Thursday, 7 October 2010

Free promo codes for Cambridge's Phonetic Focus app available

The very kind people at Cambridge Online have given me ten free promo codes for their latest iphone/ipod touch/ipad app Phonetics Focus to give away. These are only for the US itunes store (unfortunately) so you’ll have to have an account there to take advantage of it. I’ll do it like this: the first ten people to comment on this blog post will get one of the promo codes so you can download the app for free (retail price in the UK is £1.19, so I’m assuming it’s about $2 in the US store).

I don’t have a US account so I actually had to buy the app myself (!) but I didn’t mind. The app is based on the Cambridge website of the same name and is a website that I have been recommending to my students for months now to help them with their English pronunciation. There’s loads of great games and activities to do on the website, versions of hangman, matching, mazes, pelmanism.

The iphone/ipod touch app is a pared down version of what’s on the website, but it’s still the best ESL/EFL pronunciation app out there. There are four sections in the app:

The first section is the whole phonemic chart, you can click on the symbols and hear the sound.

The second section is simply an illustrated poster of the phonemic chart, showing the sound, a word containing it and a picture of the word. It’s a shame that there’s no interactive element here, it would have been useful to be able to click the words and hear them. The one useful thing you can do here is take a snapshot of certain parts of the poster using the camera icon on the page. 

However, the next section does give you those words from the poster on individual pages for you to click and hear. 

The last section is a short quiz section where you listen to two similar phonemes and have to choose the correct one.

The app isn’t as fully featured as the website (which is a shame) but it’s still one of the best EFL/ESL apps out there. I haven’t been impressed by the quality of ESL apps on the market, it’s mainly unexciting vocab list/quiz apps so it’s encouraging to see companies like Cambridge begin to release stuff which is a bit slicker and a bit more involved. Hope to see it continue.

So, anyhow, add your comments below and the first ten get the promo code to download for free.


  1. It looks great. Do you use it in your classroom?

  2. What a great tool. I supervise the world language department at a high school. This will be very helpful. Thank you.

  3. hi Lucia and K. If you send me an email to dread1971 at yahoo dot com, I will send you the promo code.

  4. Hi, David! I would really like to try this out!
    Thanks, ~michael

  5. hey michael, send me an email to the email address in the reply above and i'll send you the code.

  6. David

    Thank you for your blog post. It is really interesting and I have just attended a lecture and seminar about phonology and phonetics.

    I will be sharing your blog post on my blog, if that's alright.



  7. thanks Martin, appreciate it. If you want a promo code, drop an email to me at the address mentioned in my first comment.

  8. Hi David – I haven't dropped by your blog for a while, and as today is my ´catching up on blog posts´ day, I thought I would pop in and see what you have been up to :-)

    Just wanted to say I found this review with screenshots really useful to give a very good idea of what this app includes. I'll be adding it to my list of apps to recommend to EFL it/ESL toteachers and students. Thanks!

  9. Hi David, great blog. If you still have a code I would be happy to have one.


  10. Hi David,

    Very interesting. I am spec'ing out a similar tool and would love to check out this app. please let me know if you still have codes to give out.

    Many thanks for sharing.


  11. Hi David,
    I wonder how it goes after few years later.
    I am intetested in trying this app.
    My email is
    Thanks for sharing.