English Pills ESL learning tool for Android
English Pills is a free application for Google Android devices designed for non native English speakers to increase their command of the English language in a fun way.
Most language learners and courses concentrate on the essentials when it comes to that: vocabulary, grammar, writing, reading and conversation are probably the five big areas that are covered.
While that is a good approach, it often leaves out many things that may come up in conversations. Think of jokes, proverbs or idioms for instance that are often not covered by learning courses, or only occasionally thrown in to the mix.
English Pills tries to change that. The approach of the app for Android is simple: provide English students with several categories worth of learning material that they may not find in textbooks.
Pills are encapsulated text fragments, containing a short piece of information that will add up to your vocabulary. From playful to mindful, these pills will definitely give you something to think about and use in conversation.
The home screen acts as a starting point. You may tap on any of the available categories such as riddles, idioms, tongue twisters or symbols to get started.
When you load a category for the first time you get a short intro that explains what it is all about. You may then tap on the dice icon to get a random item displayed on the screen, or swipe for the same effect.
If you open symbols for instance, a symbol and its name are displayed on the screen. Additionally, you may get an example or further explanation on top of that.
Controls at the bottom of the screen allow you to have it read out aloud, load another random item, or using sharing or adding an item to the favorites.
Some categories don't offer explanations which is a bit unfortunate. This is the case for Murphy's Law for instance where the laws are displayed but nothing else. While you may not have any troubles understanding the laws, some explanation would probably help users who have trouble understanding it.
You earn vitamin while using the English Pills application, and may use vitamins to purchase additional categories. While that sounds a lot like an app that uses in-app purchases, this is not the case here. The app offers no option to purchase vitamins.
While it does support in-app purchases, those are only for removing the banner ad and supporting the developer of the application in the process.
The app starts with a selection of basic information and you will unlock additional bits that are more complex over time.
A total of six categories -- opposite adjectives, oxymora, palindromes, philosophy questions, abbreviations, and silent letters -- are locked and need to be unlocked before they become available.
English Pills is a well designed beautiful app for Android. Its use depends largely on your English skills. If you are already a master conservationist, then you will probably get little out of it. If your English learning progress is intermediary, then you will probably benefit the most from the app. Also, if your learning courses concentrated on grammar and vocabulary more than anything else.
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