Sections 2 and 3 have interactive mini-lessons for you to do on-line. Each one takes about 20-30 minutes, and you get feedback at every step. Choose the section for your level of English (Level1 or Level2); then click on the topic you want. The lesson starts in a new window.
Sections 4 and 5 have links to a mix of YouTube videos and other websites, for interest or for fun. Some of the videos have subtitles which you can switch on or off.
Section 6 has some grammar notes that you can print.
(The lessons marked MOHT come from the Move-On Hot Topics collection. To go to the next screen, click the MoveOn button on the bottom-right.)
1. British Council and BBC…
The British Council and BBC websites are excellent for everything: video clips, reading, writing, speaking and listening practice. The list below shows the levels for each website, from Entry Level1 (E1) to Level2 (L2).
For listening practice, try British Council or BBC Learning English. There are lots of video & audio clips, which you can pause when you need. You can also look at the text, at the same time, if you want: try listening without the text, the first time, and with the text the second time. (The BBC Learning English website changed to a new style on 24-9-14: both the new and old websites are listed below.)
- British Council – ESOL Nexus (E1-L2)
- British Council – Learn English (E2-L2)
- BBC Learning English (E2-L2)
- BBC World Service – Learning English (Old Version before 24-9-14) (E3-L2)
- BBC Skillswise – English & Maths (E1-L2)
- CBBC Newsround – Video Clips From BBC Children’s News (E3-L2)
The EsolCourses.com website has lots of short English exercises. First choose your level, at the top: eg Beginner or Advanced. Then choose an activity: eg a grammar exercise, a quiz, a video clip or a song.
This English Dictionary has many languages. Choose the language you want – Arabic, Polish, Spanish etc.
2. Mini-lessons ~ Level 1
- Dealing With a Problem – Speaking & Listening MOHT L1
- Get On at Work – Reading MOHT L1
- Stay Safe – Reading MOHT L1
- Put It in Words – Writing MOHT L1
- What Do You Do? – Speaking & Listening MOHT L1
- The Main Purpose of Texts – MOHT L1
- Finding the Main Points & Specific Detail – MOHT L1
- Looking for Specific Information – MOHT L1
- Internet Study
- Listening Exam Practice L1
- Reading Exam Practice L1
- Writing Exam Practice L1
- Formal Letters L1
3. Mini-lessons ~ Level 2
- Handling Calls At Work
- Handling Complaints
- Job Interviews
- Listening Exam Practice L2
- Reading Exam Practice L2
4. YouTube & video websites
Here are some videos for fun, or to practice your listening skills. Most of them are YouTube channels. The talking is authentic and fast: but you can select subtitles if you want. I’ve indicated the approximate level and skills, only as a guide, but personal preference and style are just as important: explore to find the videos that suit you.
Language Learning Wiki has videos of English conversations, movie extracts and music; there are also video lessons in grammar & vocabulary, and reading & writing. It’s good for Level1 and Level2, though there are topics for Entry Level students as well; the activities are graded Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced. (The sources are American and Canadian.) There are also videos and courses for learning other languages, such as Spanish, French, Chinese & Japanese.
Papa Teach Me has mini-lessons on grammar, idiom and pronunciation. It’s good for Level1 grammar, and Level1 and Level2 vocabulary and listening skills; there are topics for Entry Level students as well. The style is fun and enthusiastic, but quite fast: so use subtitles if you want.
Anglophenia TV has videos about British way of life, such as making tea, and the British school system. It’s good for Level2 listening skills and vocabulary.
Play Phrase lets you type in any word or phrase, (eg “somehow” or “give me a break”), and it then shows you a load of genuine short clips from film and TV with that phrase, together with the text clips. You get to hear the phrase used in lots of different contexts and pronounced in many different ways. There are options to control the speed and pauses. It’s good for Entry Level3 to Level2 listening and pronunciation skills. Very interesting – try it.
ISwearEnglish has video lessons on vocabulary, idiom and use of English. It’s good for Level1 and Level2.
Future Learn has online courses in Business & Management, Health & Psychology, Languages & Cultures, Teaching and much more. They can be an interesting way to use higher-level English in different contexts, and can also help towards finding new work. A lot of the courses have been compiled by universities. There is a mix of videos, reading texts and exercises, and you can study at your own pace.
5. Websites of general interest
Gov.uk is a website with information and advice about many aspects of living in the UK, your rights and responsibilities: eg the education system, the health service, UK law, and voting. It is a UK Government website, a reliable source of information written in clear English.
The Citizens Advice Bureau is another service, especially for people who need advice and help with some problem, such as discrimination at work or being in debt. The website is clear and reliable, and you can also visit their offices for one-to-one confidential advice. They are a charity, and this service is free for everyone.
Here is a calendar showing religious holidays for many different faiths, and the BBC website on religion and ethics:
Some interesting trends across the world:
- Poodwaddle – World Clock, Populations & Statistics
- Gapminder – World & Country Statistics Through the Years
Some useful services:
- Yellow Pages – Telephone Directory
- National Rail Enquiries – Train Information
- Highway Code – Driving Laws & Road Signs
Worldwide news and current events:
Here are some comedy YouTube videos: