Smartphone apps to boost English learning for your students

Apps for your students’ smartphones to make English learning a habit

Apps for your students’ smartphones to make English learning a habit


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We all know perfectly well how hard it might be to keep our students motivated 24/7. This is where modern technology becomes an irreplaceable tool and an integral part of the study process. 

In this article, we have collected the best apps for your students' smartphones!



This app might be the most obvious recommendation but still make sure your students try Duolingo! 

The main advantages of this application are:

  • A fun interface
  • A never-ending amount of tasks that suit any level of knowledge
  • Competitiveness because students can participate in challenges
  • Regular reminders to keep up with the practice to build a consistent habit.

While the tasks might not seem serious enough, they actually serve their purpose perfectly: to not overload users with too much information that they can't deal with. The app guarantees constant revision which makes students truly remember new words and total gamification that makes a user want to learn English again and again. 

Therefore, it is perfect to play after a long working day, on the commute or in case one simply wants to kill time with use.


Based on a subscription plan


  • 1-month subscription – $13.95/mo
  • 3-month subscription – $9.95/mo
  • 6-month subscription – $8.45/mo
  • 12 month subscription – $6.95/mo
  • Lifetime subscription – $299.99

With Babbel, a user learns English in 15-minute classes that revolve around real-world discussions about the most important common topics that your students will definitely need. 

This is a high-quality pick for anyone interested in intense additional practice outside the classroom. You should recommend this app to those students who:

  • Are looking for some real-life content 
  • Want to listen to native speakers more
  • Are interested in enriching the knowledge of culture rather than simply learning words and grammar
  • Want to practice all their language skills
  • Seek for additional extensive practice

EWA English

This is the first app that comes to mind as soon as students express a desire to improve their reading. Students may increase their vocabulary quickly while enjoying the world's favorite books and audiobooks. 

There are thousands of books out there and all of them include word pronunciation, transcription, and translation. Therefore, students have a chance to improve all of their skills at once.

Your students should definitely try this app if:

  • They are active readers
  • They want to try reading in English for the first time
  • They don’t know which book to pick up so that it is appropriate for their level
  • They have trouble understanding the reading texts
  • They want to know how to pronounce all the words they read
  • They want to increase their vocabulary


Based on a subscription plan: $20/mo

This app gathers English-language content, such as news, music videos, advertisements and especially videos. Students may tap any word in the interactive captions to learn additional details about it.

This is a great tool for anyone who:

  • wants to interact with native speakers’ content but doesn’t know where to start
  • can’t handle subtitles yet
  • doesn’t want to waste time looking for the meaning of the obscure words they see in the video
  • needs some recommendations on content that is appropriate for their level
  • enjoys learning English through watching and listening to interesting audio and visual content.
  • wants to check their understanding with the specifically designed questions.


Last but not least, this is an app that deserves way more attention than it has now. 

WordUp helps to enrich a user’s vocabulary. What is so special about it, one may ask. The case is that it is powered with AI that tests your knowledge as soon as you upload the app to find your specific gaps. WordUp developers have invented a special grid or so-called knowledge map to “see precisely where your English stands and chart your path to perfection”

A teacher in a breakout room

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The app identifies the most common words in the English language that the user doesn’t know and helps them to learn them. The developers believe that knowing that you are learning something that is indeed useful is a much bigger motivation than going through the dictionary with no guarantee that you will ever come across this exact term in your real communication.

Therefore, your students should try this app out because:

  • It has a smart system of identifying gaps in the user’s vocabulary and filling them in
  • It shows the word in a real context: a real video, song lyrics, or social media posts
  • It is based on a space repetition method that makes students go back to certain vocabulary from time to time to check whether they still remember the meaning.

Generally, Word Up is definitely a new word in vocabulary improvement that no English learner should miss.

A complete introduction to teaching English online

We do hope that your students will enjoy using these apps and find their own way to keep up with their studying anywhere in a fun way. Meanwhile, Grade University continues to follow the latest trends to keep you updated. If you are interested in learning more about online tools for your lessons, make sure to use our professional experience to the fullest.

Article authors & editors
  • Arina Kravchenko

    Arina Kravchenko


    Teacher of General English & IELTS



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