Online resources for learners of English
We think the sites listed on this page will all be useful to learners of English. We only include sites which are freely accessible.
Teachers of English will find further useful links on our Teacher Training site.
The suite of Cambridge dictionaries are possibly the best online English-English dictionaries available (and, with nearly 2m searches a month, among the most popular).
Apart from the good results from its dictionary, the site also provides a lot of other resources (other language dictionaries, thesaurus, style guides, links...)
Describes itself as a "searchable and categorised directory of glossaries and topical dictionaries". Excellent - and one to bookmark!
The online version of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (a very popular dictionary in its print version) is rather basic - but that makes it one that is very easy to use.
Dictionary of UK slang. Try their links section for other forms of slang (Australian, US, specialist...)
A guide to learning English
A large number of interactive grammar and vocabulary exercises for learners at a variety of different levels.
Grammar and Writing Guide (Capital Community College)
A complete online guide to English grammar. The material on this site is intended for native speakers of the language but there is lots there that we think is useful.
For advanced learners. The Internet Grammar is in English and German - but don't let that put you off - this is an excellent site! Free, but requires registration.
Free online reading, grammar and vocabulary exercises -- from IH Barcelona!
Self-study grammar quizzes
Over 1,000 grammar and vocabulary activities organised by levels.
Reading the press is not just a way of keeping in touch with current affairs, but also a great way to practise your English. The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post all have excellent sites for both of these purposes.
You will also find magazines like Time and Newsweek online. If you are interested in financial affairs, try The Financial Times or The Economist.
CBS also has an excellent multimedia news site.
Other reading material
You will find lots of other reading practice on the Internet. Here are just four that we like, where you will find short stories and mysteries that you have to solve, as well as an online magazine about the environment and the superb National Geographic magazine.
Apart from the specific learning English site (see above), which also has listening material, the BBC World Service site offers 5 minute news, sport and business news bulletins. Making it a regular habit to listen is a great way of improving your listening comprehension.
National Public Radio
NPR has a superb collection of audio archives on a vast range of topics of general interest. Explore it - it's like being able to listen to the National Geographic magazine!
First Certificate (FCE)
First Certificate is one of the most popular, most widely taken English language examinations in the world. This official sites provides full information on the examination, including question types and exam dates.
Cambridge Advanced (CAE)
The CAE exam, which is described as being "suitable for people who require English for professional or study purposes", is an increasingly popular advanced level exam. This official site provides full information about it.
Proficiency is not as popular as it once was but if you really want to be able to demonstrate a very advanced level of English, this is the exam for you. Full information about it from the official CPE site.
IELTS - or the International English Language Testing System - is a much less popular exam in Europe than FCE and CAE (see above), but an IELTS score is one some Universities, for example, use for their entrance requirement.
A particular TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score is what most American universities will ask for if you want to study there. If you need a high mark, we would suggest that for most people it is going to be easier to get a good mark in TOEFL than in IELTS, for example.
Beginner's guide to using the Internet (BBC)
This interactive tutorial is a useful starting point for those completely new to the subject, including tips on searching for information.
Claims to be "the single best source for facts on the Net". You might dispute that but it certainly includes a lot of useful links.