3 Fun Websites to Practise your English Online

Looking for some other sources of inspiration to practise your English? Check out these 3 websites below. Best of all, even if you only have 5 minutes to spare, I guarantee you can use this time productively!

1. Tube Quizard

1.pngTube Quizard (http://www.tubequizard.com/) is a collection of YouTube videos on a variety of topics with gap-fill quizzes. You can browse in several ways: by level, by language focus, by category, and by accent.

Click on the empty box in the exercise and the video will cue to that time. Fill in the blank and check your answer.

It’s easy to use and with so much content, you can spend just minutes or hours on it.

2. BBC World One-minute News

2.pngWant to put your intensive listening skills to the test and at the same time catch up with the latest global news? BBC World One-minute News (http://www.bbc.com/news/av/10462520/one-minute-world-news) is the place for you.

You will hear a short summary of a few headline news items. At first, you may not get much information, but repeating the clip several times will help considerably.

Best of all, it is updated regularly so you can listen several times a day if you wish.

3. PlayPhrase.me

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Playphrase.me (https://www.playphrase.me) is an innovative platform that allows you to practise pronunciation through short excerpts of movie and TV series.

It is suitable for English learners of all levels. You just have to write the word, expression or phrase you want to hear in the search box and Playphrase.me will produce a number of short video clips that feature the item.

You can pause the sequence of video clips so that you can repeat the phrase you hear. It is also a great way to see expressions in context as in the example here (on the horizon).

Happy Practising!

Recommendations for selecting a novel in a foreign language

Are you considering reading a book in a foreign language? Good for you! Reading will vastly improve your vocabulary and help you see your new language’s grammar in use. However, selecting the right book can be difficult. Read on, bookworms*, for some recommendations for selecting a novel to read in a foreign language!

635994817168223213-230785194_why-you-should-read-and-re-read-these-high-school-books-as-an-adult.jpegRecommendations for selecting a novel in a foreign language

1. Consider choosing a novel you’ve read in your native language
You liked the book enough to finish it, and you understand the basic plot. Now, tackle the book in another language! Not worrying about the plot will allow you to focus on the language instead.

2. Check out Young Adult fiction (or even children’s books)
Reading a book written for adults could be difficult (and disappointing if it’s too hard to finish). Consider reading a book that is written for a slightly younger audience (in English, these books are called “Young Adult” or “YA” novels). If these novels are too difficult, don’t stress: even children’s books can be a great way to learn new vocabulary and grammar! Try to read a book that was one of your favorites when you were a child.

3. Search for audiobooks
These days, most books come in audio versions. Make your novel-reading adventure an opportunity to improve your listening skills.

4. Avoid books with technical or specific language
When selecting a novel, keep in mind that some genres can be more difficult than others: books that use complex ideas and complicated or technical language can be tough to understand. A general rule? If it’s technical in your native language, you should probably avoid it in your new language.

Remember that websites such as Google Books allow you to preview books. Before buying the book, try to read a few paragraphs online to get an idea for the level of difficulty.

5. Ask for recommendations
Your teacher or friends will be happy to recommend some books for you to check out. Additionally, try searching online for book lists that are published by schools and universities. Another great way to search for novels? Use Amazon! Select a book that you’re considering reading, and then look at the bottom of the page for Amazon’s recommendations. You can see what other books people purchased while buying the book you’re considering, and you might stumble across** a new book.

Have you read a novel in a language other than your native one? Why did you select this novel? Would you recommend this novel to others? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook!

*bookworm = a person who loves to read
**stumble across = to unexpectedly find

By Amanda Jones @Sedimentality
http://sedimentality.com/