Tips From an Irvine Academic Tutor: 5 Apps for ESL Students

These days there are students from all around the world learning in US classrooms. These students will find it challenging to take all of their classes in English and can benefit from any extra help to improve their English language skills so that their academic and social life becomes easier. There are tons of apps out there for ESL students that they can use to practice on their own or in the classroom. Regardless of the student’s age or skill level, ESL apps can make school life easier for both student and teacher.


1 – SentenceBuilder for iPad

Sentence builder is aimed towards students in elementary school. This app helps students create sentences that are grammatically correct and focuses on connector work. There was a huge part of American English and can help a student speak and write more clearly. When students are learning English they can benefit from images, and this app offers several pictures to help students create sentences around. The app also offers animation and audio clips to make the experience more fun. SentenceBuilder has three levels to help students encounter more challenging content as they progress. $5.99.

2 – Intro to Letters, by Montessorium

This app is aimed towards students of varying ages and allows users to record their own voices and save the recordings for future study sessions. The instructions for the recording studio portion of the app can be translated into over 40 languages. Children can benefit from this app by working on basic consonants and vowels, or ABC’s, phonics, and the basics of the English language. $4.99.

3 – Conversation English

Conversation English represents basic situational English in a cell phone text format. There are over 20 situational/conversational English scenarios. One of the most important things for ESL students is to become fluent and to understand idioms and slang, topics covered throughout this app’s lessons. Each lesson contains elements of the following five skill sets: conversation listening, conversation reading, vocabulary, comprehension, and sentence completion. $2.99.

4 – Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English – 5th Edition

This app presents definitions in plain language English and provides photos and images to help ESL students understand the correct usage of the word or term. The dictionary offers over 200,000 words, terms, and phrases to help student vastly improve their vocabulary. This app also highlights words that are most commonly used in the English language, helping ESL students choose which synonym they need to get their point across and become fluent. ESL students studying for the SAT or ACT may benefit from the academic word list, which is geared towards students looking for improvement in the academic environment. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English also offers vocabulary words from colloquial English to help students understand how American Speakers talk in everyday common conversations and eventually improve fluency. This app is very expensive as compared to other apps and is priced at $29.99.

5 – Hello-Hello Complete

This app offers 30 lessons on conversational English to help students improve their speaking skills. It also offers 1,000 vocab words to help users progress through their English language vocabulary. To keep users interested, this app offers animations and interactive elements. Students will also be able to create their own customized notes that they can save and come back to later for review. This app is free to Hello-Hello subscribers.

Tutoring “English as a Second Language” (ESL) students requires a specific type of background; a type of background our ESL tutors have! Call us today to learn why our Orange County ESL tutors are the best in SoCal.

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