Published 29th August 2017

Last Updated on

Love it or hate it, technology is here to stay, so it makes sense to embrace it and use it to your advantage. Learning a language may not seem like the most likely partner with technology but you’d be surprised at what is available these days. Indeed, gone are the days of sitting all alone with your textbook learning vocabulary words and grammar rules on your own. No, these days there’s an app for that!

As a TEFL teacher teaching English abroad, there is no reason why you can’t introduce these apps to your students to help them learn English even when they’re not in the EFL classroom. Besides, we know our students love to use the internet all the time, so why not take advantage of that?

The best apps to use for self-study

Duolingo is a very popular language learning app. It utilises spaced repetition to tailor-make exercises specifically for your language journey. This app is especially useful for Beginner learners but its gamification ensures it is enjoyed equally by learners of all levels.

Babbel is an app which introduces you immediately to everyday conversations and useful vocabulary so that you can start to speak as soon as you want to.

Speak English is an app which is perfect to help your students with their pronunciation and to get them talking. They can listen to native speakers talking about a topic and then record themselves repeating the phrase and compare the two.

The best smartphone apps to introduce to your TEFL class

While apps are usually used by individuals on their own, you can also make use of these apps in the classroom.

FluentU is an app that uses authentic videos in order to teach English in a natural, conversational manner. It can easily be used by EFL teachers if they want to use material their students would find interesting without having to scour YouTube for appropriate content.

Grammar Up is an app which can be used for individual assessment purposes. Learners can choose an aspect of grammar they want to focus on and test themselves in order to “grammar up” and move to the next level. This can be very handy for students who finish an activity early.

Words With Friends is an app which involves a scrabble-like game in which students can win points for words. It can be played in pairs or teams to help students practise spelling and vocabulary.

Head’s Up is an app which makes use of a popular guessing game. A student must hold their phone to their forehead and their teammates must explain the word on the screen for them to guess. As you can imagine, this is not an easy game but definitely a way to introduce energy into your classroom.

Apps are a very popular way of learning a language and you should definitely encourage your students to make use of them when learning English as a foreign language. Bring them into the classroom and your students will soon see how much fun they are and how addictive they can be.