elearning-english

How to Choose the Perfect English E-learning Website!

The Internet makes life so much easier.

Do you want to find a way to learn English online?

Do you want an excellent, online way to prepare for English exams like the TOEFL, TOEIC or IELTS?

That is great! However, you might not be sure about:

  • Which online resources are good for English students
  • How to use online resources to learn English
  • How to find what you need to learn English online

There are many websites with audio and video materials for learning English. There are even places online where you can learn English live, in real time, with real people listening to you, talking to you, helping you and teaching you.

So, how can you choose one good resource from so many websites?

Where can you practice a language or prepare to achieve your English goals online?

Your choice, most of all, depends on the way you learn and on what you need to learn.
 

 

How to Study English with E-learning Resources

We are going to see what is on the Internet for English students and how you can benefit.

First, it is important to know what makes all these resources different. The resources we will see are different in terms of:

  • Learning method. Some e-learning tools are just like traditional classrooms, with textbooks, teachers, tests and assignments. Other tools will keep you focused on learning with clever activities. Others will help you learn in a fun way by using games. Others will give you lessons filled with more visual materials, like videos and texts.

You need to decide which types of materials help you learn better than others. It is all about what you like!

  • Time commitment. There are solutions that will offer you complete independence in learning—this means that you can decide when, where and how you learn. You do not need to follow someone else’s schedule. For example, you might use an app or website to learn on the go (while you are traveling or moving) and at home. This way, you can turn your learning resource on and off whenever you want to or need to.

There are also resources where English teachers will meet you online and help you learn, but you will need to make a schedule or follow the teacher’s schedule. If you want to find a language exchange partner (where they help you with English, and you teach them your native language) for free, you will need to make a schedule together.

So, you need to decide how much time you want to spend learning English every day. You also need to decide how important a flexible schedule is for you!

  • Level. While some online resources will work for every English student at every skill level, from beginner to advanced, some resources are made for English students at specific skill levels. This means that you must be a beginner, an intermediate or an advanced learner to use these specific e-learning resources.
  • Topics. There are sites that focus on special aspects of learning such as writing, listening, vocabulary or grammar. Some focus on exams like the TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS. There are also sites that offer a broad spectrum of areas and topics you can work on, which is great if you want to learn general English skills.
  • Materials. How do you learn best? Do you remember English lessons better when you read them? Do you have more fun learning with videos and music? Do you love to sing? Choose the e-learning resource that uses your favorite materials.

Keep all of these points in mind while you are choosing your new e-learning tool.

E-learning English: 7 Online Learning Solutions for English Students

Memrise

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Learning method: Learn English vocabulary with the help of mnemonics (tricks to help your memory)

Time: Some courses take one hour to learn, others may require many hours to complete

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

Topic: Vocabulary, expressions, pronunciation, improving your memory, TOEFL/TOEIC/IELTS

Materials: Courses, flashcards, pictures, quizzes

Memrise is one of the most popular e-learning tools for language learning. It is not just for learning English. It is for learning anything! However, it makes an excellent English e-learning tool.

When it comes to its methods, it uses many little quizzes with multiple choice questions to help you learn English vocabulary. You will see a definition and need to choose the correct word, or see an English word and need to choose the correct definition. There are many other ways to play with these courses and quizzes.

To help your memory, Memrise uses mems. Every mem makes some kind of interesting, memorable connection that helps you learn and remember the meaning of an English word. Each mem can be in the form of a cartoon, a drawing, a picture or a word. These mems are created by you and other English-learning members of Memrise.

FluentU

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Learning method: Learn English through authentic English videos and audios

Time: 2-10 minutes per video, 10-30 minutes per video activity

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

Topic: Authentic English, becoming fluent in English, sounding like a native speaker

Materials: Movies, music videos, interviews, news and anything else that native English speakers watch

To learn English, you’ve probably already watched videos in English on YouTube.

FluentU takes real-world videos from YouTube, transcribes them, translates them, puts interactive subtitles on them and creates activities from them. Now all of your favorite YouTube videos are English lessons!

FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. How? There are interactive captions. In other words, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.

The coolest part is that FluentU knows the vocabulary that you’re learning. It uses your vocabulary to recommend you examples and videos. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store.

