Student and Graduate Publishing

How Good is Your English

Wednesday, 13 November 2013 15:36

There is a new free app called, ‘How Good is your English?’ which allows users to test their reading level. Available to download for iPhone®, iPod® touch, and iPad®, the free app, aimed at language learners, enables users to try a sample chapter with synchronised audio from each of the 30 Oxford Bookworms apps. It also includes tips for readers on how to improve their English through reading, and features a monthly price promotion.

As the first English Language Teaching publisher to make Graded Readers available as apps, (30 stories from the popular Oxford Bookworms series were launched as apps earlier this year), Oxford University Press has already embraced digital methods of aiding language learning.  Now, with their latest offering, ‘How Good is Your English?’, they hope to highlight the benefits of reading in English and make the experience available to all.

Within the app, users first take a short test, (there is a choice of 12) to determine their level, and can then read a chapter from each of the 30 Oxford Bookworms apps. Every chapter includes illustrations, a glossary, and synchronised audio – all of which ensure learners are supported and helps them get the most from reading in English. A topical ‘Bookworm of the Month’, is available at a reduced price each month*.

The app also provides helpful tips on how language learners can improve their English through reading. This includes a short video from extensive reading expert Professor Richard Day, (University of Hawaii), Chair and Co-Founder of the Extensive Reading Foundation, who explains the benefits of reading in English.

Research, such as that by Professor Richard Day, shows that reading in English, at or just below your level, is one of the most effective ways of improving your English. It has been shown to improve your listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, fluency and confidence in the language.

‘How Good is Your English?’ bridges that crucial gap between language learners eager to improve their English, and them actually being able to do so in an engaging, enjoyable, and effective way.

Verissimo Toste, Teacher and Teacher Trainer in Oxford University Press’ Professional Development Department, explains why the app will be so useful to language learners;

“Being able to know your reading level, and to choose stories at that level, is an important first step to enjoying reading in a foreign language. Reading will feel comfortable as students focus on the story and not the language. Comfort and enjoyment will lead students to read more, exposing them to more language, helping them to improve their English.”

The added bonus of having the test available in app form, via iTunes®, is that it empowers students to take control of their own learning, “the level tests allow students to discover their reading level and they can begin to read on their own.”
This versatility is what helps to make this app, (developed in partnership with iEnglish), an exciting prospect for all language learners. They have the flexibility to take their learning with them, and improve their English at the time of their choosing.

An online version of the ‘My level?’ test from within the app, is available for those who don’t have Apple devices.  However, the free chapters, monthly price promotion, and useful videos might make some language learners consider purchasing an iPhone or iPad, purely to take make use of this latest app from Oxford University Press.

For more information about studying for, applying to take and differentiating between various English Language Tests.