Over the years that I've been helping people to improve their English I've discovered some great tools to help you achieve your goals.
This is a collection of some of my favourites.
How do people actually use a word?
Search for words in movie scripts
If you've found a word that you would really like to hear spoken by real people in a real situation then maybe finding it in a movie is the next best thing. This website lets you search millions of movie lines to find exactly the word you need. Hear your new vocabulary in lots of different contexts and in, (almost), real conversations.
Another movie script search!
With 2.8 million quotes from 225,000 titles, Pop Mystic is the world's largest TV and Movie quote search engine. With Pop Mystic you can find examples of the words that you're interested in as they are featured in movie script from many decades past, or specify everything from dates to genres. It's a great tool for understanding vocabulary!
Searching through history
Have you ever wondered how often people actually use a word? Maybe you want to know whether it's worth learning a word if people don't actually use it? Search for 8 Billion books with every query and find out right here.
There are a lot of ways to find word definitions on the internet. Various dictionary websites and of course, you can just type 'define' into Google, followed by your word and you'll get a great answer. However, vocabulary.com has thousands of definitions written by human beings to actually explain how to use the word, instead of just defining it.
Investopedia is a great website for articles, (you'll find it on our "Article based classes" page too), but they also have the most extensive business term dictionary on the internet. If you've come across a phrase or word at work and need an explanation, there's a good chance it'll be in here.
Random question generators can be great for finding discussion topics for our more relaxed and casual conversation classes. However they are also a great resource for making your speaking practice more interesting when you're alone. For techniques and tips on how to practice speaking when you're alone just ask me during our next call!
You might know Grammarly from their popular software to improve your writing. However their grammar blog is a fantastic place to find quick guides to different components of grammar written in an accessible and easy to understand way. In particular I really like their 'verb tenses' page.
Prepositions can be one of the most difficult parts of the English language to get right. It might seem like there are so many rules and remembering them all feels like climbing a mountain! This little tool can help put everything in perspective. Feel free to download it for safe keeping!