As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, learning English online is becoming one of the most popular methods and for good reason. It’s convenient because you can study anywhere at any time. It’s usually also available on any device you may use, from computers to smartphones, so you have your material available at any moment. Finally, it allows you to learn at your own pace as you get to decide your own study schedule. Whether you’re taking lessons from an online tutor or following a self-study course, like the ones we mentioned in the past, you’ll need to do some added practice that is specific to grammar and vocabulary. In this article, we’ve gathered the four best websites that will help you get that extra bit of practice.
Perfect English Grammar
As a teacher, I love this website and use it all the time with my students when I feel they need a little more practice. The main reason is its flexibility as materials and exercises are available both online and as printable PDFs. This flexibility can be just as helpful to you by giving you a choice on how you do your practice.
The website itself isn’t the most beautiful on the internet but it’s clean and minimal. The only focus is the content without any distractions from pictures, diagrams, and ads. When you first enter the Perfect English Grammar website, you’re greeted by a list of English grammar points. You can search through the list to find the grammar point you wish to review and practice. Once you click on it, you’re given an explanation of its form and the way it’s commonly used. There are no fancy pictures or timelines that help demonstrate the grammar’s usage which can seem dry and boring. I recommend using Perfect English Grammar as a place to review and practice grammar and not for learning it.
The website’s biggest strength is its large number of practice exercises. Most grammar points have several gap-fill activities that can be done in any order you want. You can choose to check your answers all together or by clicking the Check button after each sentence you fill. Exercises are divided by ones focused on a specific form (e.g. positive, negative, etc.) and mixed, meaning you’ll find all the different forms and patterns of the grammar point you’re practicing. Perfect English Grammar can be accessed on both a computer and a mobile device. On smartphones, the website looks and operates just as well as on bigger screens so it’s easy to use it to practice while you’re out and about.
Overall, Perfect English Grammar is a great place to find quick explanations and exercises for almost any English grammar point. The website doesn’t have the best-looking interface but it’s minimal enough to keep you focused on your work with very few ads floating about to distract you.
EGO 4 U
An abbreviation of English Grammar Online, EGO 4 U is a website that tries to include everything you need to get started with learning English in one place. It’s not entirely focused on vocabulary and grammar so you will find other topics, such as writing and business English, which is another subject we’ve covered in a previous article. The best part about EGO 4 U is that it’s easier to navigate compared to Perfect English Grammar and it’s a bit more colorful although still not a good looking website.
Just like Perfect English Grammar, EGO 4 U contains a lot of exercises and explanations about various grammar points. The explanations aren’t as comprehensive as Perfect but there’s enough to get you to understand what the main function and form of each grammar point is. The exercises are quite plentiful and are divided by difficulty level. This can give you a good study plan where you start by reading the explanations and then you work through the exercises from easiest to hardest.
On the other hand, EGO 4 U’s vocabulary section is quite barebones. There are a few categories to choose from but they’re not comprehensive with a lot of missing topics that are necessary for certain levels. Each category contains a list of words or expressions and some links to exercises. The website doesn’t have any way of explaining what each word in its lists means, making it not a suitable place to study vocabulary.
In conclusion, EGO 4 U is a decent place to get some practice with grammar but not so much with vocabulary. The grammar section seems a lot better fleshed out with explanations that can actually help students revise learned grammar. Therefore, it’s better to just use it for grammar and maybe leave the vocabulary for something else.
English Central is quite different from the other websites on this list as it’s not particularly grammar and vocabulary focused in the strict sense. Quite the contrary, English Central contains a collection of video lessons that can help you improve your English listening skills while at the same time teaching you grammar and vocabulary as it's used by native speakers.
Each lesson is based on a specific video or a segment of a larger one. Videos are typically taken from YouTube and other popular websites so none of them are designed for English learning. Each lesson is broken up into sections where you start by watching the video and words are highlighted for you in subtitles. You can then learn as many of the highlighted words you want by moving onto the Learn the Words section where you have to type the words as they’re being said in the video. Lessons are divided by level and by topic. You can also follow them by going through one of their curated courses.
Once again, it’s not the best-looking website but its unique approach to teaching vocabulary through videos makes it a great choice if you’re better at learning through listening. It also allows for a broader array of topics so you can choose almost anything you fancy.
My top recommendation to all of my students for building and improving vocabulary, Memrise is, in my opinion, the best website on this list. Not only is it a very well made website but also it’s got a lot of functionality to help you increase the number of words you know, whether you’re learning English for fun, for an exam, or even for business.
At its core, Memrise is a flashcard website that uses a Spaced Repetition System to help you memorize words more effectively. What sets it apart from other flashcard apps and websites is its variety of activities. Besides attempting to retain new words, Memrise will sometimes give you a multiple-choice activity where you have to pick the correct definition of a word. Other times you will have to type out the word and others you will have to choose from a few different voice recordings. This allows for an approach that is closer to blended learning which makes using the website more engaging.
The website also has gamification built into it, meaning that the more you study the more you level up. By successfully completing sections of courses, you earn points that increase your account’s level. You can even compete against your friends who also have accounts to see who’s studying the hardest. Some of the website’s features are locked behind a subscription which is almost always on sale at 50% if you are willing to pay per year.
If you’re serious about your English learning and are looking for a great place to work on your vocabulary, Memrise provides an excellent learning experience. There’s a lot of content and customizability on offer as well as an affordable option to get all the features.
There you have it! I hope this has been useful. If so, share this article with someone who wants to learn English, follow us on Instagram and try making some examples in the comments below!
See you in the next lesson!