Resources for English as an Additional Language (ESL)
If you're learning English as a new, additional language, click on a topic below to find help tailored for you on that topic. (And if English is your native language, you may still find useful links here.)
A. Vocabulary (including Dictionaries and Thesauri)
- Activities for ESL Students from the Internet ESL Journal
- The Virtual Language Centre
- Ohio University's resources for English language learners
- The English Club
- The University of Hertfordshire's "Using English for Academic Purposes A Guide for Students in Higher Education"
- ESL Quizzes, Lesson Plans, Activities and More
- Britspeak, A British-American Dictionary
- Dave’s ESL Café Idioms - compiled by Dennis Oliver of Rice University
- The English Page - Tons of cool vocabulary lessons on this page; other good pages here too.
- Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Concordancer - Concordancing is key to better vocabulary usage
- Idioms at Adam Rado’s English Learning Fun Page
- Latin and Greek Roots - Get to the root of the idea
- Vocabulary exercises from Ohio University
- University Vocabulary Trainer from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Vocabulary Learning from Hong Kong Polytechnic University's Centre for Independent Language Learning
- The Compleat Lexical Tutor - An excellent Canadian site that gives exercises for and tests of your vocabulary
- Using a Dictionary - All you want to know about dictionaries.
- Cambridge University Press Dictionary - This has a simple dictionary on the right side of the page, and can give the phonetics of the word
- Your Dictionary - This site has an elaborate dictionary, a ‘word of the day’ in several languages, and a word-for-word translator. It also contains several features on language.
- The Acronym Database
- Rhyme Zone - find a rhyming word, synonyms, definitions and more.
- Word to Word - links to 951 languages and the dictionaries relevant to each.
- Roget's Thesaurus – and there's a dictionary in here too.
- Shakespeare Search - enter “To be or not to be”, and out comes ‘Hamlet, Act III’.
- One Look Reverse Dictionary - This reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept.
- Canadian Pronunciation Exercises from Okanagan College
- The University of Iowa's Phonetics Lab - with animations showing how sounds are made
- Lewis & Clark University's list of links, organized by level of difficulty
- Hong Kong Polytech's pronunciation materials
- Pronunciation links from the Internet TESL Journal
- The British Council for Teaching English: check the 'Try' section, and look for pronunciation
- Mouth Manglers: tongue twisters to give your mouth lots of exercise in pronunciation
- Sounds of English: exercises and quizzes
- The English Club: more exercises
The following sites have specific listening exercises. For further listening practice, most radio and TV stations and networks (CBC Radio, the BBC, NPR and CNN in the US, etc.) stream some or all of their programs through their websites, so you can listen to them on-line. Also, we suggest that when you watch DVD movies, you set the movie up to show you the subtitles, so you can read what's being said.
- The Virtual Language Centre - excellent for advanced-level learners
- Randall's ESL Listening Lab
- Lewis and Clark University's Listening Lab - four levels of practice
- The BBC's Learning English site
- About ESL ...
- Takako's Excellent Adventure - a Canadian site for listening practice; also linked to "Hye-Jin's Tale"
- Repeat After Us - recordings of texts you can follow
- and finally, a site that helps you find other sites with good listening resources
- The University of Victoria's intermediate and advanced reading exercises
- The ESL Study Hall (from Christine Meloni of George Washington University)
- Edict's Virtual Language Centre
- The English Club - short stories and mysteries for EAL students
- Fluency through Fables
- Reading Comprehension exercises from Hong Kong's Polytechnic University (a large site; click on the links under 'Reading')
- The University College of London's Grammar Reference
- The Grammar Doctor
- The Grammar Gorilla - a good site for kids, and with good basic quizzes for all
- The Grammar Slammer
- Hong Kong University's Academic Grammar Page - for advanced-level help
- The English Zone - explanations, lesson ideas and quizzes
- The Guide to Grammar and Writing
- ESL Grammar Links
For specific grammar problems:
- Counting and non-counting nouns
- Irregular verbs
- Spelling, in general
- Spelling irregular plural nouns
- Four ways to express the future
- Verb tenses
- Modals - can/could, would, should, might, etc.
- Prepositions and phrasal verbs
- Verbs and prepositions
- Medical plurals
Also see the various resources in the Writing section of this site's Essential Skills Resources pages.
- Hong Kong University's Writing Machine - ten lessons on academic writing
- Hong Kong University's Academic Grammar page - covering all facets of academic writing, not just grammar