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Free Online Reading and Listening Resources for ESL Learners

April 2020

For English language learners who want to continue their studies at home during this time, there are a wide variety of online resources available. In fact, it can be challenging to know where to begin! Here are six free online resources that you can recommend to learners that will help them develop their reading and listening skills while they are unable to attend language classes.

Reading Skills for Today's Adults

This project was designed to create leveled reading selections that are appropriate for and valued by adult learners.  These materials, combined with the research-proven strategies of repeated reading and guided oral reading, aid in building learners' fluency and comprehension skills.  The focus of these reading selections will be on topics such us:  Civics, Employment, Housing, Health, School, Money, and Government. 

USA Learns

USA Learns is a free website funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support immigrants who want to learn or improve their English skills as they become part of American society. Designed as an online tool for learning English outside of a classroom, the site offers contextualized practice activities in listening, reading, writing, speaking and life skills necessary for success at work and in the community.

Learn English Free: English Club

EnglishClub is a free website designed to help beginning to advanced English Langauge Learners develop their English skills. Learners can find activities and materials to learn about and practice listening, reading, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. The site includes audio tracks, videos with subtitles, interactive quizzes, and forums where learners can chat with other English learners from around the world. Teachers can also find materials and lesson plans.

5 Minute English

Learners will find short lessons and explanations on a variety of topics, including reading, grammar, listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, and idioms. After each lesson, there is a short comprehension quiz for learners to test their understanding.

A Digital Workbook for Beginning ESOL

This free online book contains three levels of interactive grammar lessons and reading activities for beginning students of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). The grammar section includes a select set of YouTube videos, and the three original readers include short picture or chapter stories. Each lesson is accompanied by self-correcting exercises.

Bow Valley Readers

ESL students can access seven levels of stories written for adult learners. Each story focuses on a different learner, and has an accompanying listening track so learners can listen as well as read the story.

Adult learners working on computers in a computer lab

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