What is your #1 ESL Learning Resource?
I have a question for you. What’s your number one online resource for ESL learning? Is it your favourite dictionary, a language exchange forum? Did you choose Youtube or Netflix? Are you a TED.com fan? Of course I’d be thrilled if you picked www.esltopten.com, or our Instagram profile, however, there is something even better.
Your number one best buddy for everything English is …
Yes, you heard me right! I don’t think there’s another language learning resource in the world that has as much to offer. Put simply, Google is the doorway to every ESL (English as a second language) learning resource out there. Now, before we get down to it, let me give you three essential tips to make the most of your internet searches:
- All your searches about English (vocabulary, grammar, listening resources, test practices) should be In ENGLISH! Let me repeat that. Search in English!
- Don’t use a lesser search engine. Use Google! Forget about Naver or any other search engine when it comes to the English language. Google is #1 for searches for a reason, especially in, or anything related to English.
- Make your searches as specific as possible.
Sometimes, using google images to understand a new word is faster and clearer than trying to understand a definition. This is especially true when applied to nouns. Imagine how clear it would be if you typed in a word like “manhole cover” and saw this:
If I’m just searching for a quick definition or an example sentence of a new word, I’ll use Google instead of going to my favorite, trusted, online dictionary. Why? Because it’s going to find the information faster. More importantly, if I don’t like or understand the first definition that comes up as a result, I’ve got another 400,000 to choose from.
An easy way to find definitions is to type in the word, phrasal verb or even an idiom you’re interested in with the letters “def”, which is short for definition. Or, if you have another 0.8 seconds to waste, type in the complete word “definition.” (Hey, I’m trying to make this faster and easier for you!)
Now, let’s say you want to know the difference between “affect” and “effect”. You could go to a dictionary or a translator and look up the words, spending time reading each definition. If you’re lucky, your dictionary of choice may even have some example sentences. But with Google, all you would need to do is type: “Difference between affect and effect” in the search bar and boom! This is what you’d see:
Nothing is going to get you there as quickly and effectively because that’s what Google is truly great at—sorting, categorizing and finding information. It’s their thing!
STUDYING FOR ENGLISH EXAMS
How about another example of how Google is your super English study buddy? What if you have a big exam coming up and you want to get some practice. You could go to the library and hope they have a recent textbook or practice exam book that is available. And, if they do, you’ll be lucky to finish using it before it has to be returned 2 weeks later. Or, you could go to Google and again do a specific search. (Remember, in English!) Type: “Practice test with answers, IELTS”, or “Practice Writing test, TOEFL” or “CAE, Use of English, practice”.
ENGLISH SKILLS AND ONLINE RESOURCES
Want to practice a skill, such as listening or brushing up on grammar? Or maybe you’re looking for a great video on English pronunciation. The more specific you can be, the better your results will be. For this example, I just typed “Best English listening practice” in the search bar and I got over 32 million results! Incredible, right? I think I’ll only have time to read 20 million, lol!
Remember, no dictionary, website, or other online resource comes close to having the power and scope of Google. Google really is your best English study buddy! Though ESL TOP TEN is a very close second.
What do you use Google for? And if you’ve never taken advantage of Google as a study aide, what’s your very first search going to be? Write your Google search terms in the comments below! I’d love to see how you’re using this super tool!
Bye for now! And I’ll catch you next time.