Website Review: toeflcafe.blogspot.com
In short: This blog isn’t active, but it has great stuff that will help you on the TOEFL. You’ll find videos on all the different sections of the TOEFL, articles on how to prepare for the test, and thoughts from students.
For students: The speaking practice application is great. You can practice taking the speaking test. Use software on your computer to record yourself.
Also check out http://toeflnow.com. They have products that will help students prepare, some free practice tests, and prep videos.
For teachers: Ask your students to each watch a different video and present it to the class. They’ll learn their section very well and the presentations will help with their speaking skills.
In short: As of today, they have 52 different grammar points and 52 different vocabulary topics. They explain everything very clearly. Almost all of the topics have some game that you can play to help you practice what you’ve learned.
That might sound simple and boring, but the site is actually incredible. The site design makes it special. You’ll never have any trouble finding something on this site. The games will work quickly and they’ll be helpful. After two minutes, you’ll feel like you understand everything they do. Sound easy? It’s really hard to design a site like that.
For students: Just as an example, do you have problems using the word “get”? All the uses can give you a headache, but this section will help.
For teachers: The spelling games are particularly innovative. Students will see the words flashed at them and then they’ll need to spell them correctly. Your students who have spelling problems might enjoy these unique games. (Click here and scroll down to “Spelling Games”)
Website Review: Learn English—British Council
In Short: The best site on the internet for learning English. It’s multilevel. It’s really big. It’s really helpful.
First: Low-level, intermediate-level, and high-level students will all find great stuff.
Second: The site is really big. You can watch and listen. You can read and write. You can practice grammar. You can play games. You can make friends.
Third: The activities are helpful, interesting, and modern. The site is easy to use and looks great.
For Students: Here are three things you might really like on the site. For listening, Big City, Small World is great. Studying for the IELTS? Check out this section. Or, you might join the virtual community Second Life so you can speak and listen to real people in English all the time.
For Teachers: Send your students to the site and have them write their own reviews. Ask them to answer three questions: (1) What can you listen to on this site? Describe it. (2) Is this a good site? Why/Why not? (3) Would you recommend it to a friend? Why/Why not?
Website Review: Teaching English www.teachingenglish.org.uk/
In short: The best site for English teachers on the internet. If you only have time to visit one site a day, this should be it. What do you need? Activities for you classroom? They got ‘em. Training to make you a better teacher? Oh heck yeah. A worldwide community to bounce ideas off of, get help from, and have fun with. Si. Da. Nae. Hai. Tak. Yes. Yes. Yes.
For students: This site is mainly for teachers, but if your teacher isn’t using it, you might tell them about it. Also, check out their sister site for students: http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en
For teachers: If you can’t find what you’re looking for, they also have links to tons of other sites. Oh, and make sure to like them on Facebook…
Website Review: englishonline.net
In short: For $39-$129, you can access lot of good writing advice and have a teacher look at your stuff. You’ll definitely improve.
This site is half pay stuff, half free stuff. You can pay for writing courses. They look like they’re best for really advanced students, so some students might like a book that’s a little simpler. Still, the content seems strong. The Business Writing course looked especially good. You can also take these courses: “Essentials of Writing”, “Technical Writing”, “Research Essay Writing”, and “Resume Lab”. (The “Essentials of Writing” course would be best for lower level students.)
For free, you can listen to cool conversations with nice supporting materials. You can also check out daily vocabulary, idioms, and grammar points for free.
For students: Once you sign up for a writing course, you can access forums. If lots of people put stuff there, they’ll be great.
For teachers: Why not recommend this site to your students? Paying for a course, could be just the motivation they need to take their skills to the next level.
Praat is software that analyses your speech. You can see things like tone and rising and falling intonation. This software is designed for linguistic students. You’ll have to study how to use it, but everything is explained simply and anyone should be able to learn how. Visit their website to learn more. Or you can see some practical applications here and here.
Website Review: http://www.edochan.com/teaching/level.htm
For students: You can play these games with your friends. Also, check out this article. It’s about learning Japanese, but there is lots of good advice for learning any language.
For teachers: The authors of these games make them fun to read about and easy to understand. You’ll enjoy games that start like this: “Have the students remove their shoes to prevent bloodshed…”
Note: This is the main site, but most of it isn’t interesting for teaching and studying English.
Website Review: learningchocolate.com
In short: This site will really help students get better vocabulary. You can practice almost 100 different groups of words. Some groups are for beginners (numbers, colors, etc.) and some are for intermediate or even advanced students (internal organs, beef, etc.). There are five different ways to practice each group of words.
Also, you can find a nice links to other helpful sites.
For students: The pictures and the sounds are very useful for your memory. This site is easy to use. Why not do one set every night before you go to bed?
For teachers: Before doing a lesson on one of these topics, send your students to learn the vocabulary here. Then, when you start the lesson, you’ll start the lesson with a review and they’ll learn it that much better.
In short: Some great materials. The best parts are the stories. You can read, listen, and read simple versions. They are written by Kieran McGovern and he is very talented. You can learn more about him here.
Though the site design has improved recently, there are still broken links. Sometimes, the site is confusing. Most links open in a new window, so if you browse the site, you need to close a lot of windows.
For students: Check out the podcasts page for an excellent collection of listening materials.
For teachers: Click on the “reading” tab on eslreading.org to learn all about choosing ESL books (readers) for your classes. You can also read an article about writing readers.