How to Make a Language Learning App: Comprehensive Guide
19 min.

In today’s interconnected world, speaking multiple foreign languages has become increasingly important for success in education and business. Creating a language learning app for the post-COVID era can be a good business idea, since it addresses the growing demand for language learning tools in a world that increasingly relies on remote communication and international collaboration. But it’s important to conduct thorough market research and evaluate the potential for profitability given the abundance of similar products available.

ProCoders has extensive experience in language learning app development. Besides, we have researched all the additional info for you and are ready to share it in this article! Let’s start! 

Are you thinking about starting a language learning business but unsure about its profitability? Or perhaps wondering which language learning app reigns supreme in the market? Join ProCoders as we delve into the future of language learning and explore the ins and outs of this rapidly-growing industry.

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Language Learning Apps Development Market Overview

With schools and universities closed, students have been forced to learn from home, which has led to an increased demand for online teaching tools and e-learning development. Online tutoring, video conferencing, gamification, and other are just some of the methods that have been used to improve the learning experience for students. Research has shown that students who learn online have better retention and perform better than those who learn through traditional methods. Here’re some other findings: 

Schools planning to operate online75%
US students equipped with digital tools57%
Elementary students with digital tools63%
Middle school students with digital tools63%
High school students with digital tools63%
Schools purchasing additional technology80%
Undergraduates taking at least one online course19.5%
Professors approving of online learning49%
eLearning helping students retain more information25-60%
Increase in eLearning resulting in a 30% increase in failing grades30%
Socioeconomic divide with students lacking access to eLearning resources25-33%

One way to remain relevant in the e-learning field is to create an app like Duolingo, which is a popular language-learning app that uses gamification and other techniques to make learning fun and effective both for adults and for kids.

Here’s why language learning apps can still be a great business idea in 2023:

  1. The language learning app market is projected to reach $18.7 billion by 2027, indicating a strong potential for profitability.
  2. During the pandemic, there was a 22% increase in the use of language learning apps compared to pre-pandemic levels
  3. Advancements in technology have made it easier to develop and scale language learning apps, allowing for a more efficient and cost-effective approach to language learning.
  4. The top language learning apps in 2021 generated over $1 billion in combined revenue.

The Most Successful Language Apps that Took off in 2020-2022

In recent years, many online language learning apps have become popular among users. Some of the most successful language app to help create a language learning process successfully and that have taken off in 2020-2022 include:

  • Duolingo: This is one of the most popular language learning apps available. Duolingo offers courses in over 30 different languages like English, Spanish, Italian, etc, and is known for its gamified approach to language learning and notorious push notifications. It’s available for free, with in-app purchases and subscription options. Due to its popularity, many businesses now attempt to build app like Duolingo.
  • Babbel: This app is widely used for its effective and practical approach to language learning. It has a subscription-based business model, and offers courses in over 14 languages.
  • Memrise: This app is known for its focus on language learning through spaced repetition, flashcards, and mnemonics and uses a unique learning approach. It’s a freemium service, with in-app purchases and subscription options.
  • HelloTalk: This language training app is an online language exchange platform that connects people who want to learn a new language with native speakers. It’s available for free, with in-app purchases and subscription options.

The success of these apps is not only due to their features but also to their approach to language learning, which is engaging, interactive, and practical.

Main Features of Language Apps

Language learning apps typically have a variety of features that are designed to help users learn a new language. In case you’re wondering how to create a language learning app, here’re some of the main features of language apps include:

Main Features of Language AppsDescriptionShould it be the main (easy-to-make) feature or an additional one (advanced)?
Vocabulary and grammar lessonsProvides users with the basic building blocks of the language they are learning through exercises and activities that help them learn new words, phrases, and grammar rules.Main
Audio and text exercisesHelps users practice listening and reading comprehension through activities such as listening to dialogues, reading passages, and answering questions.Main
Speech recognition and pronunciation feedbackHelps users improve their speaking and pronunciation skills by analyzing their speech using speech recognition technology and providing feedback on pronunciation, intonation, and other aspects of speaking.Main
Flashcards and quizzesHelps users memorize and test their knowledge of new vocabulary and grammar rules using flashcards and quizzes.Main
Progress trackingAllows users to track their progress and see how much they have improved over time, which helps them identify areas they need to work on and how much they have progressed in their learning.
PersonalizationAllows the app to adapt to the user’s learning style and level and provide tailored content based on their goals, preferences, and learning style.Main
AI-based tutoringProvides a personalized and adaptive learning experience by analyzing the user’s performance and adjusting the content accordingly using AI-based tutoring.Additional
Social learningAllows users to connect with native speakers and interact with each other to help them practice and improve their conversation skills.Additional
GamificationUses game-like elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards to make the learning experience more engaging and interactive.Additional

