A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
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What parents need to know
What's it about?
EWA: LEARN ENGLISH LANGUAGE combines movie and TV clips with word games to teach English. Upon launching the app, kids will be prompted to select their native language, age, and current English proficiency level. The language courses represent a range of topics, including English for travelers, love and romantic relationships, English for the workplace, verbs, and grammar. Kids will play various video clip to listen to words and phrases in English, which also appear in written form. Pressing the turtle icon on the screen slows down speech in the videos to make it easier to understand. In addition to movie/TV inspired language courses, the app also offers vocabulary building memorization games and a collection of books and articles in English. The library has over one thousand books in English with audio, giving teens the option to read or listen to the text. Books can be sorted by genre and level of difficulty. Kids will also find articles on various topics, including career and finances, science and education, food, and sports.While reading, learners can translate unknown words with a simple tap. They'll also have the option of tracking their progress, see the words they've learned, and set daily objectives. Users have the option of downloading courses so that they are available offline. Under settings, kids will find links to EWA: Learn English Language's Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube accounts. They'll also be able to control the adult content that appears in the courses. There's no parent wall protecting access to settings so kids will be able to determine content themselves. The first time kids attempt to launch a course with mature content, a pop up banner asking whether access should be granted appears on the screen. Access to mature content is left to the user's discretion. When mature content is turned off, kids exploring the body category will see phrases such as "my shoulders" and "my head." When mature content is on, within the same category, they'll see phrases such as, "my love handles," "I strained my groin!" and "I like your muffin top."
Is it any good?
Movie and TV show enthusiasts will find this English language learning platform engaging and entertaining, though definitely more appropriate for an older crowd. Many of the video clips and GIFs add humor to the learning process. Kids trying to tune into pronunciation or just needing to hear things a bit slower will appreciate the turtle icon that slows down speech in the clips. The word game practice allows kids to reinforce what they're learning and presents information in different formats, keeping learners on their toes. It also offers a range of topics and scenarios, most of them practical. The app also includes colloquial phrases with the intention of exposing learners to how English is commonly spoken. Kids will learn phrases like, "So, what do you wanna do now?" Although this approach recognizes the diverseness of language, it may also be confusing for those who are paying attention to grammar, spelling, and/or trying to determine the appropriate context for certain phrases. It may also contradict more formal structures learned in a language class. Another thing to consider is the fact that many of the lessons and word games emphasize translation, which arguably isn't the best method to learn a new language.
The collection of books and articles in the app's library is awesome. Kids will have a variety of reading options at their fingertips. Books are also labeled by level of difficulty, making it easier for readers to figure out which books they're ready to for. The app gives kids full control of how text is presented; they can either read the English text on their own and click on words for automatic translation or they can access the audiobook feature. Families considering EWA: Learn English Language as an educational tool should know that the app has a significant amount of mature content. It may appear in video clips as partial nudity, violence, innuendo, crude humor, or flirting. Courses, especially those under the Love and Romantic Relationships category and those addressing body parts, teach explicitly sexual and suggestive words and phrases. Other lessons teach phrases that use mild swear words or crude expressions. Although mature content can be turned off in settings, without a parent wall there's no guarantee that kids won’t have access to it. Overall, EWA: Learn English Language is an entertaining tool to practice and reinforce English acquisition. It relies heavily on translation and memorization, which are components of learning language, but not comprehensive. The library of books and articles is definitely the highlight of the app. So, for teens who might need an engaging incentive to practice English, this is a solid option.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can complement the language skills kids are learning through EWA: Learn English Language by listening to music and watching shows in English. The app isolates TV show and movie clips to teach a particular phrase. Watching entire shows or listening to entire songs allows kids to gather more information and see the context in which these phrases might be used. It also increases exposure to the English language, which is also key throughout the learning process.
Experiment with sounds, words, and phrases and ask kids to teach you what they're learning. Although the app incorporates various translation, listening, and spelling games, it is essential for kids to make the connection between what appears on screen and actual conversation. Some kids may also find comfort in trying out what they’ve learned at home, before trying it out with others.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, naming, reading, speaking, spelling, vocabulary
- Skills: Self-Direction: effort, personal growth
Communication: conveying messages effectively, speaking
- Price: Free to try
- Pricing structure: Free to try (free trial then subscription ranging from $8.49 - $119.99)
- Release date: September 7, 2019
- Category: Education
- Size: 179.90 MB
- Publisher: Lithium Lab Pte Ltd
- Version: 5.3.4
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
- Last updated: February 14, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love learning new languages
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.