Discover a free resource for proofreading your writing and a cheaper Rosetta Stone web alternative. Also, one great web tool (Google invested in them) that analyzes your English speech and an audio program based on a proven method for learning to speak the language. Let’s start.
1. Use Cramster to get your text proofread by professionals
The skill/s you’ll improve: writing
Cost: Free, as long as your text isn’t longer than 300 words
Website: Cramster Q&A
Reason why I recommend it: Cramster is originally a website to help students. However, several months ago they introduced a module where students can submit their essays, thesis statements and other types of text which is then proof-read by professionals for free. I’ve talked to one of their moderators there and they said non-students are more than welcome to come and submit their text.
Cramster is free if you have a text that’s up to 300 words. To extend that limit to 1000 words, you need to pay (it’s well worth the money). See the below screenshot for an example of a proofread text on Cramster Q&A forums.
2. Use .uk forums to find native English speakers
The skill/s you’ll improve: reading, writing
Website: Search Google for .uk forums
Reason why I recommend it: Most of the time we use our English skills to talk to other people. What’s a better way to practice your skills than conversing with native British/American speakers?. I know a lot of sites with native English speakers, but they are mostly portals and you can hardly find any conversational English there.
Forums are the best place to find this type of language. It’s hard to find .com forums with only native speakers. The reason is that .com became a synonym for an international domain. However, I found forums located on co.uk domains to be full of native British speakers (yeah, I know, they’re may be not Americans, but British is very, very similar to American English.)
Take a look:
The logic behind reading and participating in such forums is immersion. For many people the best way to immerse themselves into English is to talk to people whose first language is English!
This tip is a great alternative if language exchange forums don’t work for you…if you know Polish, for example, you may find that not many people are interested in learning your language on these boards. However, co.uk forums are FULL of native people. Try and ask them for help from time to time, they’ll surely help .
3. Try LiveMocha.com, a Rosetta Stone online alternative
The skill/s you’ll improve: listening, speaking, reading, writing
Cost: Free for the basic lessons, they have a premium lesson plan which is not free but very cheap
To be frank, they aren’t that good as Rosetta Stone. However, I would consider them a decent free alternative. They have a free and a premium course for learning English, which incorporate some similar teaching principles from Rosetta Stone. Take a look:
I’ve seen hundreds of sites trying to teach you English. LiveMocha has one of the best methods available. You can also find some other good sites like Livemocha by typing the following query into Google: related:http://www.livemocha.com.
4. Get Pimsleur MP3s online
The skill you’ll improve: speaking, listening
Cost: Depending on where you get it from
Website: Pimsleur courses from Audible
Reason why I recommend it: Pimsleur is a world-class approach to quickly learn how to communicate in any language, not just English. I claim this from my experience with many audio learning courses. By the way, Pimsleur is also excellent for learning another languages as well. They use the same proven approach for Russian, German, and so on(and why change it when it works?).
5. Learn English while watching videos with EnglishCentral (this is the site Google Ventures invested into)
The skill you’ll improve: speaking
Google invested into EnglishCentral for a good reason. EnglishCentral has very innovative technology. Try their demo to see what I mean. My impression? I was very surprised seeing how accurate their algorithm is. They were really good at detecting the words I didn’t pronounce well. Take a look: