Learn English on Internet Radio

The internet provides an absolute wealth of learning opportunities for English students – you have access to everything from free English lessons to music videos to grammar exercises to entire English courses. These days, it’s truly possible to learn English on the internet.

One of the best ways to learn English is by listening to English. There are a number of ways to listen: if you live in an English speaking country, you can listen to locals speaking; you can listen to music and watch movies and television; you can watch YouTube videos.

Recently, there is also another tool: internet radio.

Internet radio is a fantastic way to learn spoken English because you can access it anytime from anywhere. Music lovers can choose the type of music they like and there are often fewer commercials than traditional radio.

There are also a range of other types of stations, including sports stations, children’s stations, stations featuring shows on art and food, and everything in between.

3 Ways to Learn English on Internet Radio

1. Find a station in English with music you like

Yes, it’s possible to just hop on YouTube or Spotify and access your favorite music, but what makes internet radio great for English learners is that you can also listen to the DJs speaking in English between songs. And listening to real English is the best way to improve your listening skills.

Soul, funk, and hip-hop lovers should check out WeFunk from Montreal-based station CKUT. The station also offers everything from jazz to punk to heavy metal. For an eclectic mix of pop, indie, disco, and more, tune in to KUTX 98.9FM, which broadcasts out of artsy Austin, Texas in the United States.

2. Have children? Tune into children’s stations

If you have kids – especially young kids – and you’d like them to hear English from an early age (which is a great way for them to pick up the language and develop great pronunciation), play children’s stations for them at home or in the car. This is a great way for your kids to learn English on the internet.

An excellent choice is RTÉjr, which comes from Irish national broadcaster RTÉ. There are only a few radio stations in the world dedicated to kids, and it’s hard to find a good one; RTÉjr is one of the best. Programming on RTÉjr includes storytelling, preschool learning, and a fun music show called Musical Chairs.

3. Listen to sports broadcasts

Sports broadcasts are a fabulous way for sports fans to learn English. Not only do you get to do something you love – follow and learn about sports – but you can also learn vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and more.

Check out ESPNRadio for some lively sports discussion from the United States. ESPNRadio offers a number of shows with discussion and analysis, including Mike & Mike, Russillo & Kanell, and Freddie Coleman. They also offer live broadcasts of games.

Learning English and a fan of the NBA, MLB, NFL, NCAAF, soccer, golf, NASCAR, or other sports? Tune in at least once a week. You’re guaranteed to improve your listening and speaking skills.

How to Learn English Online for Adults

There are so many choices online designed to help you understand how to learn English better. You can improve your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills when you know how to learn English on your own. English learning is everywhere around you, especially with the internet at your fingertips.

How to Learn English Online

Reading Skills

Surf English websites. One of the best methods to learn English reading online is to expose yourself to websites written in English. Have fun looking at different websites you already enjoy, but keep the reading in English.

Read the news. Reading the news in English will help you practice your reading skills and stay informed of what’s going on in the world. Read any news website you prefer, but there are also ESL news websites you can use.

Read movie reviews. If you’re a fan of films, try reading movie reviews in English. Start with reading reviews of movies you have already seen to help you learn new vocabulary and to test your comprehension. Then, try reading reviews before watching a movie to get an idea of the plot and characters.

Writing Skills

Join a chat group. Find a chat group dedicated to a topic you enjoy. Whether it’s Game of Thrones, Mad Men, or The Olympics; you can find chat groups for nearly any topic of interest. Join in and contribute your ideas.

Write reviews. Add your own opinion to a reviews page. The next time you order a product online, write a review on the product’s website. Did you see a memorable movie lately? Write a review! Don’t be afraid to share your opinions online.

Speaking Skills

Talk to friends online. Skype with someone you know who speaks English. They don’t have to be a native speaker. In fact, you might feel more comfortable talking to another ESL speaker like yourself. Schedule an English conversation time every day or every week to get extra practice.

Listening Skills

Listen to podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to listen to native English speakers using the language in a natural and conversational way. Many podcasts speak at a comfortable pace, so it is easy to listen and train your ear. Find an interesting podcast and make an effort to listen to it every day.

Watch videos. Video websites are popular because they are entertaining and often helpful. Start by watching videos in your own language with English subtitles. Then, change to English audio with English subtitles. Finally, turn off the subtitles and just listen to the English.

Listen to books on tape. If you love books, consider listening to a book on tape. You can listen to the story and periodically look at the book to check your comprehension.

Watch music videos. Watch videos of English songs. It’s enjoyable and can help you improve your English language learning. EnglishTag has a collection of music videos that offer subtitles, so you can read the lyrics as you listen.

4 Ways to Have Fun Learning Slang

Slang is one of the most enjoyable parts of English, yet learning it isn’t always fun. This is largely because it changes often.

But, of course, that’s what makes slang cool – knowing it and using it properly shows that you are in the know. You’re modern; you’re with it. Unfortunately, by the time you learn a new word, it might not be cool anymore!

The best way to keep up with slang is to be immersed in the English language – ideally, you live in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, or another English-speaking country.

