Thursday, December 13, 2012

New ESL App Teaches Business English & Everyday English

A new iPad app for ESL learners -
a very handy tool for self-study
Wow, the new iPad app Say it Better in English really "packs a punch!" It teaches over 300 American English expressions, idioms and phrasal verbs.

The app is the perfect tool for those who need to improve their business English. The app teaches useful expressions related to participating in meetings, talking on the telephone, and dealing with everyday issues at the office. The app also includes hundreds of expressions related to daily life, in areas including shopping, traveling and socializing.

Lively cartoons show how each expression is used in real-life situations. When the learner taps the speaker icon, the cartoon comes to life with native English speakers reading the text aloud. Each expression has two additional usage examples that include audio. Interactive quizzes give immediate feedback with reward icons.

Users can customize their learning experience with the help of a study set feature. Users can add expressions they want to keep studying to the customized study set. A bookmark feature lets users continue studying where they left off.

Users can study by category, with the expressions grouped into categories include: On the Telephone, Travel, Shopping, At the Office, Socializing, Time, and others.

The app is designed to let users study English for as little as 15 minutes a day. That's about how long it takes to go through a block of 10 expressions and then take a quiz.

A lite version of the iPad app is available for free. The full version at $9.99 teaches 312 expressions, while the free version teaches 10.

The bottom line is, you get a lot of bang for your buck and learn a lot of useful English with the Say it Better in English app.

Download the app

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

English by Radio Offers a Fun Way to Improve your English

One of the 8 new apps using radio broadcasts
as a learning tool for ESL students.
English by Radio offers a new series of mobile apps to help ESL learners improve their English. The initial launch consists of eight apps, each featuring an eposide of an old-time popular radio program — including an episode from Gunsmoke, a crime drama, a comedy, and a sciece fiction drama.

The app lets you listen to the radio show at either regular speed (which will be too fast for most ESL students, at least listening for the first few times) and slow speed (just right for ESL students!).

As you listen to the show, you see the text on screen so you can read along. Target vocabulary is highlighted. For example, all idioms are in green text. Tap on "wipe him out" and you get the entire phrase plus the definition: to wipe one out - to destroy someone financially. Non-standard pronunciation is also highlighted. For example, tap on "gonna" and you'll learn that it's a relaxed pronuncation of "going to." The app also provides a handy master list of vocabulary, idioms, and slang so you can study them before you start listening to the radio show. There's also a short grammar lesson and a comprehension quiz included.

These apps are a fun way to practice English. They'll help ESL students improve their comprehension and build their American English vocabulary. And it's nice that these old radio broadcasts -- long forgotten by most Americans -- have been dusted off and are getting a new life with a new audience!

The price per app is $2.99. Click here to access the Gunsmoke app on iTunes