App Roundup

4 New Apps to Spark a Love of Language

A monthly showcase of the latest mobile apps for educators and students. This month's roundup features apps for budding spellers, writers, and English speakers.

  • The Pencils Words & Kids app, from Sutro Media, is a creative writing "how to" guide for children and their mentors to help get the words flowing. The app offers more than 80 entries featuring more than 200 photos, pieces of original artwork, and inspiring scenes to help fuel stories. Students engage via seven filters that teach the importance of being a reader first, how and why to write, how to use the app, responding to creative writing, and more. $4.99; iPhone, iPhone Touch, and iPad.

  • SpeakingPal Plus! helps users build English speaking skills with content culled from ETS, the creators of the TOEFL and TOEIC tests. The subscription-based app offers a range of interactive speaking exercises, role-playing, TOEIC exercises, and a speech recognition tool that provides instant feedback on speaking performance. Mini-lessons enable students to learn English in small sections that last 5 minutes or less. Free download, plus monthly subscription; iOS and Android.

  • ABC Spy combines the eternally popular I Spy game with gaming and technology to help children learn the alphabet and practice their spelling by challenging children to create their own ABC experience by taking photos of objects in their world for each letter of the alphabet. Kids can also supplement their own photos with an included in-app selection. When the alphabet is completed, the app will generate a movie that can be viewed on the phone and shared with others. $1.99; iPhone and iPhone touch, iPad coming soon.

  • The Go Go Kiddo mobile app is a virtual educational playground for kids ages 2-5, which reinforces the joy of learning by engaging children in digital play about letters, numbers and music through a variety of activities, stories and games. In addition to learning and playing with letters, numbers and music, the app's initial suite of interactive entertainment experiences helps kids discover a number of basic social concepts and develops motor skills via learning activities and animated characters. Additional add-ons are also available. $1.99;Android.

About the Author

Stephen Noonoo is an education technology journalist based in Los Angeles. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.