ESL 101: Learn English by Yourself with 101 A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Resources

In no particular order here is the list of 101 amazing English resources, I have also summarized their strengths beside the link to the website:

  1. made by Richard Edwards at Paavo Media, Grammar Gamble is an English grammar test that helps you learn English quickly. It is aimed at intermediate English learners, although the site states all learners can benefit from the grammar practice in this type of learning approach. You log on, answer 10 questions to build a higher score, and bet money along the way.
  2. is advertised as “The Internet’s Meeting Place for ESL and EFL Teachers and Students Around the World”.  While the site is very deep with lot's of information the very dated design may turn off most visitors.  If you can past the lackluster design you'll find a lot of useful information.  Designed by Dave Sperling, it contains a help center, grammar lessons, idioms, phrasal verbs, pronunciation power, quizzes, slang, and student forums. Additional “stuff” includes chat central, a photo gallery, podcasts, today in history, and ESL links.
  3. offers free resources including conversation pages and dialogues. There is a writing help section with downloadable and printable writing exercises, grammar activities and suggestions.
  4. covers “Everything You Want to Know about Idioms” and is worth checking out. You can read about specific idioms and see how they are used in sentences.
  5. features Kenneth Beare’s free email courses that bring daily and weekly tips, grammar points and links to pages on the site to further explain language skills and concepts.  You can also explore the many lessons (grammar, writing) categorized by skill level and read the articles on listening skills, vocabulary development and pronunciation.
  6. offers links to thousands of pages of ESL/EFL-related material including clear explanations, exercises and practice quizzes categorized to skill and difficulty level. Specific areas addressed include speaking, listening, grammar, pronunciation, business, writing, reading, vocabulary, TOEFL and idioms (phrasal verbs, collocations, expressions, proverbs/saying, and common companions).
  7. features Ron Lee who refers you to hundreds of high quality free English learning sites and resources for beginner and intermediate learners.  One interesting feature is the collection of 365 stories (one per day) that comes with an audio so you can listen to the story being read to you. There is also an opportunity for online chat.
  8. Purdue Online Writing Lab offers English instruction to all learners with a separate section for ESL resources to include emphasis on grammar and mechanics, along with practice and exercises.  Articles that focus on workplace writing are included.
  9. Breaking News English features 1750 lessons across 7 levels of English from beginner to upper intermediate levels. Lessons center on current global events with reading and listening, speed reading, and online quizzes and activities.
  10. The English Learner Movie Guides is a site that features popular movies selected for their use of vocabulary and benefit to the ESL more advanced learner. The English guides contain a summary of the plot, list of characters, and a glossary of vocabulary words with various questions.  The goal of this site is to teach the English language and culture through English movies.
  11. 5-Minute English offers short and easy explanations and exercises in grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, and slang/idioms with the idea that you can learn a lot of English with a little dedication. There is also a question/answer section for students to write and ask about confusing things in English. The premise behind this site is that “… although learning English may not always be an easy thing to do, it should be fun”.
  12. Learn That Word  is an individualized English program to learn vocabulary and spelling. You can target any words to learn and the site builds exercises in helping you to learn them.
  13. contains 1000 free vocabulary games to boost any ESL student’s vocabulary through interactive play.
  14. activities for ESL students has quizzes, tests, exercises, and puzzles. This project of The Internet TESL Journal has thousands of contributions. An interesting feature is the bilingual quizzes in approximately 50 languages.
  15. This site offers chat rooms, English forums, vocabulary building, quizzes and English lessons with MP3 downloads.
  16. http://www.talkenglish.comSpeaking/listBusiness.aspx These business English lessons are complete with audio clips to practice pronunciation.  All lessons are targeted towards employment and business English and include speaking, listening and extra English lessons.
  17. This site in how to learn English effectively is a product of two Polish men, Tomasz Szynalski and Michal Ryszard, who were ESL students themselves. They provide advice and inspiration to lean English by capitalizing on modern learning techniques and the use of spaced repetition.
