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.

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?

If you’re like many other English learners, your ultimate goal is to speak English fluently.

The opportunities that would open up to you are immense: you could understand every movie, TV show, song, and interview you see in English; more companies would want to hire you; you could express yourself fully; and the list goes on.

But attaining fluency isn’t easy: it takes a lot of time and a lot of work. Don’t believe the websites and ads that say you can learn English well in 30 days – you can learn some, maybe even a lot, but you certainly won’t become fluent. So how can you learn to speak English fluently? Here are some helpful tips.

How to Speak English Fluently

1. Accept There Is No Magic Solution

Like becoming rich or learning how to play the guitar, becoming fluent in English doesn’t happen overnight.

OK, to be fair, you COULD win the lottery and become rich overnight, but there is no English-learning lottery – as far as we know.

There are many different methods for learning a language, and the right method depends on your learning style, your educational background, your personality, your needs, and more.

Every method, however, requires you to put in work, and this work won’t always be easy or fun. Some people learn well through memorization; others hate it. Some can pick up a language fairly easily through conversation with native speakers; for others it’s much harder.

Accept that what works for others may not work for you, and that you’ll have to work hard and be diligent. But you can get there!

2. Surround Yourself with Real English as Often as Possible

It’s crucial that you immerse yourself in the language frequently. This doesn’t mean studying from a book five or six hours a day. It means doing things like listening to authentic audio in English such as English music, news, or podcasts.

It also means trying to think in English when you’re going about your day, and reading blog articles online about topics you like, children’s books, or even recipes.

The more you surround yourself with English, the more it seeps into your brain and becomes a part of your life. You’ll simply learn English better this way.

3. Change Your Perspective

Stop thinking of yourself as a student of the language; rather, think of yourself as an English speaker. This shift in your mindset can help you see your English ability in a glass-half-full way. You’ll feel more confident and focus on the English you already know.

Moreover, like an English speaker, you should try to think in English, as well. This takes time and effort but it can be a very effective tool in language learning.

For example, if you want to say the word laundry in English, instead of thinking of the word in your native language and then thinking of the correct word in English – which is a natural thing to do – try to picture a pile of dirty clothes and then think of the word laundry.

You achieve fluency when you can stop mentally translating from your native language.

Conclusion

These three steps may be small, but they are powerful tools that can help you speak English fluently. Remember, there is no English-learning secret, immerse yourself in real English as often as you can, and start thinking of yourself as an English speaker, not an English learner.

Textbooks are a great learning resource, but they are not good for learning real English. Books focus on the fundamentals of the English language, such as grammar and vocabulary and seldom cover common, everyday idioms, daily expressions, and slang.

The result is that English learners learn correct English, but have problems understanding authentic English outside of the classroom. Does this story sound like you?

You’re an all star student in English class. Then, when you go out in the real world, you have a hard time understanding native English speakers when they use real life English.

You feel frustrated that you can’t understand English in a simple scenario and you wonder why you can understand classroom English but not authentic English.

So how can you learn real English? Real English involves real people. You need to watch and listen to how people use expressions, such as in TV shows, podcasts, or live conversations.

1. Learn Real English from Television

Television shows and movies provide perfect examples of authentic English conversations. Scripts for TV and movies are written to sound exactly like everyday English. In addition, the actors capture real facial expressions and gestures used while speaking.

To help you learn English, keep a notebook with phrases and expressions that you hear. These might be phrases you don’t understand, phrases you like, or phrases you want to use.

After you finish watching, look the phrases up in the dictionary to understand them better. When you have a chance, try using the new phrases in your English class or with a native speaker.

2. Learn Real English from Podcasts & Videos

Podcasts are pre-recorded audio shows. Similar to TV shows, they have a schedule and usually tell a story or follow a theme. They are a good source of authentic English and can help you improve your listening skills.


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There are podcasts about many topics, such as global economy, history, philosophy, fishing, etc. Choose a podcast that you find interesting and take notes while you listen. Write down phrases you hear in your notebook and look them up after you finish listening.

3. Learn Real English from Conversations

The best way to learn authentic English is to interact with native speakers. Speaking English outside of the classroom can be intimidating at first, but it gets easier over time.

If it is difficult to find native English speakers in your area, you may want to hire a tutor online for conversation practice.

Conclusion

To learn authentic English, you need to listen, see, and participate in real conversations. Always write down phrases you don’t understand, look them up, and then try to use them later with native English speakers.

Don’t learn too many phrases at a time. Focus on learning a maximum of three at a time, so you can really learn and remember them.

Don’t feel scared to speak English outside of the classroom. It is the best way to practice all of the English that you’ve learned from your textbooks.

If you’ve studied English, you’ve definitely struggled with English pronunciation. English words are notoriously difficult to pronounce because there are many exceptions to spelling and pronunciation rules.

It’s a vast language and it has borrowed from many other languages; this can create major headaches for those learning it. And, regardless of which English dialect you’re learning – American, British, Australian – you’ll still run into the same difficulties.

Here are three difficult things about English pronunciation as well as some tips on how to learn pronunciation – without driving yourself crazy!

English Pronunciation Difficulties

1. Written English Versus Spoken English

One of the most confusing aspects of English pronunciation is that English words are sometimes pronounced differently than they’re spelled. This is especially true for silent letters, which include r, l, b, k, h, n, p, s, t, and w. These letters aren’t silent all the time, of course – just for certain words.

There are also letters than can be pronounced different ways. For example, s can be pronounced as a /z/ and t can be pronounced five different ways.

There are 19 vowel sounds in English but only five vowels to create these sounds. Thus, sometimes the same vowel letters or combination of vowels will be pronounced differently.

