The best apps for language learning - as recommended by our teachers!

apps for language learning

We recently asked our English teachers to give us their recommendations for the best language learning apps. (Note: these apps are great for extra practice or to build holiday vocabulary, but of course they can never replace personalised language lessons with a qualified teacher.

Here is our list of the best apps for language learning, as recommended by our teachers:

App # 1: Duolingo

Duolingo is probably one of the best-known language learning apps. You can use it on your smartphone wherever you are and it’s structured in small units – all in a responsive, easy-to-navigate, and streamlined design. The app has been on the market since 2011 and was voted iPhone App of the Year in 2013. There is a free version with ads and an ad-free, paid version. Users can also take a certified language test for a fee (in English only). With the German-speaking user interface, you can currently study English (AE), French and Spanish (American). Using English as the base language opens up many more language options.

Conclusion: a great app to get a taste of a new language and get to know the basics in a playful way.

App # 2: Intelli

This app is a vocabulary trainer with index cards that are displayed using a specific (and probably very effective) repetition algorithm. It is not meant for learning new information but is great for remembering what you have already learned. The first 50 flashcards are free but users have to pay after that. A big advantage of this app is that you can add images to form an association that makes it easier to remember the words. Only available on iOS.

App # 3: Quizlet

Quizlet is an app that is not just for learning languages – it covers a wide range of topics and learning areas. It is primarily intended for students and teachers to support the curriculum. The language learning feature is based on an index card system, like Intelli. The cards are created by the learners themselves and you can also add images. What makes this different it that learners can access other students’ index cards through the app and can use them for their own progress.

App # 4: LearnEnglish by the British Council

The British Council also offers a range of English learning apps, as well as dedicated apps for grammar, pronunciation and listening. You can also compete with other learners and earn badges.

App # 5: TalkEnglish

The TalkEnglish app is aimed at children from 9 to 12 years old. Children can use it to learn English in a very playful way. Every picture used in the app is linked to an audio file, for example. It has an appealing, colourful design, is divided into subject areas and has fun guessing games. Different learning methods are used to teach children English in an effective and easy-to-follow way.

App # 6: Sounds

The Sounds app enables users to practice their pronunciation in American or British English. It is available in both free and premium versions. The user can choose between listening, writing and reading and can record and listen to their own pronunciation – repeating it until it is perfect. You can even practice the pronunciation of individual phonemes. For a small fee, you can buy vocabulary lists for various topics in the app and practise these. This app is useful for teachers and learners to help improve pronunciation.

App # 7: IELTS Writing, IELTS Speaking, IELTS Vocabulary

The IELTS WritingIELTS Speaking and IELTS Vocabulary apps support learners in preparing for the IELTS test. Like Quizlet and Intelli, the IELTS Vocabulary app includes index cards. In the other two apps, learners can practise writing, reading and listening skills to prepare for the exam. 

Want to know more?

These are the language learning apps recommended by the English teachers at nativespeakers.ch. As you can see, there are plenty of apps that you can use to get a feel for a language or as support for something more serious (like an internationally recognised language exam). 

Contact us if this blog post has made you interested in language learning. As well as giving you more tips for language learning apps, we can also help you learn a language successfully and achieve the outcome you want with our tailored private lessons and company courses. We look forward to hearing from you!