Select Senior Teacher Jo has compiled a useful list of the best apps and websites for learning English. In addition to attending lessons, we recommend that our students engage in regular self-study to help them develop their English skills. As well as focusing on reviewing language learnt in lessons, there is a wide variety of material available online. It is important that you focus on things that are interesting for you and relevant to your needs and interests. Our teachers can help you identify personal objectives and recommend ways of achieving those, by directing you to suitable resources.
Here are some examples of useful websites and apps that can help you develop your English in your own time. If you can add to these, please share your ideas with us.
This is a good website for helping you practise your listening for a short time every day.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts Podcasts on a variety of topics (higher levels)
https://www.ted.com/ Practise listening using TED talks (higher levels)
http://ngl.cengage.com/learnenglishwithtedtalks#home Practise listening using TED talks
https://listenaminute.com/ A selection of short topic-based listenings with transcripts
http://www.macmillanreaders.com/book-corner-club You can download free, graded audio books
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer Watch TV programmes in English. You can develop your listening skills by using English subtitles to help you understand how we pronounce words and phrases.
News articles are a rich source of language in context and reading an article a day or a few times a week will help develop your reading skills. There are a large number of news websites. Here are some examples.
http://metro.co.uk/ As well as reading online, The Metro is a free newspaper that you can find at train stations, so a good way to pass the time when travelling in the UK.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk Longer articles, suitable for higher levels.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news A wide range of news articles.
A weekly news quiz to test your knowledge of recent stories in the news
https://www.englishuk.com/en/students/english-in-the-uk/student-news?newsId=2708 English UK provides a regular update on UK news and culture.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.bbc.android.sportdomestic Catch up with the latest sports news.
Graded readers are a good way to read books that are the right level for you. You can borrow them from our library and there is more information here:
http://www.macmillanreaders.com/?utm_source=Macmillan%20English&utm_medium=Banner&utm_campaign=Generic A website with information about graded readers where you can test your reading level.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/spelling Information about common spelling rules
Practise writing on a variety of topics at different levels and receive feedback on your work
The following apps and websites help you improve your grammar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=co.playlingo.wordable&hl=enThis focuses on the 3000 most useful words in the Cambridge Dictionary. It includes translations, pictures and games to help you learn new words.
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/A good dictionary which provides definitions in English with example sentences, as well as translations.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/the-english-we-speakYou can find some of the latest English words here.
https://quizlet.com/en-gb Make your own flashcards to help you remember new words and play games to practise using them.
http://www.macmillaneducationapps.com/soundspron/ This is an app to help familiarise you with the phonemic chart and improve your pronunciation.
https://www.ielts.org/about-the-test/test-format Information about the IELTS test format.
https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare Advice and practice material for IELTS.
https://www.ieltsspeaking.co.uk/ielts-vocabulary/ Sample IELTS Speaking questions and sample answers divided by topic to help enhance your vocabulary for each topic.
http://ted-ielts.com/ Use TED talks to help you widen your range of academic vocabulary and develop your listening skills.
http://www.macmillanenglish.com/exams/ielts/#studentsresources Strategies for each part of the IELTS exam
http://www.macmillaneducationapps.com/ieltsskills/ An app to help you develop your IELTS skills.
https://www.flo-joe.co.uk/ Free resources for KET. PET, FCE, CAE and CPE
http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/learning-english/exam-preparation/ A wide range of free resources to help you prepare for exams
The following websites focus on developing your skills in a variety of ways.
Make the most of the opportunity to expose yourself to English on social media. For example:
- Use your social media apps in English to practice your writing (and reading) skills to communicate with other students and friends.
- Follow pages that you are interested in to read regularly about topics you like.
- Follow pages specifically focused on language learning such as The British Council Learn English Facebook page and the Cambridge Dictionary Facebook page.
What are your favourite apps and websites for learning English?