SayLish for Pronunciation Practice

  SayLish is a quite-new website to help you listen to English words and phrases – as part of presentations and conversations posted on YouTube.  PLUS – you can record your own voice, to compare your pronunciation with the video.

Voice recording support has been added just recently on iPhone/iPad with Safari, and we’ll give an example with that.  It also works with Android phones/tablets, and desktop computers.

For example, if you search for videos with the word “infrequently“, you will see part of a YouTube video that contains your chosen word.  After you listen to this, you can pause and …

  •   Repeat this to hear it again 
  •   Go to the next video that contains this word
  • or press the “Speaking” button to switch to the screen where you can record your voice
  •   After you listen, press the microphone to record, and try to pronounce the words you hear.  Then press Stop () when you finish

Then you can …

  •   Compare your pronunciation with the speaker in the video
  •   Go to the next part of the SAME video
  •   Go to the next video that contains your search word

Saylish has additional features which we will cover in another posting.

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.

Hangman

  Like many word games, Hangman is fun to play and can help you improve your vocabulary.  You try to find the secret word by choosing letters of the alphabet that you think might be in the word.  If you can figure out the word before you try too many letters, you win.

Here are websites and apps where you can play this game for free…

  • Many Things  is a website for English learners.  They have many good hangman games  – but unfortunately most do not work on iPhone/iPad.
  • Fun With Words is a site for anyone interested in English words.  They have a hangman games that works on most all devices – including iPhones and iPads.
  •   Ultimate Hangman is good free app for iPhone/iPad (99 cents for Android and other platforms).
    • 4 Themes (you can see a snowman melting instead of a hanging man)
    • You can choose from many vocabulary lists (such as verbs, animals, or foods)
    • You can choose word lists from other languages (Spanish, Portuguese, German, French)
    • You can even make your own vocabulary lists, to help you study
    • Plus – you can play alone, or as a game against someone else
    • Here’s a lesson on how to use this app

Listen a Minute

  Listen a Minute is a free website with hundreds of short listening lessons.  Each recording is less than one minute.

  • Listen to the recording while you read the words
  • If you have time, you can try one or two exercises
  • This website is in England, so the accent and a few words are a little different, but it’s still good practice and will work well on your smartphone

Here’s an example about Eggs:

Eggs are great. Where would we be without them? They are so useful. I can’t imagine life or cooking without them. There are many ways of cooking eggs for breakfast – fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, etc. There are even many ways of “cooking” these. You can have a runny or hard fried egg or even have it sunny side up. You can have soft or hard-boiled eggs and fluffy scrambled eggs. There are also many things to put on top of eggs – mayonnaise, ketchup, salt, soy sauce. Each country has something different. I like cooking with eggs. I particularly like breaking them. I can now do it with one hand, without breaking the yolk. Sometimes it gets messy and the egg white starts dripping down your arm.

  • Quiz 1 (Choose the correct words of the story)
  • Quiz 2 (Dictation – write the words you hear)

Listening Exercises

   Seminole State College in Florida has a web page with many helpful listening exercises. There are three levels of difficulty.

Each activity has 10 questions.  For questions 1-5, listen to the audio and choose the sentence you hear.
Here’s an example:

  • That blue house was great!
  • That new house is great!
  • That new house isn’t great.

For questions 6-10, listen to the audio and choose the best answer that you see.
Here’s an example:

  • She pays every month.
  • He pays every month.
  • They pay every month.

To begin, try this exercise.  If you like it, here are many more.

Video Dictionary

To explain a word you don’t understand, there are good dictionaries especially for English learners – such as the Learner’s Dictionary There are picture dictionaries – such as on the website English for Beginners.  There is another website – called the Video Dictionary, or “Vidtionary” – that describes English words for you by using very short videos.

Here’s a sample video describing “vending machine” …