not forget what you have learned too.
Another app perfect for beginners is Babbel, which helps users acquire basic conversational skills with a strong focus on vocabulary. It is important for an English language learner to be able to communicate; hence Babbel focuses on teaching you the basics so that you can interact with others as soon as possible. Each lesson is 15 minutes.
You will have the chance to learn how to recognise sounds and pictures, try spelling and filling in blanks. Pronunciation practice is included as well as lots of opportunities for review.
The topics included are everything a beginner can hope for: including introducing yourself, eating in a restaurant and taking local transport.
Just like we teach English with English at Summer Boarding Courses, Rosetta Stone also does the same with this spoken English app. There are no explanations in your native language here. Rosetta Stone starts with basic words, then gradually progresses to phrases then full sentences.
Try being fully immersed in an English environment by trying Rosetta Stone if you cannot reach us in the UK this Summer.
If you would like to focus more on your reading skills, Beelinguapp is a great app for reading comprehension with an English book. Settle into an English story by being able to read a mirrored text in two separate languages at the same time.
You can also choose to have the text read aloud like an audiobook.
10 languages are included and the stories have a lot of variety from fairytales and novels to news and science papers.
Learn how to speak English in the UK
We are the UK’s highest-ranked multicentric Summer School for international students aged 8-17. With schools in Oxford, Bournemouth and Eton, you can spend your Summer with the best English teachers in the most prestigious school locations in the UK.