Practice is essential if you want to improve your English. Check out the website links below to get helpful information about living in the U.S and additional practice in learning English on your own. Most of the websites are free and you can use them from home. Click on the links to find out more.
Ways to Learn English Outside of Class
Finding ways to practice your English outside of class is very important for language progress. The Ideas to Learn English Outside of Class handouts give you advice on what you can do to accelerate your language learning independently based on your level.
Academic Credential Evaluation
For students who completed their education outside of the US and need their credentials evaluated and recognized by US educational institutions, visit www.wes.org WES is among the largest and oldest of the evaluation services in the US. A WES evaluation will provide students with the US academic equivalents for their credentials and allow them to pursue further education or seek employment in the US.
Citizenship and Immigration
For information on Citizenship and Immigration services visit www.uscis.gov USCIS is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services federal agency. Some of the services they provide are: Citizenship and Naturalization Process, the Citizenship Test, Working in the US, Immigration of Family Members and Civic Integration.
Bucks County Community Resources
For information on Bucks County services in the community visit www.visitbuckscounty.com This site has a wealth of information on things to do in the area.
Advanced ESL Students
The majority of the students in our programs are at beginner and intermediate ESL levels. For advanced ESL students who want to pursue further education and improve specific skills such as reading, writing, grammar, accent reduction or study for the iBT TOEFL exam, we strongly recommend attending Community College ESL classes. Visit the Bucks County Community College website at www.bucks.edu or phone 215-968-8107 or email AESL@bucks.edu for more info.
Computer-based Independent Learning
For ESL students who have computer and internet access and wish to practice their English independently on the web, check out the website links below:
This site contains free English lessons based on current event or news stories written in simple English. Each story comes with free language activity handouts related to each of the stories. Reading comprehension, listening gap fill exercises, multiple choice, spelling, putting the text back together, scrambled sentences, discussion and writing activities are included.
This is a comprehensive website for both ESL students and teachers. It offers all levels lesson plans, learning and teaching strategies, language activities to practice all language skills as well as vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation practice. It also features short ESL videos students can watch to practice listening comprehension along with targeted grammar structures.
This website has activities for beginning, intermediate and advanced ESL learners, all of which have an audio component. The pages are Reading, Grammar, Writing, Vocabulary, Life Skills, Pronunciation, Holidays, Pronunciation and Conversation.
USA Learns is a project of the U.S. Department of Education. It offers free instruction at beginning and intermediate levels in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in a simple and engaging format. Lessons focus on practical skills related to everyday life, family, health, and the workplace. There are classroom videos, story videos, news feature stories, and many interactive practice activities.
One of the most comprehensive websites for ESL/EFL students and teachers of all levels from around the world. For teachers, it offers such resources as a bookstore, a page with ideas for classroom activities, a job center, and a variety of ways for teachers around the world to connect electronically, including message boards, chat room, topical discussion forums, and a help center.
Interesting Things for ESL Students is a fun study site. Word games, puzzles, quizzes, exercises, slang, proverbs and much more. Includes Daily Page for Students of English: proverb, quiz of the day and podcasts for listening
This site has over 1,000 activities to help you study English as a Second Language. It offers quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles to help you improve your English.
To Learn English has placement tests, online or printable exercises on grammar and vocabulary, a free lesson every week, and access to penpals.
Listening and Reading:
This is a public radio program which features a section called “Special English”. This section contains a wealth of stories geared towards ESL/EFL students. The short sentences, limited vocabulary and slow pace of speaking make the stories easy to understand for ESL/EFL students. Another section called “Words and theirStories” present short stories related to idiomatic language used in every day American English. The selections not only lend themselves to providing listening and reading practice but engage students into lively discussions as well.
Students learn English free with daily online English lessons. These ESL lessons help students study English slang, basic English, business English and have streaming audio to listen to natural conversations and videos.
Randall’s ESL Ciber Listening Cafe offers lots of easy-to-use audio exercises for practicing listening skills at all levels. (Requires RealPlayer)
www.cdlp.org (The California Distance Learning Project)
These Adult Learning Activities offer news stories and information about voting, safety, and jobs that you can hear on audio, and sometimes see as video recordings, while you read along. After you listen to/read each story you can try a variety of listening comprehension and vocabulary exercises. Almost all of the print at this site is also available on audio, so it’s a great study site for students who have limited reading skills.
The Learning Resources site (a project of Literacy Works) uses video or audio clips of CNN news broadcasts along with the written story (you can choose to read the original story or a simpler, “abridged” version) to teach reading and listening comprehension. Each news story has vocabulary and comprehension exercises to go along with it. You can also write down your thoughts on the issue and send them in to share with other readers online. Recommended for advanced levels.
Simple English News presents a range of news and feature stories each in a short paragraph that you can listen along with. It helps make news more understandable to those who are learning English.
News For You is a weekly newspaper for adult literacy students. The on-line version allows students to listen and read along with selected news stories. You can choose to hear the whole story, or click on individual sentences. Wave over key vocabulary words and you will see a definition. Suitable for ESL students at advanced levels. Subscription and fee are required.
At Focus English you can listen to audio recordings of all sorts of conversations, then practice the vocabulary and expressions in interactive exercises. (Requires RealPlayer)
Grammar and Writing:
This site provides a large collection of free ESL tools and resources for students and teachers. It offers free downloadable ESL lesson plans for all levels along with handouts. Topics also cover reference to grammar structures, verb tenses, idioms and phrasal verbs, ESL forums and useful links on ESL/EFL information.
This website provides students with tutorials on English grammar with full explanations, exercises and self correct quizzes related to a specific grammar structure. It also serves as a great resources and reference for ESL instructors.
English Club is an ESL Learning Center for ESL students to help them learn English. It has useful online English lessons to learn or revise all aspects of English. Teachers, too, can find materials of use while teaching English.
Grammar exercises for English learners. This section of the ESL website is for English language learners who enjoy doing grammar exercises. Click a yellow button to start a quiz.
Perdue University’s OWL Writing Lab offers a wealth of resources to help you with practice and exercises in writing, grammar and mechanics, ESL, job search and professional writing.
E.L. Easton offers the Authentic American English Pronunciation site where you can learn pronunciation by listening to audio recordings of the sounds of American English. (Requires RealPlayer)
At Train you Accent you can listen to short recorded speeches on various topics. Each speech comes with two transcripts. One shows the speech in formal written English, and the other highlights all of the instances in which the speaker uses more natural-sounding English. (Requires RealPlayer)
TOEFL and IELTS:
This site will help anyone studying for an exam that requires listening comprehension such as the TOEFL and IELTS. You will find a variety of 10-20 minute lectures and conversation podcasts. Each one is presented at a slow speed, followed by explanations of various terms used in the lecture/conversation. Next, the same lecture/conversation is read at a rapid speed (similar to real TOEFL listening items), followed by practice comprehension questions. Scripts of the podcasts are available on the website, but, unfortunately, the vocabulary explanations and practice questions are only on the audio.
This resource is offered through The Learning Express Library. It offers online preparation for a variety of tests. Now you can find e-books, take general skill building courses, improve your job search and business writing skills, develop a resume and cover letter, take practice exams and courses, work towards citizenship, and more. To register, use your library card number as your user name, then make up a password.