The Best Apps for Learning English

The 5 Best Apps for Learning English

Our number one choice for a high-quality structured learning program that’s based entirely upon your own interests and learning needs.

A must-have app to listen to English words and phrases in their natural context, understand their meaning and perfect the pronunciation.

Make lifelong friendships, improve your speaking confidence and have meaningful cultural exchanges with this brilliant language exchange app.

English is everywhere, from entertainment to world politics. We certainly live in an overwhelmingly English-dominated world. In fact, there’s never been a better time to master this fascinating (and sometimes confusing) language, making up an estimated 70+ percent of all internet content.

Nowadays, in the age of smartphone technology, pretty much any app on your phone can now be transformed into a learning experience. However, there’s some English-learning apps out there that’ll blow your socks away, and sky-rocket you on your path towards fluency,

But beware – some are better than others, and so we’ve taken the time to list our personal favorites. The apps listed in this article get a big thumbs up from us, and get our seal of approval as the best apps for learning English.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

(Android, iPhone, iPad)
Monthly subscription starts from $8/month, 7 day free Premium trial

The Most Comprehensive Language Course App

First on our list is EnglishClass101. This language course (& dedicated app) is created by a company called Innovate Languages who’ve been around for decades, offering over 30 other languages. Their learning platform has changed somewhat over the years but their core teaching style remains the same – highly engaging video and podcast-style lessons with native speakers on a wide range of interesting topics.

EnglishClass101 Review - Slang Video

They have a massive library of lessons for their EnglishClass101 course, giving the ability to jump around and explore the many topics and teaching styles on offer until you find a learning pathway that suits you and your specific interests. Along with the customisable library of lessons, you’ll also gain access to core word lists, flashcards, dialogues, interactive learning tools, downloadable lesson notes & cheat sheets, and more! It’s all available through their easy-to-navigate app.

Click here to check out our full review of EnglishClass101.

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(accessible from mobile browser)
Free

The Best Pronunciation App

This next app is a must-have for any English learner to have in their toolkit of language resources. Unlike EnglishClass101, YouGlish is not a language course but rather an enormous database of millions of YouTube clips that allow you to listen to the pronunciation of a given word or phrase in its natural context. Sometimes there’s literally hundreds of thousands of videos for one search term, allowing you to get a solid grasp of both the meaning and pronunciation.

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(Android, iPhone, iPad)
Free, ad-free membership costs $6.99/month

The Best Conversational App

One of the very best methods to rapidly improve your English speaking skills is to get talking with real native speakers asap. HelloTalk allows you to do just that, with their well-designed and clever language exchange system. You can connect with thousands of other enthusiastic language learners who share your interests and are ready to help you with your English in exchange for some help with another language you already possess.

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Feeling shy? Don’t worry, HelloTalk also has a messenger option (with optional voice clips) so you can text away to your heart’s content, and even correct each other’s mistakes with their built-in error correction feature. italki is another popular option, though this is not a language exchange app but a paid tutoring service.

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(Android, iPhone, iPad)
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The Best App for Exam Prep

‘Quiz your English’ by Cambridge English is a great new way to test your English by playing games and competing with other English learners from around the planet. Created using official content from the creators of IELTS, you can now revise for your exam whilst earning coins and challenging your friends. They even have in-app Cambridge exam packs and cover a wide range of topics whilst teaching you new vocabulary and grammar. Studying for exams just got a whole lot more fun!

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(Android, iPhone, iPad)
Free, or $1.99/month for all unlocked content & no ads

The Best App for Reading

Beelingu is a brilliant little app that focuses specifically on reading comprehension. It enables you to read a series of short stories, news items or songs alongside your native language whilst also listening to the audiobook. You can save certain phrases, pause at any time to listen again, and finally you have a language quiz to test your understanding. The app now incorporates a new pronunciation recording feature which is cool to see. And lastly, they offer access to 14 languages!

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Runners-up for Best App for Learning English:

Want to improve your everyday English, writing and grammar? Then check out these very close runners up…

(Android, iphone, ipad)
Free

The best app for everyday English

Looking to get some exposure into how native English people actually speak? The BBC Learning English app has a load of completely unscripted videos of natives talking about everyday topics and trending news items, brilliant for improving your listening skills. Each video comes with a full lesson, focusing on a specific grammar point, vocab & pronunciation. You’ll also be able to read the full transcript and download all the videos so you can access them offline. It’s never been easier to be immersed in British culture!

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(Android, iphone, ipad)
Free

The Most Useful App for Writing

The word you are looking for is right at the tip of your tongue but you just can’t quite remember what the word is… sound familiar? Grammarly is more than just a spellchecker, it’s a clever little personal assistant that’ll suggest better words for you to use. Swap ‘very scary’ for ‘terrifying’, or ‘interesting’ to ‘fascinating’. Your English writing will improve in no time as you start to incorporate a wider range of vocabulary into your emails, text messages and blog posts. Did I mention it fixes your grammar too?

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(Android, iphone, ipad)
Free, or $12.99/month for Duolingo Plus

Most Fun / Addictive

Have you heard of Duolingo? Chances are you have – it’s one of the most popular language apps out there, exploding into popularity in the last 10 years or so. They use a variety of short quizzes to teach you various sentences in your target language and they keep you motivated through their gamified reward systems and easy-to-use interface. There’s no doubt it’s a load of fun, but can it be useful for learning English. In fact, they do have an English language course but currently only for French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish. So if you are a native Chinese speaker then it won’t be all that helpful and you’d be better off using a more immersive platform like Rosetta Stone.

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However, Duolingo offers a beginners app that caters for young learners called ‘Duolingo ABC’. It’s perfect for learning how to read & write – they use a variety of short stories and games to introduce the alphabet and teach you how to write all the letters correctly. They even have speaking exercises and voice recognition software. It’d be perfect for anyone who is homeschooling or even adults who are just starting to read, plus it’s great fun! LingoDeer is another option that uses gamified quizzes to teach English, and it’s also free.

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(Android, iphone, ipad)
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The British Council has a series of well-designed apps that are definitely worth checking out. The podcast app is great for when on the go but we personally liked the ‘LearnEnglish Grammar’ app for it’s interactive practice activities to help you learn. The app covers dozens of grammar topics, from beginner level right through to advanced. The lessons incorporate 10 different activity types such as word reordering, fill-in-the-blanks, drag and drop etc. Every question is based upon an image, text or audio to keep things interesting, and you can check your understanding with regular level quizzes.

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The Best Apps For Learning English: Conclusion

We hope this list has sparked some inspiration in you to go out there and tackle your English head on! With these apps you now have everything you need to find speaking partners (with HelloTalk), learn from native speakers completely on your own time (with EnglishClass101) and dive right into English reading (with Beelingu). Learning English has never been so fun and easy!

But of course, learning any language still takes work and effort. Even with all the best tools in the world, the apps won’t do the learning for you. So we hope you take advantage of this great opportunity and discover just how far the English language can take you. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Good luck, and have fun!