Learnji - Vocabulary App

Price: iPhone/iPad - Paid

Teacher Overview

Learnji is a vocabulary app that enables you to learn over 1,200 everyday words in a foreign language through the hugely popular language of emojis. It is deliverd in the following languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

Teacher Review

Learnji boasts a comprehensive selection of emojis and accompanying lexicon to help with vocabulary recognition and learning.  The concept behind the app is a simple one, in that it takes the common and currently recognisable emoticon language and presents it to the user in flashcard form.  The style of word is made clear to the learner – be it a noun, adjective, verb or adverb – and the inferred meaning is showcased with mostly appropriate images.  However, with some images still to be applied to certain terms, we can surmise that praise for emojis as the actual language of this generation may have been a little hasty.  That being said, the use of emojis for language learning is indeed quite novel, as they are widely recognised and represent a positive, motivational and convenient way to learn everyday vocabulary or add to that which you already know. 

The functionality of the app is simple a very accessible in its design, as all the words appear in the style of flash cards with the user tapping the screen to hide or reveal the meaning in the desired language, with a swipe to the right changing the Target Language.  The user also has the option to learn all vocabulary as a block to it can be divided into one of the thirty-one sub categories – ranging from “useful”, “food”, “numbers”, to “travel and places” and “at the office”.  There is even an unusually-named category called “Roger Federer”, yet how some of the phrases tie to the player himself I am not entirely sure.  If you wish to add an extra level of spontaneity terms can be randomly shuffled by pressing the shuffle icon near the bottom left of the screen or by shaking your device, which may really test how well you are retaining the newly learnt terms. 

Furthermore, from an educator’s perspective, I am impressed by the ‘dyslexia-friendly feature’ of Learnji, as this option within ‘settings’ allows the user to change text to a custom font so to make it more legible.  The educational benefit are not limited to this area, as the various sharing features will have scope for use in many collaborative learning environments.  Use of this app can be shared across a variety of social media platforms, but for education, it also links into iOs’ iMessage facility to share with friends and colleagues.  In this way, learners can reinforce their own learning by testing and challenging their friends with short and simple messages, with the semblance of a basic digital learning community.  However, the app does fall short in its lack of facilities to record study and track progress, so there is the risk that once the novelty of learning through emojis has passed, the inability to showcase improvement may dissuade some from persistent usage.

In conclusion, although as a stand-alone app for language learning the scope for exploration and challenge may be somewhat limited, it does represent an effective companion to complement other language-learning software and/or courses.  And considering the price of the app, there are few downsides in purchasing it.  As well, the emoji language will make nearly all terms easily recognisable, while being relevant and appealing to younger users and the sheer quantity of language included within the software will mean that there will almost always be something new to be learned.

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Inside the app

  • Learnji - Vocabulary App-1Learnji - Vocabulary App-2Learnji - Vocabulary App-3Learnji - Vocabulary App-4Learnji - Vocabulary App-5

From the Developer

FEATURES:

  • Tap words/emoji to show and hide its meaning (just like flash cards)
  • Shake device to shuffle words/emoji
  • Works currently for English, German, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese vocabulary
  • Swipe to compare languages to each other for next level learning
  • Study population count of 376 countries
  • Test your friends anytime sending text messages
  • Learn words with emoji categorised into 31 categories

Learn words organised into these dictionary categories: "Useful", "Smileys and People", "Professions", "Emoji faces", "Gestures", "Day", "Night", "Time", "Old technology", "Related to phones", "Animals and Nature", "Holidays", "Travel and Places", "Africa", "North and South America", "Europe", "Asia and Oceania", "Activity", "Roger Federer", "Love", "Crime", "Numbers", "Food and Drink", "Breakfast", "Objects", "At the office", "Zodiac signs", "Symbols" and "Population".

SPECIAL FEATURE:

  • Dyslexia special: increase legibility with a custom designed dyslexia font
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