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EWA: Learn English Language

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
EWA: Learn English Language App Poster Image
Movie-inspired, fun lessons for teens best for practice.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Audiolingual, audiovisual, grammar, and translation-based approaches to help users learn words and phrases in English. Kids will hear words and phrases in English and see them in written form. Word games and a collection of texts  with definition options to help kids practice English phrases. 

Ease of Play

The app is simple to navigate and provides clear direction in the user’s native language. Kids who feel that the characters in the video clips are speaking too fast have the option of pressing the turtle icon, which slows down speech. 

Violence

Some of the video clips, phrases, articles, and books in the app touch upon violent and scary themes. Adult content can be turned on and off through the app’s settings. 

Sex

The app includes suggestive words, phrases, and graphics. For example, some of the courses teach phrases to use after a date, such as, "I wanna make love to you!" Some of the video clips may include partial nudity. Articles and books may also deal with sexy themes. Adult content can be turned on and off through the app’s settings. 

Language

Some of the app's courses include obscenities, profanity, and suggestive language. Users will learn a range of terms - from "how does it feel to be stupid?" to "tell us about your testicles." Mature language may also appear in the articles and books provided by the app. Adult content can be turned on and off through the app’s settings. 

Consumerism

After the 7-day free trial, in-app subscription is required to access all courses and features. Some of the articles available through the library address topics that deal with consumerism.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Phrases and videos in the language courses may reference drugs, drinking, and smoking. Articles and books in the library may touch upon these topics. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that EWA: Learn English Language is an education app that uses TV show and movie clips to teach English phrases and words. The app incorporates audio, visual, and translation methods to teach English. The offered courses range from beginner to more advanced language concepts. Courses touch upon conversational English that you can use in different scenarios, like when traveling, in the workplace, or to express feelings. It also incorporates text-style dialogue, comprehension, spelling, and translation games as a way for kids to practice concepts and determine progress. There's also  a library with a collection of articles and books in English with an audio option. Some of the courses, books, and articles portray mature themes and include suggestive images, violence, and/or explicit language. Adult content can be controlled through settings; however, there's no parent wall that restricts kids' access and control over settings. In-app subscription is required after the seven-day free trial in order to continue enjoying the app and its features. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change. 

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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.   

App details

  • 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: September 30, 2019

For kids who love learning new languages

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