Friday, May 12, 2006

Learn English online

Turn to the Net to sharpen your English skills. Here's a sample of sites that could help.

THERE'S something about the English language that makes everyone want to learn it - and get better at it.

For those too busy to enrol for classroom sessions, the Internet offers a way out with helpful sites aplenty.

Crack that TOEFL and language sections on those pesky GMAT tests. Get friendlier with your mouse and explore together the wonderful world of English resources mostly available for free, and all waiting to be used.

Of course, leading the pack is the one straight from the Queen's land.

The Web page by the British Council, at http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/welcome_english.html has teenager and adult level tests similar to those of Cambridge ESL Examinations so that learners can check what level they are ready for. Trust the Brits to know how to have fun while learning. As the site clearly says, "If you think phrasal verbs are boring, then go to the Drinks machine on the teenager or adult grammar link and have a good time!"

The Drinks Machine (http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/teen_frame.html) has various links to songs, lyrics by happening bands such as Ashanti, teen favourites Band Aid 20 and Destiny's Child. Hot favourites such as Elvis Presley are also listed. Give yourself a reward when a level has been completed. Learners can listen to music while working. Visit the home page at http://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-central-about-us.htm for more information.The Learn english site (http://www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish.htm) also has stuff exclusively devoted to children. Each month a certain topic is taken up for discussion. Don't miss this month — it's on clothes. Improve your fashion vocabulary while "dressing Teddy in the right clothes, and painting a picture of a skater wearing nice, warm clothes."

English Learner.Com at http://www.englishlearner.com/index.html is full of free tests and assessments that can be e-mailed to users free. As the site expressly states, Learners of English will find all types of interactive tests and exercises here, grammar, vocabulary, reading, crosswords and more." EnglishLearner.com also offers English lessons by e-mail at three levels every week. The Beginner Vocabulary 1 is available at http://www.englishlearner.com/online/vocbeg1.html The Jumbled Words Exercise is a good one where the letters in the words are mixed and have to be put in the correct order to make English words. Learners have to get the word and click on `Check'. If you can't find the answer, click on `Cheat'. Simple pages, they load easily and are distraction-free. They work only with Explorer 4,Netscape 3 or higher. Besides material for students, there are various Teachers' Resources available at http://www.englishlearner.com/teachers/index.html to make classroom learning easier.

Computer Assisted Sentence Production is all about help required specifically for writing. As the site claims, this is the best help possible for very important stuff such as `Self Introduction, Food and Drink, Writing a Letter, Favourites and so on. Just write the most important details and the computer will do the rest." The self intro-writing page at http://www.manythings.org/caw/intro.html asks for a few basic details such as name, interest and daily activities and can churn out many versions in different formats. While most will require more work, this can be a good beginning.

For the visually impaired, there are the audio-centred games at http://www.manythings.org/ac/ This requires a flash player plug in, version 6 or newer.

English page.com at http://www.englishpage.com/ is a one-stop site just for vocabulary exercises. Deceptively simple, the tests are tougher than you think. A group of journalists took the vocabulary in conversation and the highest score was about 20 per cent with the computer telling them to try harder! So what are you waiting for? Log on, learn, and have fun too.

http://www.blonnet.com/ew/2006/02/13/stories/2006021300270400.htm

5 Comments:

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