Online learning resources

CET and The University offer a number of free sites that will help improve your English and study skills. We suggest you begin with iResearch.

Also, below is a list of online learning websites suitable for students. We suggest that you explore some of these websites and bookmark those you find most useful.

We have highlighted some sites that may be more suitable for *INTERMEDIATE level students.

General sites

Name Description
ESL Blues

A reasonably broad range of quizzes and lessons on adjectives, articles, tense, common errors, and what have you. A good, small introduction to help you navigate the 3 levels – pre-int, int and high-int – and to do some self-analysis. *INTERMEDIATE

ESL Listening Lab

A large collection of materials especially good for listening comprehension on a wide range of topics.  Activities are nicely graded as from ‘easy’ to ‘very difficult’. Often referred to as Randall’s site. *INTERMEDIATE

Using English

A great site with fun quizzes.

Kelly Brothers Website

Interesting Things for ESL Students Grammaer, Vocabulary, Pronunciation, Quizzes, Games, Puzzles, etc. This site is part of an outreach of an EFL Journal in the US. It provides access to great listening materials on Youtube. The exercises are pre-grouped into Easy, Medium, Difficult and there are even some bi-lingual tasks!! *INTERMEDIATE

English Test

Josef Essberger, a writer and English language trainer from Cambridge UK, started this website in 1997, which has grown into one of the most popular on the web. Good links are available to other sites.

Many Things

Another great site with lots of exercises. Excellent for beginner and intermediate students.

Boggles World

Flashcards, worksheets, activities.

English Banana

All free lessons, activities and games. A popular website since 2002.

ESL Cafe 

Dave’s café. Famous since 1995. *INTERMEDIATE

English Page

Thousands of free activities.

Mes English

Good for beginners, free flashcards, crossword maker, holiday pictures.

English at Home 

An excellent site for students, featuring a whole host of interactive games and tests as well as regular sections on conversational English, dealing with telephone conversations and grammar. The monthly e-mail newsletter takes the idea further, providing a wider range of tips and responding to specific requests from students.

English Space

Designed by World ORT in conjunction with the National Grid for Learning, this site is designed to offer a free English language course for refugees and immigrants in the UK. The exercises and online tasks are all beautifully designed.


A very interesting introduction to Western ideas and culture through Chinese eyes.

One Stop English

Lesson plans, worksheets, audio, video and flashcards. 

Canada ESL

A respected Canadian site known as Racoon English.

ESL Flow

A well designed Australian site.

Free Rice

A ‘do good’ site, where you can simultaneously play vocabulary or grammar or general knowledge games, and donate rice to the world’s hungry. The site is owned by the World Food Program (whoever they are? !)

News and public broadcasting services

Name Description
Australia Network

An excellent Australian government sponsored site. Very popular in the Asian region.

ABC Home

This is a portal to a whole world of digital media – radio, music, TV, podcasts, video etc.

Radio National

Advanced learners are encouraged to access Radio National – a radio network for informed people.


This should be compulsory viewing for informed Australians and people interested in understanding Australian issues and discourse features. Q & A: is the name of the program. It is on ABC TV 1 Monday nights at 9.35 featuring political debate (transcripts available).

Big Ideas

Interviews suitable for advanced learners (transcripts available).

Behind the News

Aimed at school students. Interesting clips (transcripts available).

BBC Learning English

One of the most frequently used English language learning sites on the web.

BBC English and Grammar

Activities including pronunciation videos and listening activities.


One of America's biggest news websites.


Students all over the world rate this as perhaps the most stimulating site on the web. Tremendous talks very suitable for intermediate to advanced learners. Use the subtitles to follow the speeches. You will love this site.

Voice of America

This is the US government sponsored site at Voice of America. It features news stories with questions and activities and is suitable for beginner and intermediate level learners.

Breaking News English 

Recent news stories with activities.

Free dictionary sites

Name Description

Cambridge University Press publishes a range of dictionaries for learners of English all around the world.


The Macquarie Dictionary is the standard Australian reference. It is excellent to use when checking words with a particular Australian meaning. is the popular largest and most authoritative free online dictionary and mobile reference resource website. This site provide interactive and reliable source for word meaning and usage.

Free Dictionary

This is a must visit online source for dictionaries that are relevant to various fields such as medicine, legal and finance. It’s called The Free Dictionary by Farlex. Also, the Hutchison Encyclopedia on this website is packed with loads of information and facts from around the world. Simply type in what you’re looking for and you’ll learn about it here.

Collins CoBuild

The Collins CoBuild free online dictionaries are very user-friendly and very popular based on powerful corpus studies. The Advanced Learners dictionary is used universally.

How J Say

Online talking dictionary of English pronunciation.

Academic English sites

Name Description
Write Site

An excellent interactive site accessed through Fisher Library at the University of Sydney especially suitable for postgraduate students.

English Vocabulary Exercises

A very practical website based on the academic word list.

EAP Vocabulary Exercises

High-quality gap-fill exercises based on the academic word list.

Using English for Academic Purposes

A very comprehensive site covering all the skills needed by international students. This is the umbrella site for the previous entry.

Word Sift

A dynamic new way to learn new academic vocab by highlighting words. Worth trying.

Open University

From the Open University in the UK.

Academic English Cafe

Quite a sophisticated US site.

English for University

English skills with a University focus.

Academic listening practice sites

Name Description
Authentic BBC series, each has 12 parts, all with transcripts. These are suitable for advanced learners including DEC 15 and DEC 10 students.
Academic Listening – Culture

12 short lectures on different aspects of culture, particularly inter-cultural communications, and comparative cultural analyses, amongst other topics.

Academic Listening – University

12 short lectures on different aspects of academic experience; seminars, writing tasks, lecture listening, etc.

Academic Listening - Insights

12 short lectures on different social issues; human rights, climate change, product branding amongst other topics. The series looks at the language used to present these issues in public.

 The Open University - Home

Highly recommended academic listening for the Open University UK.

 The Open University - Listening

Highly recommended academic listening for the Open University UK.

English language test sites

Name Description

This is an official website with many practice IELTS tests.

You Tube

Search IELTS speaking tests for excellent models of speaking test performance.


This is the official website.


This is the official website.

English pronunciation sites

Name Description
Cambridge English

Interactive games to practise phonemes.


A very interactive site based on scientific research.
Specially recommended for students with pronunciation problems.

ESL Discussions

English conversation questions.

Macmillan English

English language games.

Teaching English

New British Council phonemic chart.

Different varieties of English sites

Name Description
National Museum of Australia

Australia Museum: Varieties of English.

British Library

British Library: Sounds Familiar – varieties of British English.


Online pronunciation guides to 9 varieties of English.

Drama and TV series sites

Name Description
ESL Notes

ESL Notes: movie plot summaries, vocabulary, questions for class.


Transcripts to every show of the sitcom ‘Friends’.

Simply Scripts

Movie and TV scripts available online.

Some useful online strategies

Some useful online strategies and tips to help improve your English


  • Open your own blog and keep your own *journal” online
  • Join a chat room
  • Join MySpace, Facebook, Second Life, etc


  • Use the Internet for digital radio, online forums etc.
  • Download English movies, watch TV shows on I-View
  • Watch Podcasts of lectures
  • Listen to English songs. Use Youtube and use the lyrics to follow the words


  • Use Skype, iChat