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Learning English is Like Carrying an Elephant up a Hill.
It is tiring.
You will feel hopeless at some points.
But with these resources, English will seem like carrying a feather up that hill!
Resources to Learn English
These are the best resources that I have used, and my students have used to learn English.
I hope they serve you!
First of all, Duolingo is very similar to Rosetta Stone. In a lot of ways, the program is exactly the same. They also start with a very human-centric approach and offer a multi-media experience. However, there are some differences. The Duolingo: Learn Languages Free program has audio files that are not as natural sounding as those from Rosetta Stone. Furthermore, Duolingo is an application, whereas Rosetta Stone is a computer program. Furthermore, Duolingo offers reminders to prompt you to practice every day, and a level test. Although, Duolingo is not as professional-looking as Rosetta Stone, but, if your budget is low, then this is the best option.
In my opinion Learn English: Rosetta Stone English (American) - Level 1 is perhaps the best possible program. This is thanks largely to the multi-media approach they take to their teaching. You have pictures, audio files, pronunciation tools, and spelling and reading tools. They have a very organic approach to their program. Starting with very basic human things like “eat” and “woman” and graduating to full sentences like “the boy pushed the bicycle up the hill.” Their method includes a lot of repetition, which has amazing results. Only problem is the price tag! If you have a limited budget I’d steer clear of Rosetta Stone and explore some more budget-friendly options. Rosetta stone has a free app option, with limited material. The program itself can cost $120 or more.
ABA (American & British Academy)
This is both a website and an application. Their approach is a bit more traditional, but offers videos and audio files made specifically for this program. I learned about this program through my English students, and I find it to be really great quality. For this program you have both free and paid options at 12$ per month. This option, in my opinion, is not as good as the first two. This is mainly because I prefer the more humanistic approach that Rosetta Stone, and Duolingo take. However, with the multi-media approach available in ABA, it is hard to deny that it has value!
Improve your accent:
Rachel’s English YouTube Channel
Rachel’s English is a GREAT tool for improving your accent. She breaks down each individual sound in American English and make videos about how to pronounce them. An awesome tool for improving your accent!
University of Iowa Sounds of Speech
Seriously an awesome tool. It shows you the correct placement of the phonetic sounds of American English. It has now become an app you can download!
Meetup.com generally has English learning groups in almost any city in the world. They are generally free. The only downside is that you probably won’t have many native speakers.
Couchsurfing is first and foremost a network for travelers. However, they often have events. These events may not be expressly for learning English, but with an international group, most times everyone will speak English. This is a great way to meet new people, and practice your English.
Reddit has several subreddits to help you find a speaking partner:
/r/LanguageExchange /r/StudyPals /r/AlienExchange It is up to you and your partner to decide how to organize the meetings.
These books are great for Spanish speaking learners. It is in Spanish in the beginner and intermediate sections, offering descriptions. Inglés gramática fácil (Spanish Edition) is very well organized. I like that it has a very human-centric method. They teach a very native-sounding English, teaching phrases and grammar. I like the flow of the levels as well, each level gets appropriately harder. I have used this book many times with my students, with great success.
This book is what I use as a grammar reference book. It has a grammar section, an ESL section (for English learners), and a section about proper formatting (if you write professionally in English). A Writer's Reference is my bible for English grammar.
This website is best for advanced English learners and has a very interesting word of the day feature.
Also good for advanced learners, and also has a word of the day feature.
Memrise is another free app, it’s main method is just teaching words. If you are looking to expand your vocabulary, you can do that with this app. However, it is not designed to really teach English like the previous were (Memrise).
Blogs and Websites:
REALLY LEARN ENGLISH
This website offers entire lessons in English for free!
Finally, I use this website as an English teacher. However, you can also use the site as an English student. Becuase there are worksheets about very interesting topics from the rainforest, to pollution. The worksheets work with TED talks. Learn about TED talks below.
First of all, TED talks is a HUGE collection of speeches about every imaginable topic. Topics range from the humane treatment of cows, to robotics. The great thing about this website is that you can opt for subtitles, and often the speeches come with PowerPoint slides so it is easier to understand.
In addition, Podcasts are a wonderful way to improve your listening skills! Sometimes they even have the transcript of the podcast available next to the post.
This American Life – Stories and news pieces from America. The English We Speak – For everyday language from the BBC. Luke’s English Podcast – A comedian and an English teacher.