How I Use It
I tried the English-French iOS version starting at the beginning level. It was very simple to sign-up and get started - I created an account (can be linked with email, Facebook, or Google), choose a level and topic, then the app walked me through the beginning steps. Even though I chose beginner, the first article was entirely in French, so this may be overwhelming for younger students. I would recommend this app for older middle and high school students looking to practice vocabulary in context. Also, students that need additional practice and/or are particularly motivated by gamification would enjoy this app.
Lingua.ly is not a perfect app, but overall I think it is an easy way to practice vocabulary in context. Adding the element of gamification makes it a fun alternative to traditional flashcards. I liked that the app allows the user to choose the topic that interests them the most and then finds/generates articles to read based on the chosen topic and vocabulary words in the app. The app is user directed, so the more students use it the better it will be at choosing content and generating practice questions.
Any vocabulary words include the translation and a pronunciation, but no grammar - so this is strictly for learning new words, not conjugations, other grammar, or sentence structure. Each new word is also supposed to be associated with a picture- this feature is not always evident and sometimes shows strange or unrelated pictures. It took some clicking and exploring to figure out what each of the sections on the app was and how to change the settings (I turned sound effects off! as soon as I did!) - but once I figured it out, it was easy to use.
I think Lingua.ly can serve as a fun supplemental tool to practice vocabulary, but not as a classroom tool for teachers.