5 Useful iPad Apps For ESL Students

Getting the hang of a new language is tough. As someone attempting to re-learn French, I can say this without absolute certainty. Lucky for students like myself, technology is a huge help. It makes it easier to hear a native speaker ‘pronounce’ something for you. It lets you Skype with people in the country whose language you’re attempting to master. (Okay ‘master’ is a charitable word. How about ‘learn’ for now.)

When you’re talking about language learning here in the U.S., you’re talking about ESL most of the time. When you’re talking about technology, you’re talking iPad. So, why not feature a few iPad apps for ESL students that I have tried out and find to be quite useful? The below list is hopefully going to help you tackle English or could be used to simply brush up on your grammar or vocabulary. In any case, language learning is a lot more fun on the iPad – so why not try these out?

WordBook XL – English Dictionary & Thesaurus for iPad – This one is by far one of the most elaborate apps for iPad available. It has audio, etymologies, anagrams, synonyms, anagrams, bookmarking, and refrence-saving for ease of use. Worth checking out just for the audio, by the way!

ipad wordbook xl

Sentence Builder for iPad – One of the most popular ESL iPad apps available, Sentence Builder is best for younger students (elementary school, mostly) who want to be challenged with grammar and vocabulary. It asks you to build sentences and construct them based on videos and images.


Intro to Letters – Another useful one for younger students, Intro to Letters is probably the simplest but effective methods of learning English. It lets you browse through all the letters of the English alphabet and helps you understand what each means, does, and how it’s used by showing you flashcards and puzzles. You can even learn to write the letter thanks to a tracing program. That’s my favorite part!

intro to letters app

Hello-Hello English – This app-app is great! Couldn’t resist. Hello-Hello English was built in part by The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages so you can count on it being authoritative and useful. It is one of the most useful for helping you earn your stripes in conversational English. In other words, it’s great for actually learning to speak English so you can get around in an English-speaking country. Free to download but courses cost extra.

esl app

Berlitz My English Coach for iPad – One of the biggest names in ESL and language learning in general, Berlitz has created the My English Coach for iPad app with all ranges of students in mind. It features phrases, questions, answers, practice chats, history, and geography lessons in an effort to bolster your English skills.


Have you used your iPad to learn a language? Which app would you recommend? Let us (and all the other Edudemic readers) know about it down in the comments!


  1. Anastasia Koltai

    February 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Great apps I didn’t know about. Thank you very much!

  2. Ramona

    February 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Duolingo is far and away my favorite app ever. I’m learning Spanish at a rapid pace. It’s available for iPhone and online(duolingo.com) I know Android is coming later this spring and I hope iPad is soon to follow. In addition to Spanish, they have German, Italian, Portuguese, French and English. And it’s free!

  3. Becki Benedict

    March 4, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Nice apps for ESL students. Thanks for posting.