It’s important to remember that not all apps need to have every feature from the very beginning. In fact, starting with a basic functionality and one special learning procedure can be a smart strategy to differentiate your app from competitors while still keeping costs low. As your app gains traction and generates cash flow, you can then gradually add more features to improve the user experience and stay competitive in the market.

ProCoders offers a Discovery Phase to assist with this process. This ensures that the app’s design, target audience, and language being taught are considered, resulting in the development of an effective language-learning app. All in all, adding a Discovery Phase will result in saving budget and optimizing app’s features, leveling up chances of success on the market.

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3 Features that Will Make Your App Stand Out According to ProCoders

Based on our experience, ProCoders has highlighted the next must-have features for every e-learning app

1. Real-life Feedback:

Real-life feedback is essential in language learning apps, providing progress and improvement insights. Feedback comes in various forms, like instant evaluation on speaking and listening and speaking skills, feedback from tutors or native speakers on written work, conducting tests, and connecting with natives for real-time conversation practice. Peer-review and user-submitted work also help. These features promote practical language practice, confidence, and progress tracking, making your app stand out with accountability.

2. Offline Learning: 

For business owners, meeting the needs of their language learning app’s target audience is crucial. Offline access is advantageous, especially for users with limited internet access. It provides convenience and accessibility by allowing users to access content and exercises without an internet connection. This enhances the user experience, increasing satisfaction, usage, positive reviews, and ultimately, revenue.

3. Cross-Platform App

Cross-platform development allows you to reach a wider audience, as users on different platforms can access your app. It also allows you to make the most of your development budget, as you can develop the app once and deploy it across multiple platforms.

At ProCoders we can help you develop a language learning app for iOS, for Android or for a learning website. We can make it look beautiful and functional across all devices, whether it is for a laptop or for an iPad. For this, we use such technologies as React Native and Flutter.

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How Do Language Learning Apps Make Money?

Keep in mind that when you make your own language app, you should also monetize it. Here’re some ways of how you can do that:

Subscription-based model

This is when users pay a monthly or annual fee to access all of the app’s content and features. For example, Duolingo Plus, Rosetta Stone, and Babbel all use this model.

In-app purchases:

This is when users can purchase additional content or features within the app, such as additional lessons, exercises or study materials. This is common in many mobile games and is also used by some language-learning apps like Duolingo.

For example, you can add the access to the communication with a real native for additional price.

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This is when the app displays ads to users, and the developers earn revenue from the advertisers. For example, many free language learning apps, like Duolingo, show ads to users who haven’t subscribed. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t bother your audience with excessive and boring ads, as it would have negative impact on your business.

Corporate/Enterprise license: 

This is when companies or educational institutions can buy a license to use the app for their employees or students. For example, Rosetta Stone offers enterprise solutions for businesses and schools.

Partnership and Affiliation: 

Language learning apps can also earn money by partnering with language schools or tutors and get a commission for each new student they bring. For example, an app can partner with a language school and promote their courses, and earn commission when a user signs up through the app.

The choice of monetization method depends on the target audience, the app’s features, and the competition in the market.

At ProCoders, we work with various clients, ranging from startups to large corporations, and we’ve discovered that the most suitable monetization model differs depending on the business type. Startups might benefit more from a freemium model, offering a basic version of the app for free while charging for advanced features. This model can be replaced with a subscription-based one as the startup expands, providing a steady revenue stream. If you’re unsure about the best monetization strategy for your language learning app, our team can help you determine the best option with our Discovery Phase, tailored to your specific needs and objectives.

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Tech Stack, You Need to Build a Language App

In order to make a language learning app and integrate a variety of features and solid architecture you’ll need a strong tech stack. Here are some of the most common technologies:

Front-end development: 

For creating the user interface, developers typically use technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as popular front-end frameworks like React, Angular, or Vue.js.

Back-end development: 

On the back-end side, the app uses web frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Express.js, or Django to manage server-side logic and handle database management.


To store and access user data and lesson content, databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL are used.

Cloud hosting: 

Usually, they are hosted on cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure or GCP.

Mobile development: 

It is important that you build mobile app for learning language! All good language learning apps are available as mobile apps, which are developed using frameworks like React Native, Flutter, etc.

Machine Learning: 

Some of these apps use machine learning algorithms such as natural language processing, speech recognition and text-to-speech to improve user experience, personalize content and provide more accurate feedback

Integration with external services: 

Applications that help you learn languages often integrate with external services such as Google Translate, Speech-to-Text, Text-to-Speech, or other language learning tools like Grammarly to provide additional functionality and improve the user experience.

To build a language app, it’s essential to carefully consider the right tech stack. Question is, how to find programmers for startup fluent in this tech stack. Well, here at ProCoders can guide you through the process and build a custom app that fits your specific needs, ensuring that it meets and exceeds your expectations.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Create a Language Learning App

Making a language learning app is a complex process, but from the experience that ProCoders accumulated throughout the years, it can be broken down into the following steps:

Step 1. Defining your target audience:

By understanding how to build a language learning app that appeals to your target audience, you can ensure that your app is engaging and effective. Here’s how it can influence the features of the app:

  • If you are targeting young adults, incorporating gamification and interactive elements may be a good approach. 
  • If your app is targeted towards professionals in specific fields (doctors, developers, journalists), it may be important to include industry-specific vocabulary and scenarios to help learners apply their language skills in a work setting. 
  • If your app is targeted towards immigrants and refugees, it may be important to provide basic language skills and cultural information to help them navigate their new environment. 
  • If your app is targeted towards expats or corporate learners, you may want to include features such as pronunciation practice, language exchange forums, or personalized learning plans to help learners achieve their goals.

By conducting thorough research and understanding the needs of your target audience, you can create a language learning app that effectively meets the needs of users.

language app examples

Step 2. Researching the market: 

This step involves studying the competition and identifying the features and methods that are currently being used to teach languages. This will help you to understand what works and what doesn’t and to identify gaps in the market. For example, you might find that most of the existing apps are focused on grammar and vocabulary, but there are few apps that focus on conversation. This could be an opportunity for your app to stand out.

Step 3. Planning the app’s features: 

When creating a minimum viable product (MVP) for your language learning app, it’s important to decide on the key features that will allow users to engage with and benefit from your app such as vocabulary and grammar lessons, audio and text exercises, speech recognition and pronunciation feedback. Once you’ve launched your MVP, you can start collecting feedback from your first users and generating your first cash flow. This will allow you to iterate on and improve your app, adding new features like AI-based tutoring, social learning, and gamification to enhance the user experience and drive customer satisfaction. Then choose a monetization model and potentially secure investments to scale your app.

Have no idea about the features you want to include to your app? Well, no worries: for this, ProCoders have the Discovery Phase service. During it, we will thoroughly study your product, research the market and will provide you with the best solutions and features your app should include to stand out of the crowd. 

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Step 4. Looking for the right developer/vendor:

Once you clearly understand what you want your language learning app to do and how you want it to look, it’s time to find the right developer to bring your vision to life. Here are some steps to help you with it:

  1. Define your requirements. including the features you want, platforms you want to run it on, and budget.
  2. Look for experience by checking portfolios and reviews of previous clients. You can find developers on websites like Upwork, Clutch, and Toptal.
  3. Consider the technology stack and consult with technical experts if necessary.
  4. Test drive the developer by starting with a portfolio assessment, a smaller project or by having them complete a trial task.
  5. Discuss project timelines and milestones to ensure they have a clear understanding of your project’s scope and can deliver within your desired timeframe.
  6. Consider their communication skills and responsiveness to your questions and concerns.
  7. Make the final decision based on factors such as risks, prices, and possible bottlenecks or issues. For example, carefully evaluate the developer’s contract and ensure that it provides adequate protection in the event of disputes or delays. Consider using escrow services or legal agreements to protect your interests. Also consider the developer’s pricing structure and whether it aligns with your budget and timeline. 
right developer to create  a language learning app

Step 5. Designing the user interface: 

It involves creating wireframes and mockups of the app’s user profile to ensure that it is easy to use and navigate. You will need to consider the visual design, layout, and user flow, and make sure that the interface is intuitive and user-friendly.