  18. contains self-made language teacher materials (printables, projectables and articles) for free to those users who register. This site is a compilation of over half a million ESL/EFL teachers who share their best with you to learn English.
  19. Free ESL game created for English language schools and teachers that contains over 2900 words grouped into 90 categories.
  20. This site ESL Partyland written by Karin Cintron includes 75 interactive quizzes and learning pages designed to address topics to help with English.  There are resource links provided for your ESL learning.
  21. This site for the ESL student has hundreds of exercises from grammar, listening, reading, and vocabulary with 4 levels of language learners in mind. Games and quizzes are included along with a student newsletter.
  22. These 20 minute audio ESL lessons cover vocabulary arranged by assorted topics about everyday life and work. Includes quizzes and follow-up activities.
  23. This English site has a large collection of ESL tools and resources for all subject areas to include a handy reference guide to parts of speech, along with tests/quizzes, reference guides, and articles for the ESL student.
  24. is billed as the “best site on the web to learn, share and succeed in language learning” with top tips and links to improve ESL from podcasts and music to Premier league football news, etc.
  25. This resource from the British channel offers topical English lessons, quizzes, words in the news, 6 minute English lessons, photos and bilingual instruction.
  26. This site is a collection of Funbrain games to enhance reading and spelling, among other areas. Vocabulary can be selected from various academic categories.
  27. Use this idiom dictionary as a reference when you stumble across phrases you want to understand.  Easy to use, you can read the available lists or type in any of your own for clarification and use in sentences.
  28. You can download a free trial of this vocabulary builder from SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT and general vocabulary and then test your vocabulary knowledge. There are more than 12,000 words.
  29. In this forum, you can study a daily idiom, quotes, references to English novel, and complete interactive language exercises to increase your English ability.  The site also contains message boards and online reference materials.
  30. This award-winning online site has a library with copyright-free English texts and scripted recordings across various genres or accessed by authors to improve listening comprehension and English speaking skills.
  31. These free podcasts cover English expressions in a fun to learn method.
  32. Billed as “a podcast for English learners throughout the world,” this site tailors content to a variety of languages with news, history, and slang.
  33. The focus of these podcasts use a combination of basic to complex topics like going to the store or working in an office.
  34. This site offers over 300 free podcasts to language learners at various levels.  Included are free sample worksheets.
  35. This Voice of America channel allows the students to listen to news and feature stories in American English, but it is spoken 33% slower than normal to make it easier to follow along. There are a variety of topics with different language learners from around the world voicing their opinions on these interesting topics.
  36. These are a series of videos that cover various parts of the TOEFL test.
  37. English with Jennifer covers various topics:  beginning English, improving writing, grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, etc. and is geared towards playlists.
  38. English teacher Melanie helps with pronunciation and accents in her many videos that cover work with enunciation and sounds.
  39. EF podEnglish These English lessons are broken up into five-minute chunks and by skill level from beginner to advanced students to learn anytime, anywhere. Useful phrases, vocabulary and grammar are taught with study and review points.
  40. Teacher Phil helps you study basic English, business English, idioms, and more skills. You’ll learn how to speak with an American accent and use proper English.
  41. BBC L English’s Channel  BBC’s YouTube channel has a wide variety of interesting, updated videos to learn English.
  42. With over 1200 short videos, Elllo provides an opportunity to listen to different topics from speakers all over the world for all levels of English language learners.
  43. Fun Easy English focuses on basic English knowledge and teaching tips including tests, writing, slang, idioms, grammar, and pronunciation in various formats (classroom, lessons, videos and you tube)
  44. This is a free language exchange social network.  You post a writing and a native speaker will correct it.
  45. Join the 30 million users in this interactive language course and practice English with native speakers. With over 150 learning units, you will be assured of finding some interesting topics to sharpen your vocabulary, increase reading comprehension and perfect writing skills.
