Let’s Play a Kahoot

  Kahoot is a free app where you try to answer questions about many topics, including English, in a game-style way.  You get points for answering a question correctly – and quickly.  Let’s try a 5-minute Kahoot especially for beginners on this blog:

 

You can also open the Kahoot app, press “Enter PIN” and enter this number: 0900656
Good Luck!

Soon there will be more articles about how to use the Kahoot app to test, and improve your English.

Tiny Little Crosswords

    Tiny Little Crosswords is a free app for iPhones and iPads.  Each puzzle is small – only a few words – so you can finish a puzzle quickly.  Some are easy, and some are more difficult. They now give you one free puzzle every day – another good way to improve your vocabulary!  Here are a few examples:

       

(BLUE, RED); (TWO, SIXTY, ZERO); (MAY, APRIL, JULY)

80 Free English Class Videos

  There is a YouTube channel called English For You.  They have recorded 80 classes of about one hour each.  They categorize them as:

The videos are a mix of American and British English.  Here’s an example – the first lesson from their elementary videos…

ESL Blues – Test Your English Grammar and Then Improve It

The ESL Blues website has a set of “progress tests“.  When you take a progress test, it will ask you questions about different grammar points, or vocabulary.  For each question you get incorrect, it will show you the grammar point you got wrong – and a practice exercise to help you understand.

For example, one of the progress test questions is:

This is your book, not ____. That is my book over there.
a) my
b) of my
c) mine
d) to me

If your answer is not correct, you will see this:
My, mine, her, hers, etc.   (It links to a practice exercise about “mine”, which was the correct answer)

The website also has a set of tests for beginners, and short lessons to help explain common English mistakes, such as Do vs. Make and Say vs. Tell.

Newsela

Newsela is a website and app that helps you improve your reading, with interesting articles in many subjects – science, politics, famous people, sports, etc.

There are five different versions of article, with different levels of reading difficulty.  Newsela is not just for people learning English, so you should start at the easiest levels of a story and go higher if you are able. You can also take a short quiz about the story.  There are hundreds of good articles – all freebut you must create an account and Sign in.  Here’s one about emojis.

For Spanish speakers, there are many articles written in Spanish, also with 5 different levels of reading difficulty, so you can read the same story in Spanish and English.

 

Levidromes

A palindrome is a word, or set of words, that spells the same thing if you read if forward or backward. For example: noon, mom, kayak, level, and “step on no pets”.

However, there is no official name for a word that makes a different word when spelled backwards.  For example: stop (pots); keep (peek); desserts (stressed); now, loop, reward

A 6 year old boy in Canada named Levi has suggested that we call those levidromes.  Can you think of any other levidromes?

Time Traveler

  The English language is more than 1,000 years old, but new words are being added to the language all the time.  The website for Merriam Webster Dictionary has a new feature called Time Traveler, where you can enter a year and find out words first used in that year.

You can enter the year you were born, or the year you immigrated to the U.S. to find new words for that year.  For example, words first used in 1978 include: control key, eye candy, face time, frequent flyer, sticky note, and surrogate mother.

You can also look up the meaning of most words, and it will tell you the year the word was first used.  For example: helicopter parent.

For fun, take the Time Traveler Quiz – to see if you can guess which of two words was used first.