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Online English Resources

Different ways to learn English

Websites

Learning a foreign language such as English has become quite easy with Internet. Many websites, programs and forums are specialised in online-teaching to students.

For example, English Maze can provide Internet users with different kinds of exercises to help them with their vocabulary, grammar, listening comprehension and many more. You can also use the "Accent room" where native English speakers as well as non-native can enhance their English.

Some English teachers also create websites or blogs that propose English lessons or tips.

Videos

Videos are also a good way to learn as it is more interactive and less boring! Many English lessons can be found on video websites. You can find quite a long list of these websites on this page.
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But you may also want to check out at podcasts. For example, the Business English Pod as well as the English Pod are two very complete websites that propose audio and/or video English lessons. Some online exercises are also available even though subscription (usually quite cheap) is compulsory for some of them.

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And of course, if that is not enough, you can always check out famous video posting websites such as Metacafe or Youtube. Ok! You will probably need to do a bit of digging as most results might be parodies or simply funny videos! But good ones are also available, it's up to you to find them!

Here's a video of an English lesson followed by Japanese students, just to give you an idea ;)

My experience with English Maze

English Maze is a very well-made and intuitive website divided into "rooms" that allow users to :

  • work on their accent
  • read books
  • discuss topics
  • meet students from all around the world
  • study grammar
  • read the news
  • listen to radio
  • speak to & listen other students
  • work on vocabulary and spelling

All those services are quite accessible even though you might need to open an account for some of them. You can also download some course documents in zip files in order to print them and study at home which can be quite useful to some students.

I have experienced some of those features. You will find below a little review of the accent room and the vocabulary and spelling room :

Accent room

This is a very interesting place as you can listen a certain amount of simple sentences in English but with many different accents. When you first arrive in the accent room, you choose if you want a native speaker accent (8 different accents) or a non-native speaker accent (20 different accents).

You then choose one of the 4 different exercises proposed to you :

  • Listen : This section is mostly for helping the student getting used to the different accents available on the website.
  • Drag & Drop : You have independantly 5 audio sentences and 5 countries. You need to listen to the audia and try to find the country of which the accent corresponds.
  • Fill the gaps : You fist choose which accent you want to listen to. Then you have an audio track, usually a sentence as well, and you need to fill in the holes by recognizing the missing words.
  • Listen and write : This is exactly the same except that you need to write the whole sentence that you here and not only the missing words.

Vocabulary and spelling room

This section of the website is a mix of listening comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The goal of the exercise is to listen to a person spelling a short sentence and try to figure out what that person is spelling. This is a good way to remember the pronunciation of all the letters and to get used to quickly recognize a word. It also helps the student to learn vocabulary and to spell complicated words that he wouldn't have known otherwise.

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