Best Websites For Learning English: BBC Learning English

BBC Learning English Website has a wealth of resources for English language learners

I’m certain you’ve heard of the BBC: the British Broadcasting Corporation. It’s the largest broadcaster in the world, providing TV, radio, and online services to thousands of households in the UK and beyond. But did you know that the BBC has been helping people learn English since 1943?

The BBC launched its Learning English website in 1996, and it currently has 1.5 million registered users. The site features print, audio, and video materials, along with downloadable lessons and worksheets. Content is based on real news events and stories, and updated daily by English experts in the UK. Some material is designed for teachers, but most is designed for students. And it’s all free!

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An Introduction to Punctuation

Watch this humorous introduction to English punctuation. Learn the most important punctuation marks, and see how they can help improve your writing. Make sure you have your speakers turned on so you can hear the audio!

Download the PDF: Simple Rules for Effective Punctuation

Key Points

  • Punctuation marks give rhythm and meaning to text
  • Do you know the names of all the punctuation marks? Learn them in this video
  • Just a couple of punctuation differences can change the entire meaning of a text
  • Look at a passage and decide how to punctuate it effectively
  • What if punctuation marks had sounds? Watch James Bond save the day…with the help of punctuation!

What Do You Think?
Do you know how to use punctuation correctly? Do you have any advice to add, or questions you’d like to ask? Let us know in the comments section below!

Note-Taking Tips for IELTS and Academic Success

Learn to take effective notes at Language Link VietnamSometimes, my students make me laugh.

Not long ago, I was teaching a TOEFL preparation class, and I asked my students to listen to a lecture and take notes.

I pressed PLAY on the CD player…and immediately they all began writing so quickly, I couldn’t see their hands! Their pens moved so fast, they began fanning the room!

I stopped the activity. “No! No! No!” I cried. “Don’t try to write down EVERY word!” They all looked up, confused.

Then I told them what I am going to tell you now:

The key to good note-taking isn’t writing MORE notes, it’s writing more EFFECTIVE notes.

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Five Reading Skills for Academic and Professional Success

Improve your reading skills at Language Link VietnamWhy do you read in English? Do you do it for pleasure? For work? Or do you read because you need to answer a question – from your teacher or on an English test? For many students, this last reason is most common.

People use different reading skills for different situations. For example, if you’re bored and looking through a magazine, you’re going to read differently than if you’re trying to answer questions on the IELTS.

In this post, we’re going to look at the kind of reading you do when you’re taking a test, such as IELTS or TOEFL. Understanding the kinds of questions you’re going to be asked will help you understand the strategies you need to answer them.

To put it another way, knowing why you’re reading can help you understand how to read.

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Ten Tips for Becoming a More Confident English Speaker

Develop speaking confidence at Language Link VietnamLearning a new language can be an emotional experience. I know, because I have been learning Vietnamese for three years, and I still get frustrated when I have problems. I think:

Why can’t I say this better? Why do I make so many mistakes?

When I have problems communicating, I sometimes feel like I’m stupid. Do you ever feel this way too?

It’s easy to get excited when you start learning a new language. Everything is new! You’re constantly learning new words and expressions, and when you say a simple sentence, it makes you so happy!

But after awhile, this begins to change. You think: In my language, I’m so smart! Why don’t I sound like this in English? You’re no longer happy saying simple things. You want to express your personality – and you get frustrated that you’re unable to do it.

Here’s the thing to remember: these feelings are normal. Everybody feels this way sometimes – but you don’t need to feel that way all the time! Here are some things you can do to build your confidence while you continue learning English.

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Two English Pronunciation Problems for Vietnamese Speakers

Improve English pronunciation at Language Link VietnamWhen we talk, we want people to understand what we are saying. So pronunciation is VERY important.

Listen to this conversation between a Vietnamese person and an American:

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What happened? The American could not understand the Vietnamese speaker because her pronunciation was unclear.

In my experience, both as a language learner and a language teacher, there are a LOT of pronunciation differences between English and Vietnamese. But some problems are more serious than others. A pronunciation problem becomes serious when it interferes with communication.

There are TWO common problems Vietnamese speakers have that I believe are very serious. If you consistently make these errors, people will not understand you.

  • Final consonants
  • Word stress

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Six Tips To Improve Your English Listening Skills

Build Your English Listening Skills at Language Link VietnamWhy do people have TWO ears, but only ONE mouth? Because listening is twice as hard as speaking!

Understanding spoken English can be difficult, especially if the speaker is talking very fast. Problems include:

  • Feeling frustrated because you do not understand every word
  • Only understanding people when they speak slowly
  • Finding it hard to keep up with all the information
  • Getting tired during long listening

Like all skills, listening takes practice. The following SIX tips will help you improve your listening skills.

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You Are A Teacher, Too!

You Are A TeacherHow Do We Learn Things?
We learn from parents, uncles, aunts, grand-parents, friends, and strangers. We learn from books, films, and surfing the ‘net. We learn by chatting, listening, reading, watching, and even dreaming. Even our pets teach us things – about them and about ourselves.

In fact, the whole world is a teacher to us: the mountains, the weather, the stars.

Our parents teach us because they love us – and it is what our friends do because they love us too.

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