Gaming is becoming ubiquitous with language learning, and many enthusiasts are sharing their ideas and reflections on their blogs, like Graham Stanley (https://gamifyingelt.wordpress.com/) and Paul Driver (http://digitaldebris.info/).
Scribblenauts is not a explicitly a language learning app, but you can create items by typing them on the screen, and they appear, so in a sense it is very appropriate as an app to learn and practice English by gamifying the learning.
The idea behind Scribblnauts is that you create a super hero or super villain persona, and use the power of your imagination to create objects that are used to solve puzzles.
Available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android Phone and Windows Phone.
Memrise is particularly appealing to visual learners, because the learning is realised through the use of static image flashcards, audio and drilling the lexis and language chunks. Although the learners become prosumers, as they create and use the visual learning content to build their own multimedia vocabulary and/or set phrases, the language chunks are selected by Memrise. Learners are encouraged to upload their own ‘Mem’s” therefore personalising their learning experience to a certain extent. A good way to engage with English while on the go, with the option of competing against other learners too.
Available for iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Android Phones, Windows Phones and desktop computers.
The Evernote app enables the user to store handwritten notes, clips of web articles photos and images on iPads, iPhones, Android Phones, and Windows phones with the objective of creating a digital workspace that can be accessed from the device you own by syncing between. This way information can be stored and used on iPads, iPhones, Android Phones and Windows phones for use while on the move or in the study space. It also allows learners to make presentations using by selecting the presentation option, which will transform the notes into a presentation automatically.
Available for iPad, iPhone, Windows Phones, Android Phones
Adobe Reader makes reading fun and colourful.
Functions include highlighting text, striking through, underlining, adding typed text, writing or drawing anywhere on the document, and adding a personlised signature.
I use this app regularly on my iPad to make notes and highlight key points in articles, and I have used it for writing notes on scanned student assignments, so it is as equally useful for learners and teachers.
Available for Mac, Android and Windows portable devices, and desktop computers.
English Idioms Illustrated are memorable comic images to learn and remember idioms, as the proverb goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”…
Not only are the images that accompany the idioms laboriously created but they also appear with a detailed description about the history of the proverb. So while the pictures enable visual learners to store and retrieve the idioms, the text enables analytic learners to put logic to the origins and lexical meaning of the proverb.
Available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
If you are experimenting with learners using the video mode of their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, I can highly recommend this app. Horizon Video Recorder allows the user to capture and create a better quality clip because no matter how your device is held, it will always film in horizontal mode allowing for a clearer image in playback mode without cutting out some of the content.
An incredible voice activated translation app that can be used to help with pronunciation, lexis and encouraging learners to experiment with learning English inside and outside the classroom.
Learners speak into their devices – iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, and the app provides an audio translation of what was said. There are 42 available languages. Some translations are not explicit as they could be but I still think it is an amazing app.
I have used iTranslate Voice in a grouped class race activity where I have boarded a couple of phrases in Spanish for students to translate into English and shout out once they think they have the correct answer. I then put jumbled phrases in English on the board for learners to order the by using iTranslate to hear the phrase in L1 to check what the correct order of the words should be.
British Council Learn English Grammar (UK Edition) is a great way for learners to practice their grammar structures in their own time outside class. Great for making use of commuting time to brush up on grammar skills while on the move. Any queries can be verified with teachers in class. Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced level packs available.
Available for Android on Google Play, Windows Phone and iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
iTranslate for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is a quick and easy translation app that allows learners to choose from 92 languages from Burmese to Swahili, and switch between them depending on where they come from.
I have found the app useful with low-level learners who are unable to communicate their ideas with ease and find another way to say the same thing. By putting in the words in their L1, iTranslate gives learners a visual record of new lexis, that they can consult again in their own time by referring to the “history” of the words they have looked up.