Resources for the ESL Classroom
                     iPad Apps & Websites

                                     Region 8 Education Service Center - Pittsburg, Texas
                                          Karey Brown- Instructional Technology Specialist

Looking for Apps and Websites to help your students?   Below you will find a resources to use in the classroom.  Of course this is not an all inclusive list, but its a good place to start!  Feel free to share your favorite apps and websites for students in the Tackk stream below.

Free iOS Apps

Did you know? Apple requires their developers to offer their apps for Free or For Sale at least once a year. Cool huh? The kicker: they do not have to notify us when the apps are free or on sale. So with that in mind, here are a few websites and apps to help you find those Free apps! *

These sources provide timely information on app price reductions:

  • and the AppShopper app provide many search options. I like thePopular Price Changes in Education page. You can limit that page to just iPhone or iPad apps. Education isn't the only app category with great apps for students, so you it might be worth checking out Popular Price Changes in All Categories. AppShopper is nice enough to provide web feeds for these price reduction lists.
  • Twitter users frequently share apps they have found on sale. Even if you don't have a Twitter account, you can search Twitter for #edapp free to see if there are any current deals.
  • iTunes lists Top Free Apps in Education (and top free apps for all other categories). Apps that are on sale often climb to the top of the Top Free Apps lists as users grab them before the price reverts back to paid.
  • FreeAppAlert tracks paid iPhone apps that just became free. You can get their alertsvia email if you'd like. Similarly there's Free App a Day, but it focuses mainly on games.

Resources for finding Free Apps

Apps Gone Free

I Like Free Apps


Free AppTracker

* If you are a member of TCEA and join their iPads in the Classroom community page, Lori Gracey provides a list of free apps daily.

Current list of TCEA recommended iPad apps by category

The Hunt for the best Apps:

The iTunes store is full of apps, but if you have ever spent anytime searching through it, it can be confusing and frustrating.

This article explains the best way to muddle through the iTunes store. Of course, you can always Google, but i prefer to use You can sort by apps, categories, podcasts and more. Try it!  

iPad Apps

Apps for everything!

QR Reader for iPad - Create vocabulary lessons, link to websites, videos and more all with the creation of a QR code. Create your QR code at, then students use their iPads to "read" the code and complete the activity or assignment.

Tellagami - Tellagami is a mobile app that lets you create and share a quick animated video called a Gami.  A Gami can be an exciting tweet or status update. It can be a fun way to tell a story. It can be a thank you message or a vacation postcard. It can be a birthday greeting, party invite or cool way to share photos. The possibilities are endless!

Gabit - Talking Cartoon Creator Free - Design your character, record audio and animate. It's that easy!

Chatterpix- Make anything Talk

Office Online for iPads - If you like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel add these apps from the iTunes Store.  

MindMapping Apps:

Popplet Lite- Great for work. Great for school. Popplet is a platform for your ideas. Popplet's super simple interface allows you to move at the speed of your thoughts. With Popplet you can capture your ideas and sort them visually in realtime. Quickly and easily!

Mindmeister - MindMeister is the companion app of the #1 collaborative mind mapping site  MindMeister lets you create, edit and share your mind maps on the go and synchronize them with the award-winning free online MindMeister service.

Simple Mind+ - Mind mapping tool that turns your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch into a brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring device.

Screencasting/Recording Apps:

Educreations - Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Creating a great video tutorial is as simple as touching, tapping and talking. Explain a math formula... Create an animated lesson... Add commentary to your photos... Diagram a sports play...  Web based or download the app!

Show Me - Turn your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard!  ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s an amazingly simple app that anyone can use, no matter how young or old!

Screen Chomp- Just - Record It. Sketch It. Share It. - to create a sharable, replay-able video that tells your story clearly.

Audio Apps

Croak it- Convey thoughts and expressions on the go via your voice with just one tap. Whether its a song you are humming, a poem you wrote , a story you want to tell or just your views on the weather,! is the easy way to get your voice out there and be heard. Discover, create and collect 30 second audio snippets ("Croaks").