  46. The Livemocha website focuses on learning English by submitting answers, checking submissions, and chatting with native speakers.
  47. VocabSushi helps build vocabulary through classical literature.  It provides practice for exams like the SAT and GRE, etc. with real-word examples. You pick vocabulary words, learn their meanings, read sentence samples, listen to speakers and then take a test to check your understanding.
  48. Learn English Free Online (LEO) offers a wide assortment of activities (related to grammar, vocabulary, English basics, pronunciation, and culture) to improve your English skills. The main aim of this site is to help promote friendship and understanding among native speakers and learners of English as a foreign or second language.
  49.  Exam English offers you activities to prepare for reading, listening, grammar, vocabulary and writing portions of various English exams (TOEFL, CPE, KET and many other international ESL/EFL exams).
  50. Duncaninchina is launched by an Englishman Mr. Duncan who has worked in China for four years and offers a collection (over 150) interesting and entertaining videos for you to learn English.
  51. Join Steve Ford who has been teaching English for nearly 20 years.  He capitalizes on strong visuals and musical lyrics to sharpen your English skills.
  52. targets advanced business English topics with 35 ESL videos offered by Business English Pod.
  53. With over 130 Real English videos produced, you will see Mike and teachers at The Marzio School in France interview people on the streets in cities throughout many of the English speaking countries of the world. The topics are fun and engaging, and you can see and hear how casual conversation is used.
  54. The Daily English Show features New Zealander Sarah.  It is the world’s first and only daily online English language show. Register for free and watch some of the over 1200 videos that use captivating topics, upbeat pictures and music.
  55. features over 170 videos where English learners can hear simple explanations of expressions and how the intonation and facial expressions change the meanings of such expressions.
  56. lists literally hundreds of free exercises to learn English online with all English skills and concepts covered.
  57. This culturally authentic pictorial lexicon offers images to show the true meaning of words for better understanding.
  58. Interesting things for ESL students include stuff just for beginners, quizzes, word games, puzzles, proverbs, slang expressions, daily listening and repeating exercises, a random sentence generator, read-a-longs and American stories.
  59. This is a site of games, quizzes and a community forum along with reference materials (dictionary and vocabulary section).
  60. ESL Basics offers free English videos for students.
  61.  ESL Gold comprises thousands of learning resources organized by skills and levels for English. This is one of the most comprehensive websites online for ESL students.
  62. Google Translate A resource for simple translations.
  63.  ESL Cyber Listening Lab has extensive general and basic listening activities, other activities involving academic purposes, 20  minutes vocabulary lessons, language learning and life tips, and long conversation real videos for a very comprehensive way to study English.
  64. Vocabulix is an online tool to help build vocabulary with over 90 lessons, conjugation tables, a dictionary tool and an online forum to build friendships among language learners.
  65. With this website, you can build your own vocabulary in English (and also 8 other languages). Learning the history behind the words, self-progress tracking, and creating your own dictionary are features. Soon to be added are audio, visual and mobile versions to increase English language learning.
  66. offers the opportunity for students to self-test with over 2200 tests at all levels of English learning. It also offers grammar exercises and worksheets.
  67. offers tests and games to assess and improve English language skills.
  68. Besides looking up words, this site offers a word of the day, practice with dictionary decoding, relevant words and diversions (games, etc.) to make vocabulary learning fun and engaging.
  69. is similar to but provides more than synonyms and antonyms of words.  There are fun word facts, etc. that involve learning more about words.
  70. features Paul Brian’s book Common Errors in English Usage and links to the book’s blog, calendar and entry-a-day Facebook page.
  71.  Common English idioms are explained for easier use.
  72. This site offers an online pronunciation guide to 9 varieties of spoken English (American, Canadian, British, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Australian, Indian and South African).  There is instant sound along with pronunciation samples of over 40 native speakers on over 1000 pages broken up into specific pronunciation areas (single vowels, double vowels, stressed syllables, etc.)
