English arguably more than any other language is the preferred mode of communication and interaction for an ever-growing number of the global populace. It helps bring together individuals from a bewildering array of cultures and tongues and works to make this oft-confusing world a little easier to understand.
Being fluent in English also makes possible better access to information, resources, and media in a world that has grown increasingly fond of this ancient and ever-evolving language. And also enables those fortunate enough to speak it to walk in the footsteps of the greats -think of Shakespeare or Yeats- who came before, and enrich their lives with possibly the most colorful idioms and puns ever invented.
So, do you want to learn English? If you are not the type to arrange for a personal tutor or are prepared to sit for hours and mindlessly listen to a bunch of audio tapes in the local library, what you need are websites that will teach you the language. These sites are legion, can either be free or not and usually try to instruct on all aspects of what can be a very confusing language. With that in mind here are the most effective sites you need to visit, so as to either learn English or polish your English-speaking skills to a dazzling point.
1. Lang 8
For honing your English writing skills -or the over 90 supported languages- to a spear point, no other site is more preeminent than Lang-8. The way it works, you can write pretty much what you want in English -or in the other supported languages- submit these and have the native speakers present criticize and analyze your submission. The site is a rather remarkable English learning website for adults and is especially useful for potential authors, or those who simply love to put pen to paper.
On Ello, the focus is on the spoken word and on improving listening comprehension. In furtherance of this, the website has around a ton and half of audio content spanning a wide range and topic to cater for the interests of the widest set of users. These audio content also come accompanied by fitting transcriptions, which helps in making it possible for users learn exactly how to speak English like a native. As well, users of the platform get exposed to the differing accents and diction of English speakers from all over the globe. Overall, Ello is a top spoken English website that’s well worth checking out and then getting really excited over.
3. BBC Learning English
If you want to learn English online for free, a great way to do that would be by visiting the BBC Learning English platform. This colorful, exciting, professional and excellently put together site comes loaded with information relating to proper grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary of the Queen’s English. As well, for offline usage, it’s quite easy to download audio files, along with their corresponding transcripts and teach yourself with these at your leisure.
Available both as a website and an app, Babbel is an excellent choice for those looking to spruce up their English. It’s however not free and costs from $7 to $13 USD monthly. For this amount you are given the opportunity of gaining proficiency in the language through quizzes and the like. As well, the site is quite flexible, lets you learn at your own pace and allows users to choose from exactly which aspect of the language -be it diction, pronunciation or practically anything else- they desire to focus and improve on. All-in-all, you are practically assured of getting your money’s worth with Babbel.
Duolingo is as free as the air and is even available as an app. Users get to learn vocabulary and all aspects of the English language through quizzes and games. As well, there are all sorts of notes, tips and explanations that help the lessons sink in better and you are also made to set achievable goals. Once these goals are accomplished new lessons and features are then made available. With such a rewards-focused system you are certainly not going to be lacking in motivation to do your best!
What could be cooler than learning English by listening to the hippest music videos, TV shows, cartoons and the like? This is made possible by FluentU. This top-class English learning tool comes in both free and paid flavors. As you might imagine, being taught English on FluentU is ludicrously fun and entertaining, not to mention awesome. Apart from the website you can tap from the tasty FluentU well via its app. More, via FluentU you are exposed to the widest variety of English and taught the most natural pronunciation of words. As well, the available videos are subtitled, with definitions of difficult to understand words made available. Overall, FluentU most certainly ticks a lot of boxes and is a radical English learning website for beginners, intermediate students and pretty much anybody else who wants to have unlimited fun.
7. English Central
At English Central, the focus is exclusively on teaching the English language through a very diverse array of videos suitable for all possible needs and occasions. The content range from business-oriented videos, to those about cooking, making friends, shopping, sporting activities and any other legitimate undertaking. More, these videos are all transcribed and have any words that might be hard to understand easily defined. All these services are not free however and you can expect to have to pay from $15 -$30 USD monthly. But be assured that’s money very well spent for getting introduced to the easy world of English.
While quite a few English learning sites often focus on the repetitive memorizing of words, the reverse is the case on Phrasemix. Here, the most commonly used phrases in the English language are taught. Thus, if you are a newbie to the language you can shortly find yourself being able to start and hold a short conversation. More, while some lessons on the site are free others do have to be paid for. Still, it’s one of the best websites we can think of for learning English grammar and shortly being able to practice what you’ve learnt.
9. VOA: Learning English
VOA is for Voice Of America, which is an American news and media organization. Its Learning English service offers similar content to the BBC Learning English up on this list and is tailored to people who are either learning or are comparatively unfamiliar with the language. It works by rephrasing news stories to make them much more easily understandable. Subtitles are also added, special programs for English learners made available and most of the content downloadable for offline use. And what’s more, it’s all for free and permits interested individuals to learn American English online without hassles.
The TalkEnglish website is aimed at helping users dramatically improve all aspects of their written and spoken English. It has a very diverse and comprehensive amount of content which can as well be downloaded for offline use and is easily one of the best English learning websites you can find.
While the above list is not comprehensive, it does represent what’s to us the best of the lot out there. But did we miss any? If so, be sure to comment and tell us.