For links connected with pronunciation and IPA, go to my Sounds (IPA) page. For links to teacher tools and materials, go to my Teacher Tools page.


BBC Learning English is always a good place to start. Of especial interest for advanced learners are Words in the News and Keep your English up to date.

British Council

Learn English is another main British site. The Word on the street video series looks particularly interesting.

VOA (Voice of America)

VOA Special English is a very rich site with lots of articles, podcasts and a YouTube channel. The site uses a special lexicon of around 1500 words, and the commentaries on the podcasts and videos are spoken slowly. Most of the YouTube videos also have captions (subtitles).

Other organisations

Regular lessons

As well as BBC Words in the News, you can also find some regularly changing lessons. Although mainly aimed at teachers, they could be useful for students.

Big and reliable ESL sites - grammar, exercises, forums etc

  • - this is for both students and teachers, and has a very good grammar reference section as well as a wealth of quizzes.
  • English Club
  • - a huge educational site with sections on just about every subject under the sun. A pain to navigate (the page you want always seems to need about 4 clicks) it nevertheless has some excellent stuff.
  • - a project of The Internet TESL Journal ( It has thousands of online exercises in grammar and vocab, and also crosswords. I look out for exercises written by Laetitia Bradley, which seem to have more of a UK slant.
  • - another large site with plenty of exercises.

Other sites for exercises, often referred to as quizzes

  • Michelle Henry - MH is a French teacher of English who lists links to various other sites according to theme / subject
  • ESL Tower
  • English Page
  • - German based site.
  • English 4 Today
  • is mainly about courses in the UK, but has some good stuff under the rubric 'English resources'
  • - seems to be run by a couple of teachers in the UK. They have a lot of online exercises, and seem to also do free email lessons.
  • NonStop English - has lots of exercises and seems to be expanding its business section.
  • Ted Powers - has discussion material aimed at teachers, but there are crosswords students can do.
  • - another huge site, but I haven't really checked it out properly yet.

News and news lessons

YouTube channels - Learning English

YouTube channels - News

YouTube channels - Other

Scoop it!

Scoop it are 'curated' pages where you follow content rather than people. Curators choose recent links which have interested them. Anyone can start a Scoop it! page, and there are a lot connected with EFL and ESL. This is just a selection


This site allows members to upload image-based games. A lot of them are for English learners.
  • acLiLtocLiMB - list of lots of games prepared by teacher Chiew Pang of the blog of the same name

Podcasts and MP3s

What is a podcast? NB Many podcasts can be downloaded directly from websites as MP3s without any special software. Winamp, iTunes, Google Reader, MyYahoo all have built in podcast software.

  • Grammar Girl is for native speakers, but the texts are written out so her audio can be quite easily followed. See gadgets page.
  • Podcasts in English - UK English with three levels plus business English. Listening is free, but you pay for written materials. Some video. Often two presenters. They also have a YouTube channel
  • ESL Pod Good (US) informal language, spoken (maybe annoyingly) slowly. Audio free, pay for written materials. Intermediate level. Very regularly updated.
  • Listen to English Interesting texts by a UK based teacher, with complete annotated texts to follow when or after listening. Well worth a visit.
  • a4esl. Brings together podcasts from various sources.
  • Better at English Advanced but very well documented on the site. But I don't know if it's still active.
  • VOA Special English Video podcasts.

Business English Podcasts

  • VideoVocab TV Video podcasts for business English. Also has a YouTube channel.
  • Business English Pod - large collection of podcasts on a variety of business topics. As usual the podcasts themselves seem to be free, but you have to pay for study materials.
  • The Business. Interviews designed to go with the course book.

General Interest Podcasts

Podcast and mp3 link lists

Grammar reference aimed at learners

Grammar glossaries - ESL

Grammar reference aimed mainly at native speakers

Many North American educational establishments have websites to help students improve their writing skills. These often have excellent grammar sections.
  • Paul Brians, Emeritus Professor of English at Washington State University has an amazing selection of beautifully and humourously written extracts from his book Common Errors, a grammar reference in itself.
  • Guide to grammar and writing is sponsored by the CCC (educational) Foundation in Connecticut
  • The Owl at Purdue University, aimed mainly at native speakers wanting to be able to write well, has an excellent grammar section which could also be useful to learners.
  • The Internet Grammar of English - University College London
  • is another site aimed at writers. Some good stuff, but sometimes rather traditionalist

Grammar glossaries and reference - more technical

Vocabulary for learners

'Words' sites aimed mainly at native speakers

Idioms and phrases

Confusable words


  • elllo - Canadian site, lots of short audio texts with scripts and exercises.

British culture and customs


These can be useful, but be careful about accepting advice. These ESL websites usually have teachers answering questions. But don't trust forums like Yahoo, where native speakers who think they are experts often get things wildly wrong.

Language tools

I have to thank Leoxicon, a blog for teachers, for putting me on to some of these.