Audioboo- Give Your Students A Voice. Your students have a lot to say! Capture their thoughts by giving them access to Audioboo - the easiest, simplest way to let your students express themselves and share their voices with you, their peers and their families. Download our free app today and sign up today for free accounts - and let your students speak!

Dragon Dictation- Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.

Flashcard Apps:

Quizlet- Pick from 3 mobile-only study modes to suit your learning style and take advantage of audio in 18 languages to reinforce pronunciation and retention. Plus, with full offline support you can study anywhere — even without an internet connection.

Flashcards*- Flashcardlet is a free, easy-to-use studying application with material for any class or standardized test. You can also create and share your own. It is the best way to study on any iOS device.


Corkulus- Corkulous™ idea board is the incredible new way to collect, organize, and share your ideas. See the demo video:

Lino- lino is an online stickies service that offers stickies and canvases. You can post, see and peel off stickies on canvases freely. Stickies posted from this iPhone/iPad App can be accessed with PC browsers. (fomerly Wallwisher) is a free web based option that allows collaboration

Digital Citizenship/Online Safety Apps

Professor Garfield Online Safety- Internet Safety with Professor Garfield - Online Safety

Professor Garfield Cyberbullying - Internet Safety - Cyberbullying

Video Apps:

Adobe Voice The simplest way to create a video to persuade, inform, and inspire.

Animoto- Turn your camera roll into beautiful, pro-quality videos. Choose your music, photos, and clips and share amazing videos with your family and friends.Features include: Over 50 different video styles to choose from, Hundreds of songs in our built-in music library, Caption your photos, trim your video clips, and create title cards, Share videos via email, and more!

Language Apps, Games & English Language Resources

English First Vocabulary High Flyers Game Your child will improve listening, reading, speaking and spelling skills as he/she advances through twenty challenging vocabulary levels. Designed by education experts, and approved by kids, parents and teachers, this app is a great extension to EF’s Efekta™ system.  Visit

If you're looking for a way to load your students' iPads with custom vocabulary, check out Flashcardlet by Quizlet. It allows students to access decks of flashcards you've made right from their iPads. Quizlet is a free website where you can create flashcards decks based on your own list of words. Whether they correspond to the vocabulary in a social studies unit or simply help students learn new words, you can use this app to support a variety of ELL students. I love the feature on this site that lets teachers use one of Quizlet's definitions (instead of writing their own). It even has choices of images that teachers can match to their vocabulary words. Displaying pictures next to the vocabulary word and its definition will help students working to expand their English vocabulary. The Flashcardlet app loaded on your class' iPads (or iPod Touch) will let students swipe through the cards you've created on Quizlet, identify any words where they need extra practice, and monitor their own progress.

Futaba presents players with pictures of everyday items and asks them to name each object. Simple and fun, this is a game that encourages player competition to see who can choose the correct name for an item from a list of four choices. Whoever gets the most correct answers in one minute wins the round. Whether students are playing in groups or practicing solo, this game is sure to add new words to their vocabulary. Futaba also has an upgrade that offers customizable features.

Lingualy is a free Google Chrome extension designed to help you learn a new language while browsing the web. With Lingualy installed anytime that you come across a new word you can double-click on it to hear it pronounced, read a translation, and read a definition. The words that you double-click are added to your Lingualy account where you can review them in a quiz format.

English Monstruo is a free app (iPad and Android versions available) containing eight games designed to help students learn verb conjugation. English Monstruo was developed by researchers at Cambridge University who examined the results of 200,000 exams to determine the words that give Spanish speakers the most difficulty when taking an English exam. The games in the English Monstruo app contain activities ranging from fill-in-the-blank to sorting words to replacing incorrect words with correct words. Each game has a series of levels to work through to earn points and unlock increasingly more difficult levels. To access all eight games a player needs to first earn the maximum points in the first six games in the app.

Phrasalstein, developed at Cambridge University, is a great iPad app and Android app designed to help students learn the meanings of phrasal verbs. The app has a practice mode and a quiz mode. In the practice mode students select a verb and a preposition combination then see a short animation demonstration of the meaning of the chosen phrase. In the quiz mode students see an animation then have to select the matching phrase. Translations of the meanings are available in Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and French.

