The Top 12 English Learning Tools That Get Results

The right English learning tools can make a difference in your daily life.

Whenever you are bored and have nothing to do, you can make that time productive by using it to improve your English skills.

Any tool for improving English on the go will help you learn English faster by giving you more opportunities to study.

In this post, we will show you our 12 favorite English learning tools you can take anywhere on your phone or tablet.

Note: This post includes affiliate links that will earn us a commission if you click on them and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). All products and services are thoroughly tested. We provide an honest review based on our experience and are not influenced by commissions.”


1. LearnEnglish Grammar


iOS (UK) | Android (UK) | Android (US)

Price: Free

This is a free interactive English grammar practice app from the British Council, with tons of ESL learning material. There are two editions, U.K. and U.S., which is great if you prefer one type of English over the other.

Using the app, you will learn the specific British or American spelling, usage and pronunciation rules.

There are four levels from beginner to advanced, so learners at all stages can benefit from this app. It has more than 1,000 practice questions to help you learn dozens of grammar topics.

The app is designed to keep you interested with a wide variety of interactive activities. You will be practicing English grammar with fill-in-the-blanks, reordering and labeling words, multiple-choice questions and more.

2. LearnEnglish Sounds Right

iOS | Android


Price: Free 

This is another one of the British Council’s free English learning tools. The Sounds Right app is an interactive pronunciation chart for English learners. It takes you back to the most basic elements of English pronunciation.

With LearnEnglish Sounds Right, you can practice pronouncing difficult English sounds anytime, anywhere. When you tap on one of the chart’s cards—for example, the consonant t—you will hear how it sounds.

There is a small arrow on the top right that will take you to example words with that sound (like tree, stop and want).

As pronunciation helps you be understood, all English learners can benefit from this app. Beginners can learn to speak English correctly from the start, while advanced students can refresh their knowledge and correct any pronunciation flaws.

3. FluentU

iOS | Android

Price: Free trial available (monthly and yearly subscription options)

FluentU is an app that uses a learning method called immersion learning, which is surrounding yourself with a new language so you absorb it naturally. The app teaches you English with video clips like movie trailers, news clips and cartoons.

FluentU’s clips all include interactive subtitles that let you look up words while you watch, so you can learn their meanings and see sentence examples. You can also review what you learn with flashcards and personalized quizzes.

The videos on FluentU are sorted by difficulty level and topic. This lets you focus on the specific vocabulary and grammar you want to learn. The program also tracks your progress, so you can know how much you have studied and what you should work on next.

With FluentU videos, you get to hear and see the language you are learning. This can make learning more engaging and material easier to remember.

4. Grammarly Keyboard

iOS | Android


Price: Free (monthly subscription options available)

Want to learn English online without adding any extra time to your schedule?

You can think of Grammarly Keyboard as a personal editor for all English text you type using your smartphone—be it a message, email or Facebook update.

Once you install the keyboard on your device, the app will automatically check for spelling and grammar mistakes in all your text. You will see the app underline the mistake in red. This allows you to learn from the mistakes you make and write more effectively in English. 

Better yet, Grammarly actually explains your mistakes. You get detailed reports that help you understand what you did wrong, so you do not repeat the same mistakes in the future.

5. Forvo

iOS | Android


Price: $2.99

English learners can improve pronunciation further with Forvo, a pronunciation app. It lets you listen to how a word is pronounced, learn it and record your own pronunciation of that word.

The sample pronunciations come from native speakers with different accents. Both male and female voices are available, as some learners might find it easier to imitate the sound of a person of the same sex.

The app allows you to keep track of the pronunciations you listened to recently. This feature is a great help for your review sessions.

A bonus feature is the ability to message other Forvo users, creating a chance to socialize in English.

6. Verblingenglish-learning-tools-5

iOS | Android

Price: Free

Verbling is a site where you can find an English language coach, a qualified professional who can give you immediate feedback and guidance on how to improve your English. If you cannot attend a local English class, hiring online tutors can be a more convenient and affordable option.

On Verbling, you can easily select teachers by their rating, experience, cost and availability. You will see where teachers are from, which is helpful if you are trying to learn a specific type of English (American, British, etc.). You will also see what other languages they speak and possibly find one who can talk in your native language if necessary.

7. LingQ english-learning-tools-6

iOS | Android

Price: Free (monthly subscription options available)

LingQ is an English learning tool that teaches you using content you enjoy.

With the LingQ app on your smartphone, you have access to thousands of captioned podcasts, audiobooks and interviews. Better yet, if you find interesting content on the web, you can import it with LingQ and learn from the material.

