English is quite simply the most popular foreign language for people to learn, quite probably due to its status as the lingua franca for pretty much all international communication. In addition, more than half of the content on the internet is also in English. So, it is probably no surprise that there are so many great online resources for people learning English, it is difficult to give an overview.
We have already given some recommendations about which resources English learners should use in Part 1 of this post but since there are so many to choose from, we’ve put together this additional list.
Basics for Getting Started
Before getting too far in your English studies, it is always a good idea to take a minute and think about what you really want to achieve – do you want to focus on writing more professionally, only want to understand your favourite TV shows, or are looking to communicate freely with English-speakers. All of those needs require a different approach from your teacher and from yourself, so it’s good to really make it clear what level you are looking to get to.
Additionally, it’s always good to see where you’re starting your learning from. For this, the Cambridge English website offers a great quick test. Although it is meant to help you choose which one of their English exams you should take, just use the test results to keep track of your progress.
Another great resource for beginners is the Oxford Dictionaries. Although a lot of people these days just turn to Google Translate, the Oxford Dictionaries can provide you with both British and American English translations and a lot of extra info for your searches, helping you remember new words better.
Useful Grammar Sites
Although learning grammar can be very tiresome for some people, mastering it helps you understand (and learn) English more effectively.
However, using sites like Perfect English Grammar can really help make even the harder parts easy. This site is especially useful for those looking to learn British English but can, of course, be useful for anyone struggling with the complicated grammar rules in English.
Another great option is the Woodward English grammar site. The good thing about this resource is that it makes grammar easy to understand and remember through games. Just playing your way to fluency in English is a great way to learn!
Using Media in English
Using different media channels is a great way to improve your English by seeing the way English is actually used. While the media still retains a certain level of formality in its use of language, it is still a great alternative to traditional textbooks.
The BBC is always a wonderful resource for English learners, and their radio is no exception. This is a great site to use if you’ve already advanced far enough in your studies to start worrying about regional dialects and understanding accents. There are plenty of short interviews on offer that show how English sounds different in various regions.
Using written media is always a good way to learn about the current topics while improving your language skills as well. Beginners and intermediate level learners should definitely visit News in Levels – this site helps you to first determine your English language level and then offers you short informative new pieces according to your skills. If you have already advanced past the beginning stages of language learning and are looking to improve your expression and debating skills even further, visit the Guardian international site or The Talks – these sites offer views on world events or interviews with different personalities, helping you shape your English to express your own take.
Making English Learning Fun and Effective
Games a great way to learn a language. When you have to force yourself to study anything, chances are, that you will be quitting rather soon. Games eliminate that problem and make learning fun and, additionally, your brain is able to retain the info better. So, use these websites to find fun language learning games and exercises:
The English Club offers a wide variety of different materials to help you better understand English. It is especially useful for practicing your pronunciation and explaining minimal pairs and difficult individual sounds in English. Many Things is another site that, as the name would suggest, offers many things for language learners. They have huge vocabulary lists that can help you get to know new topics but also offer tons of games and exercises to help you remember the info.
Once you feel like you’ve played enough, head over to Learn English Feel Good to take one of their many grammar and vocabulary tests. If you’re not ready for those yet, you can also find other resources on that page that can, for example, introduce you to American idioms.