Learning English isn’t easy. BOOM! I’ve said it. We all know that and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re lying. Learning a language is not easy and nobody should be fooled by so-called hacking methods or magic apps. If you want to learn English, or any other language, you are going to need a great deal of effort and patience, and plenty of time, too.
However, the fact that something is difficult doesn’t mean it can’t be done and, most specifically, it doesn’t mean we can’t make it easier for ourselves. In fact, we can very easily get much better at learning anything if we use the right tools. So in today’s post, I’m talking about 5 different tools that are going to help you learn English more easily than you could every imagine.
Newsela is an app and web-based software which brings you tons of current news for you to read. These news come in different categories: opinion, war and peace, kids, science, etc. So you can choose what to read. So you might be wondering: is newsela just another newspaper? No, definitely not. The great thing about Newsela is that it allows you to set the difficulty of the text according to your level of English. You can choose 5 different reading difficulty levels to adjust the text to your literacy skills in English. Isn’t that just great? Besides, after reading any text, you can also take a quick quiz based on the text you just read, which is awesome to test your reading skills. Besides, if you’re an educator, you can choose to use Newsela with your students, assigning texts and tracking their progress. 🙂
Aha! Who doesn’t know Duolingo by now? Wait, you don’t? Well, Duolingo is another app and web-based software which is currently used by thousands of people to learn many languages. Duolingo presents any language broken down into sets of units which you can do any time you want. It tracks your right and wrong answers and it notifies you when you need to practise. Besides, Duolingo is more of a game than a “conventional” learning app. All activities are dynamic and require you to take part by either tapping, writing or speaking, which is cool. Finally, you should know that the more you practise, the more experience points you get. These experience points determine your level as a language learner, so you can be motivated at all times. I actually used it to learn a little German and it was really effective.
3. Deep English
Deep English is an online English learning platform. They offer different courses which aren’t free so it’s up to you to try them or not. However, what insterests me about this website is its “Free Lessons” section. Now, this section is simply amazing. In their “Free Lessons”, Deep English post different texts (they have already published 235!) which you can read or listen to at 3 different speeds! Isn’t that great? In this way, you can choose to either read or listen, or do both at the same time. Besides, some interesting expressions have been highlighted and on the left you can find a glossary with all these words defined. After you’ve read o listened to the text, you can choose to do a short quiz, which is also great to test your understanding. One thing that I’d totally recommend doing with these texts is “speech shadowing“. Don’t know what “speech shadowing” is? Take a look at this post.
Pablo has been my latest discovery. Actually, its creator got in touch with me a while back so I could test his app. And after testing it, I must say that it is a great little app with a lot of potential. Although it still needs to develop some improvements, Pablo provides learners with something I’ve been wanting a long time: a dictionary which you can create yourself. The concept of this app is pretty simple: Pablo is a parrot and you must teach it. So whenever you want to remember a particular word or expression, you register a new word in English (or any other language!) and its equivalent in your mother tongue. And what’s even more awesome is that you can record your voice pronouncing the word and save it. Finally, you can review the words and their meanings as many times as you want as well as listen to them whenever you want. It’s a very nice concept.
5. Our Blog & Social Networks
Yes, you read right. Our blog and social networks are extremely useful tools to learn English for free! On the blog, as you might have seen, we publish interesting articles regarding different aspects of the English language. For instance, we’ve seen typical pronunciation mistakes, fun punny articles, many grammar points, etc. And all for free! We don’t even have annoying ads on our website! And also, we post tons of awesome visuals on our social networks. Take a look below:
NEW IDIOM: to have your head in the clouds Are you one of those people who live with their head in the clouds? ☁️😋☁️ 🇪🇸 Spanish translation: tener la cabeza en las nubes #learnEnglish #idiom #weather #weatheridiom #inglés #vocabulary #vocabulario #English #idiomas #languages #languagelearning #Englishlanguage #Englishlearning #aprenderinglés
— Keep Smiling English (@KSmilingEnglish) February 10, 2016
These visuals can help you learn English effectively by simply logging on to your social profiles and browsing your timeline. Isn’t it cool?
If you’re a teacher and you’re interested in more free resources to teach English to your students, I suggest you visit websites like ESL Expat, which provide their readers with tons of great resources like lesson plans and games.
Over to you
What about you? Do you use any cool tools to learn English? Have you already used some of these tools? What did you think of them?
Let me know in the coments. And if you liked this post, please comment and share. Don’t forget to keep up with KSE’s latest news on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & YouTube, and fill in the form below to subscribe to the newsletter and receive more awesome English posts. You won’t regret it! Keep Smiling! 😉