Articles and Resources

Welcome to a revised and expanded section of my website: Articles and Resources 
I have to admit I was a bit lazy about adding new blog posts, but recently I’ve had people asking me a lot of questions about my online courses, so I thought I should try to answer some of these questions in some short articles. I hope they will be both interesting and useful – and that the new ‘Resources’ section will point you towards some of the best resources that are available online. There’s some great stuff on the internet to help English learners, but there is also, frankly, a lot of rubbish! So hopefully this new section will save you some time.

Please do contact me if you would like any more specific recommendations.


Good Online Learning (2)

In a previous blog I wrote about the practical aspects of taking online language courses. I’d now like to make some suggestions about how to get the most out of online lessons.

What are the advantages of 2 to 1?

There’s no question that 1 to 1 courses give you maximum individual attention. So if you want to work on things like pronunciation or writing, 1 to 1 is probably the best option. But over the last five years I’ve done quite a few...

good online learning

Good Online Learning (1)

Many years ago I wrote a short article called “How To Be a Better Student”, which was given to every new student at English Language Training. I’ve just re-read it, and the advice still seems useful – eg use a monolingual dictionary, organise your...

online english courses

Online English Courses vs Face-to-Face

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, back in those times we now call ‘normal’, I did a small amount of teaching via Skype. Now, after two months of doing nothing but online English courses, I’d like to share some thoughts about my recent experience. There...

“Variety is the spice of life.” Part One

Well this blog is really an end-of-year taking stock: I’m getting ready for the new academic year and at the same time looking back on my last year of teaching. And what stands out is the fantastic variety of teaching I’ve done, with a...


“But I was never taught this at school!” is something that most English language teachers in the UK have heard many times.

Welcome to all visitors!

This is a great first post for me in my Blog section, as I’m really excited to have my new website up and running. It’s taken a lot of time and effort.


Dictionaries / Vocabulary

If you’re interested in the origin of words

Good online dictionary with British English audio files

Good online dictionary with British English audio files

Comprehensive list of English idioms and much else beside


A guide to the Cambridge suite of exams

If you’re interested in the origin of words

Good online dictionary with British English audio files

Language Practice

Everything for the language learner

Caroline and Pearson Brown’s excellent collection of useful exercises (and access to free email lessons) grammar, phrasal verbs, Business English, listening, etc

A wonderful site with lots of information, exercises, games, tests, etc. for young learners, adults and professionals

A wide range of activities for learners

Listening / Radio

For plenty of authentic listening, live or in daily podcast form

Natural conversations with free transcripts

Large selection of regularly updated podcasts, including material for elementary learners

Several daily podcasts on a variety of topics in the news

Improve your listening with dictations of news stories (American)

Great site where you can practise listening to songs and completing the lyrics

Wonderful site where you can watch some fascinating talks from excellent speakers on a wide variety of topics, from technology to design, from entertainment to medicine, and from business to global issues

An amazing collection of “How to…” videos in different categories like ‘creative and culture’, ‘food and drink’, ‘health and wellbeing’, ‘technology and cars’. Accents are British and many of the videos also have English subtitles


One of the world’s great websites and not only for news

The Financial Times site, political and financial news and much more besides

The American angle – the international version of the famous US daily Herald Tribune

A great weekly news magazine, and not only economics. Pay a subscription and you can get their audio version too

A really intelligent and beautifully designed newspaper site