Being proficient in English writing and speaking skills is necessary to achieve success in your professional career. But most people struggle to learn the English language and vocabulary effectively. You might face problems in acquiring new words, recalling words you just learned, or worse—forget to use them often.
If you’re unable to enroll in a class or find it difficult to dedicate time for learning, these Android and iPhone apps can help you learn English and strengthen vocabulary.
And even if you speak English, there’s something for you here. Many of these apps will help native speakers build vocabulary, plus some of them will let you learn other languages.
The Best Apps for Learning English
There are many ways to learn or improve your skills in a particular language. You can enroll in an online course or class. But if that doesn’t work, you can also use mobile apps for learning a language. They make learning fun, accessible, and intuitive.
1. Duolingo: Learn Languages for Free
If you want to learn a language from the beginning, then Duolingo should be your first choice. Choose the target language and your native language to start. Pick your daily goal and choose whether you want to start at the beginning or take a placement test to assess your language skills. Each lesson in Duolingo consists of several modules.
You must move through the material sequentially and unlock sections to progress. Fully completed modules turn gold and sections you’ve just started appear in color with a progress bar beneath them. Each module has different types of exercises. Most lessons feature questions with pictures, translation exercises, listen-and-write exercises, and multiple choice questions.
In some lessons, you must listen to a sentence and write in the target language. Others ask you to translate a written sentence to the target language and vice-versa. Duolingo also shows you a module of your weakest words. You can strengthen those words and revise them anytime.
Download: Duolingo for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
2. Hello English: Comprehensive Way to Learn English
Hello English is an all-in-one package for learning the English language and improving your skills. It covers all aspects of language learning including grammar, spelling, vocabulary, spoken skills, and reading skills. In the beginning, choose your native language and take a short test to assess your English proficiency. The app will then recommend a lesson that works best for you.
There are 475 interactive lessons with increasing difficulty level. The beginner lessons are free. As you progress with each level, you’ll start earning coins. Use these coins to unlock more lessons. In areas with a poor internet connection, you can download lessons for offline use.
The Practice tab features interactive games. You can practice with news, articles, audio, videos, and more. Every successful completion of a game rewards you with coins. If you subscribe to this app, you get to learn all the lessons, unlock a memory map to revise the words you’ve learned, and have a one-on-one discussion with teachers.
Download: Hello English for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
3. Beelinguapp: Learn Language With Audiobooks
Beelinguapp uses audiobooks to help you learn different languages. The app is simple to use. Select a novel in the language you want to learn and read text in your language side-by-side. To aid in language learning, you can also add words to your glossary, read news in your native language and translate it into the target language, and more.
You can even learn the language by following the narrator of the audiobook with a karaoke-style animation to know precisely what they’re saying. The premium version of the app offers offline audiobooks, new texts every week, and can translate individual words from the glossary.
Download: Beelinguapp for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
4. Flowlingo: Learn Language With News, Books, and Videos
Flowlingo uses the immersion technique to help you learn a language. You’ll find individual tabs for websites, videos, music, books, and one for words you’re learning. Once you select a target language, a lot of content will appear in that language. For example, it includes links to popular websites from BuzzFeed, CNN, Wikipedia, and more.
When reading a book, select a difficulty level from Basic to Max. On Basic, every word will include a translation, with none in Max. When watching a video, you can listen and read along as the video progresses. You can also tap words to add them to your flashcards to save and review later. When reviewing words, the app shows you pictures to help you recall the words.
Improving English vocabulary is crucial for clearing exams like GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, plus general academic development. Mobile apps offer various approaches to language learning with study materials, control learning progress, and let you review what you’ve learned.
5. Knudge.me: Improve Vocabulary in a Scientific Way
Knudge.me helps you learn and improve English vocabulary in an effective and scientific way. The app leverages artificial intelligence and gamification to simplify the learning process. It offers you different types of courses, multimedia aids, and word games to help you excel in vocabulary. There are courses like common English phrasal verbs, difference between confusing words, and a vocabulary builder of various levels.
Based on your selection, bite-sized content gets unlocked through notifications every few hours. Through a flashcard, it teaches you the meaning of words with pictures and specific examples. The app will shuffle the words you’ve learned with new ones, so you don’t get bored.
Questions repeat to check whether you’ve learned the words or not. For every correctly answered question, you earn a credit. Knudge.me also offers twelve different word games focused on enhancing vocabulary, reading, and writing speed. You can even create a challenge to play those games with your friends.
Download: Knudge.me for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)
6. Vocabulary Builder: Designed for Competitive Exams
Vocabulary builder from Magoosh helps you learn exam-level words for various competitive exams. The app consists of three sections: general words for GRE and GMAT, high school words for ACT and SAT, and English learner words for TOEFL and IELTS.
Once you choose a section, the app features multiple categories (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced) and levels within each category. On each level, the app asks you multiple choice questions. All you have to do is choose a correct meaning. Don’t worry if you answer any question incorrectly—it’s part of the learning process.
The app uses spaced repetition technique, which means that it’ll ask you the same questions periodically until you master them. You can also engage with a random user to play a turn-by-turn game where Vocabulary Builder randomly chooses 20-25 difficult words. Your goal is to answer those questions correctly before time runs out.
Download: Vocabulary Builder by Magoosh for Android | iOS (Free)
7. Vocabulary Word: Learn the English Vocabulary You Want
You most likely consult a dictionary to find the meaning of a word. But this is not the best method to learn new words. Dictionary apps don’t let you memorize the word, and they lack context or multimedia aids to help you recall a word. That’s where this app can be useful.
You can add words to your vocabulary list from any app. Select any word, press the three-dot menu, and tap Vocabulary List. Or you can share a word through the Share menu. The word gets added to the My List tab. When you tap that word, you’ll see details including definition, wiki link, synonyms, example sentences, and a searchable note or tag.
The Discover tab consists of both easy and difficult words. You can add a word from the discover tab to your list. Once you start filling your words on the My List tab, you’ll see periodic notifications to help you memorize that word. The app also lets you take a quiz with a quick word game. If you’re an avid book reader, this app is great for learning targeted vocabulary.
Download: Vocabulary Word: Vocabula lexicon for Android (Free, subscription available)
8. AnkiDroid Flashcards: Old-School Word Learning
Anki is an excellent app to make remembering anything easy. Download the Anki apps for every device you use and log in to your AnkiWeb account. Click the Import File button to import your own set of words. You can also choose from the vast library of shared flashcard decks. Anki’s Vocabulary.com and 4000 essential English words are popular ones to begin with.
AnkiDroid is a companion Android app for Anki. Tap the blue plus button to create new flashcards. The deck list is the screen you’ll see when you launch the app. It displays a list of your decks, which contain all your flashcards. To work on the cards in a deck, tap the Study button to switch to study mode. As you learn and review the material, the app will sync your progress with the desktop.
Once you’re familiar with Anki’s flashcards, try creating your custom vocabulary list. The review system of Anki’s flashcards is superior to other learning methods. Anki supports both active recall and spaced repetition techniques to ensure that whatever you’re learning goes into your long-term memory.
Download: AnkiDroid Flashcards for Android (Free) | AnkiMobile Flashcards for iOS ($25)
The Secret to Language Learning
There are many advantages to learning a new language. It expands your professional options, improves your perception, and strengthens your all-around academic development. With so many easy-to-use apps, there’s no reason to skip vocabulary and English language learning.
However, there are no hard-and-fast rules for learning a new language. The more you surround yourself with the language you’re learning, the more of it you’ll retain. If this interests you, then read these techniques to learn a new language.