As an English as a second language (ESL) speaker, it can be overwhelming to search for online resources to help you with your grammar and English usage. The Internet is great because it provides a wealth of information, but this information is often hard to navigate. How do you know which online resources for ESL speakers will best suit your English learning needs? GrammarCamp is here to help!
Our grammar experts have compiled a list of the best tools to help those learning to speak English. To help pinpoint specific needs, we’ve broken it up into five sections: Grammar and English Usage; Spelling and Punctuation; Vocabulary and Writing; and Speaking and Listening. To help assess what you’ve learned, we’ve also included the sections Quizzes and Worksheets, Lesson Plans, and YouTube Channels.
We hope these online resources for ESL speakers will help you become confident in your English usage and that you will continue to consult them whenever you need to brush up on your skills or improve your knowledge.
Grammar and English Usage
1. Dave‘s ESL Cafe: Dave Sperling is an ESL teacher. His comprehensive website provides lessons on grammar, idioms, pronunciation, and much more for ESL/EFL students and teachers.
2. ESL Partyland: The mission of ESL Partyland, according to the website, is threefold: “provide students with the content and tools necessary to learn online; provide teachers with class materials; and allow for students and teachers to easily communicate together.”
3. Scribendi.com: Scribendi.com is one of the world’s oldest and most trusted online editing and proofreading companies. Its primary goal is to provide clients with fast, reliable, and affordable revision services. The service is especially popular among students and ESL speakers, as it can help them overcome any language barriers that may be hindering them from communicating their ideas clearly.
4. Breaking News English: On Breaking News English, you can read current news stories at varying levels of difficulty. The following resources are also available, according to the website: “seven levels of free lessons, from elementary to advanced, with printable activities and handouts; lessons based on current news stories with 30+ online quizzes for each lesson; and listening files in British and North American English that can be downloaded in mp3 format or subscribed to via a podcast.”
5. ESL-Lounge: ESL-Lounge offers hundreds of exercises focused on parts of speech and vocabulary classified by difficulty, including ESL lesson plans and materials, books, talking points, pronunciation, and terminology.
6. GrammarCamp: GrammarCamp was developed by the award-winning editing experts at Scribendi.com. This online course allows you to learn English grammar at your own pace and become a better writer. With comprehensive lessons and quizzes, this course has helped people around the world improve both their written and spoken English.
7. Activities for ESL Students: Grammar and vocabulary quizzes at multiple levels of difficulty are available from Activities for ESL Students. The website also offers bilingual quizzes in dozens of languages.
8. 5-Minute English: 5-Minute English provides short and easy exercises for ESL speakers, including lessons on grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, slang, and idioms. It also provides answers to students’ questions about confusing features of English.
Spelling and Pronunciation
9. TalkEnglish: English is currently the most commonly used language in worldwide business. TalkEnglish’s Business English lessons help people with office jobs communicate in such an environment. According to the website, “Each lesson contains multiple sentences that you can click on to learn how to say that sentence. You should be able to easily find what you need by the different subcategories. Repeat after the audio files and you will improve your business English.”
10. Antimoon: Antimoon’s website explains that it “provides advice and inspiration to people who are serious about improving their English. The Antimoon Method is a set of principles and techniques for learning English effectively. If you want to learn English well, you cannot rely on English classes; you have to take control of your learning. Antimoon will show you how to do it in a fun and effective way.”
11. English Zone: English Zone provides a variety of information for ESL speakers, including grammar, reading, verbs, pronunciation, idioms, spelling, writing, and conversation.
12. Learn That Word: Learn That Word “creates every session just for you. Nothing is out-of-the-box! Advance on your word journey in fast, easy steps. Focus on learning what’s important to you; we’ll manage your progress behind the scenes. LearnThatWord is a complete solution. We’re your virtual mom, catering to your every need and helping you be the best you can be.”
13. BBC Learning English: Since 1943, BBC Learning English has been involved in teaching English around the world. It is a branch of the BBC World Service, and it offers free learning materials to learners worldwide. According to the website, BBC Learning English “deliver [their] materials as full-length courses, but each component of the course is stand-alone and can be studied on its own. This means the learner can choose the best way to study for them: by following a full course or by following the individual materials most appropriate to them.”
