Free study Materials
This page provides links to various free sources for learning English, emphasizing sites that provide opportunities to develop advanced or academic English. There are countless resources for learning English online both free and for a fee, so I limited my recommendations to what I consider high-quality free sources available online. While these pages provide various opportunities for improving your skills, the most powerful and effective means of developing your English is through meaningful communication in real-life situations; this includes developing both academic English and everyday English. So in addition to these pages, seek out real-life opportunities for speaking and writing in English. This material is only a supplement to real-life communication, as well as English classes.
Below you will find links to specific websites with English lessons on writing, pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary development.
For free video lectures and programs on a wide variety of academic subjects, click on the links below:
Free Online College-level Classes and Tutorials:
650 Free Online Courses from Top Universities
Most online news services have a combination of text and videos. Democracy Now is a progressive news service based in the US, which primarily provides videos of various world news stories, including the text which can be used to follow along while listening to the audio and watching the video. National Public Radio, another US based program, provides audio recordings as well as accompanying texts. It is very helpful practice to follow the audio while simultaneously following in the text. National Public Radio has an incredibly diverse set or shows and programs available for free. News programs like Al Jazeera or Der Spiegel, while based in non-English speaking countries, provide exceptionally high quality journalism in English.
In addition to the standard BBC News, check out BBC English, a high quality site devoted to learning English through a variety of interesting stories:
If you plan to move to the US, you may need wish to know about services where you can buy things second-hand such as Craig’s List.
Podcasts are exceptional venues for learning English. Wikipedia defines podcasts as a series of digital media files (audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication.
Go to the iTunes site and search for free apps and podcasts. The possibilities are endless:
For example, the journal Scientific American offers podcasts on the latest breakthroughs in science:
While at iTunes, search for iTunes U, another free service that provides free in-depth lectures on various academic topics, often from major academic institutions in the US, such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT and Berkeley.
While these pages provide various opportunities for improving your academic English skills, the most powerful and effective means of developing your English (both academic and everyday English) is through meaningful communication in real-life. Yes, simply speaking with other people in an authentic meaningful real-life situation is a powerful way to learn a language. This is referred to as the natural approach to language learning. Real-life communication may include joining a club, a team or getting involved in a hobby, or doing volunteer work in your community where you communicate often in English. Fun activities and interactions will help you learn while enriching your life. Many real-life situations can be casual, fun, informal, or formal, and demanding like school and work. Real-life communication could include explaining a goal, negotiating an agreement, clarifying a point, assessing and evaluating data, making requests, asking for directions, and a host of other "speech acts" involved in interacting with people in authentic communication. I recommend this free material as a supplement to taking an English class and a supplement to real-life communication.
AES provides online English classes for academic purposes. For more information, check out our English Classes