ESL Online: Top 5 Tools for e-Learning English — guest post by Sophia Mest
Learning English as a second language is often associated with expensive language courses and costly learning aids. Despite the popular belief, learning English does not have to consume a great portion of your financial resources. With a number of excellent free online courses, e-learning platforms, and study tools you are now able to learn the language completely free of charge. Today, we bring you 5 top platforms for learning English online. Curious what they are? Keep on reading to find out.
BBC Learning English came to life in 1943 as a part of BBC World Service. It is a comprehensive source of knowledge about English language, with a number of engaging reading, listening, and writing exercises. Its legendary 6-minute English series focuses on boosting learners’ vocabulary through podcasts, videos, and reading materials. The service is brought by a team of 8 dedicated producers, writers, and English teachers and has over 2 million followers worldwide. Recommended for intermediate and experienced learners.
The platform is a one-of-a-kind blend of social networking site and English learning tool. The networking part of the service focuses on developing users’ communication skills through real-life conversations with their peers. However, it is the learning part of the site that is particularly interesting. New educational content is uploaded every day and it features Celebrity English Lessons, vocabulary exercises, tips and tricks for English language exams and many others. It is the only ESL service that has special lessons devoted to American slang. Recommended for intermediate and experienced learners.
Every English learner knows how important it is to have a teacher once in a while. EngVid is an ESL online service which delivers its content via short lectures on a number of subjects from grammar and vocabulary, to business English and cultural knowledge. As of today available are over 1000 lessons. The quality of videos is amazing, but what is even better is the person behind the project, who might just be one of the most passionate English teachers out there. The site is dedicated to beginner, intermediate and experienced English speakers.
Duolingo is a brainchild of professor Luis von Ahn from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who wanted to make English education more available for people coming from different backgrounds and living all around the world. The users of Duolingo can take part in online lessons and learn vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and writing tactics. Each level ends with an internal exam, which helps the students track their progress effectively. This English learning platform is also available as a smartphone app. In 2013 Duolingo was chosen by Apple as its iPhone app of the Year and between 2013 and 2014 it was the most downloaded educational app from Google Play. It currently boasts an impressive number of over 120 million registered users worldwide.
The motto of the site encourages its users to learn by practice. As the name itself suggests, the site contains plenty of exercises, quizzes, and games which boost essential English skills. Tests and quizzes available on the platform come with a key so that the users can instantly check their score and evaluate their answers. The tests are divided into different categories, tailor-made to satisfy the needs of beginners, intermediate and experienced users. Although the website features a bit outdated web design, the content truly is top-notch!
This concludes our list of top 5 free ESL online tools, which prove that learning English online can be as fun and effective as attending expensive language courses. Do you have your favourites? Do not hesitate to share them with us.
Sophia Mest is a Content Manager at BizDb, where she aspires to put her writing passion into practice and spread her words across the world. She spends her free time travelling and exploring the wonders of nature. Follow her on Twitter @MestSophia