An English Tool Kit

Image courtesy of Gualberto107/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Gualberto107/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In addition to your teacher, as a learner of English, it is often wise to have more at your disposal to navigate your new language. Speaking as well as writing skills are enhanced and perfected when you know the correct usages of English including grammar and word choice.

From time to time, we all could use handy guides as tools for reference whenever we get stuck. Below is a compilation of websites that are exceptionally helpful when learning to speak and write English:

Grammar Girl – Hosted by Mignon Fogarty, author of Grammar Girl’s Guide to Writing, and managing director and creator of the popular Quick and Dirty Tips website, this site is packed with information on English usage. Fogarty’s site makes available a blog, podcasts, and forums where you could find answers to your burning grammar questions. If she cannot readily provide it, she will search for you. All the while, Grammar Girl strives to make complex problems simple and keeps the learning fun with amusing examples and memory tricks. This site is highly recommended for everyone, second language as well as native speakers alike.

Purdue OWL – The prestigious Purdue University hosts this go-to website for just about any kind of writing question. Find resources and instructional materials absolutely free as well as up-to-date examples of major collegiate writing formats including MLA and APA. This site is especially useful if you have to write academically, but offers general writing advice and information as well. It also devotes an entire section to English as a Second Language with workshops and exercises developed for English Language Learners.

Thesaurus.com – This site comes in quite handy whenever you are struggling with word choice. You simply enter any word in the search bar at the top of the page and it will automatically generate lists of synonyms, ranking them in order of relevance. Scroll down to find antonyms of your selected word as well. Thesaurus.com is a big boost in building your vocabulary. It is part of the larger Dictionary.com that hosts a blog with daily English topics, crossword puzzles, infographics, Word of the Day, and Lexicon Investigations.

English Guide – EnglishGuide.org aims to be a collection point for free learning resources primarily for English learning. It has assembled categories in everything from Vocabulary to Listening to Grammar, and organizes websites according to degree of difficulty that ranges from elementary to college level. EnglishGuide.org also offers a list of ESL podcasts to improve listening and pronunciation on a wide range of subjects.

Some other sites of interest include:

LanguageGuide.Org, a free site dedicated to aiding language learners in their pronunciation, vocabulary building, and grammar practice; and The Plain English Campaign, A U.K. website that provides free guides to writing on various subjects (ex. legal, medical, financial, etc.) and emphasizes using the clearest language possible.

This is only a sample of the vast amount of resources that can be found on the Internet when learning and studying English. However these sites will provide a good start to improving and strengthening English language skills.

 

Written by Marlene Martzke for English Classes by Skype

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