The internet has a vast array of resources for students to learn from. English can be a tricky language to learn, especially since it is not our first language.
However, its importance in the world is unparalleled. Our education system is designed in English, and so, it is necessary for us to not only be fluent in it, but master it.
The internet offers multiple mediums for learning English in a variety of different ways.
We’ve compiled some amazing English resources for all age groups.
Be sure to also check out Part 1 of this article for more resources.
- Super Easy Storytelling
This website is the perfect guide for students and adults to write their own creative stories. It provides users with what it calls a writing “formula”, giving them creative writing and story prompts for a sense of direction.
Essentially, it first identifies three components of story writing. The first is WHO, which incidentally is also a mascot of the site. Every story has to have its main characters and other characters.
Secondly, it identifies WHAT, which is also one of their characters. This teaches us that all stories are about characters and their primary goals, needs and wants.
Lastly, the WHY NOT character explains that a conflict is necessary in the story. What are the obstacles stopping the characters getting WHAT they wanted?
The attention of the users is rapt as they work on their story-building techniques.
There are also Fill in the Blank stories which challenge the users to use adjectives in the blanks that would best describe their story. This builds vocabulary and can be a good starting point for hesitant writers who aren’t too comfortable writing long sentences and would prefer only adding short phrases or words to provided paragraphs.
There is also a story generator, which provides ideas to writers for what could be their next big story.
All in all, it is a great resource that improves writing skills in unconventional ways!
- Storyline Online
Wouldn’t you want a famous actor to read to you at night? Actors are naturals at keeping our attentions engaged and so Storyline Online is the perfect place to have your favourite story read to you.
It has numerous videos of stories read by celebrities such as Jennifer Garner, John Lithgow and Oprah Winfrey. Imagine storytelling by Kristen Bell or Viola Davis! The experience is golden!
Some of the best videos are “Harry the Dirty Dog” by Betty White, and “Clark the Shark” by Chris Pine. The videos are kept short so that children are able to enjoy without getting bored, and also include high-quality animation to keep them captivated!
The channel also has a website for children to easily browse through stories of their interest, and then watch celebrities read them on YouTube!
Twinkl is one of the most famous educational websites and rightfully so. Although it is a paid website, it is well worth the cost and is ideal for teachers, parents and students, Twinkl offers a vast array of over 525,000 resources, with new contents added every day.
Offering resources curriculum-specific, for example, UK National Curriculums, Twinkl also has learning material specific to Pakistan such as General Knowledge Urdu, and Pak History resources.
With lesson plans, assessments, interactive English games such as Sorting Tenses with Hungry Hamsters and Roald Dahl Self-Marking Reading Comprehension Activity, Twinkl offers the full package! It also offers handwriting practice and vocabulary-building packages. Offering learning material for other subjects such as Math, French, IT and Science, Twinkl truly has it all!
For a teacher especially or a parent trying to find resources to make students practice with, Twinkl is the ideal solution. Each of their resources is of the highest academic quality as well as being wonderfully curated and designed.
In case you don’t have a subscription, you can try looking up free resources through a basic Google web search for example, ‘Fractions grade 4 math twinkl pdf’ or ‘Nouns twinkl pdf’. Most of the time, you will get lucky!
- TIME for Kids
A division of Time magazine produced especially for children, TIME for Kids is an esteemed resource which encourages students to read current events, challenging them to both think, and discuss.
The articles help students engage with the world around them and increase their knowledge. The articles have meanings of important words included, have a Spanish translation and also have a readaloud option. Some of the articles also feature learning resources and worksheets which educators can use to supplement the articles.
With articles such as “Underwater Volcano” and “Measuring Time”, children can really improve their general knowledge, critical thinking skills and overall language.
The website also has articles regarding health, with topics such as “Know Your Emotions” and “Be Mindful”, and community, with articles like “Show Your Support” for Black History Month, teaching students inclusivity and empathy from an early age.
There is also some paid features of the magazine. For example, you can subscribe to their magazine.
You can find a sample of their TIME for Kids website here https://www.timeforkids.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/sample-magazine.pdf .
- Breaking News English
This website is truly one of a kind! With about 3,178 free English news lessons that come in 7 levels, Breaking News English has the exact resources just for you.
The premise is simple. You learn English Language skills by reading news articles. But there is more.
- You can read that article in your personal reading and understanding level.
You can do a whole host of activities related to these articles, for example, you can answer the handout on them which is often 30 pages long (and which isn’t as easy as you would think), which includes activities of grammar, punctuation, spelling, listening, reading and understanding. There are multi-levelled comprehension questions which test and build your research and world knowledge, word activities like “Missing words”, “Gap fill” and “Word Pairs” that allow students to challenge their grammar and vocabulary skills. The articles themselves are super informative, with topics such as “Australia buys copyright to Aboriginal flag” and “Researchers find world’s largest fish breeding ground”, creating insight for students by including news from different parts of the world.
- You learn so many new words that are tested in the handout.
- For certain articles, there are a whole host of other grammar activities, for example a preposition quiz.
