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The 19 Best Apps to Learn ESL Online

EnglishLanguagesSkillsTop List

There are many great apps to learn ESL online, but the best place to learn ESL online is still in a classroom with a qualified teacher. However, if you can’t make it to a class or you want to supplement your learning, there are some great apps out there.

One of the best things about using apps to learn is that they’re usually very affordable, and many of them are even free. You can also learn at your own pace and in your own time, which is great if you have a busy schedule.

Here are some of the best apps to learn ESL online:

1. Memrise

Memrise is a free app with excellent user-generated content developed by language teachers. Memrise uses mnemonic techniques to help learners memorize content and connect it to their lives. The game-like approach helps to incentivize learners, pushing them to earn points and to “level up” in the language they choose to learn. 

2. Duolingo

One of the best English learning apps is Duolingo. Duolingo breaks its language learning down into units and lessons within those units. It may feel repetitive for students wanting to learn quicker, but its “Stories” feature and “conversation” feature can help those students with critical vocabulary. 

3. Drops

While less helpful for grammar and writing skills, “Drops” is helpful for younger visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners struggling with vocabulary in English. The free version allows you up to ten minutes a day of intensive vocabulary study within different themed units. Paying for “Drops” will allow you more time to study each day, but many users find competing against the clock helps motivate them. 

4. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone now operates on a subscription model, giving learners access to their language material on an affordable paid basis starting at $7.99 per month. Particularly good for adults or teenagers feeling overwhelmed with progressing from the basics, Rosetta Stone helps you learn as if you were a younger learner and gives you access to a high-quality native speaker environment with its live stream feature. 

love to learn written on a pencil shaped sign

5. Babbel

Babbel has both a paid and free version but many users are happy with the free version. Babbel’s focus on conversation skills and pronunciation will be welcome for students seeking to use English skills in their own lives. Babbel’s repetition methods may be boring for some users, but this old-school method still works. 

6. Italki

Italki is a platform run out of Hong Kong, China that puts learners in touch with a vast community of native speaker tutors. Good for both old and young, Italki helps you find a tutor who can work with you according to your schedule, learning style, and language goals. Community tutors start their lessons at just five dollars while teachers start their lessons at just 10, making Italki affordable and a great place to learn. 

7. Busuu

Busuu is perfect for beginners and learners on the go. Linguists designed this app, so its content is effective, and it balances the needed skills of language learning. It also connects you to native English speakers for conversational practice. And its subscription starts at just $5.83 a month. 

8. Udemy

Udemy, a massive site offering several online courses, is for older learners seeking to perfect their English. Its user-generated courses originate from several certified teachers, making Udemy a good way to find affordable resources for your specific ESL needs as an adult learner. 

9. Tandem

Tandem is like a mobile pen-pal as an app. You can learn English online while helping someone else improve their language skills. Tandem takes out the nerve-wracking element of conversation and allows you to warm up your language skills with messages to fellow students. The best part: it’s completely cost-free. 

10. FluentU

FluentU not only offers lessons and vocabulary but helps place the learning in context by providing high-quality media immersion. FluentU uses media that native speakers engage with, providing students with a crucial component that can be hard to find: high-quality input. FluentU may be more expensive at $19.99 a month but can help professionals and older learners seeking to leap to understanding media and language in everyday use. 

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Memrise is a free app with excellent user-generated content developed by language teachers.

"Hello, my pronouns are..." written on a whiteboard

11. HelloTalk

HelloTalk has developed an outstanding reputation in the past year and deserves it. It gets you in the thick of exchanging language quickly; just fill out a profile and it will suggest users with similar goals and interests and you can be on your way to fluency in conversation. 

12. ChatterBug

ChatterBug is the only app of its kind, offering media and immersive video recordings along with its lessons entirely for free. So, if you wanted to use FluentU for learning English but felt intimidated by the cost, ChatterBug is the solution for you!

13. OkyDoky

OkyDoky, even though it is free, has an element missing in many language apps: choice. Instead of forcing you to start with material you may already know, OkyDoky allows you, through its easy-to-navigate interface, to choose what you would like to learn. So, if you want to engage in English learning through complicated verbs and tenses, you can skip colors and foods and go straight to your desired learning material!

14. Cram

There is a reason people still use flashcards – they work! But you do not have to waste paper or spend time writing them anymore – just use Cram for free. If you want to review and learn English vocabulary quickly and effectively using this time-tested method, Cram is a great app for you. 

15. MosaLingua

MosaLingua is an app for learners at all stages and adapts its approach based on your performance in its lessons. Its algorithm adjusts to your recall skills and helps you memorize the vocabulary, grammar, and language features you need. It also offers two versions, but try the free version before you subscribe and unlock further content. 

16. Slowly

Slowly is another excellent app to complement learning from lesson-based apps. Slowly lets you mimic the process of writing and sending a letter to digital pen pals – so you can practice writing long-form content in English with several people and enjoy another old yet effective means of English learning. To sweeten the deal Slowly is also cost-free. 

"read more" written in blocks

17. Studycat

Studycat makes English learning fun for young, beginning learners with its aesthetically pleasing appearance and child-oriented user interface. Trusted by millions of families, Studycat can help your child start learning English with its proven educational methods for just 14.99 a month.

18. Beelinguapp

Beelinguapp focuses on one aspect of language learning but does it well: reading. Beelinguapp uses parallel text to help learners get used to reading in another language, so, with its excellent free version, this is the perfect app to help your English learning through reading comprehension skills. 

19. Amphy

And of course, Amphy is one of the best apps to learn English with. With our vast offering focusing on different skills and aspects of learning English and verified teachers instructing these classes, Amphy has something for everyone. You can take just one class to refine your skills or find a teacher teaching several. Either way, it is one of the best English learning platforms on the internet. 

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