Tag Archives: english attack!


How to learn English on the Internet

BulldogThis is a quick post for all the people on my Facebook fanpage who request that I help them learn English.

Most regular visitors of this blog know how to make the distinction between coverage and analysis of all the exciting things that happen in online education, writing my articles in English and actually teaching English online. That said, I have had the chance to talk with quite a few companies that aim to help learners improve on their English.

So, for everybody who keeps asking, here are some companies I think are interesting to you. Of course this does not represent all of the great startups out there but it’s a start. All of them offer at least part of their content for free, but keep in mind that education in general and learning languages in particular is an investment in your own future and career.

However, free only gets you so far. I’d therefore recommend to also have a look at paid solutions of you’re serious about studying online.

Mobile applications

Mobile learning can be a great way to “stuff” some learning time into your busy schedule, may it be on the way to work or during lunch break.


The startup allows you to study and share online flashcards, study guides and quizzes. With more than 2,000,000 flashcards added every week, the community is pretty active and you’ll not come to a dead end any time soon. You can study on the web or also download StudyBlue’s mobile app.

I made a quick search for “English” and the system came up with 15.9K cards. This search is, of course, very broad and ranges from American history, the Bill of Rights to studying English. If you search for “English language” you’ll still get 990 cards – all for free. I think, that’s a great basis and you might even want to contribute yourself and start by creating your own flashcards.

Link: studyblue.com


With Voxy you’ll have the best experience if you’re mother tongue is either Spanish or Portuguese and you want to learn English. The startup offers an interesting mobile approach to language learning and focuses on the personal or individualized experience which essentially means that you only get learning materials that fit your interests.

Voxy uses real content, no textbooks and have recently integrated Skype tutoring and learning English through music.

Link: voxy.com

Live lessons with teachers & tutors

Next on my list are some fellow Edupreneurs who offer their programs online using various outlets such as teaching platforms, Facebook or YouTube. I picked these two because the think outside the box which I like (needless to say..).

My ESL Friends

Created by George Machlan, My ESL Friends gets you in touch with some non traditional approaches to teaching English, off the beaten track. To get an idea, visit their Facebook fanpage at facebook.com/MyESLfriends

Besides, George also uses a virtual classroom to offer his Edupunk lessons. You can find the schedule for his different live online classes on his blog.

Link: myeslfriends.com/wordpress/edupunk-english

Fluency MC / Collolearn

I let Fluency MC aka Jason Levine speak for himself: it’s all the 3Rs – relax, repeat, remember. If you’re looking once again for an innovative and fun approach to learn English for free, you should join his popular Facebook fanpage at facebook.com/FluencyMC and subscribe to his YouTube channel collolearn that’s he’s been growing over the past two years.

Link: youtube.com/collolearn

Language Learning Communities

Back to something more traditional. The following companies have been around for the past five or six years which makes them to established players in the world of online learning. As they’re still around today somewhat proves that there must be something to the way they let you learn languages on the net.


busuu is an online learning community on the internet which lets you learn English and other languages for free. You might even find a partner for language exchange in the community.

If you’re looking for something mobile or professional with a curriculum busuu offers various paid solutions that have found quite some success in the internet community.

Link: busuu.com


To my knowledge one of the oldest language learning communities on the internet, at least the one I discovered early on. Since the days I tried it out in 2007 and 2008 a lot has changed, in the company’s structure, design-wise and about their offer.

I reckon, Livemocha offers the biggest variety of languages among the language learning communities that you can start learning for free. English is naturally the most popular by far. Similar to busuu Livemocha offers paid solution, e.g. if you want personal tutoring that comes with a pricetag.

Link: livemocha.com/pages/languages/learn-english


Unlike the two big language learning communities mentioned above, Palabea adjusted their offer and differentiates from the others by focusing on topics that you love and cultural discovery. If you search for “English” you’ll find lots of users that also want to practise and offer their native language in exchange.

I guess, if you’re not necessarily looking for a professional tutor but have achieved some level already, this might be a good way to practise your English.

Link: palabea.com


Voxopop was designed by my friend Dean Worth and is a voice-based e-learning tools that lets you explore or create talkgroups.

The talkgroups aim to improve students’ speaking skills. Teacher and students record quick voice messages to communicate or discuss a certain topic. Voxopop is used by people from around the world and entirely free to use.

