Language teaching has become more and more sophisticated in recent years, with teachers gaining greater understanding of how we learn, and language teachers in particular taking advantage of new technology to make learning more stimulating and easier for both adults and children.
The internet is now a great source of information about language schools abroad and also has many free learning resources to encourage independent learners. Suddenly the language gap between France and England has shrunk. These days it is possible to carry a French/English dictionary on your mobile phone, so if you are trying to get ahead with studies or you’re off on an immersion course in France, there is no need for bulging pockets stuffed with paper.
Since language learning apps first started appearing on iPhones and Android devices the market has really boomed with developers constantly coming up with new apps refining tried and tested teaching methods for a new generation of switched on, connected learners. Here are 5 of the best Android apps for language learners:
1. Hello Hello
Thanks to its popularity as an iPhone app Hello Hello has now been developed in an Android version. The app features 11 European and Asian languages from French to Indonesian. Each language features seven learning modules including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Along with vocabulary including around 1,000 of the most common words in each language, there are word games and the facility for a student to record and check their own pronunciation.
2. 50 Languages
For the sheer breadth of languages covered this app gets a place on the list. Actually there are only 40 languages covered but they are probably working on the other 10 so we won’t hold it against them – especially as the app is free.
3. Language Coach
This 3.8 MB app for Android 1.6 and above is a great way to while away some time enhancing your listening skills. The app narrates a story to a background soundtrack along with background music. The use of music or songs to add variety and enhance memory is a technique used on language courses at www.esl-schools.org and other specialist language schools.
4. Listen and Speak
This is a great app for practising listening skills and pronunciation, two advanced skills for students who have ambitious aims and want to set themselves challenges. This app includes interactive exercises in a range of themes and languages so you can customise your learning to cover what you want.
5. Learn Phrasebook
If your ambition is not advanced fluency and you are learning a language just to get by on your holidays or travels, then the Learn Phrasebook app is for you. Recorded using a native speaker, it will give you accurate pronunciation of useful phrases.