Skip to Main Content

English as a Second Language (ESL) Websites


Annotated by Prof. Tuong Hung Nguyen, Ph.D.

Updated March 18, 2020

Below are some of the best ESL sites on the Internet. They offer a wealth of review, self-study, and practice opportunities for ESL students from different backgrounds.  For your convenience, I have annotated and organized them into separate skills, such as Pronunciation, Listening & Speaking, Reading, Writing, Grammar, Idioms, Dictionaries, and Multi-skill Websites.  Enjoy exploring these sites as you improve your English!

Step-by-step descriptions of the sounds of American English, with animation and video demonstrations. Don’t miss it! (The website is now an App.)
A collection of pronunciation websites for students with different levels of proficiency.

Listening & Speaking
With text and audio, this listening-speaking site offers a variety of interesting topics from beginning to advanced levels.
Listening to stories and conversations is an enjoyable way to practice your comprehension. Choose an appropriate level: easy, medium, or difficult and then pick a topic. After listening, test your understanding with a quiz.
National Public Radio with audio and descriptive text, and transcript.

A collection of interesting readings for all levels, with voice, comprehension and vocabulary exercises.
Listen and read along a variety of interesting texts.
A good collection of readings with audio and vocabulary and dictation exercises.

A useful guide to writing basic essays.
ESL writing resources, handouts, and exercises – Best of the best!
A helpful online writing assistance program for college writers.

An excellent site with hundreds of grammar, vocabulary, and writing exercises, quizzes, tests, and puzzles.
A useful site with self-study grammar quizzes at different levels.
A good source of exercises for review of tenses.
Everyday Grammar TV by the VOA discusses common topics in English grammar using video illustrations.

Multi-Skill Websites
Dave's ESL Cafe - A well known and frequently visited by ESL, EFL, and multilingual students and teachers around the world.  Not to be missed!
A comprehensive website covering all the skills for ESL students.
A very helpful multi-skill website with audio compatibility and video, too.
A practical video course for English learners with lessons including speaking, vocabulary and writing.

An alphabetical list of idioms with meanings and examples – no audio.
Idioms organized alphabetically and thematically, with quizzes – Don’t miss it!
Great site for idioms and phrasal verbs – with different levels.

Online Dictionaries
Explanations with excellent examples. You can subscribe for audio pronunciations and thesaurus.
You can search the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of English on line. Highly recommended!
Go to the American version for American pronunciation: The Oxford Advanced American English.

This site provides practices for a variety of standardized tests such as TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, Cambridge, and Pearson.
Great site for free English tests and exercises online.

web page created 3/24/2020 D. Curtin; links updated 9/12/23 D. Curtin; content 3/18/2020 Prof. Tuong Hung Nguyen, Ph. D.