Let’s take a walk down memory lane…
To chalkboards, erasers, textbooks and…flashcards!
Remember flashcards? Those tidbits of information that we carried around on index cards? We all know ‘em! And we all used ‘em!
You may think they’re “old school,” but they’re still around—and they’re neither dull nor dated. No, today’s flashcards are new and improved—definitely not your Granny’s relics!
The amazing thing about today’s flashcards is that they’re available right from your phone with the help of some cool apps! Flashcards are wildly beneficial—only now there’s no large bundle of cards to carry around while you hope the rubber band doesn’t snap in your hand!
Language flashcard apps really are a language learner’s best friend—they’re always by your side and always ready to play.
Let’s check some out!
Why Use Flashcard Apps for Language Learning?
The biggest reason to use flashcard apps for language learning is a simple one: They work! When you were a kid in school, flashcards brought the finer points of all core subjects (math, history, geography) into a tidy bundle that you could work with and memorize.
Language apps do the same thing—except they focus on a target language! They’re designed for fast learning by presenting bites of information that are easily memorized.
An added perk? They’re fun to use!
Growing vocabulary is a snap with flashcards since they incorporate spaced repetition, which essentially means reviewing information at certain intervals. Since vocabulary is key to all aspects of language, flashcard apps are an excellent addition to any language program.
Flashcard apps are always on hand, fill up small, otherwise wasted chunks of time with solid language practice and offer on-the-fly learning. What’s not to love?
To get you started, here are eight top flashcard apps to take your vocabulary to the next level!
8 Fun Flashcard Apps to Improve Your Vocabulary
FluentU’s flashcard features bring a ton of options to language learners.
The curated video clips that are the heart of the language program provide the vocabulary for FluentU’s flashcards. Since the material comes from authentic music videos, inspiring talks, movie trailers and news from around the globe, the vocabulary is diverse, relevant and timely.
It’s real-world, culturally engaging learning that enhances any language learning program.
Vocabulary is compiled into sets that are generated from the video content. Sets can also be created by users who send words to their own card collections, which ensures that content is tailored to individual needs. To do this, you simply click on a video, scroll down to the “vocabulary” tab and choose the words you want to add—it’s that simple!
What makes FluentU extra special is that the program uses a complex spaced repetition system that’s based on an altered version of the SM2 SuperMemo algorithm, ensuring that your flashcards are presented to you in the optimal order and at appropriate intervals for best continued practice and memorization.
For moments when you don’t have internet access, simply download the flashcards ahead of time to continue learning offline.
FluentU is much more than a flashcard app.
The interactive program—because you choose what to see and how to learn—brings language immersion to learners. No passport required!
Amazing vocabulary and grammar tutorials use authentic content to bring learning alive. The program also uses interactive captions; tap on any word to see an image, definition, audio and vocabulary example. It truly is real-life language learning at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere!
Looking to enhance your core vocabulary? Lingvist has you covered!
Using the Lingvist app is a straightforward method to increase vocabulary in a target language. There are no bells or whistles to this app, but it’s a solid option that is beneficial to any language program. The how-to features are clear and uncomplicated so users can easily navigate through all areas of the app.
Flashcards feature example sentences so learners can see words and phrases used in context. Also, there are audio pronunciations which help learners effectively model speaking practice.
Tracking progress is also streamlined. The graphics clearly show where you’ve been and how quickly you’re moving ahead. Placement tests help measure progress.
A bonus to the flashcard functionality? Lingvist provides some limited information on word forms and grammar.
Drops adds a gaming feel to using flashcards for language learning. The screens are bright and the illustrations are fun.
Several languages are offered, including some that aren’t always easy to locate study material for, like Icelandic, Maori, Samoan and Vietnamese.
The app offers more than flashcards. The learning program itself is broken into 5-minute learning sessions, which the developers believe encourage users to tap in—after all, everyone has five minutes to spare so the “lack of time” excuse that’s so common is eliminated!
The program is also fully visual. Words and phrases are illustrated so there’s never any confusion about what a vocabulary word means. Learners see it!
