Find lessons & practice materials for ESL classes, review basic English skills and grammar, expand vocabulary, and increase comprehension with reading, explanations, and games.
Do you want to understand English better? Do you need English for school or work or to reach a special goal?
Do you teach English and need ideas for lessons and reading or vocabulary practice?
EnglishHints can help you learn more English and understand it better, read and write it more fluently, and prepare for English-language tests and projects.
It can also provide activities, lesson plans, and materials to make teaching ESL easier and more rewarding.
At EnglishHints.com you can learn or review
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If you're an ESL teacher, you can find
The best way to learn vocabulary is to read and practice it over and over in context.
The easiest way to improve reading skills is to read a lot on the same subject, so that you recognize the ideas and vocabulary and can integrate them into your own thinking.
For these reasons, among others, EnglishHints tries to connect and cross-link reading, activities, and vocabulary practice as much as possible.
The English Detective newsletter is especially useful for making those connections.
Each monthly issue has a theme with related readings and resources, and often also vocabulary and practice activities.
The first year and a half of English Detective featured readings, videos, and practice activities to teach academic vocabulary, especially the vocabulary of the Academic Word List (AWL) The Academic Vocabulary Word List pages give the themes, vocabulary used in the readings, and practice activities of the first 23 issues (that taught the entire AWL.) You can also see the back issues here.
Since mid 2014, English Detective has focused on themes, readings, and resources likely to be especially useful to ESL classes and teachers. It links to ideas on how to teach different topics as well as interesting reading or listening activities for students, with related practice.
Subscribe below (or on the nav bar to the left, which also links to more information.)
read, and practice whenever you can-- then practice some more!
√ Even a few minutes a day will make a real difference! Play a game, learn an English idiom, or do an exercise from this site when you have a few minutes free.
√ Make yourself think in English! Tape notes to the bathroom mirror, sing a song in English while you clean or do chores, listen to the radio or a podcast in English while you exercise.
√ Talk to anyone you can in English!
√ Read a lot! Study English language newspapers online, analyze journal articles in your field, read stories to your children, even read ads—-anything that makes you think in English!
Try this short quiz to see if the lessons and exercises in EnglishHints.com could help you learn English online. (See bottom of the page for suggestions about related pages.)
(After answering and checking each question, click the right-facing arrow to get the next one.)
For questions 1-6, choose one or more:
If you want to know more about questions 1-2, see List of Suffixes. For question 3 see Negative Prefix List. For 4-6 see Common Idioms, which has the links to the alphabetical index pages. Question 7 is explained in "Why study grammar?" on the English Grammar Lessons introductory page.
In question 8, all of the sentences are similar in meaning. However, A, C, and D talk about considering only profitability (A), costs (C) or value (D). The example sentence talks about “all the different ways it may impact their business.” Sentence B is similarly inclusive. It talks about its “various possible effects on their profits and other products”—not just its costs or profit.
Incidentally, much of the vocabulary for these sentences is taken from the Teamwork and Technology page in Vocabulary Games. ‘Analyze’ and ‘analyst’ can be practiced in the readings and exercises accompanying English Detective 1, and much more business language can be practiced in issues 11 and 12. See Academic Vocabulary Word Lists page 1 and 3.
For help planning what you need to learn in English, see Learning English Online. For specific suggestions by level, or for specific purposes like preparation for a test or business English, see Study English Online.
Remember, just minutes a day studying English will bring you closer to your goals. Enjoy the journey!