english

Lingvist.io


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    Lingvist.io has an interesting foundation story, where (in short) Mait Müntel, one of its co-founders, had to develop a solution of his own for learning French. The meat and potatoes of Lingvist is “Memorize”, a Spaced Repetition based system where you learn words in context, and get them read back to you once you get the answer right. This obviously means that at first you’re going to have (almost) no idea of what’s being asked of you, but this approach is similar to how we learn new words in the real world, so it’s actually a very good idea. It also has a Reading and Listening section with an amazingly large collection of texts and audio (with scripts) that you can use to reaffirm what you’ve learned in the Memorize section. Currently, you can learn French and English from Estonian, English, French and Russian. They’ve also released apps for both iOS and Android.

    I used during my 2015 French language mission, and out of all the resources I used this gave me the highest vocabulary retention rate, without a doubt. I highly recommend it, even while it is in beta phase, but it is worth mentioning that once the beta is over, Lingvist.io may stop being free, although no price chart has been mentioned yet.

    Go to site Currently in beta

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Merriam-Webster


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    The website for the famous Merriam-Webster dictionary has a thing or two going for it, in terms of size or concept explanation. Like many other sites it has a Word of the Day Section, but my favorite section is the Trend-Watch, where words which have seen a climb in searches are explained, and the reason for their sudden climb in popularity reasoned.

    Go to site

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Dictionary.com


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    Dictionary.com’s sheer reach commands respect. The main site has enough language resources to make any lover of the language of Shakespeare go weak in the knees, including games and blogs with interesting articles on the proper usage of this language. The dictionary and thesaurus sections are compellingly complete, and each dictionary entry comes with audio pronunciation, live usage examples, ethymology and origin for almost every word.

    Go to site

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Simple English Wikipedia


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    Stop the presses! It seems the English language Wikipedia is not the only version of Wiki in English!

    The Simple English Wikipedia is a version of Wikipedia which is edited using a limited vocabulary of 850 basic and popular English words, with (usually) shorter sentences and a few modifications to the grammar that make it more regular and friendly to a non-native speaker. Although this is not its only one, one of this Wiki’s main goals is to make the same information there is in the regular caffeinated version of Wiki available to younger children or people who might have just started learning this language. It is a pretty good halfway step if you find yourself intimidated by the sea of information that exists in the English version.

    Go to site

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Duolingo


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    Duolingo is Luis von Ahn’s second brainchild (von Ahn is also ‘father’ to CAPTCHA, which you must have seen at least once in your life unless you have been living under a rock). In his own words, von Ahn wanted to know how to deliver quality English language education to the millions of people without access to classes, and he came up with a brilliant idea: the students would “pay” for their classes translating the Internet (and by this I mean the whole internet–from Wikipedia to other less well-known large clients).

    Duolingo works like this: you learn the language of your choosing through intuitive, practical writing and listening/reading comprehension exercises, translating phrases from and to your base language, or writing them as they’re spelled to you. Once you have a certain level (since you earn points for each completed lesson, as if playing in an arcade game) Duolingo will start showing you an approximate percentage of reading comprehension in your target language and invite you to participate in translating or correcting an actual article.

    Go to site

 

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