There’s also no keyboarding with this app; it’s all swipes and taps to get the job done. Wonderfully engaging, this is an exciting way to acquire a language.
You may try this one for the flashcards—which are super!—and fall for some of the other energizing features, too!
Reji is a vocabulary-building app that offers material for 48 languages.
It actually uses words from other sources, like movies, articles, books or language classes, for flashcard use. Learners convert their files to Reji decks and use the customized decks in their language programs. It’s a simple process and ensures that relevant words are memorized!
This app also has some fantastic additional features, so it’s more than just a flashcard app. For example, there’s a “learn mode” that offers pronunciation and spelling practice, as well as other learning options.
Reji also eliminates the need for a translation app; easily look up unfamiliar words to see definitions and images!
While Reji isn’t currently available for Android, a compatible app is in the works. Sign up directly on their site to be notified when the Android app is ready!
This app gives learners tons of options for reaping the benefits of adding flashcards to a language program.
Choose from the flashcards already available on the site or create your own sets.
Either way, the flashcards are always available to fill up any extra downtime. Personally, this app has eliminated what feels like hundreds of hours sitting in waiting rooms and standing in long lines!
Quizlet’s flashcards are fun to use. They turn vocabulary memorization into a game by showing learners how they’re progressing—and for some of us, that brings out the drive to do better with each draw of the cards!
There are lots of options for working with Quizlet’s language flashcards. Audio features provide the correct pronunciation of words and phrases. Game functions let learners test memorization skills. Learners can also play the game called “Match”—a beat-the-clock memory quiz!
Flashcards can be shared with other language learners. Since this also works with words uploaded by individual learners, the potential for learning idioms, regional expressions and even unique phrases is excellent!
Tinycards is the brainchild of the creators of Duolingo, the well-known language-learning program. It’s similar to Duolingo in that it’s a snap to navigate and features a cheerful, engaging design.
This flashcard app also pulls a lot of its vocabulary from the Duolingo program.
If you’re already using Duolingo as part of a language program, Tinycards is an excellent method for reviewing vocabulary from it. And if you’ve never used Duolingo, that’s okay, too. These cards provide plenty of vocabulary so learners can review or learn according to their needs!
The flashcard decks highlight more than just vocabulary though. They offer pronunciation demonstrations and provide illustrations for words and phrases.
The vocabulary is divided into packs of cards, in sections devoted to various topics. Ace one pack and the next one unlocks—it’s a super cool way to track your progress!
The Brainscape flashcard app really checks all the boxes on learning foreign language vocabulary quickly and easily. The app is formatted clearly and is so user-friendly that using it is an absolute pleasure.
Learners are able to utilize the app’s flashcards or create their own. The material already gathered and available on the app comes from publishers and educators, as well as other learners.
The flashcard decks are shareable and users can work together to develop highly customized content. So if you’re part of a group planning a culinary tour across the globe, you could collectively compile flashcards that feature food-related vocabulary!
Learners can set goals, track progress, shuffle cards, choose specific deck categories to study and much more. This is an app that definitely enhances a language-learning program so well that I found myself looking forward to using it!
The Cram flashcard app is a versatile vocabulary-building tool that has enough options to keep learning fast and fun.
There are multiple study modes depending on whether you download the app for iOS or Android, so there’s a lot happening in this small app.
Card mode brings up a full set of cards for review, while cram mode introduces spaced repetition into the flashcard decks. Memorize mode removes vocabulary that the learner is familiar with, showing only content that still needs to be mastered. Lastly, game mode brings a bit of gaming to learning vocabulary with flashcards!
The app keeps track of flashcard decks that learners are currently using and separates them into self-created decks, favorite decks and the decks studied most often.
All in all, this flashcard app is a great way to almost effortlessly get some extra vocabulary work into a language program.
Flashcards? They’ve grown up, too. They’re not just for children anymore.
Flashcard apps are perfect for language learning at any age!
Learning a new language should be entertaining, and flashcards are lots of fun. Download one or more of these apps to maximize learning time, enhance your core vocabulary and turn study time into playtime!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn languages with real-world videos.