How Big is My Vocabulary?

test-your-vocab  There is a website called testyourvocab.com that helps give you an estimate of how many English words you know.  This is not exact, and mostly for fun.  But if you try it now, and then try it again after you have practiced a lot of English, you should see that your vocabulary has improved.

Suggestions for taking the test:

  • This is easier to use on a tablet or computer (rather than your phone)
  • Don’t check a word unless you really know it well.  If you just think it sounds familiar, don’t check it.
  • At the end, it will give you the number of words calculated for your vocabulary.  Save this number, and then compare it with the number you get when you take the test again.

Try to learn a new English word every day, and you’ll be pleased with how your vocabulary grows!

365 Short Stories

The website eslyes has a page with 365 very short stories.  Each one takes only a few minutes to read.  You can also listen to each story (in normal or slower speed).  After you read and listen to the story, there are several exercises you can try.

Here’s some more detail:

  • To listen in slow speed you need to press the speaker button to the right of the title.  
  • The number after each title in the list is the reading difficulty.  A higher number means it’s more difficult to read
  • Exercises include
    • Vocabulary
    • Yes/No questions about the story
    • Crossword puzzle
    • Dictation of some sentences in the story
    • Fill in the blank (Cloze)

Duolingo

duolingo-owl    Duolingo is one of the best ways to teach yourself English – for free.  It’s a good place to begin.  You can use it on your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
To use Duolingo:

  1. Go to the Duolingo website on your computer – or – download the app to your smartphone/tablet
    (Apple app store); (Google Play store)
  2. Follow the instructions to start a course
  3. Create a profile (username / password ) so that you can save your work
  4. If you find it helpful, try to use Duolingo for at least 10 minutes every day

Kanopy – Thousands of Free Movies

  This is a new service from the Framingham Library.  You can watch up to 5 free movies each month – at home, or on your phone with the Kanopy App.

Classic movies, international movies, educational movies (including learning English), and lots of movies for kids too.  All you need is a Framingham library card.  If you don’t live in Framingham, you can check here if your library also has this service.  Or – you can check to see at your own library if they have Kanopy, or other services with movies, such as Hoopla or Overdrive.

 

YouGlish – Listen to “Real” Pronunciation

youglish  Are there words – or groups of words –  that are are especially difficult for you to pronounce, or understand, in English?  “uncomfortable”; “sixth”; “how much does this cost”; “what are you going to do”?

On YouGlish.com you can type in those words, and then listen to how they are said – as part of conversation – by many different people in YouTube videos.  Try it below.  (Press the  button to go to the next video.)

YouTube – Finding English Grammar Lessons

youtube-logo   There are SO many videos on YouTube that can help you improve your English grammar (and much more!).  Search for a video lesson about anything you want to study.  You can start by searching for: beginner English grammar.

youtube-search
You will see many choices for videos.  Which one should you watch?

Look at: youtube-hits

  • How much time the video takes – 5 minutes? 30 minutes? 2 hours?
  • How many people watched (viewed) the video
    (1.3M = 1.3 Million = 1,300,000)
    (14K = 14 Thousand = 14,000)
  • When was the video put on YouTube – 2 weeks ago? 8 years ago?

If you have a problem with something specific, watch some lessons on that. On YouTube, search for English past tense (or ESL past tense); or ESL verb to be; or ESL auxiliary verbs; or quoted and reported speech (direct and indirect speech).

When you find a video you like, you can look for more videos by the same people.  Many people have a “channel” – a group of their videos – that you can go to on YouTube.  Examples of some good YouTube channels for English learners are: Jennifer ESL, EngVid, and Rachel’s English.