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The best English study resources
In this article, I introduce the best free app for memorising vocabulary, the best English YouTube channel, the best shadowing product, the best online teaching website and the best book for English grammar that I have found.
All these resources are high quality, and just brilliant for English language students.
Anki is a spaced repetition flashcard app available for free on Android and Windows and paid for on Apple. Among language learners, it is probably the number one app for memorising vocabulary, grammar or anything else.
I have also heard it is popular with medical students who have to memorise a huge amount of information during their med school training.
What makes Anki great is the spaced repetition algorithm that means Anki tests you on vocabulary or grammar only when you are just going to forget the vocabulary or grammar in question.
This means that for vocabulary that you remember easily, the time between reviewing (seeing it again) it becomes longer. On day one, you may look at the card and feel that you can memorise it straight away, so the next time you have to look at it (review it) will be in ten days’ time.
If after ten days you remember the word easily, the interval increases to two weeks. If after two weeks you still remember the word easily, the interval increases again say to one month and so on.
In this way, Anki optimises the vocabulary list you are learning, so you do not waste time reviewing words you already know and instead spend more time learning new words. Anki is completely flexible, and you can create vocabulary or grammar card lists or download lists made by others. I have written a guide on how to use Anki here.
Engvid are a group of experienced teachers who have made over 1000 YouTube videos on English grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and exam advice.
I have recommended these videos to my students in the past, as I feel that these are an excellent resource for self-study. The great thing with language videos on YouTube is that you can watch them again and again.
So for any difficult grammar or vocabulary, you can watch the corresponding video as many times as you like until you get it. That’s something not always possible in real face to face classes and one of the benefits of YouTube language lessons. (Free)
Italki is the largest online teaching platform for language learners; I also teach on it. If you want to practice your speaking, this is the website for you. As the number of teachers on it is huge, you should be able to find a teacher of almost any language at a price and time convenient to you.
Classes are usually via Skype or Google hangouts and payment is handled through italki’s payment system, so you only pay for a class after you have taken it. (pay per class, each teacher has different lesson price)
If you want to know how native speakers actually speak Lingq is the website for you. This website contains conversations between native speakers talking to each other with transcripts and audio recordings of their conversations. On each episode page, you press play on the audio player and then you can read the transcript whilst listening to the audio.
Google translate is built into the site so you can click with the mouse on any word you don’t know and the meaning appears. Plus at the end of the transcript, all the words you know are saved, so you can see the number of words you have learnt increase over time.
If you want to learn how native speakers really speak this website is for you. (Free basic membership with limited access, paid for options for extended access.)Click to go Lingq.com here
Practical English Usage – Michael Swan
If you buy one English grammar book make this the one. It covers all the English learners (and teachers) need to know with sections on differences in speech and writing, questions of style and idiom, common errors learners make, differences in British and American English, spelling and word formation rules and a collection of 250 common mistakes.
Consider it your grammar best friend ready to help you in your hour of need. It has everything you need to know and more. In the UK Practical English Usage is the No.1 selling grammar book on Amazon.Buy from Amazon