Tag Archives: review

Brief Review of Language Learning Apps for iPod Touch and iPhone

ipod_touch.jpgI recently combed through the Apple App store to look for free versions of language learning apps that were good to use with language studies. Here’s a list of apps I downloaded and tried out on the iPod touch (with reactions listed under comments- images by Sir Stig-CC licensed):


Name of App Paid Version Available Comments
24/7 Tutor Lite Yes,  $7.99 I liked the content, but the organization is a little boring to somebody that has used language learning software. Audio, quiz, flashcard, puzzle components.
Arabic pod 101 (pocket Arabic Yes, $4.99 I liked the content but the layout was boring. If iPod has recording abilities, can record
audio in some of the exercises, has audio. Can add words to word bank (words that are already in lessons).
Hiragana Lite No, only free version in App Store Very basic flashcards. Drag flashcards across screen, drag them up to see the answer.
Touchcards Yes, $.99, and $1.99 Good for creating new lists of vocab. Can import from Quizlet, Studystack, and Google Docs. Interface is not appealing
7 Jours Yes, $4.99 This app is suppose to allow you to learn French through News on TV5Monde, but it never loaded after it asked for my location. It looks promising though (video, audio).
CherokeeLite Yes, pay to upgrade to get more words I liked the simple basic layout of this app. Has audio.
Michel Thomas Method Yes, $4.99 (Hour1, Hour 2, Hour 3-$14.99 (4-8 hours) I liked this app. It has the audio from his series and I like the
flashcards that go over the audio lessons. If you are a fan of his other products, you will like this app. Easy to use and nice layout.
ChineseBiz No, Only free version in App Store All text. The layout is slightly confusing, and it has a dictionary. Mainly flashcard review. No audio.
ChinesePod No, only Free Verso in App Store, but you can purchase package lessons I don’t like that it prompts you to log in to an account you can create to save (but you can use without an account). Content is good, but the delivery of content in the podcast may feel like it’s dragging on.
iPronunciation and Translation No, only free version in App Store This app is a simple look up word dictionary for 53 languages and it pronounces the words you look up. Audio for pronunciation did not work.
German FlashCards Lite(Declan Software) Yes, $14.95 Other languages available. Good for word review (audio, phrases, and spelling). Did not like the layout. Has audio. Paid version you can add more word lists.app is a little pricey for what it can do compared to other apps.
MemWords- Memorize Words- In Spanish Yes, $6.99 I liked the content and layout of this app. Has a dictionary ,flashcards, audio, and games. Set to only learn 20 words a day.
Gengo Lite Flashcard No, only free version in App Store You have to guess what the word means in each flashcard, no formal text word is shown to you. Has audio and images. I would not recommend for beginners.
AccellaStudy Essentials by AccelaStudy Yes, $4.99 I like the layout of the lessons. It has audio, flash cards, spaced repetition, quiz, audio quiz,and you have access to the dictionary app inside this app to look up words. Very nicely laid out and good content.
Kana Lite No, only free version in App Store Has audio and flashcards. Also has a quiz that records your score. Not bad layout and decent for review.Has ads at the top.
Prometoys Limited-Word of the Day No, only free version in App Store Just text, random words. No audio for pronunciation. Has a  game where you spell the words you learned by dragging and dropping the letters to spell words. Not good if you are looking for  pronunciation and phrases. Basic layout.
LangLearner LLC Yes, $4.99 Flashcards and audio. The layout is not appealing, and the images are poor. Good for audio basics for getting around town and on travel.
Kana Tap No, only free version in App Store Only a multiple choice review, no audio, no images.
iReview Flashcards No, only free version in App Store Just type in text, no audio. Review using flashcard method. Layout is awkward. 
Babbel Mobile Yes, €5.99 (Lifetime Advanced and Basic package Needed to register, so I was not able to view the app.
Word Power Lite Yes, $.99 Basic info, did not like the layout or content. Had audio, and was in a flashcard format. I could not record audio and play it back. Ended up deleting from iPod Touch.
Japanese Phrases FREE (TheJapanesePage.com) Yes, $9.99 Has audio, quizzes, study bank, and flashcards. Did not like the overall layout of the app. Ended up deleting it from iPod Touch.
Study Arcade Yes, $4.99 Good for collecting information on different phrases for languages (even though language learning is not this apps focus). Since these are so many options, it’s very hard to navigate for basic use. Ended up deleting it from iPod Touch.


Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web

compare_3_lang_learn.pngVery Brief Review of Three Language Learning Communities Available On the Web: LiveMocha, Busuu, and Hello-Hello

Livemocha, Hello-Hello.com and Busuu.com have free accounts you can sign up for. Each gives you lessons with a vocab review, a writing exercise, an audio exercise, and a chance to have the exercises graded by native speakers (you as a native speaker of a language have the ability to grade others as well) and to chat with native speakers to practice your new found language skills (not available in Hello-Hello.com just yet). Both LiveMocha and Busuu have paid subscriptions where you can have access to more contention and more advanced lessons. Here are some of the differences between the three services:



  • At free level ,able to download vocab lists from the site
  • More languages are available to you to learn at free level (like Arabic and Hindi)
  • Have more flashcards to review and fill in the black word exercises at free level to help you retain vocab and helps you with writing and audio exercises
  • Chat with native speakers
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community



  • The vocab is not conversational in nature (you say things like I am fat, and I am thin)



  • Vocab is conversational in nature. You learn things like hello, how are you. Welcome. Good day. What is your name?
  • To help with comprehension and vocab review, you are quizzed on a conversation a few people are having in that language. It is spoken at the normal pace and with the vocab you learned.
  • Chat with native speakers.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Written exercises
  • Graded by the community


  • Free subscription limits you to only a few languages.
  • To download vocab and print it (like  flashcard review), you need the paid service (also get podcasts with paid service)
  • There is not enough vocab review exercises to prep you for the written and audio exercises. I felt that I retained little when I went into the written exercises and audio exercises.





  • The exercises are very practical and conversation in nature.
  • You can create flash cards for each lesson.
  • You can write notes in the notes section in each lesson.
  • Written exercises.
  • Speaking exercises where you record yourself.
  • Graded by the community (you can also ask questions as you go along in each lesson that can be answered by the community too).
  • There also a dictionary and a translator section built into the design
  • Hello-Hello collaborated with the ACTFL (The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) to make this community.
  • Totally free. No upgrade to a paid subscription to access more lessons.



  • You do no have a traditional list of vocab like LiveMocha. You absorb the conversation but there’s a translation box under the lesson. This could be hard for beginners.
  • You can not chat with a native speaker (but this function will be available soon)
  • The audio files did not work in Google Chrome (this may be fixed with future updates to the site)
  • You are limited to a few language choices to learn (English, French Portuguese, Spanish)