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English From Pictures

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A simple manual type guide to learning English as a second language.

Teacher Review

This app is about making it as easy as possible for those people learning English as a second or additional language. It is set out like a book where the user works their way through the pages or lessons, learning a slightly different aspect of the basics of the English language. Alongside the words there are two options to have the words read out. These include a normal speed version or a slowed down one to enable the user to hear in a clearer way what is being said. On top of this there is also an option for the user to access a dictionary which gives them all the words available in the all the lessons so they can quickly be referred back to if the user wishes. With each of the words/phrases there are also stick pictures drawn to help aid understanding.
On opening the app you are welcomed to the homescreen which has a couple of different options available to the user. These include starting the app, a help button, credits, an about button and an ability to share the app through social media. There is also an additional button where the user can purchase further content for the app. This version of the app is free and gives the user the first lesson in the series. This lesson includes 13 pages which move from single word understanding such as I, You, He, She to slightly more in depth learning of the English language. Purchasing the add on gives you further lessons to be able to learn from.
Back on the homepage the help option is useful as it gives the user a video on how to use the app to its full potential. It is a very simple and clever way of doing it especially as you would expect most users are going to not be able to speak English (hence why they are using this app). The credits and about tabs give you a bit more information about the developers and how to get in contact with them. The developer website itself (which there is a link to from the app store) has similar information on but also includes testimonials about the app and a further video on how to use as well. 
All in all the app is a good addition for someone learning to speak English, however I would suggest that there are a couple of things that could make it even more engaging. The pictures that accompany the words are a good idea but a bit more detail and a better representation of the pictures matching the words would make them even more useful to the user. As most people using this app will be learning the language having the pictures easily explain the words is a must, although this balance is very difficult to achieve.  The addition of having the words spoken at different speeds is also a good one however the voice itself can sometimes appear distorted and hard to understand making it difficult for the user to get the correct pronunciation of each of the words and phrases. In addition to this it would also be helpful to have some way of tracking how far the user has got through the app and maybe a small testing feature so they can test the comprehension. Outside of this though the app is definitely a useful addition to anyone learning English as a second or additional language.


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From the Developer

Learn the English language easy and fast and at very low cost. From a teacher in Brazil: "Why do I use this book and not any other one? I teach English to starters at public schools in Brazil. Working-class students… During the last 15 years I have bought a large number of books, trying to find one I really liked, and almost always felt that they were going to fast (teaching) too many things for a lesson… Until one day I read about English Through Pictures. So I have the task of teaching English in these conditions: students who had never studied English before, and whose literacy in their own language is not good.

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