Regardless of where you live, however, you can keep up with new expressions by following pop culture closely and taking time each day or week to study it.

Fortunately, learning slang doesn’t have to be boring. Here are four ways to get started!

How to Have Fun Learning Slang

1. Listen to Pop Music

Music is a fantastic way to learn English slang. Pop, rock, and even country are all great sources. You can find playlists on Spotify and YouTube. If you listen to songs on YouTube, you may also be able to find videos with the lyrics written in English so you can follow along.

An even better way to learn casual expressions with music is to find the lyrics online (just search for the song title with the word lyrics) and look up any words you don’t know in a dictionary. Hip hop fans should check out Rap Genius, which explains the lyrics to many popular hip hop songs.

2. Find Lists Online

There are dozens of lists of English slang online. While reading and memorizing lists is not the most thrilling way of learning a language, you can try to make it a little more interesting by doing things like focusing on one letter a day; for example, Tuesday is b words day.

You could also make flashcards; on one side write the new word and on the other write its definition and one or two examples or synonyms.

Even better, you can simultaneously learn and annoy your friends and family by using English slang with them.

3. Use Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are not only good for sharing photos and connecting with others, but they’re also a slang paradise. Try to follow or become friends with native speakers on social media. Read their status updates and the comments other people leave.

There are also some Instagram accounts specifically for learning slang. If you have Instagram, consider following @slangcards and @californianslang.

4. Watch Television

TV is another great resource for learning slang, and there are some fantastic TV shows out there right now. Check out classic shows like The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld, and Friends; any sitcom (comedy) or even drama in the last few years will be a good source.

And, watching TV is not the worst way to study English, is it?

Slang is fun, and fortunately there are fun ways to learn it! Listen to music, watch TV, use social media, and find lists of words online. Make sure you keep up with your studies – slang changes every couple of years, and you want to be on top of it!

5 Best Resources to Learn English Online for Free

There are so many resources these days to learn English online for free. Actually, the biggest problem is trying to decide which are the best tools to improve your English.

Not every website is as useful as others. Have fun exploring, but don’t spend too much time on websites that don’t teach you very much English. Start with this list of five excellent resources you can find online.

Resources to Learn English Online for Free

1. YouTube

YouTube is not only for music videos and movie clips. There are also many professional learning videos for beginner and advanced levels.

Start by searching these terms in YouTube and see what you find.

  • Beginner ESL lessons
  • Business English lessons
  • English prepositions
  • English office vocabulary
  • This that those ESL

When using the Search function on YouTube, be very specific with what you want to learn. There are hundreds and hundreds of English learning videos just waiting for you to find!

2. ESL News Sites

Do you read or watch the news in your native language? Why not try reading the news in English also? For beginners, read the news in your native language first. Then read the same story in English. This will help you understand the article in English better.

3. Podcasts

There are many great ESL podcasts on various topics (i.e., sports, technology, poetry, history). If you are beginning your English studies, listening can help you improve your vocabulary and grammar.

As you advance in your understanding of English, you can try listening to non-ESL podcasts to gain a broader understanding of English grammar and phrases.

4. Interactive Quizzes and Games

There are hundreds of websites offering quizzes and games to help you learn English online for free. Some even allow you to print the activities, making it easy for you to study on the go.

Playing games is fun and can help you test your knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, and even listening. For example, ESL Games World offers Listening Memory Games that can help you improve your listening skills.

5. Online Courses

There are many English courses that are available online. Online courses usually include audio and/or video lessons. Many also track your progress, so you can see how much you are learning.

British Council is a website that offers a variety of courses, such as listening, grammar, vocabulary, and writing.

Online resources are one of the best tools to boost your English learning. Start using the internet to improve your English and have fun doing it!

Do's and Don'ts for ESL Students Abroad

Not only is studying abroad an excellent way for ESL students to learn English, but it’s also a great life experience. You get to travel, perhaps for the first time or the first time alone; you can meet new people, especially people from other countries; and you can experience a whole new culture.

But there are right ways and wrong ways to study abroad. For example, a right way is making an effort to engage in conversation with native speakers as frequently as possible. A wrong way, on the other hand, is only hanging out with people from your own country.

If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to study English abroad, make sure you take full advantage of it! Here are some strategies for ESL students to implement when they’re studying abroad.

Do’s and Don’ts for ESL Students Abroad


Talk to Native Speakers

You’re in the U.S., or Canada, or Australia – so talk to Americans, Canadians, and Australians! We know it’s intimidating; you’re afraid of making a mistake, or you don’t know how to say something correctly.

However, you won’t improve unless you try. You’ll also find that many locals will be patient with you and happy to help.

The good news is that your interaction doesn’t have to be completely spontaneous. If you’re practicing wh questions in class, for example, plan to ask native speakers a few questions starting with where, why, and who.

For example, ask the barista at Starbucks where the napkins are, or, if you’re in college, ask a student in line behind you at the bookstore what time they close (don’t worry: Americans won’t find this weird at all).

This way, you’re practicing what you’re learning in class outside of the classroom – and you’re using real English and gaining confidence, as well.