Link: voxopop.com


As the name suggests, edutainment is a mix between education and entertainment. It’s getting more and more popular as you learn while you also have fun by watching movies, playing games and so on.

English Attack!

English Attack’s approach to help you learn English is entertainment based. You’ll learn through watching video, listening to music, play games and find new friends in the community. For instance, each day the startup releases a new video booster, free Photo Vocab or lets you play a free practice game.

There is lots available for free. However, if you want to have access to the entity of English Attack’s offer, you can activate your so called Booster Pass, their paid offer.

Link: english-attack.com

I hope, this gives you a number of tools at hand to learn or improve your English by studying online.
Depending on your preferences and personal taste you might prefer one method over another; I recommend you try my different suggestions out, explore further and get more recommendations from the people you will meet on the different services.

And that’s a wrap!

Picture via Wikimedia

Monday RoundUp

MRU: Startups and Funding in Higher Education, Edutainment and 21st Century Skills

iversity, a Berlin-based education startup in the higher education sector announced a $1.6 million funding round. It is offering a free online workspace for educators and students with a variety of tools for organizing and collaboration.

Big Think and The Jack Parker Corporation launched The Floating University which offers a 12 week online video course by renown lecturers from the Ivy League universities Harvard, Yale and Bard.

Edutainment startup English Attack! surpassed 100k registered users and is planning to launch a schools & teachers platform this fall.

15 startups in higher education will have the opportunity to present their ideas at this year’s Educause in October. Michael Staton of Inigral initiated the idea of a Startup Alley.

Pearson launched an API for developers that gives access to three of the publisher’s main content sources, the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, FT Press and the Eyewitness Guide to London.

According to a report of Pew Internet, only 29% of the general public thinks that an online degree has the same value compared to a classic degree, the college presidents are divided in their opinion.

As part of the talks on an education reform, US Senator Phil Pavlov, head of the Senate Education Committee, is currently working on a bill that would enable schools to hire teachers through private companies in order to save on high-dollar packages pushed by the teacher unions.

In EDUKWEST #70 I talked to Jeffrey McManus, founder and CEO of CodeLesson. CodeLesson provides hands-on, instructor-led training through its interactive courses with real-world tasks and challenges without ignoring the theoretical basis.

No Free Lunch Part X – English Attack! will launch with Subscription Model

News from Parisian start up English Attack!. Apparently the beta test went quite well for the entertainment based English language learning platform and the team received some good feedback on the product.

In a recent newsletter which is linked at the end of this post you can also see some sneak peak pictures of two new games and learn something about the user mix of the platform. But to me the fact that English Attack! is planning to go premium in September for the official launch is even more interesting.

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English Attack! now Part of the Paris Innovation Bourse Incubator

More news from the French online education start up scene. English Attack! the first entertainment only English learning platform is now part of the Paris Innovation Bourse Incubator.

This means that the new address of Paul Maglione and Frederic Tibout will be near the French Stock Exchange in the heart of Paris. Lovely area, also close to La Cantine where the monthly Start in Paris event takes place and the beautiful Galerie Vivienne.

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Who let the Dog out? – English Attack! Finalist at The Next Web and Seedcamp Paris

Big month for English Attack!. The first entertainment only website for English learners is getting more and more attention.

The platform is not only one of the 20 companies which take part in the Mini Seedcamp in Paris but is also one of the 25 finalists for The Next Web event in Amsterdam end of April.

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Review of the TechCrunch Paris event #tcparis

As some of you might have noticed from my Twitter stream last Wednesday, I attended the TechCrunch Paris event hosted by Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch Europe.

What can I say? Nothing, because the event left me speechless. I lost my voice although I did not even take the tour through Paris with the gang after the event.

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Plugg StartUps Rally 2010 – Review

Unfortunately the two online education start ups Sclipo and English Attack! which were on the shortlist of this year’s Plugg StartUps Rally did not make it in the final round.

Nevertheless you should watch their pitches in the videos below to get an idea of their products.

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Two Online Education Start Ups will pitch on the Plugg Start Up Rally

This year’s edition of the Plugg conference will have two online education start ups on the Start Up Rally. Every year a jury of experts selects 20 companies for the short list of the Rally. Those companies will then pitch during the conference and eventually there will be one winner selected by the jury and one winner selected by the audience.

The Plugg conference is founded and hosted by Robin Wauters who you might also know as writer of TechCrunch.

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