Can My Phone Understand Me?

  Smartphones can listen to you speak, and display your words.  So can iPads and computers.  If your phone can understand you, other people will probably understand you.

Practice your speech on iPhone or iPad

  • Open the Notes App    and create a new note     
  • Press the Microphone icon next to the Space Bar on the keyboard
  • Start talking – and see what words are shown
  • Are they the same words that you spoke?  If not, try again.

Practice on Android phone or tablet

  • Install the Google Keyboard app from Google Play
  • Then open your email app, or use a free notes app like Evernote
  • Press the Microphone icon next to the Space Bar on the keyboard
  • Start talking – and see what words are shown
  • Are they the same words that you spoke?  If not, try again.

When your phone can understand you, you can use your voice for … email, text messages, Siri questions on iPhones (“Hey Siri“), Google searches (“OK Google“), Alexa, and more.

Google Translate

On iPhones or Android phones, you can also use the Google Translate app (Android; Apple) for this.

  • Make sure the language is set to English
  • Press the microphone button and start speaking

Free eBooks

bookbubBookbub.com is a website that tells you about free or inexpensive digital books – eBooks.

You can read these books on an eBook reader (such as Kindle or Nook).  But you can also read them on your phone, tablet, or computer – usually with the free Kindle App or Nook App.  If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can read many of these using your iBooks app.
For example, on BookBub they have listed an eBook version of the popular children’s book I Wish You More, selling now for $1.20 on Amazon .
And here is their latest listing of Free eBooks.

Duolingo

duolingo-owl    Duolingo is one of the best ways to teach yourself English – for free.  It’s a good place to begin.  You can use it on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
To use Duolingo:

  1. Go to the Duolingo website on your computer – or – download the app to your smartphone/tablet
    (Apple app store); (Google Play store)
  2. Follow the instructions to start a course
  3. Create a profile (username / password ) so that you can save your work
  4. If you find it helpful, try to use Duolingo for at least 10 minutes every day

Kanopy – Thousands of Free Movies

  This is a new service from the Framingham Library.  You can watch up to 5 free movies each month – at home, or on your phone with the Kanopy App.

Classic movies, international movies, educational movies (including learning English), and lots of movies for kids too.  All you need is a Framingham library card.  If you don’t live in Framingham, you can check here if your library also has this service.  Or – you can check to see at your own library if they have Kanopy, or other services with movies, such as Hoopla or Overdrive.

 

Libby

Reading books and listening to audiobooks is an excellent and enjoyable way to improve your English.  Did you know that you can borrow eBooks and audiobooks (with thousands of choices)  – for free – right on your phone or tablet?  All you need is a library card from your local library, and the new Libby app from OverDrive.

If you live in Massachusetts, you don’t even need to visit the library to get a card.  You can get a free eCard from the Boston Public Library.

After you enter your library card number in the app, you can borrow ebooks or audiobooks.  There are also some “Read Along” books (mostly kids’ books) that you can listen to while you read.

Let’s Play a Kahoot

  Kahoot is a free app where you try to answer questions about many topics, including English, in a game-style way.  You get points for answering a question correctly – and quickly.  Let’s try a 5-minute Kahoot especially for beginners on this blog:

  • Install the free Kahoot app on your iPhone or iPad, or on your Android phone or tablet
  • From your phone/tablet, press on the picture below, or this link       
  • When you press, it should open the Kahoot app and start the game

 

You can also open the Kahoot app, press “Enter PIN” and enter this number: 0764667
Good Luck!

Soon there will be more articles about how to use the Kahoot app to test, and improve your English.

Tiny Little Crosswords

    Tiny Little Crosswords is a free app for iPhones and iPads.  Each puzzle is small – only a few words – so you can finish a puzzle quickly.  Some are easy, and some are more difficult. They now give you one free puzzle every day – another good way to improve your vocabulary!  Here are a few examples:

       

(BLUE, RED); (TWO, SIXTY, ZERO); (MAY, APRIL, JULY)