Smartphones: A Splendid Way to Improve Your English

Doing things the digital way certainly makes learning a whole lot easier these days. At your disposal, any time, anywhere are convenient devices for staying in touch with others and getting work accomplished. Smartphones are finding increasing use as tools for obtaining information and gaining knowledge on diverse topics.

No longer are mobile phones simply devices for making and receiving phone calls. No longer are the plethora of personal digital assistants only for organizing data, and hence your life. Today, smartphones combine the best features of both these devices and then add much more.

Here’s a rundown on some of the applications available to you when you use a smartphone. By no means an all-encompassing list, but it will give you an idea of some of the options you can choose from to help you build your English skills the digital way:

Internet Access

These compact technological marvels provide for Internet access. More are offering higher speed Internet access as well. Therefore, you can link into your email or favourite websites from wherever you are, 24-7. Whether you’re in transit, in a hotel room on vacation, on a business trip, or whatever, you don’t have to chain yourself to a desktop PC or carry a laptop to get or transmit information.

With Internet access through a smartphone, you can also access any online learning programs you’re involved in, at your convenience. Whether learning English or anything else, being “somewhere else” doesn’t have to prevent you from staying up-to-date on your studies.

Translator Options

A great way to learn English on the go with a smartphone is to use a translator application such as the one Google provides. Through this application, you can translate text, web pages, and documents. Take something in your own language that you enjoy and translate it into English with this tool. Now you can study the English version to learn new words, phrases, grammar, and punctuation and style as applies to the English language.

Toshiba recently reported that they have developed a voice translation application based on the Windows Mobile platform. However, this application is still in beta. The application is a pared down version of their PC application. It can translate between Japanese, English and Chinese.

Dictionary Application

Gain access to the world’s best dictionaries through a smartphone. You could be sitting in a coffee shop enjoying a local newspaper. You come across an unfamiliar English word or phrase. Snap open that smartphone, access your dictionary app, and get up-to-speed on the word’s meaning and the meaning of words related to it. It certainly is convenient and doesn’t require carrying around a volume from Webster’s or Funk & Wagnalls.
Book Reader Applications

Various applications exist for different smartphones whereby you download your favourite fiction, non-fiction, or poetry books from a site. This means you can build your English reading skills on the go. Are you sitting on a crowded bus, subway, or train and want to read.

There’s no need to elbow around to maneuver to open a hardcover or paperback with your palm-sized reader presenting a story to you. There’s the simple eBook reader for the iPhone, along with ruBooks and more so it’s worth exploring the different options available.

Newspaper & Magazine Applications

Want to read those big city papers for the latest news but don’t want newsprint piling up at home? Applications exist for newspapers like the Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and more. Time Magazine has an application, as do many other big circulation magazines.

As people are more mobile and use the Internet more, you will see more newspapers and magazines “do Apps” in an effort to build their circulations. Consequently, you can build your English language skills through reading newspapers and magazines, without ever turning a paper page.

Word Games

Word games are great for dissecting the spelling of different words. You build your English skills while enjoying and challenging yourself at the same time. Applications exist that provide access to numerous free crossword puzzles from places, including major newspapers. Some include cryptics as well. Take the time to explore the different options suited to your specific smartphone. Examples include “2 Across” and “Crosswords” who give access to free puzzles from places including the Houston Chronicle and Wall Street Journal.

Photo applications exist where you can access photos and then proceed to learn about a person, place, or thing through performing web research. The photo is the starting point. You then search for text related to these photos. This builds your English reading skills and your Internet search skills at the same time.

Free photography applications available include Flickr-Yahoo! and MobileMe Gallery-Apple Inc., Nikon Learn & Explore –Nikon, Inc., along with a host of others.

Video Applications

Watch video and learn English at the same time on your smartphone. You can do this via a video application. Listen to English speakers and concentrate on their inflection and pronunciation of words. Develop an ear for the nuances of English phrasing through watching videos. Learn the meaning of words through matching the talking to the visual representations on screen. Video apps available include YouTube, Howcast, WorldView, The Weather Channel, and many more.
Audio Books Applications

Smartphone applications also exist where you can access audio files of your favorite books. Learn English by listening to English novels and other works as you rest those weary eyes. Audible for BlackBerry is one application for audio books, so is Audiobooks for iPhone/iPod touch.

Games Applications

There are games galore for smartphones too. Build your English language skills through buying the Scrabble app, or the Novel Word Games Super Pack 1 for Palm application, or any other of a plethora of games applications available, which are suitable for helping you learn English, some are even free.

Explore all that a good smartphone can offer you for building your English language skills. They allow you to access any kind of information you desire 24-7. That magazine, newspaper, and content rich website you enjoy is now at your fingertips while you’re mobile. You’re on the move…and the applications available for you to access from your smartphone are keeping pace with you.

Sponsored by Technology Made Easy.