English can be a tricky language to learn. The same letter can have different sounds when paired with different vowels; these two Cs in “Pacific” and similar sounding words can actually be spelled very differently and mean two distinct things like vow and wow.
But, learning to effectively and independently read English is an essential part of education as all subject matter for all the other subjects is also usually written in English itself. This is where reading aloud helps children in grasping the importance of differences in tones, pronunciation marks, etc., and how they impact the meaning of the content.
Reading aloud can be practiced by modeling the teacher and parents when they read to the child. But, they are not always available at the learner’s every beck and call. Luckily, there are apps that follow and build on the concept of reading aloud to make learning and reading accessible and fun for all. This blog enlists several such apps.
Apps to foster the love of reading
Learning to read any language can seem like an overwhelming task, but these apps make it so fun that children won’t even realize when they end up becoming self-sufficient and actually enjoying the activity. From guided reading to reading apps for first graders to even reading comprehension apps, here are some reading-aloud apps for people who would like to indulge in the activity:
1. PalFish English – Picture Book
Equipped with over 4000 original books with captivating illustrations, more than 300 original cartoons, and hundreds of famous kids’ songs, this app is the one-stop for everything children could ever need.
PalFish helps children perfect their reading abilities from phonics to reading complete story books by themselves. It features an AI-powered scoring system that helps children keep track of their progress and constantly work towards doing better.
This game caters to children of ages 2 through 12 and provides a scientifically developed customized reading and learning plan for every child to make their screen time both fun and informative.
2. Kids Book Reading App Library
With its vast library equipped with more than one thousand books, over seven thousand math problems, three thousand flashcards, and several activities, hearables, and audiobooks, this app makes learning to read accessible and effective for everyone.
Acknowledging the importance of reading along, reading aloud, and listening, this app features various activities and features catering to the same to help build and boost children’s knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Hence, this book can also be used as a vocabulary game.
Perfect for children in the age group of 2 to 11 years of age, the Kids Book Reading App Library also features a virtual book club to help children become independent and confident book lovers.
App link: Playstore
3. Aylee Learns English for Kids
Based on a great amount of research, this app was crafted and curated by experts to cater to children who are learning English as a second language. It follows a gamification strategy to help students become expert speakers, readers, and listeners.
Children immerse themselves in these games, learning to recognize and pronounce common English words to eventually fluently speak and read phrases and sentences. The games are so engaging that the child barely realized that their screen time has dual benefits of learning and having fun.
This app is designed for children from the ages of 6 through 12, who are learning English as their second language but it can be used by younger or older learners, depending on their needs and proficiency. This app places special emphasis on child safety measures, making this online experience full of secure and uninterrupted learning.
App link: Playstore
4. Tell: A World of Stories
Tell brings the classic tales from Beauty and the Beast to Alice in Wonderland to your family folktales and grandparents’ stories, all to children’s screens.
Children can not only reason and listen to countless audio and written books but they can also explore their own creativity and bring their imagination alive with the create your own audiobook feature. This feature continuously saves the child’s progress so they can go back and listen to it whenever they want and also improve on the words and sentences that can be pronounced better.
The entire family can join together and enjoy the Tell app to make a community of storytellers and listeners, forever preserving their elders’ tales, stories, and lessons in their own words. to
App link: Playstore
5. StorySelf: Kids Loving Stories
This app makes children the main character of a tale they love or a story they made up. Another app that allows children to customize, write and illustrate their own stories, StorySelf is perfect for little learners who are just beginning to speak.
It has several special features that can be adjusted to the reading and comprehension level of the child. It allows children to practice their pronunciation, learn new words, and build their listening and reading abilities.
With new titles, themes, and features being added almost every other week, this AI-powered app makes learning to read a collaborative activity by bringing the whole family together to record and listen to story books.
App link: Playstore
6. iHuman Books
Another thorough research based app, iHuman has been especially designed by experienced professionals to help children master both English and Chinese language.
Perfect for learners of 3 to 12 years of age, this app also allows for customization based on the reading and speaking level of the child. They can fall in love with reading at their own pace and time.
Making classic and highly acclaimed books available for readers of all ages, iHuman also gives the option of reading the unabridged version or the shorter, more leveled version. Children can immerse themselves in the title of their choosing, all while learning various important concepts like grammar, vocabulary, and different sentence patterns and crossing progressively harder challenges to earn new badges.
App link: Playstore
7. Read Along with Google
Specifically designed for children of ages 5 and above, this speech-based language learning app helps in learning many languages, including English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Following their in-app reading assistant Diya, children play all the fun games, explore and read the vast library full of titles suited and appealing for children, and take Diya’s help whenever they find themselves stuck with something.
The reading difficulty level of the books can be personalized based on the needs of the children. This app is available for both Android and iOS devices and also works offline to provide a safe and fun reading and learning experience.
App link: Playstore
8. Starfall Learn to Read
Another learning to read app that requires no online connectivity, Starfall brings its signature and proven methods of reading and learning to the phone screen through this handy and fun app.
Children follow Zac the Rat, learning a variety of topics from vowel sounds to their spelling, mastering it all by playing various games, watching movies, and listening to songs. The app comes equipped with free index cards and follows the method of play, self-exploration, and positive reinforcement to keep the children interested and invested in their learning process.
Starfall and its various learning tools and features give the learners a multisensory feel of the concept by allowing them to listen, touch and read the words and their sounds, completely familiarizing and internalizing the learnings.
9. Bookful: Fun Books for Kids
Taking full benefit of the new and advanced technology, this app brings 3 dimensional and augmented reality-based elements, animations, and books to the learners’ screens.
Following the tenets of active learning, this app engages the learners with the material firsthand and encourages them to explore everything and anything they can see. This app has the largest library of 3D/AR-powered books which can be adjusted for difficulty level based on the age and reading level of the child.
Learners follow their custom avatar around, exploring, reading, listening, watching and actively interacting with various books all while having a safe and advertisement-free experience.
10. Pickatale Reading App for Kids
Designed to help readers of ages 3 to 12, this app makes learning exciting and fun. It features various books, activities, and quizzes to turn learners into confident and self-reliant readers.
From Disney to Marvel, Pickatale’s library is fully equipped with titles suited to engage children. It also features a non-fiction section to simultaneously enhance their knowledge while increasing their love for reading.
All the beautifully illustrated books can be customized and filtered based on the current reading level of the children. This app track and records progress and is compatible with both personal use at home and collective use as a class or even as a school.
Learning to read English can be quite a cumbersome task. But it is an essential bedrock of an effective education because no matter what subject one likes or wants to pursue, the material for the same will mostly be written in the English language. This is why apps that follow the read-aloud principles can greatly help learners not only mastering the art of reading and understanding but even fall it love with it.
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn