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10 Best Websites to Study English

While the best way to learn English is through immersion and interaction with English speakers, you also need to make time to learn the language at your own pace and effort. One of the best ways to do so is to find a website or websites that suit your needs and, from there, form an effective study habit.

The good news is that we’ve compiled ten websites to help get you on the right track towards fluency in the English language.

The BBC has been teaching English to students all over the world since 1943. BBC Learning English offers English lessons through free videos, radio broadcasts, and text materials.

Highlights: There is never a dull moment with this program’s many diverse features, such as English at University,             English at Work, Pronunciation, and even Drama. Most of the materials are full-length courses, but the various components that make up the course can be taken as stand-alone material.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free

Like the BBC, the British Council has been an advocate of English learning for a while now—75 years to be exact. Their website allows for online courses and learning tools that help you track your progress through accredited proficiency tests.

Highlights: You can start by testing your English level and then finding resources that are aimed for your specific level. From there, you can use the search tool to locate specific topics that you would like to focus on such as grammar or vocabulary.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free. Register here.

Although no longer active, the California Distance Learning Project (CDLP), was created with the intention of helping to “expand learner access to adult basic education services in California.” Today, the site is managed by the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Highlights: There are different categories for different areas that the learner might be interested in: law and government, family, health and safety, science and technology, to name just a few. Each of the categories contains a treasure trove of engaging reading resources relevant to the particular field.

Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free

Every year, over 5 million people take Cambridge qualifications and tests. Established in 1913, Cambridge has been delivering English language assessments longer than both the BBC and The British Council. This well-respected institution offers a good selection of free materials, available for download, that are aimed at helping you improve your English.

Highlights:Cambridge English has 85 free activities to help increase your fluency of the English language. From recognizing the difference between full stops and pauses to learning how to complain politely and appropriately, the Cambridge curriculum will surely keep you on your toes.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free

Dave Sperling's online resource center, more commonly known as Dave's ESL Café, is the go-to website and meeting place for English teachers and students across the globe. Dave is a linguist who spent a decade teaching English as a Foreign Language in Japan and Thailand.

Highlights: Materials for English students include grammar lessons, idioms, phrasal verbs, quizzes, and slang. Likewise, resources for teachers include an idea cookbook, job forums, and training.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free

6. FluentU

FluentU is a fun way to learn English (or other languages, for that matter) as it combines active listening with “real-world” videos.

Highlights:FluentU allows you to personalize your learning by giving you the freedom to choose content that is relevant to you. As you go on with the lessons, context is readily available by tapping the word in the subtitles that you would like to know more about. Doing this will provide you with the definition of the word and the various ways in which it can be used.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: $10 for Basic Subscription, $20 for Plus

Although a bit of a nightmare to navigate, the Oxford University Press has an excellent learning resources bank for advanced English learners who are looking for a challenge.

Highlights: Check out the A-Z index of resources for a comprehensive list of available material.

Level: Advanced

Price: Free

TalkEnglish.com stands by three core language learning blocks: reading, listening, and building. Therefore, all the lessons included in this website are designed to help you improve on the three fluencies.

Highlights: TalkEnglish.com offers Business English lessons for those who are looking to improve their English in a workplace setting. Idioms and phrases as well as articles are also available as an extra feature.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free

9. The Learning Network (New York Times)

The Learning Network has been providing English classroom resources since 1998. These include news quizzes and student contests and are based on content available on The New York Times.

Highlights: The resources available on The Learning Network are extremely useful and engaging. Articles and questions, writing prompts, quizzes and crosswords, multimedia, and contests are materials that you would encounter in real-life situations and conversations in English-speaking countries.

Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free

Learning English is the Voice of America's (VOA) resource for English students all over the world. The programs are therefore read one-third slower than the usual speed.

Highlights: Various types of learning material are available for different levels: there are articles for reading as well as audio/video lessons that draw into U.S. culture, business and science. The resources on VOA's Learning English are aimed at building vocabulary, strengthening speaking skills, and improving communication skills for school and everyday life.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Price: Free

There you have it, 10 websites with different features for different levels. All you have to do is choose, and as mentioned earlier, try to cultivate a study habit that works for you. You are the master of your own education.

If there is a particular website that has helped you learn English or if you have any feedback with regard to the websites that we have listed above, please let us know in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.

About the Author Charity Johnson

Charity Johnson is a third sector worker and former secondary teacher based in the Scottish Isles. Her blog, Archipelagal, is the (re)telling of her geographical and ideological whereabouts.

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