  73. Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day include blogs of news, learning resources, and links to learning English.
  74. This blog explains “gray areas” of the English language, areas that are not so cut and dry, or “black and white” as we put it. It will help to read some of the questions, blogs and explanations.
  75. with Alex Case shares “… news, views, reviews” along with more than 1000 worksheets and 500 articles to perfect your English.
  76. Inspiration Lane is designed to be an interactive reading activity. Created by Susan Alyn as an online magazine, the reading content constantly changes along with accompanying interactive language activities. The site is upbeat with quotes, today’s date in history, news, captions, photos, etc. Information on the site is readily translated to 9 different languages.
  77. Speech Accent Archive offers you the opportunity to listen to regional differences in the English language by clicking on flags of assorted countries.
  78. This website allows you to listen to academic lectures online so you can practice listening comprehension, vocabulary, note taking skills, etc.
  79. It’s no wonder that Story Corps’ slogan is “Every Voice Matters”. Why with over 45,000 interviews of nearly 90,000 individuals, there are certainly many engaging stories for you to improve listening comprehension. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share.
  80. This relatively new site offers nearly 1500 songs to practice English listening to build comprehension and vocabulary.
  81. Learning Resources includes information from CNN news stories in 12 topical areas, teaching resources and additional archives to build listening skills, vocabulary and comprehension and to develop a deeper understanding of day- to-day events.
  82. Dan Kurland offers strategies for critical reading and writing for advanced students. There is an emphasis on inferences and word choices when reading/writing English.
  83. This site’s purpose is to build a better vocabulary.  It is an advanced tutorial which offers plenty of exposure to new vocabulary on a daily basis.
  84. Testmagic offers advice and information about all sorts of language-based tests.
  85. This article written by Kenneth Beare explains the differences (pronunciation, vocabulary and spelling) between British and American English with links and related articles to better understand these two types of English.
  86. English Around the World covers business English, etymology of words, grammar, quizzes/tests, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities, etc. to explore cultures where English is spoken.
  87. This Internet movie database shows trailers, etc. of movies to help with understanding the English language and culture.
  88. This site features American folklore that can be used for ESL reading practice. The stories retold by S.E. Schlosser fall into 11 categories of various English cultures.
  89. Funland offers 126 links to learn English and have fun doing it… activities range from international email discussion lists to online tests.
  90. This site contains 6 categories of Business English exercises with over 50 activities within each site. Also, you can register for free online email lessons.
  91. English Club offers all facets of grammar and parts of speech activities, quizzes, and an easy English question of the day.  You can ask grammar questions and answers will be shared.
  92. - Check out this awesome English site from a Canadian teacher named David Slade. There's a lot of activities to get you started on your English learning including grammar, idiom and slang practice.
  93. These are writing tips for helping to write sentences. Rules and examples are explained.
  94. These are writing tips for paragraph development.  Rules and examples are explained.
  95. These are writing tips for essay writing. Rules and examples are explained.
  96. Business Letter Writing Basics by Kenneth Beare takes you one step at a time through these important steps to business writing. Various links to similar articles and extended activities are included.
  97. Tips on advanced composition for non-native speakers of English with all types of academic writing are offered.
  98. tips for successful public speaking from Toastmasters and other relevant articles and resources pertaining to public speaking are included.
  99. This McGraw-Hill public speaking website includes aspects to preparing your successful speech every step of the way.
  100. This McGraw-Hill speaking tutorial includes aspects to prepare your successful speech every step of the way.
  101.!/index/all/all/popular/1 EnglishCentral utilizes videos with various topics and skills to sharpen your overall English skills.

Okay, that’s 101 A-M-A-Z-I-N-G resources for you to use when studying English by yourself. Look them over and when you have a few minutes, send me a message using the comments section below about what you have found online. What did you find works for you?  Do you have any additional online ESL resources you want to share?  Please write to me about these, too.

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