When I think about learning English as a second language, there are several tools I like to use. Some of them are linked with vocabulary acquisition, some of them are related to grammar, some of them are for writing.
I usually browse the internet whenever I need help, but we need to be really careful with the information we find online; some of them may be wrong.
- The website I browse the most and refer to all of the students I see at the writing center is the Purdue Owl. This site provides grammar, style, and format help. I usually use this site to help writers with their research paper, since it provides very accurate citation explanations from both APA and MLA format. This website also provides grammar rules, including punctuation rules. Purdue Owl is a modern reference book.
- For vocabulary and reading I usually use Voa News - Learning English. This website provides current news in two levels of English and you will also have the opportunity to listen to the articles as you read! I really love to use this website with my ESL students because it not only it will keep them up to date with what is going on in the world, but it will also help them with reading comprehension and vocabulary learning.
- For study skills I usually recommend to my students that they check out quizlet.com. In this website, learners can create fashcards, online "games", and study guides to learn vocabulary and other things. Not only you can create your own list of words, you can access lists that other students and teachers have created. You can use Quizlet for other subjects as well.
- For grammar exercises and explanations, I like using Dave's ESL cafe. This page has several grammar exercises for language learners (not only ESL learners will benefit from this) that are straight forward and clear. This website also has resources for teachers, so I really like checking it out.
Overall, these are my favorite online sources for vocabulary, grammar, study skills, and reading in English. There are other things I may use if a student is having issues in my classes/tutoring sessions. I use general online dictionaries, the urban dictionary for slangs, YouTube for certain posted lessons and pronunciation guide, and Wikipedia for simple definitions and historical events.
Even though I am quite connected and love using online tools, I am in favor of using a good library, a good resource book, and having physical notes as well. I think I am an old fashioned student learning about new technologies.