5 Free Websites and Apps to Help You Learn English (or any other language)
There are so many useful resources on the internet that can help you learn English, but when I speak to many learners I find that not many people make the most of what’s on offer. Below is a list of five useful websites and apps that can help you improve your skills in English.
- Quizlet – This is a website and app that allows you to create ‘flashcards’ for words or phrases. A flashcard is a card that has the word or phrase on one side and the meaning on the other. This is useful to help you remember new vocabulary. You can download the Quizlet app to your phone. When you find new vocabulary you can enter it in a vocabulary list and do different activities to test yourself. The activities can test understanding of meaning, spelling and pronunciation.
- Evernote – When you read or hear new vocabulary it is useful to write it down in a notebook. Instead of using a paper notebook you can now use Evernote, a notebook for your phone. The Evernote app allows you to make notes by writing, speaking or taking pictures. You can then easily look at your notes on your phone to revise the new vocabulary.
- Lyrics Training – This is a website that can you help with listening and spelling. It has lots of songs in English (or other languages). You can listen to the songs and read the lyrics (the words for the song) at the same time. However, there are gaps in the lyrics where words are missing and you have to fill in the gaps by typing the missing words. If you can’t fill in the gaps then the song stops. This is a fun way to practise listening.
- LibriVox – This is a website that has free audio books that can be used to practise listening. You could also look for the text version of the book and read and listen at the same time. Reading and listening at the same time can help you to learn how to pronounce words and help you better understand the structure of the language.
- 6 Minute English – This is part of the BBC’s learning English website. It has lots of recorded discussions that are around 6 minutes long. The discussions are designed to help you learn new pieces of vocabulary. You can download the podcast and listen to it on your phone. Each discussion also has a transcript, so you can read and listen at the same time.
All these tools are free to use and download. It may take some time to get into the habit of using them, but once you start making the effort to use them they will probably become part of your routine and help you improve your vocabulary and skills. Make it a goal to try using one regularly for a week or two and see what happens!
If you’d like to practice your English then sign up for one of our ASP courses for international students and students whose first English is not English here.
Due to popular demand, the Talk Club instructors organised another trip to the Gower. What better way for international students to practice speaking English, meet new friends and enjoy new scenery? Like last year, the weather was absolutely stunning and the group was comprised of students from all over the world. This year, we decided to take advantage of public transport and hopped aboard the 8 then 118 buses to Swansea Airport. We then trekked up a winding road to the Rose Hip Tearooms at the Wildflower Cafe where we enjoyed a delicious high tea while sitting in the sun. It was fun discussing what each of the items were and how one is meant to eat them (scones for example, are best when lathered with clotted cream and then topped with jam). As is usual for the ladies at the Cafe, the food was outstanding and plentiful.
After eating, we walked back down the road and hopped back on the 118 to Penmaen. Once there, we walked along the tops of the cliffs and enjoyed breath-taking views of Oxwich Bay, Tor Bay and Three Cliffs Bay. After surveying the view from up top, we decided to head down to the beach at Three Cliffs.
After two hours of fresh air, sun, exercise and tons of sand in our shoes, we returned on the 118, then 8 bus to the University. It was agreed that once a year is not often enough for Talk Club trips, so make sure to look out for emails from the Academic Success Programme for information on future trips. For more information on Talk Club and all the courses offered by ASP, go to our website. Until then, we wish all our students who are in exam revision mode the best of luck on your exams.
The ASP team are constantly brainstorming ways to support student success, so when a group of Talk Club regulars mentioned wanting to know more about Wales and Welsh culture, the idea to go on tour was born. The Gower Peninsula was the logical choice; it is close to Swansea, is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and makes for a great day out. The decision was made to go to Llangennith, on North Gower. While there, we were able to sample a variety of Welsh dishes courtesy of the King’s Head, while Danielle, a Welsh foodie blogger from Lovely Appetite, spoke about Welsh food and traditions.
Danielle from Lovely Appetite
Explaining the food
Haddock Welsh Rarebit with Dragon’s Breath Curry
Glamorgan Sausage, Cawl, Lavabread and mussels
Afterwards, G, a former Gower Scout leader and current photographer at Gower Images Works, led us on a guided walk over part of Rhossili Down to the beach.
G from Gower Image Works
In addition to practicing speaking and listening to conversational English, students were able to connect with other international students while learning a bit more about Welsh food and traditions. We really lucked out with the weather; the week before rain was forecast for our trip, however, on the day, it was sunny and beautiful.
For anyone who wants to try making a popular local dish, Danielle swears her family’s recipe is the best:
Corned Beef Pie
And, since the Welsh cakes were a favourite, why not try making them at home?
If you missed out on the trip, fear not; we are in the process of planning another ASP adventure. Follow us on Twitter to find out more about this and all the ways ASP can help you be as successful as possible.
A big thank you to all the students who came along to Llangennith- it was a lot of fun. Thanks you also to Abi at the King’s Head for creating a special Welsh menu for us, to Danielle for the input and suggestions for the day and to G at Gower Images Works for not only speaking about the local history but for documenting the afternoon as well.