english learning app

The 13 Best Apps for Learning English [Updated for 2022]

It’s 2022, and you’ve probably got your phone with you most of the time–which makes it an ideal study tool. 

As a language learning enthusiast, I’ve come up with the best apps for learning English from the thousands of mobile apps out there.

These apps make it easy to learn English “on the go” in lots of unique and interesting ways.

Let’s dive into my list of the best apps for learning English (and loving it!).

Contents

Best for Pronunciation: ELSA Speak

Website / iOS / Android

english learning app

Summary: ELSA Speak hones your English pronunciation with an AI (artificial intelligence) coach.

Price: Free, with extra features at $11.99/month 

ELSA Speak is probably the best mobile app around for helping you improve your English pronunciation.

The app’s greatest strength is its intensive AI feedback, but ELSA also provides mini-training sessions to really perfect your pronunciation.

The AI analyzes your recordings based on pronunciation, intonation and fluency then points out exactly which parts sound inaccurate.

The app will even provide you with a percentage that shows how close you sound to a native speaker.

I’d recommend this app for any English learner who wants to work on their speaking. Even if you’re already fluent in English, you might be surprised at what the app can catch!

english-learning-app

Best for Immersing in English Videos: FluentU

Website / iOS / Android

Summary: FluentU takes authentic English media and breaks it down for language learners with interactive subtitles and other tools.

Price: Monthly subscription (with free trial included)

FluentU is a language learning app that teaches you English through authentic videos like news reports, movie scenes and interviews, with learner tools for all levels.

Each clip has interactive subtitles so if you’re not sure what a word means, you can hover over it and get an explanation.

The app also gives video examples for each word so you can learn vocabulary in context. Subtitles are written by language experts, so you can expect translations to be reliable. 

The app allows you to study new words using flashcards or personalized quizzes that include questions that test your listening comprehension and speaking skills.

Immersing in media is useful for pretty much every English learner, and FluentU will expose you to English as it’s genuinely spoken, including everyday expressions and common slang

english learning app

Best for Basic English: Mondly

Website / iOS / Android

english learning app

Summary: Mondly focuses on conversational phrases for everyday situations and includes many innovative features.

Price: $9.99 / month

Mondly is a well-known app that does a great job teaching conversational phrases that you can use in real life, from shopping to going on a date.

The app has a futuristic look, with a world map that you can scroll through to select lessons.

Lessons are categorized by theme, such as travel, public transportation, grammar and pets. 

Lessons mostly consist of interactive quizzes, where you’ll have to fill in the blanks, rearrange words to form a sentence and do other activities that target all of the main language skills.

Visuals are constantly used to reinforce words and exercises involve a lot of repetition, so new words naturally stick as long as you use the app often.

The app also has an AR (augmented reality) function, so you can turn on your phone camera and see a 3D teacher displayed as if they were actually there with you.

Mondly also has extensive English practice tests in partnership with Oxford University Press.

english learning app

Best for Casual Learning: Duolingo

WebsiteiOS / Android

english-learning-app

Summary: Duolingo turns learning English into a game with quick lessons, streaks, scoreboards and skill trees.  

Price: Free, premium features available for $6.99/month

Duolingo is designed to help you learn English quickly, so you can use it even if you’re just beginning to learn.

By using Duolingo about twenty minutes a day, you’ll be able to read, write and speak basic English in a short time.

In each lesson, Duolingo teaches you new words based on a topic—like education, school, science or adjectives, and has you complete exercises to retain the new vocabulary.

For example, you might have to match new words with a picture, translate an English phrase back to your native language or repeat an English phrase.

You can easily finish all the lessons in Duolingo in around three months if you use it consistently. 

Overall, this is one of the best apps for learning English at the beginner level.

english learning app

Best for Fun Beginner Lessons: Lingodeer

WebsiteiOS / Android

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Summary: Lingodeer takes you from beginner to intermediate through fun, structured lessons with games and short exercises. 

Price: $14.99 / month 

Lingodeer uses games and short exercises to teach beginner and intermediate English learners.

Lingodeer takes a gamified approach to language learning with a goal-oriented curriculum consisting of structured lessons and regular reviews.

Lingodeer’s lessons are arranged according to themes, such as sports, weather, parts of the body and shopping, with more lessons on grammar topics such as passive verbs, conditionals and gerunds as you get more advanced.

English lessons in Lingodeer are available in several languages, including Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese.

The exercises for each lesson are well-rounded enough that you get to practice your listening, reading and vocabulary in a single five-minute lesson.

The app keeps track of vocabulary and grammar that you’ve learned, and you can do personalized practice sessions with these.

Overall, if you want to have fun while still having a bit of structure, Lingodeer is a fantastic option.

english learning app

Best for Practical Topics: Babbel

WebsiteiOS / Android

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Summary: Babbel teaches you English through 15-minute lessons that feature realistic conversations with optional live classes.   

Price: Various plans starting at $7.45/month

Babbel has you learn and practice English with realistic conversations that surround things that you’re personally interested in.

Lessons are short and consist of written and audio versions of the vocabulary featured in the lessons. Then you are able to complete practice exercises to solidify your understanding.

Babbel really wants to focus on allowing you to learn about topics you’re interested in, so the app will try to personalize lessons based on what you like learning about.

You can practice English with all kinds of topics that matter to your life, from business to travel. This makes English learning a lot more fun and motivating.

With the program being so conversation-based, Babbel also offers a speech recognition feature that listens to your pronunciation and corrects your mistakes. 

Babbel also offers reviews of topics you’ve already learned so that you don’t forget any information.

If you like to learn the structure of English naturally (rather than memorizing a bunch of rules) then this will be one of the best apps for you to learn English grammar.

english learning app

Best for Authentic English: Memrise

Website / iOS /Android

english-learning-app

Summary: Memrise uses games, flashcards and video examples to teach you English words. 

Price: Free

This app is very flashcard based and is focused on teaching you English words. It uses some creative, funny ways to help you remember what words mean.

Memrise courses are actually designed by users, so you can see how other English learners picked up the same words you’re learning.

A lot of the learning in Memrise is based on association between words or between words and objects.

There are over thirteen pages of courses available on the app, from easy ones like “English Irregular Verbs” to more difficult ones like “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens.

Many English learners find learning new words to be one of the most difficult things about the language, but Memrise will make it fun and easy.

The app also keeps track of what words you’ve already learned so you can go back and review them later.

I recommend Memrise for learners at any level who want to expand their vocabulary.

english learning app

Best for Learning English in English: Rosetta Stone

Website / iOS /Android

english-learning-app

Summary: Rosetta Stone is a well-rounded app that teaches you to naturally think and speak in English.

Price: Memberships start at about $12/month

Rosetta Stone is probably the most famous as well as one of the most unique methods for learning languages.

Usually, an English app teaches you English with explanations in your native language, but Rosetta Stone teaches you English with English.

Rosetta Stone is completely immersive and has exercises designed to help you learn basic words before forming phrases and longer sentences, but they will all be in English.

Using this method, Rosetta Stone manages to teach you many new English words and phrases without using your native language. 

The idea is that you will be learning English as if you were a child learning it as your first language. With this method, you’ll be able to learn the language naturally and start thinking in it immediately.

I recommend Rosetta Stone if you would like to try learning English without relying on your native language.

english learning app

Best for Vocabulary: Mosalingua

Website / iOS / Android

english learning app

Summary: Mosalingua helps you grow your vocabulary through techniques like spaced repetition and a focus on the 1,500 most important words.

Price: $4.99/month

Mosalingua is focused on two things: teaching you the most important words and phrases that you should have in your English word bank, and solving the problem of forgetting what you’ve learned over time.

Not only will MosaLingua teach you the most important words through flashcards and audio of native speakers, but it will use SRS to ensure you review the material you’ve learned regularly.

