Tune in to ESL Podcast

Plug in your earphones, turn up the volume and tune in to ESL Podcast. Try it out daily or weekly anytime! ESL Podcast is a wonderful way to practice listening and learn about interesting and diverse topics during your free time. You can also practice your pronunciation and speaking skills based on the audio.Topics include English language (of course!), dining, medicine and health, transportation, business, daily life, and more.  Recommended for intermediate to advanced learners (Levels 400+).

ACE - ESL podcast

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10 Tips for ESL/EFL Academic Writers

You’ve mastered the basic essay model of introduction, body, and conclusion. Now it’s time to advance that model into a complex and fully-supported academic or scholarly essay. This is a challenge. You have to convey your ideas in engaging sentences, transition smoothly between paragraphs, provide credible and convincing evidence or examples, and more–and don’t forget the basics of English grammar!

Though academic writing is a challenge, many students can succeed with practice. If you put in the hard work of reading other works, rewriting your own work in multiple drafts, proof reading, and peer reviewing, it will all pay off! As you do all that, try Jane Mackay’s 10 Tips for ESL/EFL academic writing writers (and everyone else too). In her many years as a copy editor, Mackay has read and edited a lot of work by non-native English writers. Therefore, her article offers tips and insights that are especially useful for English learners.

Recommended for advanced learners (Levels 600-800/EAP).

10 Tips for ESL/EFL academic writers article preview:

ACE - academic writing tips

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Practice English Grammar

Grammar rules–remember the comma, don’t add that the es for plural this time, but not always…there are so many English grammar rules. It can be difficult to understand and remember them all, but the app Practice English Grammar can help you! The app offers many grammar practice resources:

  • 1000+ questions
  • 750+ flashcards
  • 100+ learning games
  • 16 topics
  • grammar articles
  • detailed feedback on questions.
  • offline mode availability

Practice English Grammar is available on Android and iOS. Recommended for all learners (Levels 100-800/EAP).

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Opposites Match

Short and tall. Day and night. Sun and moon. Black and white. These are words with opposite meanings, also called antonyms. Do you know many antonyms? Learn new ones and challenge those you know with a matching app game! In other words, you match one word with another that has the opposite meaning, so you get an antonym pair. Try it out with two apps, one for Android and for iOS.

Recommended for beginner to intermediate learners (Levels 100-300).

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English Central

A lot of English students learn from Youtube videos. Though it’s great for listening, speaking, or pronunciation practice, Youtube is a passive learning tool. Meaning, you only receive information; you can’t be active or offer responses. Other video resources are trying to change that; they want videos to be active learning tools. English Central is one such video site that is specifically designed for English learners. They have many videos on multiple topics and learning features like subtitles, featured vocabulary, listening exercises as you watch, and 1-0n-1 tutoring. Individuals can register for free to start. Recommended for all learners (Levels 100-800/EAP).

If this interactive video learning is what you like, try out English Central.

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Level 100 Study Page

Beginner students, we have a Level 100 Study Page! Use the page for class review and extra practice. The page has 10 topics. Each topic has review information, lessons, videos, exercises, or worksheets. The resources are in this post, or go to the Level 100 link from the top menu.

Level 100 Extra Study Material

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Click on the topics below for extra practice. Beginner students can learn from study pages, worksheets, videos, and more.


  1. Basic conversations
  2. Describe people, places, and things
  3. Ask for and give information
  4. Ask and answer questions about a person’s job/occupation
  5. Ask about and describe health problems
  6. Ask about and describe the weather
  7. Ask and tell about future activities
  8. Know American currency/money and prices
  9. Listen to and write letters, words, numbers
  10. Typing in English

What’s the Word?

Do you like puzzles, clues, or guessing games? Then try out the vocabulary game app 4 Pics 1 Word! It’s very popular, with over 940,000 downloads. In the game, you will see four pictures. They are clues for an English word. Type in letters from an alphabet bank to guess the word!

The game can be played on your desktop computer, and it’s also available to download for Android and iOS. Recommended for beginner and intermediate learners (Levels 100-300).


Desktop computer

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Riverside eLibrary at your fingertips

Reading is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in English learning. You can learn from educational and academic text, but you can also enjoy the learning process with creative fiction or nonfiction books. Through all these kinds of texts, you can improve the obvious, your reading ability, but that improvement also extends to other skills and learning content like grammar, writing, vocabulary, cultural ideas and themes, current news, social issues, critical thinking, and creativity.

Now, reading has gotten very convenient with electronic books, or e-books. But accessing those e-books may be difficult because you can’t find an e-book database or e-books can get pricey.

Well, even that problem has a solution! With the app 3M Cloud Library, you can access e-books through your local public library. For UCR students, the local library is Riverside Main Public Library. E-books of various genres are available online for multiple devices and e-readers. It’s simple to get started:

  1. Make a valid library card at Riverside Main Library located downtown at 3581 Mission Inn Avenue (or other local library; you can search for the closest location to you on the 3M Cloud website). If you can’t drive there yourself, you can go by bus, taxi, or drive with friends or your host family.
  2. Download 3M Cloud Library App.
  3. Subscribe to the app service with your library card.

That’s it. Start reading and learning 3M Cloud Library! Of course, you can always try out the traditional library access with Riverside Public Library.

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Practice with official IELTS

We want you to do well on your tests, so do you–and IELTS does too! So don’t forget that they offer many helpful resources on their official page for test takers. They not only give you information on their tests, but also practice materials. For example, you can read about how to register, how to prepare, FAQs, or view a test sample and purchase practice materials.

Preview some of the resources below and go to their office page for more.


ACE - ielts test takers

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