Are you planning to relocate to Australia? As an expat from a nation where English isn’t an official language, adjusting to an English-speaking country can be a struggle. On the bright side, it’s an inspiring opportunity to improve your command of English.
Here are the five best apps to learn English and quickly get a grasp on this fun language, immerse yourself in Aussie culture, and eventually form new social circles and find work.
As the name implies, Memrise is about memorising the English language and expanding your vocabulary. The flashcard app is unique as it uses spaced repetition and humour to help you keep words and phrases in mind. After all, you’re bound to remember things that have made you laugh. Users like yourself can create and design Memrise courses and flashcards to make learning English a genuinely friendly and authentic experience.
And best of all, the standard version is free. Do you want extra material? The Memrise Pro version is available for $8.99 a month, $18.99 for three months, or $59.99 per year. Paying users get a speech recognition feature, plus a ‘learn with locals’ collection of videos into the bargain. That way, you get to listen to native speakers, practise pronunciation, and get better at speaking.
One of the most popular language apps, Duolingo is well-suited for beginners. Duolingo’s approach is to learn English playfully, step by step, with short games for 20 minutes a day. Playing the games, you translate a word into English, change it to your mother tongue, or say an entire sentence in English into a microphone. You can learn a maximum of seven words per subject, including a tiny bit of grammar.
The strategy the app uses is mainly based on memorisation of phrases. As a result, you’ll likely need to try different approaches to grasp the structure of English.
You score skill points every time you complete a lesson. Should you ever slack, Duolingo’s owl will remind you that maintaining your momentum is at stake, and the app will fire off emails to encourage you to study. This makes it ideal for establishing a daily learning habit.
The core features of Duolingo are free. Duolingo Plus costs $6.99 per month.
Another well-liked language app, and rightfully so, Babbel is an excellent way to learn basic conversational skills. The app focuses on building vocab rather than merely memorising words so you better understand the language. As the lessons are about real-world issues, you’ll be able to have conversations with strangers, friends, and acquaintances quickly.
Babbel comes with courses for all English levels, and you can use it on your phone or laptop. Each lesson is 20 minutes and includes a mix of speaking practice (with automatic voice recognition), grammar, and remembering new sentences. There’s also a useful flashcard area to help you keep sentences and terms from previous classes in mind.
Babbel is a game-like app that effectively combines entertaining and challenging you. It is, however, best supplemented with actual speaking practice so that your new skills come together. The subscription-based service sets you back $12.95 per month, $26.85 if you subscribe for three months, $44.70 for half a year, and the one-year subscription costs $83.40.
Preply matches students with skilled English tutors for one-on-one online video chat classes. You can pick your own teacher based on various characteristics like country of origin, specialty, reviews, availability, and fee. You can set your own price for a tutor using the tutor search option. The hourly rate begins at $5. Preply will refund you or replace your instructor for free if you aren’t satisfied with a lesson.
After your first one-hour session, you can decide how long your classes will be. You can buy lessons in packs of six, twelve, or twenty-four and schedule them as you please.
New subscribers take a test and estimate how many study hours they need to achieve the CEFR level. From there, you may either work through Preply learning programmes, which are ready-to-use English courses that have been meticulously prepared. Or you can focus solely on skills and vocabulary that you like. The app expects you to communicate in English from the very first lesson, and you get feedback immediately if you make mistakes.
Preply is an excellent choice for your primary English study app since it allows you to conquer your phobia of speaking English aloud.
Rosetta Stone is available as a desktop or mobile app. Its courses are broken into sections that you should complete in 30 minutes per day for six weeks. The app will show you an English word or sentence during most sessions and ask you to match it to the correct picture. It’s an immersive experience because virtually the entire content is in English rather than your first language.
Rosetta Stone also uses speech recognition to give you accent advice. Optional games and a chat room feature allow you to meet fellow English learners with whom you can share ideas and discuss issues. As a bonus, each subscriber is entitled to four 25-minute video sessions with an English language teacher each month. Up to four people are in one class, so be prepared.
Rosetta Stone was once an expensive one-time purchase, but it switched to a subscription model a few years ago. Three months will set you back $35.97, a year costs $119.88, and if you subscribe for two years, you’ll get a price of $167.76. The cost of a lifetime package is $199. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included with all subscriptions.
Rosetta Stone has been one of the most popular language software packages for 25 years, which shows the approach works.
Do you have any immigration-related questions? Get in touch with UIS Australia’s immigration service experts.