A lot has happened in the world of apps since I last blogged on apps for language learning, a year ago. http://blog.linguarama.com/post/2011/12/07/Apps-for-Language-Learning.aspx
Sales of desktop computers are falling, while sales of Smartphones and tablets continue to rise. Every day sees the launch of new apps. This post looks at four apps which have recently caught my eye, focussing on the four language skills.
Speaking - Dragon Dictation
Dragon Dictation is a free ‘speech to text app’. You speak into your mobile device and your words appear onscreen – or an approximation of what you say, depending on how clearly you deliver the words! This can be motivating for students away from their classroom, as they are motivated to rehearse and improve their speaking efforts in order to achieve better accuracy.
Reading - Flipboard
The Flipboard app creates a personalised magazine. First, you select your areas of interest – business for example. Each time you open the app, fresh articles will appear, alongside entries from messages to your social media sites Facebook and Twitter.
Listening - Podcast
I recently downloaded an app simply called Podcast. Whether you like to catch up to regular news summaries or follow business stories, this is a great app for listening on the move. You can pause a podcast at will, and listen to sections again.
Writing - Evernote
I was at a conference recently, and noticed someone taking notes on her iPad. She was using the well-known app Evernote. She shared her notes, and suddenly, all her hard work suddenly appeared on my tablet! It was a thrilling moment, as it made me realise how students in a business English class can easily share notes using such apps, or work together to complete a set of notes taken at a meeting simulation.
This month sees the launch of a new eBook entitled ‘Apptivities for business English’. It was written by Barney Barrett, a business English teacher at Marcus Evans Linguarama, and myself and contains many more ideas for business English teachers to use apps in the classroom, and for students to use on the road. See: http://the-round.com/resource/apptivities-for-business-english/
Happy Apping !