Take the words blood, food, and good, for example. They contain the same vowels, but they are pronounced in three different ways!

2. Vowel Sounds

As mentioned in the last section, there are five vowels in English but 19 vowel sounds. Saying these vowel sounds requires a wide range of mouth positions: front, back, center, open and closed, relaxed, rounded, and more.


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Some vowels are long and some are short, and all change length depending on the amount of stress put on them. Other languages such as Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese, have fewer vowel sounds, so this presents a natural challenge for speakers of these languages.

3. The Schwa

English is composed of strong and weak sounds. The most common sound in English is the schwa, or /ə/ (pronounced uh). It appears in about one of every three vowel sounds.

We use the schwa in lightly pronounced, unaccented syllables in words with more than one syllable. It’s hard to know when to pronounce it, though, because you won’t see it written in a text.

There are some helpful schwa exercises online, such as this one from BBC or this audio exercise from The Sound of English. There are also various YouTube videos practicing the schwa.

Although it takes some practice, it’s very possible to learn English pronunciation! Listen to English as much as you can, speak with native speakers as often as you can, and do exercises to practice.

Music is powerful. It gets into our heads and forces us to sing the same lyrics over and over again. This is why learning English with songs is such a great idea.

Ways to Learn English with Songs

1. Listen to Songs in English

You can learn English through music passively. That’s right. By just sitting around and listening to music in English you can improve your English skills!

When you are learning a new language it’s important that you immerse yourself in the language. That means you should expose yourself to English when you’re not in the classroom. Music is an amazing way to do this!

Download some songs from the internet or listen online, and enjoy learning English simply by exposing yourself to the language.

2. Sing the Songs

When you find songs you enjoy, sing along! You can learn English by singing while you listen.

If there are words that you hear but don’t understand, then write them down and look them up later.

Not only is singing a fun stress reliever, it’s also a great way to boost your speaking confidence.

3. Read the Lyrics While Listening

Look for music videos that include subtitles, so you can read the lyrics while you listen.


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Reading the lyrics not only helps you learn English through songs, it also provides a way for you to read English in a way that’s fun and relaxing.

4. Read the Lyrics Without Sound

Read the lyrics of a song without listening to any sound. It can be fun to slowly learn what the song is about. You might be amazed at some of the stories behind well-known songs!

You can find the lyrics of most popular songs online. Print the lyrics, and study the words and phrases. Then try reading the lyrics out-loud as if the lyrics were a poem.

5. Study the Grammar in the Song

Most songs are written with a certain grammar function. That’s because songs tell stories and stories have verb tenses that match the events.

If you want to improve a specific verb tense, you can do a quick search online for songs with that grammar. Then, listen to the song and study the lyrics. Doesn’t that sound like an enjoyable way to improve your English grammar?

6. Re-write the Lyrics

Take a song you know well and change the words to describe something in your life. Make sure the new words match the melody of the song.

You might be surprised by how much fun it is to learn English with songs that you write yourself. When you are finished, try singing the new words to the music of the song.

7. Write Your Own Songs

If you’re a creative type, you can try to write your own songs. Many ESL classes focus on one theme at a time. Take what you’re learning in class, and write a song about it. For example, use the vocabulary you are learning this week and create a funny song.

Because songs are repetitive, catchy, and entertaining, you are more likely to remember new information if you make a song about it. See if you can remember your new vocabulary words better when you put them in a song. Just remember to sing it!

8. Share Songs with Others

Music is a joyful event that should be shared with others. Share what you learn with others in your ESL class. Teach a song to another person. Listen to music with another person. Make it a social event.

The more you use English in a natural and enjoyable way, the more you increase your chance of remembering and retaining all that new information you’re learning.

Speaking English is often difficult for English language learners because it requires not only vocabulary and grammar, but also confidence. So how to learn spoken English?

You need to practice. The more you practice, the more confident you will become.

How to Learn Spoken English

1. Read Aloud

Find English texts and read them out loud. Read for as long as it takes you to feel comfortable hearing your voice in English.

At first, you might be afraid of your English speaking voice. It might sound different than your native language voice. Don’t worry – this is normal. The more you speak English, the more you will get used to your English speaking voice and it will start to sound normal.

It’s important to look at your mouth in a mirror when you talk and see how your lips and tongue move with each word.

You can read anything in English to practice: books, ebooks, novels, news articles, blogs, etc.

2. Listen

Listen to spoken English as much as you can. Surround yourself with English audio. Watch films and television shows in English. Listen to English podcasts. Find English music you enjoy. Listen to English online.

When you listen to others use the language correctly, it will enable you to speak better English yourself. You will hear different accents and correct pronunciation.

Over a short period of time, you will be able to copy the speed and inflection of native speakers, and start to speak more fluently.


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Whether you are learning English in an ESL class or are teaching yourself the language, you can easily find English audio to enjoy while you are comfortable at home. You will quickly find online and television sources that will show you great stories you can use for your English learning.

3. Speak

Now that you are used to the sound of your own voice and have listened to a variety of English audio, you are ready to speak!

Don’t just passively listen to English speaking. Instead, use your listening as a way to motivate yourself to speak English. Try to copy the accents you hear. Try to speak at the same speed as an actor in a movie you watched.

Practice your English speaking everywhere you can, and never be embarrassed by mistakes you might make. Even native English speakers make mistakes at times.

There is no shame in trying something and getting it wrong the first time. However, it is a real shame if you have the knowledge to speak English, but you choose not to because you’re afraid.

4. Repeat

So how to learn spoken English? Continue reading, listening, and speaking; and trying to find new ways to enjoy using English. Your confidence will grow and you will be speaking English more naturally, and using vocabulary and phrases that English speakers use everyday.