Tutorials for English Language Learners
If you are ready to practice English on your own, these tutorials for English language learners can help. They are designed to provide you with different ways to practice reading, writing, listening and speaking. Take some of the activities on these sites and make up your own ways to practice English using the activities as a starting point. Try all of the sites to find ones you like, but be sure to practice all four areas of English to become a proficient English speaker.
BBC World Service Learning English
Voice of America Special English
Breaking News English
These three sites offer news in English. They are designed to provide the most up-to-date news in a format that English language learners can understand and learn from. Listen to the stories on your computer before you listen again, this time reading the story as you listen to it at the same time. Listen for new words you have not heard before. Complete the exercises for stories you read on Breaking News English. Several writing exercises accompany each story. Start by picking a story that interests you from the long list of stories available.
Listening and Speaking
Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab
Listen to conversations in English online using these sites. Practice role-playing the conversations while listening to the conversations. Listen to other types of listening exercises as well. Try summarizing what you hear to practice new words, sentence construction and pronunciation. Write down your summary after you say it out loud.
General and Grammar Tutorials
Penn State's ESL Tutorial
Penn State's online ESL Tutorial offers students the chance to take a 15-minute assessment of their English language abilities before they dive into the variety of lessons offered on the ESL Tutorial site.
Purdue's Online Writing Lab
The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers a multitude of resources for the ESL student. This page has a list of tutorials categorized by grammar topics.
University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations
This is the page where English language learners preparing to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams can find many resources and tutorials to help them not only understand the structure and content of the examination better, but also practice reading, writing, listening and speaking in English in general. Resources for both general and academic English are available.
These are just a few of the many tutorials for English language learners available online to help you practice English. They are a good starting point for you to begin using and practicing English outside the classroom. Do extra activities based on what you see on these sites. Watch a video twice, listening for new words; write a summary of a news story you read; print out and study a grammar handout; or record yourself practicing a conversation you heard on a listening practice website. Listen to the original recording again to practice correct pronunciation. Use the activities you find on these sites as guides to help you learn as much about English as possible.
Ideas for teaching English abound in your community and in your classroom. These ideas use resources that are readily available and free to use. While you can try any one of the ideas offered, combining methods of learning English will provide the most effectiveness.
Take the English language learners in your class to the local grocery store for a scavenger hunt. Prepare a list of items for students to find in several departments of the store. Provide a store map that details what is on the various aisles and in different parts of the store. Pair students up to find all of the items listed, and ask them to write down the number of the aisle on which each item is found to practice reading English words and navigating an American grocery store. Ask for permission from store management before you bring your class to the store.
Meet your English students at the library. Students can take public transportation or carpool to reach the library. Have them bring their identification cards with them and a utility bill or other documentation that they do, indeed, live in the community which the library serves. This will help them practice asking store clerks and receptionists for assistance in English. Students will have to tell the librarian what they want when they reach the circulation desk and answer basic information about themselves such as their names and addresses. Ask a librarian to show your students around the library, focusing on the children’s and ESL sections for easier-to-read material in English as well as the computer lab.
Students can get a lot of practice navigating various social and workplace situations by pairing up and playing out a situation in role plays. Following a standard dialogue the teacher provides or innovating and using a list of vocabulary words the teacher posts on the board, students can do run-throughs of situations such as asking for a job application, meeting new people, or asking where an item is in the store.
Invite a teacher in your community to come and speak to your English class. Ask the teacher to focus on information such as checking their children’s backpacks for notes from school, about coming to the school to enroll their child, calling the teacher with concerns about their children, and reporting students’ absences to the school receptionist. Follow up with a scheduled tour of a local school.
Print out news stories from Breaking News English or the Voice of America’s website for English language learners. These sites provide simplified English news articles for students as well as activities to help them learn new words and about concepts in the articles. Students can also listen to the news stories published on the VOA website if your school is equipped with Internet access.
Incorporate these ideas for teaching English language free in your classroom. They can help break up your traditional lessons by getting students out of the classroom and into the community to practice their English with native speakers.