Language learning apps are the new “teachers”.  You still will always need real live human teachers 🙂, but LL apps can really boost your language quickly.

How?  By providing an accessible platform for you to become comfortable with the spoken and written language.

Let’s look at some of the most popular ones.

These free language learning apps will help you sharpen your language skills. Learning English with these free apps is easier than ever. You’ll always have them at your fingertips. Even if you just have a few minutes waiting for an appointment, or 15 minutes in an Uber or on the train or bus, an easy-to-use app gives you time to complete a lesson.

  1. Duolingo

Duolingo is the most popular language-learning platform and the most downloaded education app in the world, with more than 300 million users. The company’s mission is to make education free, fun, and accessible to all. Duolingo is designed to feel like a game. If you are a person who loses motivation very quickly, Duolingo is definitely the right choice for you. This game-like app teaches languages in a very playful and challenging way and is based on many visual as well as audio effects which are helpful to remember what you have learned. Another plus is that Duolingo varies the types of tasks and builds up every lesson in other ways which means more variety for the student.

It’s really simple to use. A placement test evaluates your language level determining whether you’re a “beginner” or “Not a beginner”. You set your own weekly goals based on the number of hours you want to put on the app (casual – 5 mins/day, regular – 10 mins/day, serious – 15 mins/day, insane – 20 mins per day). You activate more lessons by finishing one lesson or taking a test if you are already familiar with the topics.

iPhone | AndroidWindows


  1. Memrise

Memrise is an app for learning new words and phrases. It uses audio, images, and memory techniques to help you associate words with one another for easier recall, as well as regular tests to ensure you remember the concepts. Words in the language you’re learning are put into sentences with similar sounding words from your own native language to help build the connection for remembering them. For example, if you’re learning Spanish and your native language is English you’ll see a sentence like this: “it’s aburrido to eat a burrito with every meal” to associate the Spanish word aburrido with its English translation of boring. This is great because the sentence makes sense to you as an English speaker, but the Spanish translation is easily placed in it to help you build a connection between the two words.



  1. Busuu

Busuu has two tiers of service: Free and Premium. The free account has a lot of limitations, but it’s decent enough if you’re using busuu only to practice vocabulary with flashcards, as that’s all you get. If you’re stuck on a word or would like to ensure you remember it, you can always add it to your vocabulary list. Free users also get to try the first set of lessons. The free lessons range from beginner and elementary up to intermediate. There are also some business and travel courses you can take for free. The lessons at Busuu include images, audio, and text all mixed together to help you remember the concepts. You can always listen to phrases over and over again as many times as you need to, as well as move back through a lesson.

iPhone | Android


  1. Babbel

Babbel is the best choice if you want a school-type experience. It’s most like a foreign language course you’d see in a school. Each lesson includes translations, variations of the word or phrase, pictures and more. If you’re asked to spell a word or phrase, the letters are included. You also get to see the words you’re learning used in common conversations, listen to them (if you choose to have audio on), repeat the phrases, and learn more about verb groups. The 15-minute lessons are easy to work into your day.

iPhone | Android


  1. Lingvist

Lingvist uses artificial intelligence to test your knowledge and then tailors the course to your needs. The app focuses on teaching you the practical vocabulary which you can use to carry out a normal conversation with a native speaker. When it comes to the learning process, Lingvist uses spaced repetition, flashcards, native sounding virtual voice, and other techniques to teach you the most prominent words of a language.


About The Author

, Language Learning Apps to Improve Listening, Lateral Communications
Michael Rost, principal author of Pearson English Interactive, has been active in the areas of language teaching, learning technology and language acquisition research for over 25 years. His interest in bilingualism and language education began in the Peace Corps in West Africa and was fuelled during his 10 years as an educator in Japan and extensive touring as a lecturer in East Asia and Latin America. Formerly on the faculty of the TESOL programs at Temple University and the University of California, Berkeley, Michael now works as an independent researcher, author, and speaker based in San Francisco.