Seeing as I do not own a smart device capable of running apps (yet), I do not often have the opportunity to share apps with you, but today I bring you a free app for Apple and Android devices called Elevate, which is meant to improve communication and memory. According to USA Today, Elevate was named Apple’s best free app of 2014 and, before diversifying to include a wide range of exercises, actually began with language learners in mind. It is worth recommending to students for a number of reasons.
First of all, Elevate is free and compatible with any smart device, so students can take it with them wherever they go. While students may have the tendency to forget homework assignments, pencils, textbooks, and any number of other things, I have only very rarely seen a student forget his/her smartphone or tablet. Unlike a webpage, which students have to navigate to in order to access, once downloaded, the app is always there and available to them when they want it.
Secondly, marketed as a brain training app, Elevate, based on the online testimonials, focuses on improving communication and memory. The ad on the Elevate homepage states that the app is “designed to improve the way you speak, write, listen, read, and more.” Wouldn’t we all like our students to improve in these areas? It seems like a perfect match for ELLs, especially those who are seeking out additional practice activities to do at home.
Finally, training is done through engaging games or activities. Even reluctant learners often enjoy these types of activities and are motivated to improve by the feedback or scores they receive. Rather than competing with others, the focus is really on improving yourself or beating your personal best. Since tasks are short, students can easily fit them in here or there throughout the day around their already busy schedules and leave the excuses for other things.
Based on what I have seen, Elevate seems to be a natural fit for students, especially those at higher levels. Although it does not directly teach skills, it is a great way for students to practice their language skills independently.
Have you or your students tried Elevate or another brain training app or website? Let us know by leaving a comment below.