As you listen or read, you can easily look up new words and save them to a personal database. LingQ also tracks your progress so you can set goals and watch how quickly you learn.

LingQ uses gamified features to keep you motivated. You will get an avatar you can watch grow as your language skills develop. You can also connect with real native speakers for live conversation—one of the most important types of practice for English fluency.

The app works offline so you can really learn wherever you are. 

8. Oxford English Dictionaryenglish-learning-tools-7

iOS | Android

Price: $14.99

It can be difficult to learn a language unless you know the basic vocabulary and essential phrases. So having a good dictionary at your fingertips—and consulting it when you encounter new words—will help your vocabulary grow quickly.

The Oxford English Dictionary is a great resource because it contains more than 600,000 words. It is also constantly updated. You can also download an app to your phone so you can refer to it easily.

As an exercise, open the dictionary to a random page every day. Learn the meaning of the first word that catches your eye (something that you see and that gets your attention). That way, within a year, you will have added 365 new words to your ever-growing vocabulary.

9. EnglishClass101 english-learning-tools-8

iOS | Android

Price: Free (subscription price depends on the language you’re learning)

Want English lessons in your headphones? Podcasts are the perfect way to take English lessons with you anywhere.

One of the most popular and effective English learning podcasts is EnglishClass101. They offer hundreds of video and audio podcast lessons. The lessons are designed to be engaging and culturally relevant with fun hosts.

Moreover, these lessons come with detailed PDF notes to help you retain information. There are also lots of vocabulary learning tools, including flashcards that automatically make sure you review words before you forget them. You can even join a community forum of other English learners and speakers.

10. Coursera english-learning-tools-9

iOS | Android

Price: Free (specialization subscriptions available)

Coursera is one of the best websites to learn English online. You can find a wide range of English classes to suit your needs.

Just type “English” into the search bar (the box next to “Explore”). Under “Filter by” on the left of your screen, go to “Subject” and check “Language Learning.” Go to “Language” and check “English.” You can further filter the results based on the specific skills you want to learn, what your level is, the university offering the course and more.

11. Feedlyenglish-learning-tools-10

iOS | Android

Price: Free (monthly subscription options available)

Feedly is a smart news reader that keeps you up-to-date on the latest stories from your favorite publications.

For example, if you are interested in technology, Feedly will curate news from major magazines that teach you English for technology like TechCrunch or Wired. Reading about your favorite topics is a great way to stay motivated while learning a language.

To use the Feedly app as an English language learning tool, you can pick one article from any magazine in your feed. You can skim (quickly read the article to get important facts) and look for words you do not know. Write them down, and use Forvo to check the pronunciation if you like. Once you know the meaning of the words, read the article completely. If you cannot finish reading the whole article at once, bookmark it and go back to it later. This is a great way to learn new words and pick up ideas so that you can write about similar topics in the future.

12. Kindle E-reader english-learning-tools-11

iOS | Android

Price: Free (tokens are available for purchase)

The Kindle e-reader was not specifically made for language learners, but if you know how, you can transform your Kindle into an English learning tool.

With this e-reader, you can improve your vocabulary with the Kindle Vocabulary Builder. While reading your English books on Kindle, you can look up new words with the built-in dictionary. All the words you check will go into the database of the Kindle’s Vocabulary Builder. You can go there to review newly learned words. There is even a flashcard option so you can quiz yourself on the vocabulary.

You can also improve your reading skills with Word Wise. Word Wise is a feature on many popular Kindle devices. It will automatically give you a simple definition of any difficult words in a text. You can ask Word Wise to help you with fewer words when your reading level progresses.

Why On-the-go English Learning Tools Are So Useful

  • They are convenient to use. These English learning tools can be installed on your smartphone, which means you can use them no matter where you go. They let you practice English whenever you have a few free minutes. Ten minutes at a bus stop and half an hour in a cafe here and there will quickly add up. Some of these apps work offline, so you can use them even if you do not have an internet connection.
  • They provide “bite-sized” ESL learning. These tools offer bite-sized (small/easy-to-absorb) language lessons. As noted above, all it takes is a few minutes to add to your vocabulary or reinforce English concepts. This makes learning less overwhelming and keeps you motivated with immediate results. For English learners using textbooks or language courses, they provide an excellent supplement.
  • They make ESL learning interactive. These tools are interactive, which makes them fun to use. Users can interact with the tools in multiple ways, like typing, dictating or swiping. Many of these tools also have gamification elements, meaning they turn studying into a game with points, rewards, competition, etc. The engaging experience means learners want to keep using their English language tools and learning more.


The above English learning tools are easy and fun to use. Head to the app store, download and install them today so you can start learning English on the go.

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