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Updated by Vernon Fowler on Nov 18, 2013
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apps for language learning

A list of apps that can be recommended to students to enhance their language learning and study skills. Initial apps came out of the research presented at Melbourne Cup Day PD 2013, slides at

IELTS Skills

The only IELTS practice app you'll need. IELTS Skills provides exam practice exercises and interactive tasks to help you develop the four skills that you will need to master for your IELTS Academic exam. Download Now Watch The Video Works with Apple iPhone, iPad and Android OS devices.

MyWordBook 2

Improve your vocabulary with MyWordBook 2, an interactive vocabulary notebook for language learners. The new version of MyWordBook now offers more vocabulary packs to download from Cambridge University Press dictionaries.


Listen to the latest sounds. Capture your own. Share your sounds wherever you are. Now includes iPad!

Sounds: The Pronunciation App

The ultimate mobile English pronunciation aid, for students and teachers. Sounds helps you study, practise and play with pronunciation wherever you are. Interactive phonetic chart and self-study practice of pronunciation.

Sounds Right

Sounds Right is the British Council's first pronunciation chart for learners and teachers worldwide. This app is for the iPad. Dictionary & Thesaurus for iPad By, LLC

Top-rated app with trusted reference content from & WORKS OFFLINE - no Internet connection needed when searching words. ★ Apple ‘Top 25 All-Time Best Apps For iPad’, Time Magazine ‘Top 10 Back-To-School App’,

Read With Me Fluency

Read With Me Fluency is the new iPad version of the award-winning online reading fluency assessment app, Read With Me. Now you can conduct oral fluency reading assessments, or running records in a faster, less-painful way. No more timers, paper, calculators or binders full of testing materials.

AudioNote - Notepad and Voice Recorder

Description Record notes and audio synced with the best note taking app in the App Store! AudioNote combines the functionality of a notepad and voice recorder to create a powerful tool that will save you time while improving the quality of your notes. It's the perfect app for students or business.

Academic Vocabulary Lite

Academic Vocabulary has been developed specifically for the vocabulary needs of international students preparing to take exams or begin post secondary study in English speaking countries. The application contains a variety of exercises aimed at helping you recognize and reproduce 570 of the most frequently-used academic words in English. Altogether, there are 48 units with exercises, separated to make learning easy, 2 units are included in the free version. By completing one unit every day, within one month, up to 240 words can become part of your vocabulary range.

Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of English

** Please note, this application is only accessible to purchasers of the print book via an access code **

The Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of English is the perfect language tool for English language learners. You will find all the words you need, defined clearly in full sentences. Including a range of 40,000 headwords with audio and 77,000 examples, the information in this dictionary has been carefully chosen to allow the learner to be a confident language user. It will enable you to write in accurate English as well as understand and speak English with confidence.

Idioms Lite

Idioms are the real guts of English. Idioms app provides learners with an opportunity to improve strategies for successfully utilising native level expressions

Idioms is a multiple choice quiz system for English which provides 700 common idiomatic questions across different topic & categories with explanations of 619 Idioms with meanings & examples.

Idioms was designed to provide a method of aquiring idiomatic expressions and a context for using them in everyday English conversation.
Idioms can help learners to improve their understanding and usage of idioms. Custom timer setting can assist learners to improve response times under exam time constraints.

ESL Express : Words Frequently Confused Lite

** Full version has over 2150 words. This free version has limited words. **

Difficulties often arise because of the similarity in sound between two or more words.
Careful differentiation is needed between, for example, ‘veil’ and ‘vale;’ ‘accept’ and ‘except;’ ‘canvas’ and ‘canvass’ and ‘compliment’ and ‘complement.’
Confusion between such pairs of words naturally leads to slipshod and faulty writing. Good usage implies grammatical correctness, a wide vocabulary and skill in the choice and arrangement of words.

Grammar Express: Parts of Speech Lite

Grammar Express : Parts of Speech is the complete course in mastering usage of different parts of speech. It contains over over 130 pages of lessons explaining each part of speech with several examples.