Make Friends from Other Countries

When you study abroad, you have the chance to meet people you would never have met had you stayed home, people from different countries with very different life experiences. It’s an incredible chance to learn and grow.

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Try to make friends with other people in your program. Have lunch together, take trips together, and discuss the joys and challenges of life abroad. You’re all sharing a unique experience, and ESL students studying abroad often develop a deep bond.


Only Hang out with People from Your Country

Many ESL students go abroad with the intention of speaking English as much as possible and spending most of their time with native speakers and students from other countries.

Unfortunately, when you’re living abroad it’s very common to experience loneliness and culture shock, and a natural reaction to these feelings is to seek out the familiar.

While clinging to people from your own country feels good in the short-term, you may look back on your experience and regret not taking advantage of the rare and amazing opportunity you had to learn something new and get out of your comfort zone.

Sure, you can make friends from your own country, but don’t spend all of your time with them. Branch out and grow!

Only Have Fun and Forget to Study

You’re guaranteed to have fun – lots of fun – when you’re studying abroad. There are new people, new sights, new food, and new alcoholic drinks. It’s tempting to get sucked in and neglect your studies, but remember that you only have one shot at this. Don’t go home with regrets.

Play hard, but work hard too!

Learn English Speaking Online

Did you know that you can learn English speaking online? There are many websites that can help you practice your pronunciation and conversation skills.

Here are five tips to help you get started.

How to Learn English Speaking Online

1. Hire a Tutor

The best way to improve your speaking is to have lessons with a native speaker. These days, there are various websites for hiring private tutors.

Learning English online is a great option because you have full control over selecting the teacher, setting the hourly rate, and deciding what you want to study. There is no schedule, no exams, and no curriculum to follow.

2. Join a Course

If a private lesson is too intimidating or too expensive, there are online courses you can join.

Online courses are usually written by ESL teachers who have experience teaching English as a second language. The courses are designed to help you learn English communication and usually include audio or video lessons.

3. Learn Movie Lines

Choose a movie clip online from your favorite movie and try to say the lines with the actors.

First, listen to the actors saying the lines. Then, try to imitate or copy their way of speaking. Pay attention to each actor’s speed, intonation, and pronunciation. Keep practicing until you get it right!

4. Watch Tutorial Videos

There are a lot of great English speaking videos on YouTube.

Try watching videos with trained educators who teach you about pacing, intonation, pausing, or pronunciation. Here is an example of a video showing you how to move your mouth in order to make the correct sounds.

5. Record Yourself Speaking

It is helpful to record yourself speaking so you can listen to how you sound when you are speaking English.

After you record yourself speaking, listen to the recording and take notes on how you can improve. Useful websites for recording your voice include SpeakPipe and Vocaroo. Both are free to use and easy to navigate.

So, now that you have some ideas to learn English speaking online, why not get started?

Past Continuous Grammar

The past continuous, often called the past progressive, is formed with the words was or were (past forms of the verb to be) followed by the present participle (the verb in the -ing form).

Form: was/were + present participle

Read on for some tips on when to use this common tense, along with some helpful examples.

Tips for Using the Past Continuous

1. An Interrupted Action in the Past

In English, we use the past continuous to express that a longer action in the past was interrupted by another action. The past continuous expresses the longer action; the interrupting action is often expressed using the past simple.

The action doesn’t have to be an actual interruption; it can be an interruption in time.

“I was taking a shower when she called me.”

In this example, the longer action is taking a shower. The person started taking a shower first and was in the shower when the woman called. The call interrupted her shower (at least in regards to time). We show that the shower started first by using the past continuous.

You could also change the order of the actions in the sentence and it would still have the same meaning.

“She called me when I was taking a shower.”

2. An Action in Progress at a Specific Time in the Past

We can also express that an action was in progress at a specific time in the past.

“At 4:00 pm yesterday Kate was still driving.

In this example, Kate started driving some time before 4:00 pm, and at 4:00 pm she was driving.

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If we use the past simple tense, then this might mean that at 4:00 pm Kate got in her car and started driving.

“At 4:00 pm yesterday, Kate drove.

So, if you want to be clear that an action was already taking place, use the past continuous in this kind of situation.

3. Parallel Actions

We can also talk about two actions happening at the same time in the past.

“When she was cooking, her son was playing a video game.”

This means that at a certain time in the past, she was cooking and her son was playing a video game – at the same time. Because both verbs are expressed in the past continuous, we know they were happening simultaneously.

If we use the past tense, then the time relationship between the two actions is not as clear.

“She cooked when her son was playing a video game.”

This sentence could mean that she started cooking while her son was playing a video game.

4. Atmosphere

English speakers also use the past continuous when they are describing a scene, the atmosphere, or what was happening in the background of a particular event.

For example, let’s imagine a man walks into his office and describes what he saw.

“Mike and Amy were working on their computers, Christine was yelling at somebody on the phone, and Victor was making copies.”

Were working, was yelling, and was making are the past continuous tense. All of these events started taking place before the man walks into the office; they are in progress when he walks in. We know this because they are expressed in the past continuous.

Hopefully these tips will help you better describe the past and make you sound more fluent.