The best resources for language learning in my opinion are interactive ones. Most of the best sites to learn English will have an interactive element to help your improve your writing, reading and listening.
Some general tips:
- Put aside a little time each day to learn. 15 minutes each day is more effective for learning than 2 hours once a week. Your brain takes in information in small chunks with plenty of repetition.
- Try to find someone to practice with – this can really help you improve.
- Know your level. If you try material that is too difficult it will be off-putting.
- Be patient – language learning can seem slow some times, but you are making progress as long as you practice daily.
Babbel are giving away one trial lesson for free. After that their service costs between $7 and $13 each month. What do you get for that?
Well, Babbel allows you to practice your English in an interactive online environment. They have interactive quizzes that bear some resemblance to Duolingo.
However, in comparison to Duolingo, I think they offer more flexibility on what you want to focus on each time. You can decide to focus entirely on speaking, reading, writing or grammar. They even have detailed lessons on grammar, that Duolingo does not have.
Babbel also has an innovative dictation exercise program. If you have a microphone you can pronounce words in to it and Babbel will apparently help you with your pronunciation. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but it certainly sounds cool.
Lastly Babbel has an excellent travel tool. It teaches you common phrases that will be useful to you if you are travelling to a foreign country. This is a very nice touch. With programs like Duolingo you often find yourself learning random vocabulary which isn’t going to be very useful in day to day life. Babbel keeps things practical and gives you the tools to begin a conversation in the language you will be learning. After all, real life conversations are one of the best tools for learning.
The British Council has a load of excellent resources on its website that are useful to people learning English. In fact, English language teachers from around the world often use their website as a resource for their lessons.
The British Council is undoubtedly one of the best sites to learn English. They have a really great reputation going back decades.
You can find learning resources for kids, teens and adults. The website also features a huge variety of games, podcasts, videos and interactive lessons. After you use these there are great exercises to try. Navigate towards the discussion boards and you can find out about more resources from your fellow learners and engage in discussion.
They even have a mobile app that allows you to learn on the go.
The BBC have made one of the best sites to learn English. I would say this resource is more suited to learners with a little experience, rather than absolute beginners.
The website instead seems to be geared up towards intermediate and advanced learners of English. You learn through BBC videos and broadcasts. The great thing is that you are using real life material to learn and not relying on text books. This is a form of immersion, and can really accelerate your learning if you have intermediate English, but find that you are hitting a wall with your progress.
I have used Duolingo for the last 3 years or so to try learning German as a past time. I’ll admit I’ve had mixed success with this app.
When I first heard about Duolingo years ago I was really excited to try it. For a long time, they had a beta version that was invite open, and then eventually it opened to the wider public. I began using it in 2014 to learn some German before going on a holiday there. Since then I have used it intermittently. Last year I made a concerted effort to get my way through the German language tree, and got half way there, spending 30 – 40 minutes on the app every day for a few months.
However, I’ve found that using Duolingo alone is not that effective. It is a decent introduction to the vocabulary of the language. However, it becomes repetitive. The higher you get in the tree the more work you have to do, to maintain “gold” in all the lessons.
Eventually, it is very easy to become bored of their system.
What I would say is that it is a good tool to use on the side, to aid learning. It cannot teach a language on its own. It’s also good for getting you from absolute beginner to elementary level proficiency. But again, you need to supplement this with language lessons, or by reading real world material, or by talking to a native speaker.
Don’t get me wrong, Duolingo is highly innovative. And best of all it is free. Just don’t expect too much from this app, and you will find that it is one of the best sites to learn English, or indeed any language.
FluentU is an excellent way to improve your listening skills. They use real world TV shows, news, cartoons and music videos that native people actually watch.
So you’ll actually be entertained as you learn.
This is a great motivation for learning, and you’ll find yourself coming back for more.
There are options to use FluentU for free or you can try the premium account for between $8 to $18 per month.
This is one of the coolest and indeed best sites to learn English.
I hope today’s post has been useful for you learners out there. I’ve outlined some of the best sites to learn English that will really give you the results you want.
Keep in mind, any one of these resources is great to use. But, keep mixing it up. Don’t rely on just one app or website to help you better your English.
Instead what you should do is use these in addition to learning in other ways, such as talking to native speakers or going to lessons. That’s just my two cents.