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StoryPlanet English

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 12+
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About StoryPlanet English

StoryPlanet English is for students and teachers of English as an additional language.  Its content is suitable for students aged 8 and older who are ready for text aimed at A2/B1 (Intermediate) to C1/C2 (Superior).

The app is on both iOS and Android stores as a free download containing one full story and all of the app's features unlocked.  A low-cost monthly subscription brings more stories and brand new content each weekday to the users of StoryPlanet English.

Teacher Review

What is StoryPlanet English app?

StoryPlanet English app has been designed to help students raise their proficiency in the English language. It is a continually growing app with new learning content added five times per week, a strong awareness of the need to learn English in a real-life context and not just in formal texts, and a useful revision facility. 

What we love about StoryPlanet English?

The StoryPlanet English stories are written to introduce students to English as it is in real life, not just as defined in dictionaries, grammar guides, and textbooks.   

Phrases and words that hold specific meanings in certain contexts to native speakers but which are far from their literal meaning, are difficult for language learners. StoryPlanet English manages to cram a huge amount of these real-world language usages into its stories and provide a clear explanation for each one. 

Nothing matches engaging in real conversations for effective and practical language learning but these stories are a great way of laying the groundwork.   

StoryPlanet English app's continual expansion is also something unique. New stories are added piece by piece over each weekday providing new ideas for teachers and different source materials for students to learn by. 

What skills does it improve?

StoryPlanet English provides an easy to access and interesting bank of stories that students can read to improve their English language skills. The stories provide practise for both textbook English language and the language as spoken by native speakers in informal settings. 

StoryPlanet English is a good fit for students who want to develop conversational skills and immerse themselves into the practical application of their learning alongside an understanding of the formal aspects of the English language.  

What age is it appropriate for?

The stories in StoryPlanet English are all safe for people aged eight and up. StoryPlanet English is designed for students learning English as an additional language so their existing proficiency is important. The stories range in difficulty from A2/B1 (Intermediate) to C1/C2 (Superior).

Is StoryPlanet English easy to use?

Navigation to the story and revision sections is easy through a user interface that is intuitive and familiar. 

How will students benefit?

If a student has StoryPlanet English on their mobile device, they have the means to practise their English skills wherever they are. The stories read well and frequently expose readers to words and phrases that often prove confusing to English language learners.

Collecting new words and phrases into a personalised list for later testing is a useful way of creating a custom revision guide. These tests include multiple-choice and missing-word challenges. 

How will teachers benefit?

Teachers who use StoryPlanet English with their students have access to a growing library of stories that will be useful in the classroom. The variety of genres will help teachers to create lessons covering a broad range of contexts.   

Guides, tips, and a teachers' newsletter provide ideas for topics, activities and more. As well as giving students a practice platform, StoryPlanet English can help to reduce the time teachers need to spend planning and collating stimulating resources. 

What StoryPlanet English can improve on?

There are no significant criticisms to be made of StoryPlanet English app. It is an app newly arrived on the app store and it is still under active development with new features planned for it. 

The app highlights difficult words and phrases in each story through the use of bold text. It works well but it would be nice to be able to toggle this formatting on and off. The contrast between bold and not bold is a little hard on readers' eyes and could be an issue for some students' with dyslexia. An easy-to-access toggle would be a great quality of life improvement. 

The app's structure could do with a little rejigging too. The most-used parts of the app are fine but the info section is unfocussed. It mixes information useful to students, such as a guide to abbreviations and learning tips, with the app's credits, data policy and general app information. Splitting these out would follow a more typical app structure and make the student-focussed pages easier to find.  

How much does StoryPlanet English cost?

StoryPlanet English app is free to download. It comes with a full single story and the facility to create practice exercises from it. This basic package is useful for teachers and students in its own right and provides an effective means by which to assess the app's suitability. 

What is included with the free version vs. paid?

The full StoryPlanet English app experience is unlocked through the use of a subscription. The complete app includes many more stories and new content is added every weekday. 

Is StoryPlanet English safe to use

In keeping with the app's suitability for students aged eight and above, the stories do not contain content or themes of an adult nature. There is no advertising or data-collection within the app and no social media or communication facilities either. 

Overall rating of the app

StoryPlanet English is a well-made app as it stands but the developers plan to add more to it. They expect to add audio recordings of the stories, different types of practice activities and more in the future updates of the app. 

At the moment, it is an app that provides a lot of high-quality material for those learning and teaching English as an additional language. The careful design of its stories to be both readable and to expose students to new aspects of the language, lift StoryPlanet English above its competitors. They make it a 5-star app that students and teachers of EAL are strongly advised to consider.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings

Devices

Android, iPad, iPhone

Price

Free

Skills

Communication Skills
Academic Relevance

Safeguarding

In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - No

Publisher

L-Pub GmbH

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Screenshots for StoryPlanet English

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App Video

Description

StoryPlanet is a mobile app to enhance the reading experience for learners of English as an additional or foreign language. It was developed by experienced language teachers and writers who founded the startup L-Pub, based in Offenbach am Main, Germany’s most multi-ethnic and multi-lingual city, and the founders are from the U.S.A, Italy, France and Germany.

The stories in StoryPlanet English are targeted at B1-B2 (Intermediate to Advanced) learners. All words and expressions from the B1 level up are annotated and include monolingual definitions. You can learn more about the app here: https://l-pub.com/storyplanet-english-for-educators/

In the free version of the app, learners have access to one mini-story in the READ section. They can learn any of the vocabulary in it using the full functionality of the LEARN section. Until the end of 2020, our featured story is “The Hairy Tomato” by David P. Steel, a story about an Italian American who rejects all clichés about his ethnicity, but then embarks on a journey that ultimately leads him to embrace at least parts of his heritage.

If learners purchase the pro version (monthly subscription of approx. € 2) they get access to a wide selection of additional stories. Plus, a new story is published every week, one chapter appearing every day from Monday to Friday. There is no advertising in the app, no personal data is stored and no login is required.

If you would like to purchase a volume license for your class or school at attractive conditions, please write an e-mail to info@storyplanet.uk

What kind of stories are in the app?

The stories are modern, quirky and full of personality – and cover a wide range of genres, e.g. from science fiction to love stories. All stories are suitable for ages 8 and up, i.e. interesting for adults but also appropriate for younger readers (no explicit language, no sex, no gratuitous violence). Our writers are intentional about representing people of different ethnic backgrounds, skin colors, religions and gender identities in a respectful and non-discriminatory way.

Why an app to promote reading?

There are many advantages to reading in our app. StoryPlanet considerably reduces the stress of reading a text in which the student does not understand all of the words. On the printed page, they will have to leave the story to look up a word. In StoryPlanet they just click the word to get a definition and stay immersed in the story. They also get the correct definition in that context, instead of sifting through many, sometimes very confusing meanings of the same word.

Another big plus is that StoryPlanet is on their smartphones and they can keep working on their English wherever they are. StoryPlanet even sends them a notification every day with new bite-sized chunks of content that engage them in their free time.

StoryPlanet also helps accelerate learning in a targeted and individualized way. Students decide exactly how fast or slow they progress. When they add a word to their personal learning list, they can focus on learning exactly what they need and what is relevant to them. They can practice their words as long as they want, until they feel like they’ve committed them to memory. The different types of exercises keep them on their toes and direct feedback ensures they always understand why they were right or wrong.

Why the goggles?

You might wonder why there are goggles and a snorkel in our logo. Because with StoryPlanet learners can dive deep into English – they very simply see and understand more than without it! It’s more fun to read and they learn more efficiently. 

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