While one of the advantages of learning English is the high number resources out there to help you, this can make it tricky knowing which ones to choose. So we’ve made a list of our favourite websites to help you.
General websites for learning English
- BBC Learning English has been supporting learners for nearly 80 years – so we think they know what they are doing! They have a really wide selection of resources from the usual grammar and vocabulary activities to mini courses and drama series.
- English Club has a wide variety of resources to practise all four skills along with grammar and vocabulary activities and games.
Learning and practising vocabulary
- The Phrase Finder will help you with English phrases, idioms and proverbs. Providing the meaning, origin and examples – sometimes you can listen to the expression being spoken.
- Phrasal Verb Demon tries to help you make sense of those pesky phrasal verbs by exploring the system behind them (it’s all about the prepositions). The website also offers listening and reading practice with a focus on…you guessed it… phrasal verbs!
- Oxford Word Skills helps you learn and practice vocabulary and phrases in context.
- Oxford Collocation Dictionary shows you which words go together in English and can help make your English sound more natural whether you’re speaking or writing. Particularly useful for more advanced level learners.
Listening practice for learners of English
- English exercises is the website for you if you like films. It uses movie trailers, TV Commercials and songs for listening comprehension practice.
- Lyrics Training offers music lovers listening practice while watching the latest music videos. Karaoke anyone? If you sing along you get some pronunciation practice too – win win.
- BBC 6 Minute English is a long-running topical discussion series presented with listening activities and vocabulary for Intermediate level students. You can download a full transcript of each programme.
- British Council – Listening has a number of graded listening options with comprehension questions.
Exam Preparation websites
- Cambridge English has a wide range of resources to help students prepare for all the Cambridge suite of English Language examinations.
- Exam English provides free online practice tests for a wide variety of English Language exams including the Cambridge English Exams and the TOEFL and TOEIC Exams.
- Flo-Joe offers vocabulary, grammar and skills practice for the Cambridge English exams including B2 First (formerly FCE), CAE, CPE & IELTS.
- Engexam has FCE, CAE & IELTS practice tests, writing and speaking samples. The website also provides grammar explanations and tips on how to pass the exams.
- Test English offers lots of free practice tests and materials to help you improve your English skills in preparation for KEY (KET), PET, FCE, IELTS, TOEIC and TOEFL iBT. It has lots of good listening practice videos.
News, Radio & Video offering authentic reading and listening practice
Here are some links to some of the media we regularly read, listen to or watch that we think you will find useful and interesting.
- Novara Media is an independent, progressive alternative media organisation based in the UK. It offers news articles, videos and podcasts. You can listen to political analysis on their YouTube channel – great for practising listening to a wide variety of accents and use of informal English.
- VICE describes itself as the definitive guide to enlightening information. It features articles and videos on news, fashion, music and the arts. Some of the content can be quite provocative.
- The Meteor is co-operative based in Manchester (like us!) covering issues local to Manchester and beyond! Its mission is to promote social, environmental and economic justice by investigating stories neglected by the mainstream media.
- Positive News is a co-operative (owned by readers and journalists worldwide) helping us escape the doom and gloom of the standard news cycle by reporting on what is going right in the world.
- BBC Sounds offers a wide variety of listening options, including music, radio and podcasts. You can listen via a web browser (you will have to sign up for an account) or apps for Android and iOS can be downloaded for free.
- Bitch Media offers its readers a “feminist response to pop culture,” featuring witty critiques of TV, movies, magazines, and advertising, interviews with feminist celebrities and news-makers, and book reviews.
- Out is a glossy magazine focusing on popular culture, entertainment and political issues of interest to the LGBTQ+ community.
- Gal-dem describes itself as a new media publication, committed to telling the stories of people of colour from marginalised genders. With their online magazine, they’re addressing inequality and misrepresentation in the industry through platforming the creative and editorial work of their community across essays, opinion, news, arts, music, politics and lifestyle content.
- Popula is a journalist-owned, journalist-run, ad-free publication with stories sourced from writers all over the world.
- GURLS TALK is an inclusive community-led non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the mental health and well-being of adolescent girls and young women. It offers podcasts and an online community.
- Al Jazeera broadcasts breaking news, world news, video and podcasts from a Middle Eastern perspective.
- PBS: Public Broadcasting Service is a non-profit American public broadcaster and television programme distributor. It is the most prominent provider of educational television in the US.
- TED talks You may already be familiar with TED talks, but we particularly like this list of talks and blog posts relating to learning, especially language learning!