Top 5 apps for learning English

views 1658date 28-02-24 Read Time: 8 min

Improving your English level today is not a problem if you have the desire. And you don’t need to hire a tutor or take a course. You can learn on your smartphone and there are many mobile applications available. There are platforms with different interfaces and learning approaches, paid and free, designed for different audiences. Before you find “your” app, you will need to try more than one option, sometimes combining two or three platforms that complement each other. To help you choose, here are five popular apps for learning English.


Duolingo, one of the most popular apps in the world, positions itself as a fun and interesting platform for learning foreign languages in a playful way. The application has a game-like interface, but behind the bright colors and childlike design is a high-quality, professional methodology that allows you to learn languages (and not just English) easily and effortlessly. The learning process is game-based: users go through short lessons in an interactive format, earning and accumulating points, receiving rewards – all the while improving their grammar, writing, reading and speaking skills.

If you take a closer look at Duolingo’s presentation, you can learn more about its scientifically proven approach, its compliance with international standards, and its unique methodologies that make learning both fun and effective. The game-based approach not only facilitates language learning, but also acts as a motivational tool to keep you on track and make learning a daily habit. The lesson plan, pace and style are all adapted to the student’s level. Duolingo works in a holistic way – it teaches good skills, helps you learn effectively, builds motivation and reinforces a positive attitude towards the whole learning process.

You can start using Duolingo for free. For advanced features, there is a paid subscription to Duolingo Plus.


The Babbel app helps you learn English, Polish and German and is suitable for users of all backgrounds. Before you start, you will be tested to determine your language level – this determines the learning plan and the complexity of the tasks. The platform is primarily focused on developing communication skills and communicating in a normal everyday environment.

The program is divided into short 20-minute lessons based on dialogues in different life situations. The emphasis is on speaking and listening, but some attention is paid to grammar and vocabulary development. Study cards and written exercises are used to reinforce the material. To correct pronunciation, the application has an automatic speech recognition option. To ensure that learning is not boring, moderate games and interactive elements are added. You can set reminders in the application so that you don’t miss lessons.

The developer emphasizes that if you choose Ukrainian as your native language, using the application is completely free (as of this writing). Given this nuance, Babbel may be especially useful for Ukrainians who find themselves abroad and need to use a foreign language in everyday life. Users from other countries can learn Babbel by purchasing a subscription.


Memrise is a world-renowned service that uses flashcards to build vocabulary in a non-boring format. The perception of words in an original context, close to life situations, forms easy-to-remember, stable associations. The platform is suitable for users of all ages and levels of language proficiency, including beginners. Simple and positive interface encourages active interaction, interactive elements interest and motivate to return to the application regularly for new achievements. To keep the user on track, the application develops a plan for each day and sends reminders.

The training plan is customized according to the user’s level of knowledge. Interactive tests in the application are used to consolidate the material. Much attention is paid to improving pronunciation – for this purpose the application has an automatic speech recognition function. An extensive database of videos with native speakers is offered to improve results. Memrise’s focus is on vocabulary and pronunciation, so you may want to choose another tool to improve your grammar skills.

You can learn English and other languages with Memrise for free. To extend the functionality and get more features, you need to purchase Memrise Pro premium access.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is a proven platform with a long history, designed for learning a foreign language without using the native language. The mobile application format implements an original method of learning new words and phrases without translation, and all content is in English only. The lessons are based on exercises to create an associative series. Some tasks must be performed intuitively, like a child who speaks his native language naturally.

The application helps to improve reading and listening skills, gives powerful practical skills. The main goal is to immerse the student in an English-speaking environment, teach him/her to think in English, and only then add theory, dictionaries and grammar. Speech recognition is used to improve pronunciation. There are also live chats with other students and native speakers. The least attention is paid to the theoretical aspects of grammar, but it can be improved with other tools.

Rosetta Stone has a free trial, but you must purchase a subscription to use the full application.


The application is designed for efficient language exchange with native speakers from all over the world. HelloTalk started as a useful technical tool for learning languages and later became a global community of speakers of more than 100 languages. In the application, people not only learn, but also find friends, learn more about the culture of different countries, have fun and spend time.

The platform has an unconventional concept – there are no classical learning exercises or grammar lessons, but there is a wide range of functionality for deepening practical conversation skills. This concept allows to organize mutual learning, where two users help each other to master their languages. You can find a conversation partner anywhere in the world, even in your own city.

Users communicate by sending text, voice, and video messages to their interlocutors-teachers and other students. To facilitate communication, the application offers translation, correction and transliteration of messages. To expand the circle of communication, you can meet in a virtual class in video or voice format, go live, write public posts about your successes and impressions of your studies.

The basic functionality of HelloTalk for learning a language with advertising is free. There is also a paid premium version that offers more features and removes functional limitations.

How to choose a mobile app for learning English

We’ve listed just five of the most popular mobile language learning apps – and that’s just a fraction of the tools out there. You can find dozens of different platforms on the App Store and Google Play, each with unique features. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the choices:

  • Identify your weaknesses and set specific goals for the app – improve your grammar, improve your spoken English, learn to understand English content, or increase your vocabulary;
  • Determine the learning format you prefer – games, interactive activities, video lessons, flashcards, or other;
  • Evaluate your financial options – how much you are willing to spend for a subscription or premium access;
  • Familiarize yourself with application descriptions in stores, read reviews on the Internet, consult your friends, and select a few products that meet your needs;
  • Test the selected applications, evaluate their speed, interface usability, useful features, and subscription price;
  • Pay attention to your subjective feelings while using the application, as your comfort and positive perception will determine your activity and motivation in learning.

Pick one or two apps you like best and start learning. If something goes wrong, switch platforms and try again. Fortunately, there is a wide range of language learning apps to choose from. The important thing is not to stop, because all learning requires persistence.