SRS stands for Spaced Repetition Software, and it’s designed to help you review words just before you forget them. 

With its focus on the most important words and phrases in English, Mosalingua can get you speaking English rather quickly since it builds your core vocabulary so efficiently.

I recommend Mosalingua for beginner learners who want to learn the basics fast. 

english learning app

Best for Interacting with Native Speakers: Busuu

Website / iOS / Android

english-learning-app

Summary: Busuu is an app with short, well-rounded English lessons that include exercises where you can get direct feedback from native speakers. 

Price: Free with premium memberships available starting at about $6/month

Busuu is a little bit different than many of the apps we’ve mentioned here, with Busuu you can talk with native English speakers to practice your conversational skills.

Each Busuu lesson includes key vocabulary, a lesson dialogue, a writing practice session, a recording session, a lesson review and a practice conversation with an English speaker.

With all of these components, you can have a well-rounded learning journey that let’s you practice reading, writing, speaking and listening

If you want to improve your spoken English, Busuu may be an especially great English app for you.

english learning app

Best for Audio-Based Learning: Pimsleur

Website / iOS / Android

english-learning-app

Summary: Pimsleur brings you audio-based English lessons with quizzes and other activities for review.

Price: Starts at $14.95/month

Pimsleur started out as a series of audio lessons on cassette and is now available as an app on your phone!

If you’re interested in learning English mainly through listening, you might like the structured curriculum that Pimsleur offers.

Pimsleur’s curriculum is based on the idea that you will listen to one 30-minute lesson a day which is centered around English dialogue with explanations from the narrator.

Although the audio runs on its own, there are plenty of pauses where you’ll be prompted to talk out loud or repeat what the narrator said.

The app also includes interactive exercises like flashcards, quizzes and conversation activities to round out each lesson. Each lesson also repeats words from the previous lessons so you’ll have some review. 

Pimsleur’s worth checking out if you’re a beginner or intermediate learner and you want to  practice your listening skills.

english learning app

Best for Intermediate Learners: BBC Learning English

Website / iOS / Android

english-learning-app

Summary: BBC Learning English regularly releases podcasts and videos for intermediate English learners.

Price: Free

BBC Learning English is an app and website with tons of entertaining, up-to-date material about the English language.

BBC Learning English features various programs, which you can follow as a “curriculum,” but each podcast-style episode can also stand alone.

Programs cover everything from grammar to news reports to business English. If you love short audio lessons that you can listen to on the go, then this might be the one for you.

Nearly all of the lessons are for intermediate learners, but they’re starting to branch out to beginners.

Each lesson comes with learner notes and transcripts, and there’s usually a quick, three-question quiz afterwards. You can even download all of the lessons for offline listening.

There are new lessons every day, so it’s worth checking out for intermediate learners who enjoy listening to diverse topics

english learning app

Best for Studying for the IELTS: IELTS Prep

iOS / Android

english-learning-app

Summary: IELTS Prep helps you study for the IELTS with detailed tips, practice tests and exercises.   

Price: Mostly free, with some paid practice tests

IELTS Prep is one of the best resources for getting ready for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System).

The IELTS is a test recognized internationally for demonstrating English proficiency, and it’s results are often requested if you’re going to live, study or work in an English-speaking country. 

IELTS Prep is very reliable because it’s developed by the British Council–one of the creators of the actual IELTS exam.

The app itself discusses what the IELTS is and explains what to expect from the exam before diving into the prep material.

The app offers practice tests for each section of the exam (writing, speaking, reading and listening). When you’re ready, you can take a comprehensive mock exam, which includes all four sections.

Aside from test-taking, IELTS Prep also has grammar and vocabulary lessons for reference

If you’re planning to take the IELTS, then this app is a must-have. 

english learning app

 

If you’re looking for a great way to learn English that’s effective but also fun, I highly recommend any of these apps for learning English.

Each app is designed for different people and has its own strengths, so find what works best for you!

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