Useful Vocabulary in this context:

Smartphone = phone with advanced features, such as the ability to access the internet.

Tablettablet= mobile computer controlled by a touchscreen.

App = Application or program, usually for a smartphone or tablet. For example: Many apps can be helpful for ESL students.

Requires = Demands or necessitates. For example: This app requires your iPhone’s operating system to be iOS 5.0 or later.

Compatible = Can work with. For example: This app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch.

Tips for using Apps

– Don’t trust an app (application) with English mistakes

– Not all apps are as easy to use on a tablet as on an iPhone or Android phone

– Don’t be too quick to pay for for ‘premium’ membership. There may be apps which let you do the same things for free.

1. (Tablet and smartphone-compatible)

This English-to-English dictionary received Time Magazine’s ‘Top 10 Back-To-School App’ award. You can connect to definitions from and synonyms from When looking up words, it provides spelling suggestions; you can also just use a voice search by clicking on the microphone button and saying the word to your phone/tablet (we tested–good accuracy).

Neat Feature: If you ‘favorite,’ a word, it is added to a list that you can keep!

Downside: ‘Word of the Day’ may pop up on your smartphone/tablet screen without your prompting it first.


Busuu – In this app, you’re given exercises that were created by native speakers (so they reflect real-life speech and writing). Busuu lets you practice English through vocabulary lessons and tests on different topics (for example: past continuous, law & order), but after the 20 sample units, you must pay a premium to access the app’s resources.

— practice with a community of language learners, 12 different languages, vocabulary lessons and interactive tests, for apple & android, tablet & smartphone, free but additional courses cost a charge – premium member gets additional resources 

Vocabulary/Flash Cards, Dialogue, Test: Past Continuous, Law & Order

Downside–premium resources constitute most of the lessons. 20 units are free. However, the website is a better resource.



SpeakingPal English Tutor: Tablet and Smartphone-compatible

 Good if you’re on-the-go and need something that’s short. The teaching content contains a range of dialogs, interactive exercises, role playing and language activities, 5 minute lessons

Downside: Limited amount of exercises

Voxy – news and stories on diff topics, games, quizzes — for more advanced learners, pay to get time with a private tutor ($20/month)

My Word Book

Driver’s Ed app:

Can download state manual,

Other Apps that may be useful:

Driver’s Ed

Apps that cost a fee $:

Sentence Builder 

Conversation English

Preposition Builder (for a fee) ipad app $7.99 / English Prepositions Training by Cosmolapti

Hello Hello – free app but $1.99 per course

Longmans English Dictionary App

WordReference Dictionary – If you have to use a translator, this app provides you with translation from and to French, Italian, and Spanish. Similar to translator but superior, just English French Italian Spanish–gives word, part of speech, choices for translation and examples in first language/translated language for each

FaceTime (on iPhones) and Skype (on computers, tablets, and mobile phones) can also be useful in improving your English by speaking with other native English speakers.

Conversation English App $2.99

Which apps do you use and find helpful for learning and improving your English? Leave us a comment and let us know!