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.
b) of my
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)
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
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.
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” …
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 free – but 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.
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.