English Club

App review by
Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Media
English Club App Poster Image
Rigid English-language-learning app fails to excite.

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to speak English by breaking the language down into its individual letters and sounds. The phonics-based approach combines writing, spelling, speaking, and reading. However, there are times when kids may not find themselves learning anything at all. Each level focuses on a specific set of letters and sounds. Even if kids already know those particular letters and sounds, they must finish the lesson to unlock the next lesson. This can lead to a lot of wasted time that could be spent building new skills. Kids could benefit from breaking the language down into its individual letters and sounds, but they may be turned off by English Club's rigid lesson structure.

Ease of Play

Despite sitting through lengthy tutorials on how to play, kids may still find some components of the game confusing. An extremely slow response time also can frustrate kids, especially if they don't know what they should be doing.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Only two levels come with the free version, but you can purchase additional levels individually or as a pack. Parents may want to password-protect purchases to keep kids from buying additional levels in the bright, colorful store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although English Club uses a detailed, phonics-based approach to teaching language, it somewhat fails in its approach. Before they even get to the lessons, kids must sit through a lengthy set of instructions read by the animated narrator. Once in the lessons, kids must complete each component before moving on to the next even if they already know the content or find the lesson repetitive. This could leave them feeling frustrated and bored.

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What's it about?

ENGLISH CLUB features a step-by-step method to help kids learn English. First, they go through a tutorial that introduces them to the concepts discussed in the lesson through flashcards and writing practice. Then they go through a learning process that incorporates flashcards and short descriptive videos. Finally, kids complete practice activities that involve reading a story, writing words, and playing a short multiple-choice game. They must complete all activities in each stage of a lesson before moving to the next stage, even if they already know the content. Successfully completing activities and entire lessons earns kids medals and positive praise.

Is it any good?

Although the general design makes it seem like English Club is for older kids and teens, the actual content will appeal more to younger English-language learners. The structured activities break down the content well, but English Club also limits how kids can learn. Yes, they'll find multiple ways to learn and practice new letters, sounds, and words, but they can only do it in a specific order. There's no skipping ahead or even skipping over a lesson to get to more challenging content. Instead, kids must successfully complete all the activities in a lesson to move ahead. Additionally, the design of the app and the lengthy tutorial videos feel cumbersome and potentially confusing to those new to English.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the challenges that come with learning a new language. Can chatting with friends, playing games, and watching movies in the language of your choice help? 

  • Talk to your kids about the benefits of being bilingual. How does the world change once you can speak another language? 

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, phonics, reading comprehension, speaking, spelling, vocabulary
  • Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals, personal growth
    Communication: speaking
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Free
  • Release date: July 16, 2013
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 17.10 MB
  • Publisher: shani hajbi
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.1 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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For kids who love language learning

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