Step 6. Developing the app: 

This step involves using a programming language to build a language learning app. It’s important to test the app thoroughly to ensure that it is free of bugs and that it works smoothly. It’s also important to optimize the app for performance and make sure that it works on different devices and platforms.

Step 7. Adding content:

This step involves creating or acquiring the content that will be used in the app, such as audio recordings, images, and text. This content should be engaging, interactive, and relevant to the target audience.

Step 8. Launching the app: 

In the end it’s time to release the app on the App Store or Google Play and promote it through social media, SEO, and paid advertising. It’s important to make sure that the app is properly optimized for the app stores, and that it has a high-quality icon, screenshots, and descriptions.

Step 9. Monitoring and improving: 

If you make a language app, it is important to keep track of its performance and user feedback, and make necessary improvements to ensure that the app continues to meet the needs of its users. This includes analyzing user engagement, retention, and conversion metrics and making changes to the app based on this data, such as incorporating feedback and suggestions from users, fixing bugs, and adding new features to the app to enhance user experience.

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Possible Challenges You May Face When Making a Language Learning App  

How to make a language learning app? It can be a complex process and there are several challenges that you may face along the way, such as:

Content creation: 

If you want to create a language app for language learners, it can be a challenging task. It demands a large investment of time, money, and knowledge. You might need to assemble a team of content producers, editors, and proofreaders with experience in language instruction if you want to make sure the information is accurate, current, and relevant.


Finding the right monetization model for your app can be challenging. You’ll need to consider factors such as your target audience, the features of your app, and the competition in the market.

Monetization of Learning app

User engagement: 

Keeping users engaged and motivated to continue using your app can be challenging. You’ll need to create an engaging and interactive experience that encourages users to stick with the app and make progress.

Adapting to different learning styles: 

People learn languages differently, some prefer audio-based, some prefer visual-based, some prefer a combination of both. So, it’s important to cater to different learning styles.

Keeping up with the latest trends and technologies: 

Developing an e-learning app comes with its own set of challenges, such as keeping up with the latest trends and technologies to remain competitive in the market. To succeed, it’s crucial to find special features and unique ingredients that set your app apart from competitors. Additionally, ensuring personal data protection is another challenge that should not be overlooked. With new data privacy regulations being introduced globally, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect user data and build trust with your audience.

Remember: If you want to create your own language app, ProCoders can help you stay ahead with experienced e-learning developers, up-to-date on the latest trends and tech. Our team excels at developing high-quality, user-friendly language learning apps and other e-learning solutions tailored to your needs, saving you time.

Marketing and promotion:

Launching and promoting a new app can be challenging, as it requires a significant amount of marketing and advertising budget. It’s important to create a marketing strategy that will help you to increase visibility, downloads, and user engagement. For example, ensuring customer satisfaction and offering a guarantee of results or money back can be an effective way to boost user confidence in the app and increase the chances of success.

promoting a language app

ProCoders’ Expertise and Experience we Can Contribute to Your Language Learning App Development

In recent years, online education or e-learning has seen a significant increase in popularity. Procoders has played a significant role in this growth by helping to build several Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and educational platforms around the world. We have worked with clients from various countries, such as the UK, Europe, and the US, to create and develop various types of e-learning software systems.

Our experience has shown that e-learning is not a one-size-fits-all solution. We have worked on a wide range of projects, from simple course management systems to comprehensive platforms that include features such as gamification, interactive exercises, and real-time communication.

One of our recent projects, the Quartz Network, is an example of a comprehensive e-learning system. The system includes an educational application that allows users to create, register, track, and conduct educational events. It also includes a paid subscription feature where users can access and view content from previous events.

When it comes to the cost of creating an e-learning system, it is important to note that the price can vary greatly depending on the specific requirements and features of the project. We understand that every project is unique and therefore we cannot provide a specific cost without knowing the details. That is why we have something called the ‘Discovery Phase’ during which under an NDA, we understand the requirements of your project in detail and give you an estimate in terms of the time and resources that would be required to create something that you want, in this case creating a language learning app. 

