Apps for a Language Classroom

Programs that helps students learn - and enjoy learning!

App #1: mobl21

mobl21, labelled as "mobile learning made easy," allows students to create quizzes, study guides and concept cards - all on their phone or computer. This app facilitates communication amongst students and their teachers, as it is easily published, and can thus be used to clarify concepts or ideas discussed in class.


In the K-12 setting, mobl21 can be used for class projects, study prep and much more. As a high school teacher, I would ask my students to prepare a study guide or series of flash cards to prepare for an upcoming exam, or even to reiterate what has been learned in class. I would encourage students to test out each other's quizzes to prepare for the real deal, or even assign presentations so as to strengthen the students' peer teaching skills and allow them to teach one another.


mobl21 can be downloaded for free at http://www.mobl21.com, and is available for Apple products, Android and Blackberry. Click on the link below the image to view a tutorial on how to make a quiz on mobl21.

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App #2: VoiceThread

VoiceThread Conversations in the Cloud is an app that allows students to use technology to support their ideas. With an app specifically for K-12 schooling, VoiceThread is an interactive forum for students to post text and creative works.


In the K-12 setting, VoiceThread can be used most notably for projects that demand a certain level or creativity and sharing of content knowledge. Because the app is interactive, students can comment on one another's posts and make suggestions. In my classroom, I would make creative projects based on a literary work, and ask students to reenact a scene from a play we have read in class (skits are a very popular activity in the French classroom). This is a great app of students who may be shy performing in front of an audience, as we can watch the videos in-class!


All VoiceThread requires for use is Adobe Flash. With over 50 options of creating media, students will want to work on their projects. Sign up for VoiceThread today (as an individual or school) at https://voicethread.com.

App #3: SimpleMind

SimpleMind is a brainstorming app that collects ideas and visually formats them. With the ability to analyze concepts, take notes and add media, this app truly caters to all learners, whatever their interests and needs.


In the K-12 setting, SimpleMind is a wonderful tool to determine where students are in terms of understanding course content. As a language teacher, I would have my students make a quick mind map at the end of a difficult class on heavy content. Because it is easy to slip behind in French, I need to ensure my students understand the language itself, and what we are covering in class. SimpleMind would allow me to gauge students' strengths and needs on a given topic.


SimpleMind can be used on Apple products, Android and Blackberry. It requires users to purchase a license, which can be done on their website at http://www.simpleapps.eu/simplemind/.

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App #4: Grammarly

Grammarly is an advanced word processing and correction app that helps students of all ages improve their writing. With the ability to correct spelling, verb tenses and clarity, Grammarly is a must-have in the language classroom.


In the K-12 setting, Grammarly is especially useful for students who have specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, as well as students who favour written tasks over oral or aural stimuli. In my language classroom (and at home), I would encourage students to use Grammarly to take notes, work on projects and write essays. Grammarly shows students their mistakes, and where they need to make corrections, effectively providing them with one-on-one writing training and advice. Grammarly is only available in English at the moment, and while I would certainly use it in my English class, I hope a French version is in the works.


Grammarly can be downloaded onto Safari or as a Microsoft Word add-on. The app is free for all users and can be found at https://www.grammarly.com. Check out Grammarly on Twitter below for tips and tricks on writing.

App #5: Socrative

Socrative is a quiz and poll app that allows teachers to view student progress as it happens. It creates reports based on student answers, therefore providing insight as to what students understand, and what they need to work on more.


In the K-12 setting, Socrative is a fun alternative to the traditional pencil and paper test. Students are able to use their mobile devices to answer questions, and receive instant feedback. In my classroom, I would use Socrative at the beginning of a module to determine what students already know, and in the middle of a module to understand what needs to be covered before the unit exam. I especially like that I can create my own content, and actually visualize my students' standings.


Socrative simply requires users to create an account or download the app on http://www.socrative.com. Click below to watch a comprehensive video on Socrative.

Socrative Tutorial 2015 NEW