IPads Apps

HFC Level 3/ 4 students working with IPads . Photo by M . Yanez

HFC Level 3/ 4 students working with IPads. Photo by M . Yanez


This page lists apps that teachers or students have found to be helpful.  If you have used an app listed here – or if you want us to add one to our list,  please feel free to post a comment with your reviews.

The list below shows all apps currently installed on our iPads (used in our classrooms). Most of our iPad apps are free, so students (and teachers!) can download the same versions to their iPhone or iPad. Android phones have versions of many of these apps as well – or something similar to them. We have noted when we purchased any premium-level apps that have additional functionality (for example, the Bitsboard app).

Keep checking this page —- will be adding more apps!  Any recent additions are marked with an asterisk. *

  • *American  English Pronunciation For Koreans, – great exercises to help isolate and practice specific sounds hat cause problems for non-native speakers. Although title indicates for Koreans, the sound exercises are useful for all ESL learners.  We paid for full version (1.99) but there is a free partial version and 3 other free  versions that students can use for a limited set of consonants and vowels   ( For Germans, For Vietnamese , For Chinese)
  • BitsboardMany games and flashcards to help you learn new vocabulary.  Bitsboard is so popular with our students that we have dedicated a specific page to it =>  Bitsboard Info. They can also use this app to practice phonics, tell time, count money.   (Lots of free features, but we have purchased access to *premium* collection, which is not available in the free version.)
  • Comparative Adjectives – use to learn basic adjectives, make comparative and superlatives forms
  • English Grammar in Use – app for the popular Raymond Murphy book. First 6 units are available under free app (Present Continuous, Present Simple, Present Continuous vs  Present Simple,  Past Simple and Past continuous)
  • English Grammar Test – lets you practice lots of English forms especially verb tenses. Latest update added grammar instructional guides to the existing exercises.  Slight bug in the first set of Irregular Verbs exercises. The titles of Past Simple and Past Participle are reversed.
  • English Pronunciation – Otterwave   – Lets you improve your pronunciation by comparing your speech with samples. Visual breakdown of phrases all the way down to specific letter sounds.
  • Three levels of ” English in Use” activities apps – all have many exercises to practice vocabulary words
  • Free English Idioms –  Set of videos describing idioms.  Videos (around 3-4 minutes) can take one idiom (“like a rolling stone” ) and explain it  or can take a topic (“heart to heart”) and discuss several idioms that reference the heart.
  • Google Translate – type in words / phrases to translate. Use  camera to instantly translate documents (this is the newer version of Word Lens )
  • Idioms Lite – has a comprehensive alphabetical list of idioms under “Study” with meaning and an example. “Topic” and “Test” are quizzes on common idioms.  Not ideal app to let students learn on own (list is too extensive) but quizzes could be used as a class instructional exercise
  • Job Interview App – Question and Answer Prep – this is not an ESL app but can be very effective in an ESL classroom especially to practice listening and speaking skills. It has short, to the point mentoring videos for different interview “tips”. Also has flashcards for common interview questions with tips on answers and finally some videos where student is asked a question and can record his answer.
  • Phrasalstein – using Frankstein as a comic inspiration to describe many phrasal verbs
  • Phrasal Verb Machine – similar to Phrasalstein but has some different phrasal verbs
  • Help with Words and Sentences” by KKR Software.   – has exercises to help you with word and sentence comprehension, and on how to structure a sentence correctly.
  • Learn English By Listening –  many short articles that you can listen and read along with. Has 6 different levels of reading difficulty.
  • Phonics Studio – helps practice phonic sounds  – at beginning, middle and end of words
  • Phonics Genius – another app that helps you with the sounds of English
  • Prepositions 12   and 3   by Criteria – Uses pictures to convey the mental images behind prepositional meanings.  Discusses meaning for different dimensional spaces
  • Oxford Picture Dictionary – Yes …. the same picture dictionary we know and love from our classroom.  The free app gives you the entire first unit and you can use the audio to hear and practice  the words. The free app also allows you to translate to Spanish  (sorry no other language available)
  • Sounds: The Pronunciation – you can listen to the individual sounds of the English Language. It’s very tied to IPA so probably not suitable for most lower level classes but can be used for intensive Pronunciation classes
  • Word Lens – point your IPad camera to printed text and it instantly translates to your selected language. A few languages are available for free  (This has been replaced by Google translate but we have both versions on the IPad)