1 out of every 4 people in the world speaks English. That doesn’t seem like much at first glance, so let’s do the math. There are around 7.9 billion people globally, and around 1.3 billion of them speak some degree of English. The stakes are a lot higher.
If you want your child access to this broader community, they have to learn English at an early age. This can do wonders for the opportunities and connections they have access to in the future.
There are plenty of online resources and tools that can help ESL (English as Second Language) and ELL (English Language Learners) improve their grasp of the language. There are so many options between websites, apps, and online tutorial services available that it can be overwhelming. You can start your search with these top 3 free websites for young ESL learners:
You’ve probably heard of Oxford and Merriam-Webster. These are old English dictionaries that are staples in every classroom. While they have websites that are essentially online dictionaries, they can be very tricky to navigate, especially as a non-native speaker.
Meaning.io is a better alternative. It has a simple interface that covers all the essentials. You can type in a word or phrase, and it will direct you to the following:
- Word Origin/ Lineage
There are no distracting sections or widgets. Your child could safely navigate this site on their own.
You don’t want your child to only know the basics like “hi,” “yes,” and “thank you.” You want them to be fluent enough in the language to make meaningful opportunities in the future. To do that, they need to learn grammar rules, vocabulary, literature, and slang. With so many things to learn, it can be easy to forget. You have to actively practice to make sure these lessons stick.
Quizlet is like a study buddy. Notes, flashcards, tests, you can create your own study plan and use it to keep yourself in check. It also has a great library of resources you can use from more advanced learners.
Quillbot is a paraphrasing tool that also comes with a grammar and plagiarism checker. Most people use it to polish their compositions before submitting them for school or work to make sure they catch small mistakes because, let’s face it, even native speakers struggle with the basic grammar and spelling rules.
ESL learners, both beginner and advanced, can use Quillbot to check themselves. You won’t always have access to a teacher to go over your work. Sometimes mistakes develop even with a teacher present because they don’t have time to go over every students’ individual needs. Quillbot can help you identify common grammar and spelling mistakes and train you to avoid making them in the future. It can also help you make your essays sound more natural.
Young students can write short essays and journal entries to practice what they learned. Over time, they’ll learn the difference between “there,” “their,” and “they’re.”
One of the great things these 3 sites have in common is that they transition well. Your child could use them in elementary school, and they will still be relevant to their needs in University and work. They can adapt to the users’ learning needs.
Have you tried any of these services? Let me know what you think in the comments!