Books on the Desk

Learning Resources

My students ask me all the time how they can improve their speaking skills. In this post, I will provide you with some useful tips for strengthening your English skills.


What type of learner are you?

In this post, I'll talk about including output in your daily study time. This includes speaking and writing. Here is where you have the opportunity to practice the things you learned while you were reading and listening. After you've taken the time to do that, you need to put what you've learned to practical use.

Open Books


Reading Challenge

Websites & Apps

Here are some good websites, apps, and tools for learning, studying, and practicing English. Most of these sites are free. Some have premium services you can purchase. My personal favorite is Duolingo.

Websites, Dictionaries & Books

VOA: Learning English (American English)

International Business Etiquette, Manners & Culture

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

National Public Radio (NPR)

Oxford Picture Dictionary - This is a monolingual book that was made for adults. You can purchase it online from Amazon or Book Depository. Book Depository ships worldwide for free, so all of the links listed here will lead to their website. I order many books from them. Bilingual pictures dictionaries are also available. It's a great way to increase your vocabulary of basic English words. I use the French version for my studies.

I recommend the monolingual book, but there are bilingual versions available for native French,  Chinese

KoreanHaitian-CreoleSpanishArabicVietnameseBrazilian PortugueseFarsiJapaneseRussianThai, and Urdu speakers.

Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary (online) - this is a dictionary created for English language learners. The definitions are simplified and uses language that is easier to understand.

Merriam-Webster's Visual Dictionary (online) - this is a good resource for obtaining visual references for new vocabulary.

Oxford Living Dictionary (online) - this is a really good online monolingual dictionary that provides American English as well as British English explanations. It also provides explanations for idioms, which is my favorite feature. Each definition comes with a list of sentences that helps you with using the word or idiom. Oxford also provides a learner's dictionary that you can access here.

DK Visual Dictionaries - I recently purchased a DK Visual Dictionary for Japanese/English from Book Depository (free shipping). It turned out to be a GREAT bilingual visual dictionary. I like it much better than the Oxford so I wanted to recommend it here. DK provides bilingual versions for speakers of other languages including: FrenchChineseSpanishArabicPortugueseJapaneseRussianGermanItalianPolish, and Hindi.

Investopedia (online) - this is an online dictionary that is useful for learning finance-related words.