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English Language Resources

This page contains links to English language websites to help you practice listening, timed reading, pronunciation, and more! All sites have been reviewed by our instructors. The ones we’ve listed first are interactive, meaning you can review, practice, and be quizzed on-line. Enjoy!


SPEAK Conversation Group at Illinois Tech

This is a free in-person conversation group that meets weekly on Wednesdays during the lunch hour. Meet with domestic students and English language instructors to practice English and learn more about U.S. culture. Free lunch is provided! RSVP required.

Other Speaking sites

Toastmasters International
Public speaking tips to help in public speaking and giving presentations

Bank of English conversational phrases
A huge list of phrases commonly used in discussion with audio for pronunciation


Interactive Vocabulary practice

Academic Word List exercises
Academic Word List vocabulary exercises

This site helps you create flashcards to practice new vocabulary. You can also add images and access shared lists of vocabulary from other users.


Interactive Pronunciation practice

English Central
Wide variety of short videos with pronunciation exercises

Other Pronunciation sites

Rachel's English
You Tube channel with a wide selection of pronunciation and conversational videos


Interactive Listening practice

Business English Pod
Hundreds of authentic business conversations, lessons, and quizzes

English Language Listening Library Online
Listening sites with audio and video for different levels. Includes transcripts and vocabulary quizzes

Other Listening sites

A variety of news and entertainment podcasts

Voice of America Learning English
Voice of America news podcasts, and videos on several topics. Includes audio at slower speeds and transcripts to follow along as you listen.

Scientific American
Several news, podcasts, and videos on scientific topics

National Public Radio
Several podcasts on many topics such as business, politics, contemporary topics, and issue.

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Academic lectures from MIT courses to practice academic listening skills

Check, Please Chicago
A local show about Chicago restaurants and food

Story Corps
A collection of stories on several cultural topics including justice, love, military, and parenthood

The Kids Should See This
Interesting short videos on current subjects in science and technology

The Daily Podcast
New York Times podcast that is released daily on a current event. Short podcasts of 20-30 minutes

Scientific American
Interesting short videos on current science topics

Various types of music


Interactive Reading practice

ELC Study Zone
Short readings sorted by level, followed by comprehension quizzes

Cengage Learning
Timed reading practice

Other Reading sites

Scientific American
Science and engineering related articles from a popular magazine

Reader's Digest
Hundreds of short news stories to choose from

A collection of magazine articles

A variety of links to essays, short stories, mini novels, and dictation practice

Short Story Guide
A collection of short stories to choose from

ESL bits
Selection of audiobooks and novellas to read on-line


Interactive Writing practice

UEFAP (Using English for Academic Purposes)
Practice all basics of academic writing. Click on the exercise tab on the left to access topics.

Purdue Online Writing Lab Grammar Exercises
Grammar exercises to help students practice grammar skills

Other Writing sites

Illinois Tech's Writing Center
Provides one-on-one writing instruction for current students focusing on the specific needs of the individual student.

Purdue Online Writing Lab
Purdue University Writing Center website that includes information on academic writing and citation

A tool to help you collect, cite, and store research. Online tutorial available here!

Writing about data
This site gives good information on integrating information and data into your writing.

Longman English Dictionary
Online dictionary that includes grammatical information, examples, and pronunciation

Merriam Webster’s Thesaurus
Online thesaurus which includes synonyms, antonyms, related words, and phrases

Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary
Online dictionary that includes the most popular words, as well as vocabulary quizzes

Dictionary site that also includes how the word is being used right now on Twitter and other social media sites


Interactive Grammar practice

Grammar Bytes
Grammar practice with many different grammatical errors

Ron Lee - Grammar
Grammar exercises and tips

Purdue Online Writing Lab Grammar Exercises
Grammar exercises to help students practice grammar skills

Learning about American Culture


New York Times

Life in the U.S.:

Useful guide to living in the U.S.
Guide to cultural differences in the U.S.

Exploring Chicago

These sites give up-to-date information on what is happening in and around Chicago

Chicago Metromix
Chicago Reader
Timeout Chicago
Welcome to Chicago
Chicago Magazine

Other Resources

Chicago Eater
Local magazine with different up-to-date current events and topics mostly about Chicago

Local restaurant news and ratings as well as ideas of places to dine in the city

Check, Please Chicago
Popular TV show on which local people review and discuss restaurants in the city

Chicago Tribune
Chicago’s largest daily newspaper

Chicago Sun-Times
Daily Chicago newspaper