British Council

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Learning method: Practice writing, speaking, reading and listening; prepare for the IELTS

Time: 5-20 minutes per lesson or activity

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

Topic: Kids, teenagers and adults

Materials: Writing samples, videos, online activities

British Council has an official site full of different kinds of resources for learning English. It offers learning materials that are perfect for different age groups, and you can choose resources to focus on the specific English skills you want to develop.

There are kids, teens and adults sections, as well as writing, reading, listening and speaking sections.

For example, if you are an adult and you want to practice writing, you can pick a section where you can learn how to write professional emails. There you will have different units and tasks to complete. Tasks include things like filling out missing words related to the given subject.

Massive Open Online English Course (MOOEC)

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Learning methods: Take English lessons that feel like traditional classroom lessons

Time: Shorter 10-20 minute lessons, time commitment depends on the number of lessons you take

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

Topic: General English, academic and test preparation, speaking

Materials: Lectures, lessons, homework assignments, quizzes

MOOEC stands for Massive Open Online English Course. It offers online courses for learning more general English. The courses are provided by universities and colleges.

It is not a typical example of an online course because the lessons are shorter and you can learn at your own pace, but it is a great way to see if online courses work for you.

Plus, it is completely free!

Coursera

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Learning methods: Learn English while learning about other subject areas, like history, science, math and more

Time: 4-8 hours weekly for duration of course

Level: Advanced

Topic: Grammar, writing, test preparation, business English

Materials: Lectures, video tutorials, practice materials, student discussions, assignments and tests

Coursera is a massive online learning platform with numerous top universities offering courses for everyone. Their English courses are usually designed for more advanced English learning. The English topics range from TOEIC preparation and English writing practice to interview preparation.

You can also take courses in English to learn about other subjects—everything from marketing and business management to astronomy, chemistry and math can be found here.

You can take Coursera courses at your own pace, or you can instead follow the rhythm of the group of students. The courses usually last for a few weeks or a month. There is also an option to take more courses integrated into a specialization by a topic.

Break Into English and Live English

elearning-english

Learning method: Learning through English conversations with professional English teachers

Time: Break into English offers 45-minute lessons, and you should take one to two lessons every week; Live English gives you one 15-minute trial lesson for free, after that you can take 30-minute or 1-hour lessons

Level: Beginner, intermediate and advanced

Topic: Children, general English, business English, legal English

Materials: Skype or telephone conversations

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Break Into English is a site offering online Skype courses with teachers. It offers different topics and you can choose your own schedule to take lessons and interact with the professor.

Which level? All level classes are available, but there are a lot offered for intermediate students, covering areas such as general English, business English, legal English and conversation classes for children. The lessons are offered by teachers trained by the company.

With Live English, you can also take English classes on Skype or even by telephone. Live English focuses on topics such as spoken English, job interview preparation, exam preparation and business English. It offers flexibility in designing a program that is suitable for you.

How to Choose Your English E-learning Resources

As you can see, each of the solutions has qualities you can benefit from through their way of teaching and the aspect of language or the topic they want you to learn.

  • Do you want your schedule to be flexible? Since time commitment is an important factor for most of English learners, all of the above e-learning options enable you to create your own schedule and/or choose your own rhythm. Explore the resources and see which one works for you.
  • Do you like to learn with a certain type of material? Some, such as Memrise, provide you with engaging visuals (mems), while others, such as Coursera or British Council, offer you numerous types of materials, topics and tasks to work on, which is great if you like more variety.
  • Do you want to keep track of your progress? If you want to see how much you have learned with your e-learning program, you should look for tracking and evaluation features. Look for quizzes, tests and assignments that will be graded. Even better are programs like FluentU, which will easily let you see how much you know and how much you have improved over time.
  • Do you want to talk to real teachers? While e-learning programs some offer lessons and courses where you are independent from your instructor and the tool itself—such as MOOEC—others like Live English or Break Into English offer real-life video lessons with instructors.

 

So, there you go!

You are now completely prepared to start learning English on the Internet. Start exploring these e-learning resources for English, and choose the one that works best for you.

Happy online learning!


The post was written by a member of the Global-Exam team; a French startup specialized in foreign language exam preparation with the mission to promote international movement of students and professionals. Their solution offers TOEIC, IELTS and TOEFL online preparation.

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.

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