Which websites do you recommend? (2)

Which websites do you recommend? (2)

How about trying to find a free website designed for ESL learners and filled with stimulating and relevant materials? One which is actually entirely in English and accessible to all learners, rather than being targeted at speakers of a certain native language.

The BBC Learning English website is still a valuable resource for self-study. It has been redesigned and currently includes two courses and various individual “features”.

The courses are currently classed as lower-intermediate and intermediate. The former contains 30 units comprising video material supplemented by activities, vocabulary and grammar sections. The latter is work in progress and has no video for the moment, but seems to be aiming for 30 units too. The activities are scored, allowing progress to be tracked. However, CEFR levels are nowhere to be found.

The individual features are good for “dipping into”: “The English We Speak”, “Words in the News”, “6 Minute English”, “Pronunciation”, “Drama” and “News Report” are sufficiently varied to be able to offer learners relevant items short enough to study during the lunch hour or on the train home. Video and downloadable audio and transcripts accompany the features, although there seem to be no exercises – yet.

The website is not finished, but a great deal of work seems to have gone into it already. Maybe the best bit for me is that there are none of those annoying ads that intrude on so many other web pages!

To see for yourself, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish and, for the videos, check out the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/bbclearningenglish.

Which websites do you recommend? (2)2016-10-16T17:04:59+00:00

What’s the best way to learn English? (ESOL)

What’s the best way to learn English? (ESOL)

Face to face, blended learning, videoconferencing, telephone, self-study, e-learning, mp3s, films, individual, group, intensive, occasional, language study abroad….

The choices for learners of English as a second or other language are mind-boggling. So what’s the best way to learn? Well, the best way is the one that works for you (and your budget!). My approach is to start with speaking, a lot of speaking, even if the communication is difficult at first, it will come with practice. Then, once you have built up confidence in speaking, the other skills (listening, reading, writing) should fall into place.

To really improve your English, you have to go out there and meet people, not just take formal lessons. The lessons will give you the basis and the opportunity to learn within the safe training room environment, but what really will boost your speaking is managing the unpredictability of everyday exchanges. It’s also really important not to be afraid of making mistakes. Making mistakes when we speak is perfectly natural; feeling blocked or inhibited by grammatical constraints weakens your confidence and hampers communication, so just go for it!

For further information about my English training, visit my website www.chatbella.com or write to me at info@englishtrainer.eu. I look forward to hearing from you.

What’s the best way to learn English? (ESOL)2016-10-16T17:04:59+00:00