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Sounds English Phonics

  • Android, iPhone
  • Paid
  • age 7+

About Sounds English Phonics

The app is at aimed those young people on their way to becoming readers by strengthening their understanding of over 90 common phonic sounds and through over 1800 different practice words enhancing decoding skills. Utilising a number of strong features including storytelling the app personalises the learning of the individual to maximise the learning outcomes of the young person using the app. This app is best used for young people with a reading age of around 6-9 and could be used for older EAL pupils. The main aim of the app is help shorten the time that it takes for a young person to become an independent reader.

Teacher Review

This app has been extremely well produced. It is clear to see from both the app itself but also via the developer’s website as well as from the content within the app. From visiting the developer’s website and reading the guidance that comes with the app it is clear to see they are a very knowledgeable company who have put a lot of time and expertise into creating a phonics app that really does seem to produce results. Unlike some literacy and phonic apps that claim that they do make a difference this developer has spent time undertaking research in school settings to make sure their app not only meets the needs of schools and the users but that it does have some benefit. It is ‘small’ aspects like this from a developer that really gives confidence in an app when you are choosing between so many apps in such a saturated market especially when school budgets are tight and they are looking to maximise the resources that they do purchase.

The app itself is very well designed, matching the work that has clearly gone on behind the scenes in developing the content. The opening of the app feels very much like the beginning of a tv programme or a film’s trailer. It introduces the user the world of Lumos and tells the story of the beings that live there. Immediately the user is drawn into the app as they are challenged to go on an adventure to learn. The crux of the story is that the beings that inhabit Lumos love to learn and they congregate around the ‘learning tree’ which lights up when new things are learnt. This then follows through when the user begins to play the app itself as the content of the app is accessed by clicking on the branches of the learning tree. The learning comes in the form of sounds that the user works their way through lighting up each branch on their completion.

The learning within the app is also personalised so not only does a user set up their own account but the app learns from the ability of the user to adapt the learning to what they require. This is done by helping the user discover and learn the sounds they do not know and by allowing them to progress at their own progress. Using formative assessment, the app very much fits into the school setting although it could also be used at home too. The app suggests that users try to learn at least three new sounds a day and this can be tracked. From the developer’s research when the app is used over a 20-day period there is evidence of accelerated learning for young people. Importantly the app is discreetly checking how secure a user is with their knowledge of each sound and will detect the level of this competency. If it detects (using a powerful algorithm) that it is not secure the knowledge tree will suggest for this learning to again be undertaken.

Not only is the content of the app one of the biggest features, alongside the usability of the app but there are also a number of different added bonuses that really add value to the learning of the app too. One if these is utilising the microphone in the app to allow the user to record their own voice saying the words to see if the match up with the correct answer and also to see videos of the sounds being pronounced and the mouth formations created whilst pronouncing them. This is useful in helping young users see first-hand how the sounds are produced especially if they are struggling with this. Another massive bonus is the sheer volume of content that the app contains. Over 90 sounds and 1800 words means that the app can be used in so many ways and by so many different types of people. For instance, older EAL students could easily benefit from an app like this as they are able to access so many words in a friendly learning environment. Supplementing this are hard copies of mats and posters provided by the developer to help further extend and embed the learning.

Overall this is an excellent app that will work extremely well in both the education and home settings. With so many literacy and phonics app this one will certainly stand out with its design, content and learning potential.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPhone



Communication Skills
Life Skills
Academic Relevance


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No



Download Sounds English Phonics

Screenshots for Sounds English Phonics

  • Sounds English PhonicsSounds English PhonicsSounds English PhonicsSounds English PhonicsSounds English Phonics


“Sounds English Phonics is an excellent product which was complementary to our existing teaching programme. I would recommend the app as part of a teacher’s armoury and believe it is a very useful addition for all children learning to read, that can be used either at school or in the home. ” Robert Eves, Grade 3 Teacher, St John’s Green School, Essex

“I was looking for something to help my 7 year old with his reading and I came across this app. It was easy to use and he really enjoys it and loves the characters. He can't wait to use it when he comes home from school. I can see him progressing and his reading confidence and interest is building quickly. I know that when he finishes the sounds he will have a great foundation for reading. A really great find!” - Lottie ELISA

Proven results

A study was carried out in St John’s Green School, Essex, United Kingdom with a sample size of sixty one children in Year 3 aged between 8-9 years old. A group used Sounds English Phonics in the classroom during the school day and was scheduled to spend fifteen minutes a day using the app over 20 school days (a 30 day period), within their scheduled standard literacy class.

Sounds English Phonics was 2.8 times more effective than the standard programme within the study period of only 30 days.

The majority of students using Sounds English Phonics gained more than a year in reading age in the test period. The average gain amongst this test group was 11 months within a 20 school day period. Every student in the test group improved their reading age.

Additionally, 42% of children in the test group learnt all 92 written sounds within 15 school days and 100% learnt all 92 in 20 school days.

“This app has been put together with style, flair and imagination. It is very visually engaging, which of course is vital for today's distracted kids; it looks professional from start to finish; and, best of all, it works as a method of teaching. Clearly an enormous amount of thinking and practical testing has gone into this and I think it will prove to be a very effective tool”. C WrightMedia

“This is an amazing app. I started it with my 9 year old daughter who I thought was a good reader. When she started I noticed gaps in her reading ability immediately. With using the app. we were able to improve her reading and confidence. I’m also a teacher and I use this with emergent readers in my class to great effect. I have seen students grow in confidence in a short time.” - S McGurgan

" The best reading app for kids for building phonics awareness" BP Atlanta

"Graphically it’s stunning. At 7 years old my daughter was struggling with her phonics. This app has helped my daughter where all other aids failed" Mark Folkard, UK


Learning to read in English is difficult. Sounds English Phonics is designed to make reading fun and is aimed at early readers who are typically between 6 & 9 years old. It uses a synthetic phonics approach and promotes self-driven, personalised learning, preparing early readers to tackle more challenging and interesting reading. In addition, the app can be used by anybody who wants to learn English as a foreign language.

Set in the imaginary world of Lumos, Sounds English Phonics accelerates learning reading by identifying 92 essential written sounds and teaching the learner how to use those sounds to read new words.

Packed with Benefits

Creates confident readers
Discovers and teaches the written sounds students do not know
Teaches correct pronunciation
Progresses learners at their own pace
Accelerates learning using a synthetics phonics approach
Tracks learning effectively through use of formative assessment

Zaprendo combines the power of technology with innovative teaching strategies. Supported by strong research and years of classroom application our products motivate learners of all ages and abilities.

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