A Complete Guide to Building Your Own E-Learning APP

Friday, December 7, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Today more than ever, people from all over the globe are closely connected to each other. The cross-country and even cross-continent barriers have been broken and we’re able to communicate with people thousands of kilometers away or travel to distant countries and meet them in person.

This is all due to business opportunities, social media platforms, and even education exchanges. We have an opportunity to get in touch with other people, their cultures and, most of all, languages.

Learning a language is commonly done through language courses and private tutors. However, not everyone has the time or the money to take private lessons. This is where e-learning apps can be a lifesaver for those who want to learn a language.

If you’re interested in developing an e-learning app yourself, take a look at the essentials of building it and features you must cover.

Learn from the best

Before you start building your own app, you may want to take a glance at what some of the most prominent e-learning language apps have to offer. It’s always a good idea to find inspiration and learn from the best so we’ve made a selection of the best language learning apps for you to examine.



Duolingo is Google Play’s most highly recommended language learning app, with a rating of 4.7 and more than 100 million users worldwide.

  • It’s focused on language courses.

  • It offers you to learn more than 30 languages, from the most popular ones such as French and Spanish, all the way to Hebrew and Indonesian.

  • It has all the features you can dream about and everything is leveled with your current knowledge and mindset.

  • You can personalize your learning journey and make it just right for your specific needs.



Memrise is another popular and praised Google Play app, which is mostly focused on vocabulary learning.

  • It has a playful side to it, offering humorous examples and bizarre memes to help you memorize everything.

  • It also has all the necessary features of a quality app which we’ll discuss later.

Other apps

There are other apps which could inspire you to create the best one so far.

  • Busuu is another quality app developed to make language learning easy but efficient.

  • Mindsnacks is based on games to help you make your learning fun.

  • Hello Talk offers live chat with native speakers of the target language.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the currently most popular apps, we can get back to you developing an app of your own. Let’s discuss the app features you absolutely need to have in order to create a killer language learning experience.

App Features

app features

  1. Registration & Account Setting

    The first step your app users need to be able to make is to set up their personal account, which will keep track of their success and progress.

    You need to let them sign up and register so as to create a personalized account.

    They should be offered a chance to register via email, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

    Upon registration, the users personalize their profiles by entering:

    • their username

    • age

    • sex

    • native language/app language

    This step can be followed by an optional profile picture upload, so as to create a sense of belonging and determined participation.

  2. Learning Goals

    Learning Goals

    The next feature your e-learning app must have is choosing the target language and how you want to learn it.

    Take a look at the steps necessary for making this feature perfect:

    • choose a language you want to learn

    • choose a goal- how much do you want to learn a day

    • choose your current level of knowledge

    Also, we recommend making it possible for the users to learn more than one language at a time, creating separate courses in the app and making them available at all times.

    This will ensure maximum user retention and people are going to love your app.

  3. Daily Reminders

    It often happens that people feel enthusiastic about achieving a goal such as learning a language, at the very beginning of the process, only to find the enthusiasm fade away quickly.

    For this kind of users, you should set a pop-up notification to remind them of their daily goals.

    It could be an inspiring or motivating message to get them going and get them back on track, such as:

    • Keep up the good work!

    • You’re only a step away from reaching level 5- go for it!

    • Are you ready to learn something new today?

    Of course, some people might find these to be annoying so make sure these notifications can be blocked.

  4. Vocabulary learning

    Vocabulary learning

    Every course needs to start with learning the basic vocabulary suitable for the selected level of the language course.

    That means your app should start with simple vocabulary tasks to cover the basic nouns, verbs, and adjectives which make a simple sentence.

    Vocabulary can be learned through pictures combined with audio sounds and written answers.

    It takes time for a beginner to learn a new word s make sure to mention the same word several times at the same learning level, to ensure they got it and are ready to move on.

  5. Writing skills

    Your app needs to cover all the language learning skills, and writing is one of them.

    That means you have to offer your users a chance to practice spelling and learn how to write in the target language.

    You can offer a picture for them to capitalize, or an audio for them to transcribe. Once they finish writing and check their answer provide the correct spelling in case they made any mistakes.

  6. Translation


    Basic translation is valuable for language learning. After finishing the basic vocabulary learning, make sure your users practice by translating simple words and phrases.

    Once again, make sure you provide the correct answer each time they make a mistake and let them practice over and over again until they have it.

  7. Pronunciation

    One of the advantages of real-life language courses with a teacher and a group of students is that you can practice speaking and pronunciation actively.

    With language apps, people may feel uncomfortable pronouncing what they’re learning, speaking to themselves.


    This is why you need to make a feature which explicitly asks them to pronounce what they’ve learned and see where they stand.

    The best way to do it is to:

    • have them listen to the audio of the word pronunciation

    • have them repeat it, recording their voice and submitting it for revision

    Some apps offer a mutually beneficial relationship between its users, allowing native speakers of a language to grade and comment on the audios of the people learning the language and vice versa.

    That means that an actual native speaker can listen to your audio and write a useful tip such as:

    Make the “R” a bit softer. Other than that, you’re doing great!

    This will create a learning community and maybe even create a long-term connection between your users.

    This wraps up the basic features of your e-learning app. Let’s take a look at what else might be useful for you in terms of planning and developing the app.

Earning money

Most of the learning apps out there are free and people love the fact they can download them in just a few clicks and start learning a new language.

You have to be wondering, where does that leave you?

How can you earn from your e-learning app when you’re offering it for free?

Well, there are two ways you can earn money from your e-learning app:

  1. Go Premium

    Most apps offer the basic user experience for free. Don’t get us wrong- it has all the necessary features and it’s great for learning the language.

    However, there’s more.

    Go Premium

    You can offer your users additional features to help them master the language even better if they Go Premium. Going Premium, or upgrading their user status, means they can have the additional features at a certain amount of money per month or per year.

    Some users will accept it and some won’t and that’s perfectly normal. You’ll be earning plenty from those who do.

  2. Advertisement

    Another way to earn money with your e-learning app is to allow other people to advertise using your platform.

    That means your users will have to deal with pop-up adds every once in a while. Although this can bring a solid cash flow to you, it may be pretty annoying for your users.

    Make sure to think twice before choosing this option.

    “Pop-up adds are one of the main reasons why people uninstall and quit using their apps. If it’s not done subtly, it can be a deal-breaker” says a marketing specialist and an editor at PickWriters.


If you want the best for your users, you need to think about the visual appeal of your app’s design and whether it soothes your users or not.

Keep in mind they are learning. This means you need to make as fewer distractions as possible and keep the design simple, clear and easy to comprehend.


Building an e-learning language app requires a lot of planning and carefully designing all the essential and additional features. You need to have the end-user in mind and create the perfect bridge between him and his desired goals. Your job is to provide the right resources and make them easy to use. Their only job is to learn.

The guide we’ve provided above should definitely help you understand the complexity of building a language learning app. Make sure to put in some serious effort and follow the guidelines. Consider all the best features of the existing apps but don’t forget to analyze their downsides. If you can remove the shortcomings, you can do anything.

Author BIO

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she had found herself as a freelance writer.  She observes with a special interest how the latest achievements in media and technology help to grow readership and revenue and shares her opinion. You can find her on Facebook and Medium.

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