I have some good news for people who have been searching for language practice they can do from their smartphones or know students who could use more practice and/or motivation. There is a new app available!
Released in November 2015, Lingogo is an app developed by three women from New Zealand, each currently learning a different language, that encourages and motivates students to practice reading and/or listening on their own. The app provides dual-language stories for adult reading with varying degrees of support/scaffolding. The app is free, and so is the first story.
Each story is available in three modes: Get Started, Get Focussed, and Get Fluent. The story stays the same, but the level of support in the first language diminishes as students progress. According to the website, the intention of the app is enjoyment and language mastery, rather than explicit teaching, making Lingogo a great choice for supplemental practice especially because new stories are added regularly.
For now, Lingogo is limited to English-Spanish, Spanish-English; English-French, French-English; and English-German, German-English stories. However, it looks as though they are open to receiving suggestions and/or requests for other language pairs. Additionally, the app is currently only available for Apple products, but Android users, like me, should be able to try it out in the near future. Have a look at what Lingogo is all about, check the blog for updates, and maybe even get involved by offering to write for them, too.
Lingogo is a very neat concept and something that I hope to see more of in the future. Personally, I appreciate that the focus is on reading material for adults and hope that there are appropriate materials there for very beginners, but am sure that the story and language selection will continue to expand over time.
Share your thoughts or the apps you and your students use by leaving a comment below.