RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ENGLISH
I am always adding resources to this list so keep checking back as the list grows!
PODCASTS / AUDIO
If you are a science nerd like me you will like RadioLab, an American podcast which focuses on topics of a scientific and philosophical nature. The show talks about broad, difficult topics such as “time” and “morality” in an accessible and fun manner. It also hosts many special guests – a great chance to practice your listening with different voices and accents! The English of the hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is wonderfully crisp and clear.
This podcast is only six episodes long but is very entertaining. The host, Starlee Kine, goes on missions to solve ordinary mysteries, among other things a vanishing video store and a missing belt buckle. It isn’t the most groundbreaking detective work ever done, but Starlee is fun and easy to listen to on her quest for answers.
While working on my PhD in atmospheric science I would often put Brazilian radio on in the background, even in the beginning stages of my Portuguese learning, in order to get a subconscious feel for the rhythm and diction of the language. Radio Garden is a new platform that allows you to literally explore the world through radio stations. News stations and talk radio are great, but so are music stations for cultural exposure and lingual inspiration.
Mignon Fogerty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, writes weekly blog posts about the proper usage of English. Her tips are helpful for both natives and learners alike, and because she’s written so accurately and so profusely (over 500 posts), her blog is often what first pops up on Google when I research my subscribers’ grammar questions before making a video. So, I thought I’d recommend the source directly! Use the handy search bar on the top right of her website to see if Mignon has already responded to the question you have.
SIMPLE ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA
Do you use Wikipedia a lot? Try using it just in English – great active practice! If you’re still not quite comfortable using the main English Wikipedia, there is a Simple English Wikipedia that uses more basic words and grammar in every article. The last time I checked, there are over 120,000 articles available.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
- Holes, by Louis Sachar
- Sideways Stories from Wayside School, by Louis Sachar
- Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
- Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
- Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
- The Giver, by Lois Lowry
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon
- A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
- Night, by Elie Wiesel
- The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway
- Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
- Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
- The Red Pony, by John Steinbeck
- Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling
- Essays of E. B. White, by E. B. White
- The Silent Speaker, by Rex Stout
- Into the Wild, by John Krakauer
- A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
- Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner