Applications for students learning Second languages

with a focus on Spanish and English

Making Learning More Engaging

Word Reference

Word Reference is an excellent app and website resource for students who want to learn a second language. This is because it does not act as a translation tool, it is a dictionary tool that gives you many examples and contexts that each word can be used in. The examples are translated in your native tongue as well as the toungue of the language you are trying to learn. This is an extremely educational tool in this way. It not a translation crutch; it is more like training wheels.

Sentence Builder

Grammar is hard, especailly in an unfamiliar language. Sentence builder is an ESL aimed app for any type of student facing beginner sentence structure. It is a game that focuses on areas of sentence structure that many ESL students struggle with. This is an amazing app that students can take with them and play with in and out of class on their mobile device to help them practice this difficult aspect of learning a language.

Qué Onda

This app is an excellent resource for beginner spanish vocabulary. It includes vocab lists, quizes, and hangman games for words such as family members, colours, animals and weather. I play with this app all the time on my phone, it helps even I review beginner spanish that I may be losing a grasp on at a higher level. This app is something I would use as an optional homework assignment, I could tell my students to go over a few vocab word lists and warn them of a pop quiz that will mimic those same words next week.


This app is cool because you can make your own quizes and cue cards. Unfortunately it costs money after a limited trial so I was unable to play with it very much. I think that this app would be worth buying though because you can custimize it to any subject and therefore it could not only be used for second language courses but also for subjects such as biology and music.


If students do need to use any translation app for any reason, this is the one I recommend. The ability to switch between the language quickly as you wish is an exceptional option. I enjoy using this app to translate from the language I am learning back into English so that I can tell if I am making sense or not. I do not support translation tool 100% of the time, but in moderation they are okay. They still act as learning tools and I have learned a lot of sentence structure from it and also the conjugations of many irregular verbs. They are a good last minute resource in sticky situations and I would be okay with my students using it if they were absolutely stuck.

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