6 essential websites for English students

In this day and age of hyper-connected instant information, we no longer rely on our memory for most of our knowledge. This can be seen as a bad thing, but this change in consciousness is important and we are becoming more and more cybernetically connected to the web of information through our phones.

So, here are some websites and applications that you should definitely use on a regular basis if you are learning English, or any other language for that matter.

  1. Word Reference

Word reference is a translation dictionary. Okay, but I have google translate; why shouldn’t I use that? I hear you say. Well, google translate is good, in fact it is better for sentences and paragraphs if you need to translate large texts. However, to truly understand a word, you need some examples, you need the pronunciation, you need multiple  translations, not just one. That is why Word Reference is the best for translating words. There is a great mobile app, so download it now.

Bonus: Advanced English students should switch from Word Reference to Wiktionary, which offers an even deeper and more direct understanding of words.

  1. Duolingo

Have you played duolingo? Yes, played. It is a game. It is almost fun. It is almost like you’re playing a little mobile game and having fun while learning English. You don’t believe me? Give it a try. You can very easily turn your daily bus ride or boring wait at the dentists into an opportunity to reinforce your vocabulary and grammar.

  1. BBC Learning English

The good old BBC. Learn the best British English in so many different ways. With articles, talks, grammar, listening, and so much more, you can almost limitlessly find something to do on this website.


  1. British Council Learning English

This is a great resource for grammar, with excellent and exhaustive explanation of almost everything. It also has some articles and exercises that go with each grammar area. A really good resources that is even used by teachers.


  1. TED

Not only is TED one of the greatest learning websites in the world, it is a great way to improve your English listening skills. Mind-boggling, fascinating, and revolutionary talks by the worlds leading experts in their fields can be found. Some of my very favourites are the talks given by Hans Rosling, a Swedish statistics professor who sadly died recently, and Daniel Tammet, a very special autistic savant who can see numbers in colour and the personality of words. Super interesting.


  1. Flo Joe

If you are studying for Cambridge exams such as FCE, CAE or even CPE, then you will want to use this website. The teachers at Aston school are experts in these exams too, but even they will often use this website for their First and Advanced students. Lots of resources.



Written by James R. McCance for Aston School


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