Improve your English vocabulary with memes and quizzes
PROS: From TOEFL practice to phrasal verbs, Memrise offers a variety of courses with flashcards. Take courses created by other members or create your own course. Memrise has a scientific algorithm that interrupts your study flow and quizzes you on words and definitions. You can choose a picture (meme) or add your own to help you remember vocabulary. Memrise is free, but a paid account offers more activities.
CONS: Memrise doesn’t help much with other skills (speaking, reading, writing, listening). Vocabulary is about all you will learn from Memrise.
Learn English with videos and visuals
PROS: English Attack! offers fun, addictive English lessons that build your vocabulary and provide valuable listening and reading practice. If you want to improve your ability to read and listen to English, there’s hardly a better app. You can take a free trial, but the app requires a monthly subscription.
CONS: As with most apps, English Attack! doesn’t help you practice speaking! From an pedagogical standpoint, there are a lot of problems—the vocabulary definitions are too hard, advanced vocabulary is too easy. Some games crash or don’t work at all.
Free chat with random native speakers in English, Spanish and French
On Lingbe, you can make or take phone calls with random native speakers in English, Spanish and French.
PROS: No searching through profiles, scheduling meetups or back-and-forth. Simply press the button and voila, start practicing with a native speaker. It’s easiest to find partners in Spanish and English.
CONS: Without video and text chat, it can be difficult to understand your partner if neither one of you have a good level of fluency in the common language. Since you’re randomly paired, your speaking partner may not share your interests.
Write texts in your target language and get corrections from native speakers!
On Talkalang, you can find language partners, receive text corrections in the language you are learning and correct texts in your native language.
PROS: There’s already a global user base with members from Costa Rica, France, Italy, Belgium, the United States and England.
CONS: Unfortunately for Talkalang, the Lang-8 language network has them beat. It’s much easier to find friends and get corrections on the long-established language learning network, Lang-8.
Over 1,000 English idiom flashcards for your smartphone!
IdiomLand has just released version 2.0 after launching months ago as an idiom game.
PROS: In its current iteration, IdiomLand offers 1,000+ fun, engaging and retro-designed idiom vocabulary cards and examples. Unlike most idiom lists you find on the web, Idiom Land only includes idioms that native speakers actually use. If you’re in doubt, just browse through the video cards where you’ll see these very idioms used in some of the most popular films made in the English language.
CONS: It’s only a supplemental tool and won’t help you develop fluency in English.
Chat with other English learners anytime!
Howdoyou.do offers language exchange via text, audio and video chat.
PROS: Whether you login at 2 a.m. or 2 p.m., there’s always someone interesting to chat with. For native English speakers learning Arabic, Hindi, Vietnamese or Thai – you’re in luck, as you’ll find a treasure trove of individuals to practice with. For everyone else, you can try your hand in the group chat.
CONS: There’s hardly ever a native English speaker on the site to practice with. And heads-up ladies, keep an eye out for the occasional virtual “cat-call.”
Learn English with the news!
Nulu Languages takes a common daily habit—reading the news and turns it into a highly effective tool to teach English and Spanish.
PROS: Nulu is a more effective version of FluentU. Users can listen to or read short news articles in Business, Technology, Sports or Entertainment in 3 levels-Easy, Medium or Hard. Quizzes and instant translations ensure that you understand and remember the new words your learn.
CONS: While Nulu is highly effective, at $15 per month it’s easily replaceable with freebies like Bliu Bliu .