Tuesday 19 February 2019
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Three Great Free Apps for Learning English


The Memrise platform encourages you to learn by creating ‘mems’. Mems are ways of remembering the vocabulary, e.g. visual images, sentences, translation etc. When you take a course you learn new words and then will regularly review them. The more you get the word correct when you are tested on it, the less you will have to review. The app functions well, although you cannot create new mems when using it. There are thousands of courses for studying English at different levels, including many IELTS courses. Memrise also has a premium option with extra features you must pay for but the standard free option is complete enough to help you learn English in an enjoyable way.


The Duolingo app is completely free and provides comprehensive English courses, just like you receive on Duolingo website You do a placement test to establish your level and there are many different areas of English you can practice., e.g.conversation, vocabulary, grammar etc. You can set a goal of studying between 5-20 minutes a day and you helpfully receive a text message and email to remind you. There are lots of different activity types,  dictation, word ordering, matching. Most activities involve translating from English to your own language and vice-versa. Translation can be helpful when learning English but duolingo probably use it too much. After all,there comes a point when students have to start thinking independently of their own first language. There are some listening activities with a useful tool for slowing down speech. They also provide grammar explanations while you learn.

Moodle for Mobile

The Moodle for Mobile app works with any course that is using the Moodle learning platform. You can search for courses at but if you are interested in learning English and in particular preparing for the IELTS test then we highly recommend EC IELTS, These free IELTS courses use the Moodle platform to apply an innovative approach to language learning and using the app allows you to study these courses easily from a mobile. The Moodle for Mobile App has come a long way and the most recent version is a big improvement on previous ones. You get many of the fantastic features that the Moodle platform provides from a computer, a range of quizzes, surveys, forums, assignments etc. However, some features are lost in order to make the app more efficient. For example, some of the audio players with special features on the EC IELTS courses are converted to basic audio players on the app – but this is done to improve the app’s performance. There are also a few activities that are not yet working on the app (e.g. the lesson module) but there is an easy option to jump to an internet browser and back again to complete these activities and upcoming versions aim to fix this.