You can learn the grammar rules, study the examples and then test their understanding by taking quiz.
At the end of each quiz the user is presented with test summary and explanation for each test question.

Grammar Express can help you to improve your understanding of the different parts of speech.

Custom timer setting can assist you to improve response times under exam time constraints.

Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus

The WordNet Dictionary and Thesaurus is a large lexical database of English with up to 140,000 entries and more than 1.4 million words, developed by the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton University.

Instead of following the standard dictionary format, the WordNet dictionary is organized with an innovative and convenient approach. Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are grouped into sets of cognitive synonyms, interlinked by means of conceptual-semantic and lexical relations. In addition to the straightforward definition the dictionary shows how each word is linked to other words in terms of synonyms, opposites and similar words, but also hyponyms and hyperlinks within the group.

BBC News

Get the latest, breaking news from the BBC and our global network of journalists.

By downloading the BBC News app you can view:
News stories by geographical region
News by category including business, technology, entertainment and sport.




Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.

The official TED app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch presents talks from some of the world's most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus and music legends. Find more than 1,400 TEDTalk videos (with more added each week) on the official TED app -- now for both iPad and iPhone.

Google Translate

Break through language barriers with Google Translate:

• Translate text between more than 70 languages
• Listen to your translations spoken aloud
• Directly translate speech and handwriting
• Star your favorite translations for quick access even when you’re offline
• View dictionary results for single words or phrases

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

America's most useful and respected dictionary.

In addition to all the definitions from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, the app offers voice search – to let you look up a word without having to spell it – along with an integrated thesaurus, example sentences, Word of the Day, Favorites, and more. A great tool for reference, education, and vocabulary building.

The app is free, and supported by ads.

LDOCE (InApp) - Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English - 5th Edition

This app is not free!
For new users, an InApp purchase is required to activate the dictionary.
For previous LDOCE5 owners: if doesn't activate automatically, please email support.

Longman's flagship learner’s dictionary, fully updated and now with integrated Thesaurus and Collocations Dictionary

WordReference Dictionary All in one dictionary

This application provides access to the excellent dictionaries on in a format specifically adapted to the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Please note: The dictionaries are online, not downloaded. Use of the dictionaries requires Internet connectivity.

ABC Radio

The ABC Radio App gives you access to over 20 radio stations from the ABC. Optimised to deliver fast and easy access to your favourite ABC Radio stations, the ABC Radio App also offers track and program information; weekly schedules; automatic bookmarking of stations; and sharing on Facebook, Twitter or via email.

The ABC Radio app lets you listen to ABC Radio anywhere, anytime.

WordWeb Dictionary

The WordWeb English dictionary and thesaurus: fast searching, spelling suggestions, definitions, usage examples, synonyms, related words - and no adverts. An offline audio version is available separately.

The comprehensive WordWeb dictionary database includes:

  • 285,000 words, phrases and derived forms
  • 225,000 word sense definitions
  • 70,000 usage examples
  • 85,000 text pronunciations
  • Synonyms, similar and related words
  • N. American, British, Australian and international English

Do you find phrasal verbs difficult? Aren´t you able to remember their meaning?
With this application you will have a complete list of phrasal verbs that will be updated periodically.
You can browse through the list to find the phrasal verb you're looking for, click on each entry to see a definition of the phrasal verb and an example.
You have two types of exercises to help you learn them, association test and memory test, in the application you will find the explanations of each type of test.


YouTube your way. Get the official YouTube app for iPhone and iPad. Instantly become the DJ, learn Kung Fu and easily share with friends. Catch up on your favorite videos and playlists from around the world on the couch, in the kitchen or on the go.


Introducing the all-new Podcasts app, an amazing way to discover, subscribe to and play your favourite podcasts. Explore hundreds of thousands of free audio and video podcasts in the Featured tab, or browse Top Charts to see what's hot right now. Add your favourite podcasts to personal stations that stay up to date when new episodes become available. You can sync playlists from iTunes, or create an On-The-Go playlist to play just the episodes you want. iCloud keeps your subscriptions, stations and play position in sync across all your devices, computers and Apple TV.