Hello, there! Nowadays, thanks to the internet, there are a lot of applications and resources that may help us achieve our main goal to master a second language. As we are starting to learn languages, grammar is a fundamental part of many methods, and I am actually a fan of grammar! But, it is not the only thing we should focus on. Getting to know people and also learning about vocabulary, places, history, and cultural background is a must! So, if you are aiming to remember words, and phrases or you are just willing to meet new people to practice informal English, today is your lucky day! We would like to share with you some useful tools to boost your skills in a foreign language, focusing on English as a Second Language (ESL), of course! 1. WordReference.com
The first webpage I would like to share with you is "WordReference"; this is a great resource to help you translate accurately words from one language to another. It would also include some examples and if you have any doubts about the pronunciation, you can also listen to it even in different accents!
Pros: A lot of languages including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and more.
Cons: It only allows you to translate a word at a time so you cannot translate phrases or paragraphs.
This is an app that allows you to connect with people from all around the World. Have you ever heard about "PenPals"? Well, this would be a modern way of pen paling; you just need to create a profile that fulfills your language needs and then, you have to start meeting people and exchanging your knowledge! This could be like a WhatsApp or Telegram app, but specifically destinated to enhance your skills in order to improve your Listening, Writing, Reading, and Speaking; it allows you to send messages, voices, pictures, and videos; and you can also video call or even translate what your friends are saying without leaving the app. You can listen to their written messages, too!
Pros: It allows you to practice the four basic language skills.
Cons: Sometimes it may be difficult to find a friend who answers as fast as you would like to, especially due to the time zone.
3. Anki and Quizlet
Anki and Quizlet are two apps that are based on FlashCards, which is actually incredibly great to enhance your vocabulary, and common phrases normally used in spoken/written languages, or even to study for exams based on multiple choice / true or false questions. It is also a useful tool for many physicians and medical students who are currently studying.
Pros: It is easy to use, and there are many options to customize it, too.
Cons: It is not as helpful as others apps in terms of Speaking and Listening.
4. BBC Learning English https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/
BBC Learning English is a great resource for people who are willing to enhance their skills (ESL). There are multiple choices that vary from a basic to an advanced level, and there is plenty of vocabulary you can learn from each lesson. There are even quizzes and tests about a variety of topics to choose from. It does not matter our age; it has stories destinated for children and it also includes some business English lessons for adults!
Pros: There is a large number of activities for everyone.
Contras: It requires an average internet connection.
Grammarly is one of my personal favorite resources, this is a cloud-based typing assistant which reviews your writing as it helps with your spelling, grammar, punctuation, and many other mistakes regarding your style or tone. You can also use it to review your documents or essays on any topic, even if you are practicing for any test.
Pros: It helps you correct any text.
Cons: There are some features that are not free.
Is there any other useful app/webpage/resource we are missing? Tell us all about it in the comments below!