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Innovative English Training

Online resources to learn English (Part II)

16/02/2009

As we told you in the last issue of the ZigNEWS!, investing time is one of the best ways to learn and improve your English level. With just a few minutes per day you can assimilate a lot of new English knowledge over time.

In order to improve your oral comprehension, we recommend taking advantage of the World Wide Web. Last month we talked about the website Technology, Entertainment and Design (www.ted.com,) and podcasts in general. In this issue we provide you with some more links that you can use to practice and learn English.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
The BBC is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world. Its mission is to enrich people’s lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain. The BBC is very well known for its audio-media channels, but its presence on Internet is also very important.

On the home page of BBC’s website (www.bbc.co.uk) you will find a great variety of content that you can use to practice English. From the home page you can access written news, videos, radio broadcasts and resources specific to learning English, among other things. All of them are on the bottom of the page in the section ‘Explore the BBC’.

Apart from watching videos and listening to podcast from all the BBC channels and radio stations, we especially recommend trying the resources which it offers specifically for English students: English, Watch and Listen, Quizzes and Exams, Grammar & Vocabulary, Talk about English, Business English, etc. Some of them can be downloaded in MP3 format for your iPod or other MP3 player, and include transcriptions in PDF files, which allow you to follow along as you listen.

Youtube (www.youtube.com)
As most of us know by now, YouTube is the most important video sharing website on the net, where users can upload, view and share video clips. There are tons of educational and informative videos, as well as other humorous videos, which most of us have watched at one time or another. If used wisely, you can find very interesting (and therefore motivating) videos in English, which can be very pedagogically beneficial to English students.

For example, at this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dut1b--AgLM, you can watch very original short and humorous videos with subtitles that include key English words to facilitate understanding and retention of these words in long-term memory.

Other online resources
Below we include a list with other online resources, which you can use to practice your oral comprehension skills.

- English for Spanish People
  www.inglesparahispanohablantes.blogspot.com
- Podictionary
  http://podictionary.com
- English as a Second Language Podcast
  www.eslpod.com
- The Onion News Network
  www.theonion.com
- The Voice of America
  www.voanews.com

Do you have a favourite website that you use to practice your English? Please let us know and we will include it in future documents for students.