Edvenson Consulting

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English Language Learning Resources Online and Free

Posted on February 15, 2011 at 11:18 PM

Professional academic quality instructional materials for learning English are plentiful on the internet, but many are not free of charge to the general inquirer.  As a result, it can be frustrating to attempt a more comprehensive approach to self-education efforts. 


This note is simply to point out some great resources for learning English online, including a small handful for (1) grammar, (2) pronunciation or oral speech development, and (3) listening comprehension and vocabulary development.


In the grammar category, I have to mention the work of Dr. Charles Darling, may he rest in peace.  During his years teaching English at Capital Community College in the northeastern U.S., he developed a 'Guide to Grammar and Writing' that, as they say, 'took on a life of its own.'  His clever contexting of materials, with easy-to-use quizzes, tips and comments, make learning written English (and grammar) about as pleasurable for a non-English native as it could possibly be.  This is found at http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/imoDarling.htm.  The top page is the dedication to his work, and requests donations.  The site access is free and supported by private donations and the college itself.  Click on the title "Guide to" and you will soon be involved in a wide array of exercises, rules, tips, quizzes and games.


In the area of English pronunciation, I would refer those interested to   http://www.manythings.org.  There are specialized word combinations to practice, and the site also includes vocabulary and grammar guidance, listening possibilities with mp3 files, and more.  The site is the property of Charles Kelly and Lawrence Kelly, who appear to be as interesting as their compilations on English.


For general and business English listening and development, for those with an interest in the U.S., I would highly recommend any of the regular programs found at National Public Radio, http://www.npr.org/ .  From the Programs menu, select All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, or another program.  In the humor area, hardest for a non-native speaker to appreciate, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me, is a fun and interesting program, as is A Prairie Home Companion.  In the radio essay category, select This American Life, produced by PRI.


For British English language learning, one will find an interesting and continually updated approach at the BBC's radio-related website, "Business Language to Go."  http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/talkaboutenglish/2009/02/090211_tae_bltg.shtml

 This includes radio spots on various topics, some video tutorials, as well as business English listening, vocabulary and pronunciation builders.  The stories featured are interesting and timely, and the language learning materials professionally produced, including mp3 files, transcript downloads, vocabulary lists, pronunciation audios and more.


So, looking to learn English online?  Good luck!  Have fun!  These materials should help you to make it so. 

Categories: English Stuff