Using the internet to help you learn English

An image of someone working at a computer with their back to the camera. It looks like it could have been a few years ago.

The internet is a fantastic resource for English language learners. In 2022 it was estimated that 5 billion people - almost 65% of the world’s population – used the internet, with 170 million new users in the last year alone.

And English is the most common language online, used by 6 million of the top 10 million websites – over 60% of the entire internet’s sites. It is safe to say that English is the language of the internet. So let’s look at how using the internet can help you learn English.

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Blogs, news sites and video resources

Your English reading skills, vocabulary and grammar can be improved greatly by just keeping up with the latest news and trends in English. You can also learn more about English culture just by following news stories as they develop, and seeing what is going on around the UK!

ELC Blog – this is a great place to keep up with news from the school and you can also find many interesting posts related to studying English and England in general! We cover everything from staying in the UK to how we can help with various examinations – there is something for every student on our blog page! BBC News – keeping up to date with the news is a very good habit, so why not push yourself and read the news in English? You can write down all the words you do not understand from different stories and articles, and when you have some quiet time to yourself just read through them – you’ll soon find you have learned a lot of new vocabulary! YouTube – on YouTube you can find many videos to help improve all aspects of your English, most of which are free to view and do not require a subscription. Many channels post daily videos covering grammar, pronunciation and even slang that you can learn. Catch up and streaming services Other useful resources include TV ‘catch up’ and streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer]( and ITVX that allow you to watch English TV programmes and films any time you choose. This is a great way to relax, soak up some amazing English language television and films, and improve your listening skills simultaneously.

Online learning resources

There is a plethora of online resources available to students which can help you learn English online, including language tests, exercises and helpful videos. In the last few years there has been an explosion in smartphone applications too, with many language apps that are free and fun to use. Smartphone apps – apps are everywhere, and heading into 2023 top of the pile are language apps such as Duolingo, Babbel and Memrise. Most are free to download (although you can pay for extras) and offer excellent English language learning for students! British Council and BBC Learning English – both these websites have a variety of resources designed to supplement English learning using games, quizzes, reading, writing and listening practice.

Online Translation

The quality and accuracy of online translators have increased dramatically in the last decade, and they are incredibly useful tools. They can help to look up new words and widen your vocabulary, allow you to translate entire documents and even speak for you!

WordReference and Google Translate – although it is not wise to overuse these services they can be very useful when you are stuck with a certain word and can really help you to improve your knowledge!