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Learning English with your iPhone part 2: Recording vocabulary

In part two of our series looking at how to use your iPhone to learn English, I’ll be looking at a very useful application with a lot of potential: MyWordBook.

In last week’s post I looked at the Dictionary.com app.  Of course, it’s great to have something to check the meanings of new words, but what can you do with all that new vocabulary?  How can you remember it?  How can you actually learn it? 

Many students don’t give this a lot of thought, whereas others pride themselves on their elaborate systems for recording vocabulary.  As trainers, we often teach study skills and developing clear and accurate vocabulary records is top of the list.  Today’s application is a tool that can possibly help.

From the British Council, MyWordBook is application that allows you to record and organise all your new vocabulary on your phone.  You can then carry your words around with you everywhere you go and test yourself and your friends.

It’s very simple to use: to add a word you enter the translation, part of speech and definition/example sentence.  You can copy and paste this information from your dictionary.  You can also upload a photograph to and record a sound for the entry.  This means that you can record new vocabulary as and when you encounter them.  You can even draw a picture to help you remember the meaning. 

The “Practice” function tests you on either the words you have entered or all the preloaded words in the app.  This is done using flashcards.  This is useful because the flashcards really help you remember the word.  At the moment, the current version only features Chinese translations, though you can edit the preloaded translations into your own language.

This app is already very useful, but it has the potential to be even better.  The British Council have stated that several new features are in the pipeline.   These include translations in multiple languages, more quiz types to test your English vocabulary and the option to download more packs of flashcards.  It they can deliver on these promises, this will be an excellent app.  You can download it here.  Check it out and let me know what you think.


  • to pride yourself on sth - (idiom) to feel proud about something you have done or said
  • elaborate - (adj.) worked out with great care and attention to detail
  • copy and paste - (n. phrase) to move information from one place to another
  • flashcard - (n.) a card having words, numbers or pictures on it
  • to be in the pipeline - (idiom) an informal expression meaning in the process of being completed
  • to deliver on your promises - (idiom) to do what you say you will do
  • check it out - (verb phrase) to investigate something or to try doing/using it

By Andy

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