Memrise Language App

Tracey Maitland is the Teaching and Learning Lead for English at Loughborough College of Further and Higher Education.


What is Memrise?

memCaptureMemrise is a free online app for learning languages which uses matching activities to help students gain understanding between terms and definitions and how to use these appropriately in a sentence. There is an extensive open bank of resources that can be used or tutors can easily create a personalised quiz for students based on specific needs.



Why we used it

This app is currently used with students who arrive at College with a GCSE grade D and need to retake English to achieve a higher grade of C alongside their main qualification.

Prior to using Memrise, students had struggled to remember key terms and definitions needed in the assessment which impacted on the achievable GCSE grades and therefore student progression onto level 3 programmes.

Learning the key language using Memrise, students recognise and learn the different terminology that’s used in the GCSE English controlled assessments and therefore can successfully understand exactly what the question is asking. This gives a much greater chance of achieving maximum marks.


How we used it


Memrise works through repetition, so the more students engage, the more they remember. Memrise has an inbuilt randomiser so students experience a wide range of words. There is also a stats board which gives a competitive edge for students and also gives tutors an overview of each quiz – allowing the tutor to identify and address any knowledge gaps and helping them to set personalised targets.

Students also get marks placed on their electronic Individual Learning Plan – linking the app with their formal achievement record. The key characteristics of the platform are revision, competition / badge element, collaboration and tracking which all contribute to increase grades.


What impact has it had?

There may be some dispute whether ‘recall’ equates to ‘learning’, dependent on the pedagogical paradigm taken. Rote learning is viewed disdainfully by some educators, but this is an app built around memorisation and recognition, which language learning is founded on. The issue is whether memorisation translates into comprehension, interpretation, application and so on. On the basis of this small scale case study, memorisation of key terms appeared to assist a clearer understanding of assessment questions, if not the terminology itself.

So far, students who have engaged have got better marks in controlled assessments than students in the same class who haven’t engaged. Whilst this can’t be wholly attributed to Memrise, there is no doubt that using this platform has afforded students the opportunity to extend and consolidate their language skills.


The short video below shows how Memrise was set up and used at Loughborough College.


Tracey Maitland

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