We all know that learning a new language is never easy. Especially one that is so different to your mother tongue. However, thanks to many online esol courses and phone applications, learning english online has never been easier!
Throughout this article, we will discuss the many different available online tools to help deepen your knowledge of the English language. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, have a read.
App's To Learn English On Your iPad/iPhone
There are many apps/tools available to learn English at your fingertips. Just check your tablet or phone!
Babbel was founded in January 2008 and is the world’s first ever language-learning application, available in 14 diverse languages. It is available both on the web, as well as on Android and iOS.
Whether you’re a beginner starting from scratch or you’re confident in English and just want to strengthen your knowledge, Babbel is perfect for you as it caters to everyone’s language needs.
- Vocabulary lessons on different topics, such as sports or health.
- Courses with tongue twisters, idioms, colloquialisms and all the different sayings you need to know.
- A review of each lesson.
Duolingo is an online language-learning platform, launched in 2011 and already has 68 online language courses for 23 languages.
Like Babbel and Rosetta Stone, Duolingo is also available on iOS and Android.
Duolingo takes a completely different approach to Babbel and Rosetta Stone:
- Enables you to learn English vocabulary by translating.
- Offers dictation exercises, which improve English listening.
- The exercises are extremely short, you can play whenever you have a moment.
- Offers a timed practice option which is perfect for a crash course in English.
- It's completely free!
The Best English Translators Online
Need help with English translations? Try these online tools.
Google Translate is the biggest online translation tool out there, its technology is becoming increasingly advanced. It's efficient and a lot more precise than other online translation tools.
Simply type in the word or phrase you wish to translate into English, it then generates a non-human translation.
For example, let's use a simple English phrase to French:
This translation is accurate, correct and precise.
However, translating longer phrases with more complicated meanings prove to be a struggle for Google Translate, it is unable to generate natural translations as it uses non-human translations. Non-human translator tools aren't great as they are unable to gauge the exact meaning.
But, Google Translate is great if you're looking to generate a fast and short translation into English.
And, the best part is: it's free!
Lingue has been online since 2007 and is available in many languages, of course including English! It is the translation student's go-to website.
- Linguee browses through many translated source texts.
- More accurate than Google Translate.
- Natural human translations.
- Perfect for vocabulary translations.
Discover the best ESOL courses here.
You simply type in the short phrase or expression you wish to translate and Linguee comes up with many different translations. The highlighted part is the translation:
Like Google Translate, Linguee is available to download on iOS or Android and it's free!
So, if you're looking to widen your vocabulary in the English language, then use Linguee and translate from your mother tongue!
Top Best Podcasts for Learning English
Listening to a Language is often a more effective way to learn a language. Check out these podcasts.
The English We Speak
Every week, the BBC look at an everyday English phrase or a saying in slang through a podcast. It offers you a short snippet of useful English slang you can use on a trip to an Anglophone country!
Each podcast lasts around 3-4 minutes, allowing you to familiarise yourself with English jargon, from English native speakers.
All Ears English
All Ears English have adopted a fun way to master the English language. It gives you an insight into great English conversation starters. For example, "How to connect to people in the LGBT community", "How to stay calm when the cashier asks you quick questions in English", or "What's it like to be single in New York City".
This series is not exactly educational, but it's great if you're looking to visit an Anglophone country!
The Best Websites for Learning English
The language-learning software, Rosetta Stone was released online in 2014 and is available on the web and on iOS and Android, in 24 languages, including Shakespeare's language: English!
The founders of Rosetta Stone guarantee that by using their language-learning tool, you can easily learn a new language, such as English, without visiting an Anglophone country.
So, how does it work?
- Rosetta Stone believe that the best way of learning English is not through translation.
- This online language learning tool has adopted a different teaching method to Babbel.
- It's extremely interactive.
- It teaches English vocabulary on a variety of topics and is also great for improving your English pronunciation!
- Practice having an English conversation with one of Rosetta Stone's English native tutors, similar to a Skype call. You can ask your tutor anything to do with English.
It has been said that we do learn better through patterns, games and fun images.
Unlike Babbel, with Rosetta Stone, you are told if you answered the correct answer after each question, not at the end of the quiz.
However, like with Babbel, if you are interested in learning English with Rosetta Stone, you must subscribe to their online membership. You have the option of committing yourself to either a 12 month or 24-month membership.
It isn't cheap, but we all know it will be worth it in the end!
Like the other language-learning tools we have seen, Memrise is available on the web and on iOS and Android. It was founded in 2005 and is available in 25 languages, and of course in the most widely spoken language worldwide: English.
Memrise only covers vocabulary exercises, it does not offer lessons in grammar, pronunciation, and reading.
- Memrise offers many different levels suited to your personal level.
- It offers basic vocabulary for beginners, such as "dog" or "sister".
- More advanced English language learners have an insight into more complex vocabulary and phrases.
- Memrise does not require an internet connection!
- You can hear a word pronounced by an English native speaker, which improves your listening and pronunciation.
So, how does it work?
Memrise takes a completely different approach to the other tools we have seen. They base their application around "mems". Now, we have all seen "mems" on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you can spend hours scrolling through them laughing your head off!
You are shown a set of cards (the mems) and a meaning. Each mem has a phrase or word that is linked to the photo or audio. This encourages you to memorise the mem and its meaning through visual quizzes.
Another great upside is that Memrise does not require you to subscribe to a paying membership! Memrise is a fun and relaxed way to enhance your English language skills.
Whatever your level may be, if you're interested in learning new English vocabulary through photos and mems, then Memrise is suitable for you!
The Best Websites for Finding Online Tutors
Superprof is a free service that helps tutors and tutees find each other another via a secure and easy-to-use online tuition platform. You can either take lessons locally, face t face, or online around the Uk or the world!
Superprof has tutors offering tuition in more than 1000 subjects (which go much further than academic support). Our dynamic startup has revolutionised one on one tutoring!
Whether you're a beginner in English or are more advanced, Superprof is the right place for you as our tutors will tailor their classes to your needs and requirements.
Since it was founded in August of 2013, Superprof has become a high-quality resource in the eyes of all who wish to find a tutor or start a tutoring business.
Founded in 2007, WizIQ is the world's largest online tutor platform.
How does it work?
WizIQ lets you attend an English class anywhere by using a virtual classroom.
- Communicate with your English tutor through the virtual classroom.
- Record your live English classes for future reference.
- You can share your viewpoints with other English language learners, which is great to have an insight into what all the other students think!
- Message other students in the virtual classroom, make new friends from across the globe and communicate in English!
If you're unsure about something, your query will be answered in no time! You click on the telephone icon and you will be directed to a member of staff who will help you.
However, WizIQ is not cheap, it's $83 a month but you can have access to any online language course. You also have a 24/7 support system.
It's expensive, but it's worth it if you're looking to improve your level in English!
Online language-learning tools, such as Rosetta Stone seem great until you realise you're not actually interacting with a real life English person. So, at times when you're unclear about something, you can't stop to ask a question, which can be quite annoying!
So, if you're looking for one-to-one online English lessons, your best bet would be to subscribe to Mytutor or WizIQ.
Anyway, these online language-learning tools are still great to learn English, when you want and how you want, in the comfort of your own home.
There is no time pressure and no homework. You are your own teacher!