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In general, when working on an e-learning project, we take into account various factors such as the scope of work, the complexity of the project, and the technologies used. We work closely with our clients to understand their specific needs and provide a cost estimate based on those requirements.

ProCoders has a team of experienced developers, designers, project managers, QA engineers, and marketing experts who can help you make a language learning app.

Technical expertise: The developers at ProCoders are well-versed in various programming languages and technologies such as Java, Python, and Ruby on Rails, which are commonly used for app development. They can use this expertise to create a high-quality, stable, and performant app that works on different devices and platforms.

Project management expertise: The project managers at ProCoders can help you plan, execute, and deliver your project on time and within budget. They can set and manage project milestones, timelines, and deliverables, and keep you updated on the project’s progress.

Quality assurance and testing expertise: The QA engineers at ProCoders can test your app thoroughly to ensure it is free of bugs and works smoothly. They can also test the app on different devices and platforms to ensure that it is compatible with different screen sizes and resolutions.

Cloud and server-side expertise: At ProCoders we can help you build the back-end infrastructure for your app, such as a database, APIs, and server-side logic. They can also help you to integrate your app with cloud services such as AWS, GCP, and Azure, to make sure your app can handle high traffic and can be scaled easily.

ProCoders’ team can work closely with you throughout the development process, from planning and design to development and testing, to ensure that the final product meets your requirements and exceeds your expectations. We also provide ongoing support and maintenance services to help you keep your app up-to-date and running smoothly. Whether you need to outsource app development or simply add several developers to your team, we can adjust our working process.

If you want to hire application developers  – don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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Membean Case: 

When Membean approached ProCoders, they were struggling to keep up with the fast-paced development of language learning apps. They needed additional resources to complete their project within the required timeframe.However, hiring and training new developers could have been a time-consuming and expensive process. They also needed specialized expertise that their existing team did not possess.

That’s where ProCoders stepped in to help Membean with its development needs. We provided two experienced developers to work with the Membean team under the staff augmentation model. This model allowed the developers to work closely with the existing Membean team and provide the specialized expertise that was needed to complete the project.

Our developers were able to quickly integrate into Membean’s development process and start contributing to the project. They worked on various aspects of the app, including its design, development, testing, and maintenance. They also helped Membean keep up with the latest trends and technologies in the language learning market.

Over the past two years, our developers have played a crucial role in helping Membean complete their language learning app. They have worked closely with the Membean team to ensure that the app meets their requirements and delivers a seamless learning experience to users. Our cost-effective solution has allowed Membean to access specialized expertise and achieve their goals without breaking the bank.

How Much Does Language Learning App Development Cost?

The cost of language learning app development ranges from $50K to $250K, but actual costs vary depending on project requirements, such as features, platform compatibility, design complexity, and development time. 


How long does it take to create your own language learning app?

Language learning app development time can take up to  700-1000 working hours (4-8 months)  based on complexity, features, and platforms. Actual development time depends on project requirements.

What are the main benefits of language learning applications?

Self-paced learning, flexibility in time/location, diverse courses and materials, interactive experience, progress tracking, and personalized feedback – are some of the benefits of language learning applications. 

What are the main types of language learning apps?

They include vocabulary/grammar, conversation, flashcard, language exchange, and gamified apps. Vocabulary/grammar teaches reading and writing by using common words and phrases, conversation improves speaking and listening language skills, flashcard focuses on memorization, language exchange connects users with native speakers, and gamified apps use game-like elements to make learning fun.


Which language learning apps are the most popular?

Duolingo, Babbel, Drops, Memrise, and Speakly are considered to be the top rated learning apps in 2022. These apps have gained popularity due to their user-friendly interfaces, variety of language courses offered, and innovative features such as gamification and language exchange programs.


When you make your own language learning app it can be a challenging but rewarding task. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, including researching your target audience, determining the features and functionality of your app, and testing and refining your app and focusing on MVP first, you can create a high-quality and effective language learning app.

Additionally, by incorporating interactive elements such as gamification, speech recognition, and conversation practice, you can make the learning experience more engaging and enjoyable for users. With the right approach and hard work, your language learning app can be a valuable resource for language learners around the world.

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