Learning a new language can be overwhelming and intimidating, especially for elementary English learners (ELs).
Parents and teachers can help their students by using apps to teach reading in a fun and interactive way that will help them improve their language skills and be encouraged to read.
There are many different reading apps available and many of them target specific reading skills that ELs need to improve.
Instead of just relying on one app to do the job, parents can download a variety of apps to help improve their child’s overall reading progress. Here are the best apps to teach reading to elementary English learners:
Vocabulary and Sight Words
Vocabulary is a big part of learning a new language. Building vocabulary is an essential first step in being able to read, not just for English learners, but for all new readers.
Futaba – This word game was made specifically with English language learners in mind. The game is great for young learners as it uses images to help them learn new words. Players must quickly match the correct word to the image. The latest version even allows you to upload your own pictures to use.
Action Words – This is another word game that was created with English language learners in mind. Your child can easily learn new action words by matching the words to the picture where the action is being acted out. Just like Futaba, you can even upload your own photos so that you can have a completely personalized experience for your child.
When it comes to English learners, fluency is often focused on speaking. However, fluency in reading is also highly important to mastering the language.
Fluency is the speed, accuracy, and expression at which your child is reading. Essentially, they should be able to read as naturally as they speak.
Readability – This reading app is a great all-in-one to have for your child. It works like a private tutor for your child because it can actually listen to them reading aloud and gives them real-time feedback.
The app uses speech-recognition and AI technology to recognize errors your child might be making when they are reading, such as pronunciation errors, then offers them correction. Making this a great tool to help improve your child’s fluency and also helps them improve their speaking skills as well.
ABC Games English for Kids – ABC Games has many learning and teaching apps that are great to use for any subject. This edition helps young children learn English through fun games and activities at many different language levels.
For language learners, grammar is an important part of the learning process to master.
Kids often are able to catch on to grammar rules rather quickly but if they are multilingual they can sometimes mix up grammar structures in writing and reading. So, it could help your child to practice grammar in a fun way to help them learn the structures and patterns easily.
Grammar Smash English – This game is designed to help English learners with mastering common grammar errors such as verb tense and commonly confused words. It is a great app to use for older, advanced elementary English learners as it is challenging enough for them but also engaging.
Grammar Wonderland – For younger learners, Grammar Wonderland is a great introduction to learning grammar. Through fun games and graphics, your child learns to become familiar with parts of speech and basic grammar concepts.
Reading comprehension is an important part of learning to read. It is how you can tell your child even understood what the reading material was about.
However, English learners often have difficulties mastering comprehension because sometimes it does require having some cultural context and understanding cultural terms such as idioms or slang.
Speak Like an American – Books, novels, magazines, and newspapers will often have idioms and expressions that your child might not be familiar with and will make it difficult for them to understand some materials. However, this app helps them learn many different cultural phrases and vocabulary that can help them master American English like a native speaker.
Learning the different idioms and expressions in American English can help them improve their reading comprehension and gives them some prior knowledge before even reading the text.
Write About This – Writing and reading are closely related language skills and quite often good writers make for good readers. This app is a great language learning tool that many teachers are already using to help kids practice their writing.
The app provides photos and prompts that are fun and interactive. Your child can write their response in the app and it will check it for spelling. You can then save your child’s writing and stories for them to read to friends and family.
Elementary English learners often have the same reading concerns as native speakers, but they also present unique challenges. Using apps to teach reading to your child can make an often frustrating and difficult process fun and enjoyable for them.
Apps like Readability can target and address specific reading concerns then helps your child improve their skills. Your child will be an avid reader in no time!