BBC Learning English

The BBC learning English website is a very complete with lots of listening and pronunciation activities.

One of the best free sites on the internet for students of all levels.

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This site is subscription only but you can try it for free for 30 days.

They offer a top quality course which allows you to practise all the skills.

It’s an original fun interactive course based on the idea that daily practise is the best way to learn a language. Each lesson takes about 15 or 20 minutes to complete so it’s ideal for those who don’t have a lot of time.


It’s a step up from free applications such as Duolingo which are also a great way to improve.

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The Coursera platform allows you to sign up for university courses all around the world. There’s a huge variety of courses available mostly running for about 6 weeks or so. They are generally video based (usually with the option of subtitles in English) so it’s another excellent way to hone your listening skills and build vocabulary.  You can kill two birds with one stone: learn about a subject which interests you and improve your English at the same time.

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BBC radio 4

Here you can find lots of podcasts on all kinds of interesting topics.

No matter what your level, listening to the radio helps your ear get used to the music of the language.  You can listen while sitting on the train or driving to work, or just have it on in the background at home.

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The Guardian

The Guardian is a top quality independent daily newspaper with news from around the world. Just reading the newspaper for 10 minutes everyday can make a big difference to your English over time.  Learning to understand newspaper language can be challenging at first but it’s well worth the effort.

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Reading in English is fantastic way to build your vocabulary. The golden rule is to read the kinds of thing you’d read in your own language. If you prefer non-fiction you could read autobiograhies or magazines which specialise in a hobby you have.
And if you like fiction, you are especially fortuante because novels and plays are a rich source of vocabulary and an excellent way to improve your English. The suggestions below are all classics but any contemporary novel wiil help you progress.

Animal Farm – George Orwell

1984 - George Orwell

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Tales of the Unexpected - Roald Dahl

First Person Singluar – Haruki Murakami

Other ways to practise

Watching TV series and films in English with English subtitles is probably the most powerful self study tool available. Apart from Netflix, HBO, Disney, Apple TV etc, you can also watch British TV by using a VPN.

When watching, I recommend you alternate between active and passive sessions.
Passive sessions involve watching a show without stopping just for enjoyment. Active sessions are when you stop the video and note down new vocabulary and a translation into your own language. If you write new words in the context of a sentence. you'll remember it more easily. When you re-read the words even months later, you'll often remember the exact scene it came from.

Practise watching shows in Enlgish without subtitles too from time to time without stopping the video. This can be frustrating at first but by removing the crutch of subtitles, you force your brain to process the information differently and will greatly improve your ability to understand gist.

Whatever you enjoy doing in your own language you’ll enjoy doing in English as well.
You can learn an enormous amount by yourself, partcularly with regards to listening and reading comprehension.

OET Self Study

Apart from numerous activities which you can find on the official OET website, I recommend the following.

Zero to Finals

This is a great site for refreshing your medical knowledge and learning English vocabulary at the same time.

Go to the website

Health Check

This BBC podcast is excellent for practising your listening skills on a wide variety of health related issues.

Go to the podcast

The Guardian - Medicine

A good way to build vocabulary and improve your reading skills is to read articles related to medicine in newspapers such as the Guardian.  You will find a good mix of medical and lay terminology.

Go to the website


Fastrack IELTS
One of the best free sites is Fastrack IELTS presented by Asiya. Her videos deal with all parts of the IELTS exam and are focused on how to maximise your score. Easy to follow and excellent practical advice on how to approach each part of the test.

YouTube Channel