Free sites to immerse yourself in English

Thanks to Karen Schweitzer for another of her guest posts:

Immersion is one of the quickest ways to learn almost any language, and English is no exception. To immerse yourself, you can move to an English speaking country, enroll in a fee-based English immersion education program, or take advantage of the many sites online that focus on learning, speaking, writing, and listening to the English language. A few free sites worth exploring include:

EnglishClub.com – EnglishClub.com is an ESL website that provides a wide range of resources for English students. Some of the most useful resources include games, chat rooms, discussion forums, subtitled videos, and pronunciation tutorials.

LingQ – LingQ is an online community for people who want to practice English and other languages with native speakers. After signing up for a free membership, LingQ users can also take a limited number of free language lessons.

Busuu – This free online language learning community makes it easy for members to learn English for free. Busuu members can study learning units and communicate with native speakers via video chat.

Odeo – Odeo is a search engine that can be used to locate English audio and video from around the web. Odeo users can find TV shows, podcasts, and other material and save it to a playlist for later viewing.

Hulu – Hulu makes many different English television shows, movies, and video clips available over the Internet. Nearly all of the site’s offering can be watched for free without having to download anything.

VoiceAmerica – VoiceAmerica is a talk radio network with free streaming English radio programs. More than 300 free programs are available on the network’s seven channels.

Project Gutenberg – Project Gutenberg provides free ebooks in English and links to other books around the web. Many of the books on the Project Gutenberg site are the sort of classics that a student would study in university.

The New York Times – The New York Times website is a great place to find English news on almost any topic. The site also offers cartoons, crossword puzzles, word games, and blogs that welcome comments.

Writing.com – This online writing community is perfect for English language learners who want to practice their writing skills. The community welcomes writers at any level and provides free memberships to everyone.

My Language Exchange – My Language Exchange uses a proven language exchange method (the Cormier method) to help people learn English and other languages fast. After signing up for the free service, you can practice writing English with a pen pal or practice speaking English with a video chat partner.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about online degrees for OnlineDegreePrograms.org.

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