Young people today (as well as learners of all ages) are equipped with more tools for learning English than ever before. Back in the Eighties, learners relied upon private lessons, paper books, and language-learning tapes to improve their English language skills. Now there are many more opportunities online to hear authentic native speakers of English and to practice with activities like multiple-choice drills. Many of these activities are free while others cost a fee. Whereas learners in the past had to travel across the globe to practice authentic language in a real-world context, now learners utilize apps, text messaging, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and more to practice their language skills. All one needs is a good Internet connection, a computer and an Android or iPad to get started.
First and foremost, one should not forget the importance of reading literature in the language that one studies no matter what the language might be. Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and other providers offer an excellent selection of downloadable books. Many prefer PDF books that can be stored in the iBooks Application of their iPads or Androids. Most experts agree that the best English speakers and writers are those who have taken the time to read extensively in the various genres including but not limited to romance, literary fiction, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Writers of great books tend to exemplify the best English so one should not bypass the digital book as a valuable tool in a world that tends to provide the fast gratification of attaining knowledge through online programs.
That being said, it is good to know there are so many apps and Internet sites for students who would like to learn English on their own, even as a means of outperforming peers at school or at work (or to attain a high score on a test). One such valuable site for acquiring English is Udemy. Udemy offers courses of all types in the English language. A majority of the teachers are native English speakers or second-language speakers of high proficiency. By taking a Udemy course, the learner builds vocabulary specific to a field of expertise. Another excellent site is The Great Courses, a site where one can purchase a digital course by Great Professors and stream it in an online, digital locker.
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The Great Courses site provides rather long English courses with a broad range of topics, especially in literature and philosophy. Otherwise, an advanced English -language-learner might supplement his or her studies with excellent lectures given at TED.com or by free courses offered through universities at Coursera’s website.
There is something for people at all language levels, from the early beginners to the advanced professionals. There are programs to address the needs of every learning style. No matter how young or old, everyone benefits from websites originally created for both public and private schools. Learners and teachers find a vast number of downloadable worksheets and puzzles as well as downloadable English books at such sites. Many of these learning sites are supported by the products they advertise and sell. Such sponsor’s products provide value because they tend to be related to the acquisition of English.