- Dictations, unique spelling quizzes, multispeed listening lessons, and a whole host of other activities are available.
It is truly a one-stop site for all your English needs. The best part is that the website is completely free, and accessible!
Have a look at a handout for the article ‘Fast-fashion is harming the environment’ here: https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2202/220210-fast-fashion.html
You won’t believe how cool and useful Wordsift is! All you have to do is copy and paste a large piece of text (at least 300 words) and Wordsift will help easily sift through the text, and identify the important words the text revolves around.
The website is a valuable resource for vocabulary learners, and some of its unique features are a tag cloud, word sorting, a visual thesaurus, and links to Google images and videos.
For example, if the paragraph above written about Twinkl is run through Wordsift, important words such as “Twinkl”, “packages”, “curriculum”, “material” and “learning” are brought about.
Moreover, apart from the word cloud, relevant visual links are also present, so for example, there are images of Twinkl’s website giving the readers an idea of what Twinkl is about.
Wordsift is a fun tool for students, allowing them to study important themes in texts, making word maps and associations.
The website mentions their objective and method best, which incidentally provides teachers with ideas on how to use the site. We are copying it here.
WordSift was created to help teachers manage the demands of vocabulary and academic language in their text materials. We especially hope that this tool is helpful in supporting English Language Learners. We want WordSift to be a useful tool, but we also want it to be fun and visually pleasing. We would be happy if you think of it playfully – as a toy in a linguistic playground that is available to instantly capture and display the vocabulary structure of texts, and to help create an opportunity to talk and explore the richness and wonders of language!
WordSift helps anyone easily sift through texts — just cut and paste any text into WordSift and you can engage in a verbal quick-capture! The program helps to quickly identify important words that appear in the text. This function is widely available in various Tag Cloud programs on the web, but we have added the ability to mark and sort different lists of words important to educators. We have also integrated it with a few other functions, such as visualization of word thesaurus relationships (incorporating the amazing Visual Thesaurus® that we highly recommend in its own right) and a limited image-search feature. With just a click on any word in the Tag Cloud, the program displays instances of sentences in which that word is used in the text.
Creative teachers will find an endless variety of uses for WordSift, but here are some ways:
A teacher can use WordSift to review assigned text to identify challenging words or concepts prior to a lesson, and identify images and videos to use in class. The videos (hidden but displayed by hitting “>Video”) can be especially useful in the preview function since many schools do not allow access to YouTube, but a teacher can download useful videos (such as a science lab demonstration) onto his or her laptop computer from home. Note: due to changes to Google’s terms of service, we are currently unable to offer a video-search feature or even a full image-search feature. We hope to be able to reinstate these features in the future, and apologize for the inconvenience for now.
In whole class or individually, students can preview text. Reading comprehension research suggests that previewing text is a useful strategy for improving comprehension. Using WordSift to identify the key vocabulary, and playing with the images and using the example source sentence feature to “skim” the text can help students who might otherwise struggle with the complexity of the text.
Teachers have found simple activities using small portions of WordSift useful. For example, one teacher has developed a simple routine in which she gives students the Tag Cloud, and has them working in small groups to write or draw a page using the words in the cloud. Another possibility would be to take the Visual Thesaurus® display of a word web and have students identify and discuss related words.
Individual students can use WordSift as they read text, or as they write a response or summary. Adult users of WordSift have reported using WordSift for their own purposes to skim text (as one teacher said, “I don’t skim, I sift”) and also to review their own writing drafts. The creator of WordSift, Kenji Hakuta, uses it to preview and scout around documents that promise to be boring, such as long education policy documents, clicking on key words.
Whole-class vocabulary assessment can be done on-the-fly by showing the images from selected words, having students identify unfamiliar words, and having them talk about which picture is the best representation of a given word. Teachers can also tailor their own assessments by copying and pasting the images, words, and sentences identified by WordSift into a separate file (such as in Word or Powerpoint) and printing it out for student work.
So, think of a word much like a soccer ball or hackeysack. Think of a classroom as a kind of playground in which words can be kicked around for fun and for learning — not drill and kill, and not list and define. WordSift enables teachers to create an environment where language is “talked about” as richly as possible. Much of language cannot be taught directly, but can b learned through active talk, so why not have a way of talking about language? Try pasting some text into WordSift, display it to your class, and talk about what you see. Be spontaneous and generative — that is the stuff that forms the basis of strong language acquisition.
- National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids helps develop children’s English through perfecting their vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing among many other things. It provides resources on grammar, comprehension, and word usage through fun games such as “Funny Fill-in”, which allows students to create their own stories using adjectives, verbs and other descriptions, challenging them to think and create. It includes videos on animals with both real-life clips and animation to help students learn about them in an entertaining manner.
Games such as personality quizzes, and “Which animal trickster are you?” keep the students engaged, while making sure they learn! The website also guides teachers to create plans on teaching children how to write stories using correct grammar, structure and punctuation, through a helpful and detailed guideline explaining the curriculum. These can be found here https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/teacher-category/english/.