Speaking and Listening
14. Using English: According to the website, UsingEnglish.com is “a general English language site specializing in ESL, with a wide range of resources for learners and teachers of English. The site uses different varieties of English, and there are contributors from the United States, Canada, Pakistan, and non-native speakers, but much of the site uses British English.”
15. TEFL Tunes: The TEFL Tunes website uses the principle that language can be learned through music. Website visitors can select the level of difficulty, the song’s theme, the skill they want to learn, and even the artist they want to learn from. Subscriptions to the website are £10 for an individual or £36 for a school. However, there is also a selection of free song lessons available.
Vocabulary and Writing
16. Answers.com‘s Idiom Dictionary: Learning idioms can be one of the biggest challenges when studying English. To help you keep them straight, The Dictionary of Idioms “contains idiomatic words and phrases, slang terms, figures of speech, common proverbs, and metaphors, each clearly defined and illustrated with at least one sample sentence or quotation.”
17. The Ultimate Vocabulary Resource Guide: Looking for even more great online tools for improving your vocabulary? This guide, compiled by the writers at SuperSummary, includes links to vocabulary tools, resources for educators and parents, vocabulary test preparation tips, and more.
18. Cram: Cram offers “a wide selection of flashcards for you to study, memorize, test yourself on, and more. Flashcards are effective because they are founded on the principles of rote and memorization. You can use its web-based flashcard maker to create your own set. Once you create your online flashcards, you will be able to study, export, or even share it with your fellow classmates. You can collaborate perfectly with anyone, anytime.”
19. ESL Lab: Finding the time to keep your language skills fresh can be difficult. ESL Lab’s vocabulary lists will teach you how to use vocabulary in everyday situations. According to the website, “Each of the pages on this website is designed to build communication skills and includes a listening and discussion activity. As you learn the vocabulary, try to use it in other situations.”
20. About.com English Vocabulary: About.com English Vocabulary offers resources for learners of English who are at a more advanced level, including articles, quizzes, and worksheets.
21. Vocabulary.co.il: This is a “fun educational website dedicated to helping you build reading, phonics, or English language skills. It offers free online word games, which are specifically designed to build vocabulary skills and to motivate people to learn through fun practice in spelling, phonics, and vocabulary.”
22. Pizzaz: For learning to write fiction and poetry in English, Pizzaz offers some simple creative writing activities. It also offers printable resources both for learning and teaching English writing.
Quizzes and Worksheets
24. English Club: English Club’s vocabulary quizzes offers a compilation of over 1,000 activities for ESL students pertaining to grammar, vocabulary, idioms, and more.
25. ESL Resource Center: The ESL Resource Center was created for ESL teachers and provides plenty of worksheets, tips, and lessons on grammar, spelling, reading and writing, pronunciation, vocabulary and idioms, and listening.
26. ESL HQ: ESL HQ offers free ESL flashcards, worksheets, games, activities, lesson plans, advice from teachers, job listings, and more.
27. The Internet TESL Journal – The Internet TESL Journal offers a large collection of lesson plans, articles, research papers, handouts, and teaching ideas categorized according to the skill they aim to teach.
28. Waygook.org – Waygook.org is a forum providing message boards about language and teaching. In addition to conversations between users, message boards contain lesson plans, PowerPoints, and other resources that are helpful to ESL speakers.
29. VOA Learning English: VOA Learning English allows viewers to see captioned news reports in American English at a speed that is 33% slower than normal.
30. Listen and Read Along: Listen and Read Along offers Reading Movies (Rovies) that encourage reading and attempt to make it an enjoyable experience for those learning the language.
31. TOEFL TV: According to the channel’s description, TOEFL TV is “a place to learn, share, and grow. TOEFL TV has tips from real teachers and real students to help improve your English skills. You can hear what leading colleges and universities think about the value of students who can communicate well in English in an academic setting.”
32. OMGmeiyu’s Channel: OMGmeiyu’s YouTube channel is an excellent resource for native Chinese speakers learning English and seeking to learn American English slang.
33. English with Jennifer: Run by an experienced ESL teacher, English with Jennifer “will introduce new content to some and serve as a review for others.” Both students and teachers can also leave comments and questions that Jennifer will address.
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