So many applications, websites and videos are available online to help you learn English. It is very beneficial to use all of these resources and combine learning with entertainment. I have a few ideas that made learning English online easier for me. The applications that I have been using are not perfect but I rated them five stars each.
Learning words and phrases step by step
Planned lessons with numerous repetitions and ways of monitoring your progress. The best way to achieve this is with English courses that are designed around different topics. I personally still use the traditional method; books. I have a few reasons for this. Lessons cover the hardest and the easiest topics. With each lesson grammar rules are always repeated, examples are given and explained. At the end we get exercises that allow us to repeat what we have learned.
I treat applications that I find online as extra help. The online applications give me the opportunity to learn and memorise many words and phrases. Frequent study and monitoring my progress allows me to get better at English. Each of these applications tests your knowledge and allows us to return to easier exercises more smoothly. Thanks to that I am able to repeat exercises that I was not happy with.
Duolingo – I think everyone heard about this website (version for tablet and computer). It allows you to monitor your progress as well as repeating exercises until you are happy with your results. I am not completely satisfied with all of the translations and I also get annoyed when they give me new words that they have not introduced before.
Vocabulary Trainer – This is also a great application, plenty of words and good overall translations. I am rating their individual translations as quiet weak, a word or phrase without a sentence or example often confuses me and is often translated in more than one way.
Badoo – One of the applications recommended by my friends, unfortunately I have not been able to use it yet.
I know or I don’t know? I think I know but I am not sure. The best way to see your progress and knowledge is by taking a test. It is important that your score or grade is very precise; ideally there should be notes on where you went wrong and what the right way to go about it is. Starting some simple grammar rules for yourself allows you to grasp the material quicker. This works amazing for people that know a lot of words, but are bad at grammar. For people that have been learning English previously, but had a long break or never got the chance to use it, it is a good way to check your knowledge and determine the level of English you need revise.
English grammar test – this application offers tests at two levels- intermediate and upper intermediate. I find this to be the best application I have used. I did not find any errors or mistakes. I really recommend this application.
Read, read and read
Books, newspapers, articles, blogs. All forms of reading are welcome. There is only one problem. Everything you read is not always on the same level of difficulty. If you have just started learning, this can be very irritating; looking for every other word in the dictionary, not to mention understanding a precise tense used, or so often used perhaps verbs. The best tool when learning English is a book marked with the level of difficulty. Some time ago I used a printed version from the publisher with the penguin, but they are expensive. So I found a library on the internet, where you can read books online for free.
Library online – books by known writers with specified level of English, to make learning easier. The format is similar to the penguin publisher. This online library covers all levels of English, starting with elementary level all the way to the advanced level.
E-books available in English – this website allows publishing e-books by different authors, so it is hard to say what level of difficulty they are, it is worth going there to check it out.
TV shows differ greatly from movies. When it comes to Ireland the beautiful island accent is heard on TV which makes simple English incomprehensible for beginners. Putting some time aside for watching TV shows pays off. Apart from movies and series, watching reality TV is also a good idea. In these types of shows we usually hear everyday English with Irish accent. This will help you get use to the accent and learn.
For some people watching movies with subtitles is a good way to learn. I am using this method of learning, but for entertainment rather than study. I am no longer watching movies and TV in my native language; I try to watch everything in English. I always use English subtitles. I don’t know why but I never understand what they are saying unless I see it written. I think my senses are not working correctly. Many people claim that they have learned English with this particular subtitle method.
Netflix (not free)
I talk to my cat and dog. Surprisingly they seem to understand what I am saying more than my neighbour. We seem to understand each other fine, if there is any conflict it is because they are different species. Unfortunately they don’t say anything back that I can understand. You can have a conversation anywhere. People that work with the Irish or foreigners that speak English are the lucky ones. Free English lessons at work are priceless. For those unlucky ones that use their native language at home and at work, you should definitely use online English lessons. So you can speak for free with a computer or other people.
Learn English – an application that allows you to chat with a computer. This can be really fun, especially if you ask unusual questions. The computer has its’ own sense of humour. During your conversation you will learn that your age is the price you pay for your maturity- ‘’Age is a very high price to pay for maturity’’.
Italki (not free) – this website allows you to have one on one time with a teacher.