Being good in English can give you a huge advantage in your every day life. According to the National Literacy Trust
, strong literacy skills coincides with having high self-esteem and a higher salary.
But unfortunately, many of us are not confident with the use of the English language. And it could be for a number of reasons. But regardless of this, we have to appreciate the importance of these skills.
Possessing strong literacy skills gives you the confidence to build strong communication skills and have the ability to interpret and convey information. However, there is an emerging trend that is causing some concern.
In a recent survey, 32% of employers
have reported to be dissatisfied with young people's literacy skills. And this can be for a number of factors, which I won't go into detail in this blog post.
But one factor that comes up frequently is the use of smartphones. Many are quick to point the finger at smartphones. And it is easy to understand why — people are relying on “text speech" to converse with one another. Over time, writing (and possibly speaking) in "text speech" can become a habit and affect our working lives.
Thankfully, even if it is true that our smartphones are the reasons behind the decline in literacy, we can download a wide range of apps that can help to improve our English. And I have identified three:
1. British Council App
If you haven't heard of the British Council
, then let me give you a small introduction.
The British Council is an international organisation for cultural relations and education opportunities. They've worked with over 100 countries with the aim of helping every learner and teacher to have access to high-quality language materials.
The British Council have a wealth of experience of teaching the English language, and their smartphone app called LearnEnglish Grammar
is ranked the number one mobile educational app.
This app can guarantee you to improve your grammar accuracy through answering practice questions. And the great thing about this app is that there are no multiple choice questions, which tends to be rather repetitive. This app offers 10 unique activity types including fill-in-the-blanks, reordering words and labelling.
The creators of the Duolingo
smartphone app won the best education start-up award in 2014. It is a fantastic app that puts the fun in learning languages. With the help of pictures, tests and pop-up tutorials, Duolingo makes learning languages easy and entertaining.
When you download the app, you will be able to see a range of languages such as Spanish, French, German and even Swahili. If English is not your first language, then you can simply click on where it says “more..” and you can learn the above languages (including English) in a variety of languages.
The Duolingo app is a highly rated app and their creators claim that spending 35 hours on Duolingo is equivalent to one semester at University. That's a huge claim and they have the research
to prove it.
3. Alpha Betty Saga
If you're a fan of Candy Crush then you'll love Alpha Betty Saga
. Created and developed by King (the same folks who have made Candy Crush), Alpha Betty is an excellent app that can help you build your English vocabulary.
This is another app that is presented like a game where the player goes through various levels. The aim of the game is to look at a tile of letters and string them together to make words. Obviously the better word, the more points you get. If you ever played Boggle or BookWorm, then this will feel very familiar.
Each level gets more complicated as the range of vocabulary increases. Making it more stimulating and very addictive. And as you dedicate hours in to this game/app, you'll soon realise your own vocabulary improving.
If you still think our smartphones have a negative influence on our literacy skills or if you think these apps won't make a difference, then I challenge you to give these apps a go and see what you think. I can guarantee they'll improve your English skills.
Thanks for reading. Do you know of any other apps that can help improve your English? If you do, then let us know in the comments section below.
Featured image: Pexels