8 September 2013

8 cool websites for the learners at upper-intermediate level and higher

What can be easier than a question of a student who has successfully passed his or her English exam at an upper-intermediate level: “Miss, what shall I do now? Where can I practice my English? Are there any interesting websites out there?” The obvious answer could be: “You speak good English now, there is an indefinite number of websites in English, just choose something”. However, my students were usually less than satisfied with such an indefinite answer. The formula “Just do something” obviously doesn’t work with many of us and we prefer some specific piece of advice from our teachers and trainers. So now I provide them with a list of websites chosen to practice all four language skills in a fun way. Hope your students will also appreciate them and won’t lose touch with such a beautiful English language.    

1.   Interested  in world news? A CNN fan?

That is one of the best sites for English learners to improve their listening skills. It is run by CNN and based on their own news stories, grouped into thematic categories. The site allows visitors to read, listen and view video and do a series of interactive activities to test comprehension.

2.   Enjoy listening to the radio? Ever aspired to make your own radio program?

The site was founded by two experienced English teachers quite a long time ago and has proved to be a truly motivating and educational listening resource since then. It provides students with a vast amount of listening material from different sources, including learners themselves as it enables learners and teachers to make their own radio programs. All listening material is accompanied with a quiz, which makes any listening meaningful.

3.   In need of grammar and vocabulary practice?

While most learners have enough of grammar and vocabulary quizzes at their language schools, amazingly, but there are still quite a few of students who find grammar and vocabulary tests and quizzes exciting. The site provides numerous quizzes and games for learners of different ages and levels and has an impressive section particularly for advanced learners.

4.   Feel insecure about American idiomatic expressions?

Idioms, idioms... a nightmare for a great number of learners of English. However, native speakers do use them in their everyday conversations. Spend just a minute a day and learn the most common idioms used in American English and their origin in a very exciting way and, what is more important, in context. Just a minute and you’ll be able to understand and use frequently used idioms like “dressed to kill”, or “under the weather”.

5.       Fancy uncovering English words in a fun way?

“Find and 'pop' as many words as you can in the letter grid before your time runs out. Create words from groups of eight letters. Test your powers of deduction by uncovering the secret word.”  Word Games is a section of the website, where you are provided with 10 quite challenging but extremely exciting word games, some of which can be launched on an iphone and ipad. The site also offers a variety of short stories, all of which are rated according to the age group and length.
 Personally I absolutely adore this site - challenging but extremely exciting. "Multipopword" (the green one) is my favourite.
6.    Looking for some writing tips?

Whether you like writing or not, you can hardly avoid it in your life. So if you have to deal with it anyway, learn how to do it right. This informative website, made by a groups of professional writers, provides you with smart and useful tips on tricky vocabulary, special expressions, misused words, punctuation, different styles,  grammar etc. You can also subscribe by email and will be daily sent a grammar, punctuation or vocabulary tip.  

7.  Feel like training your logical thinking?

Here you are required to solve real life problems, mathematical puzzles and riddles. The site is not for those who are learning English but for those who think in English. You’ve learned English already – it’s time to have some fun now. 

8.   Dreaming of meeting new friends? Want a SAFE environment?

This website hosts chatrooms on different topics and, what is of vital importance, is constantly moderated to make guests feel safe. Whether you’re a music or a movie fan or just feel like contemplating about philosophical issues, you’re bound to find mates. All you need is to register and … put all you’ve learned into practice.


  1. What a great list of resources, Lana. Thank you for sharing.