Duolingo is a free service that aims to help you learn Spanish, French, German, or Portuguese. Duolingo offers mobile apps that allow you to practice a new language anywhere you go. The Duolingo mobile apps and website provide a variety of translation activities to help learn to you read, listen to, and translate words and phrases. The activities include looking at pictures that are representative of words and phrases. After reviewing a couple of pictures students are asked to type translations. The app gives immediate feedback to students.

Forvo is not an app, but it is a website worth mentioning on this list. It can best be described as an audio wiki for word pronunciations. One of the problems with learning to speak a language that is not phonetic is trying to figure out how to pronounce the words. Forvo hosts hundreds of recordings of word pronunciations by native speakers. Along with word pronunciations, Forvo provides some basic demographic information about each language. Forvo's content is user-supported and user-generated. New pronunciations are added on a regular basis.

Busuu This language-learning app features more than 3,000 words and expressions and covers a wide range of topics through comprehensive vocabulary sections and interactive tests. Levels include beginner to advanced, and it is available for download on iPhone and Android (20 units are free and remaining content is available upon purchase).

SpeakingPal English Tutor A very entertaining and highly-interactive app, it features a series of mini-lessons of approximately 5 minutes, so students have no excuses when it comes to making the most of idle time. The student interacts with the app through speech recognition software that recreates a real video call. It’s available for download on iPhone or Android for free.

MyWordBook This app was developed by the British Council in conjunction with Cambridge University Press and offers a wonderful, engaging way to learn new words through sets of interactive flashcards. Additional vocabulary packs may be downloaded from Cambridge dictionaries. Available for free on iPhone and Android.

Conversation English This app features 20 lessons, each with a video dialogue. The app gives learners the option to read the conversation and then answer questions and complete a variety of exercises. It’s a great app for those who wish to practice more conversational English. It’s available for download on iTunes.

English Grammar in Use Tests Developed by Cambridge University Press and based on the successful Grammar in Use series, this app allows students to practice English grammar as a series of “tests” that are more akin to games. It’s not free, but it’s one of the best apps for students who want some grammar practice on the go. There is also a complete series of apps based on the Grammar in Use books available for iPhone

Coming soon.....Subcommune/DIVII - Video Dictionary for Android and iOs devices. Sign up for a trial....this could be great!  :)

Additional iPad Resources and Apps:

iPad 101         iEducate        iPads for Elem ELA       iPads for Elem. Math & Science


Trading Cards Creator by Read, Write, Think - The Trading Card tool gives students an alternative way to demonstrate their literacy knowledge and skill when writing about popular culture texts or real world examples. This interactive allows students to create their own trading card about a real or fictional person, place, object, event, or abstract concepts.

TED-ED Resources - Web based Videos

Plural Words, A Silent "B," and the History of EnglishEnglish is a tricky language. Silent letters and quirky rules about plural and possessive words will trip up native speakers as well as ESL students. TED-Ed and The Open University offer short lessons on the evolution of English and some of its trickier rules.
A Brief History of Plural Words - complete lesson.

Here are just a few videos to consider using:

EngVid- 500+ Free English Video Lessons  engVid is a free service that has produced more than 500 video lessons to help viewers learn to speak and write English. Eight instructors are featured on engVid. The instructors use a whiteboard to explain things like when to use "everyday" or "every day" and when to use "good" or "well." Students learning to speak English can benefit from lessons on pronunciation, English slang, and common English expressions.

Brain Pop ESL

Brain Pop ESL

Brain Pop ESL -BrainPOP ESL is a comprehensive English language learning program that uses highly engaging animated movies to model conversational English while seamlessly introducing grammar concepts and vocabulary words. The movies are leveled, with each new movie and associated features building upon earlier ones, thereby reinforcing vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, reading comprehension, and writing skills. The building block structure enables students to master the language in a step-by-step process, giving them the confidence they need to read, write, and speak English.

Share some of your favorite apps through the comment stream

Willing to share some of your favorite apps?  Just post that information below in the comment stream.  You can include links, video, description, ...anything!   Go your favorite apps or websites to share with the group.