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General Resources

VOA Learning English
This website has many news articles, which you can listen to and read at the same time. There are also articles and videos about vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and more. “Let’s Learn English” is an excellent series of videos for beginners.

Many video lessons about grammar, vocabulary, slang, pronunciation, business English, TOEFL, and more!

USA Learns
This website has great courses for beginner and intermediate students. You need to register, but it’s free and easy.

We Speak NYC
High-quality videos with transcripts, study guides, exercises, and more. Some of the information is specific to New York City, but the videos are good for English learners anywhere.


English Club

British Council and BBC Learning English
These two websites have many activities at a variety of levels. Note that there are some differences between American English and British English.


YouTube is a great way to practice listening and learn about English (and many other topics)! These channels have excellent videos about vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and more. Note that some of the other resources on this page, such as VOA Learning English, also have YouTube channels.

Speak English with Vanessa

English with Jennifer

Learn English with TV Series
Practice English with clips from Friends, Harry Potter, and other TV shows and movies!

Learn English with Bob the Canadian

English Class 101


Shaw English

Rachel’s English


Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

English Listening Lesson Library Online

TED Talks are great for advanced students. You can read the transcripts while listening.

VOA Learning English

Podcasts are also a great way to practice listening! Here are a few podcasts specifically for English learners. You can listen on the websites below, but you might prefer to use a podcast app on a smartphone or tablet.


VOA Learning English

Newsela has a lot of interesting news articles. You can change the level to make them easier to understand. You need to create an account, which is free.

BITS English Language Learning
Short stories, novels, and articles. You can read and listen at the same time.

American Literature
Novels, children’s stories, poems, and more (not all American).

ESL Literacy Readers
Many easy stories with accompanying pictures for beginners.

Reading Skills for Today’s Adults

News in Levels

The Times in Plain English


All Things Grammar
Many good PDF worksheets and other activities to practice grammar.

Shaw English
A YouTube channel with clear explanations of grammar.


English Page
Here you can learn about grammar and do practice exercises.

ESL Lounge

Agenda Web


This is a good way to look up words and find sentences with examples. There are also activities to improve your vocabulary, which require a free account.

Learning Chocolate

Language Guide

7ESL Vocabulary and Expressions

English Club Vocabulary

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online
This online dictionary provides easy-to-understand definitions, as well as information about collocations (words that go together) and idioms.

This is a fun way to practice vocabulary with flash cards. It’s often helpful to search for topics using the letters “ESL” — for example, “ESL occupations” or “ESL weather.”


You can search for a specific word or phrase, then easily listen to hundreds or thousands of examples of it being pronounced!

Rachel’s English
Many good videos about pronunciation and other topics.

Eva Easton’s American English Pronunciation



Write and Improve
This website has a variety of tasks at multiple levels. It will analyze your writing and provide feedback.

English Club Writing Skills

British Council Writing

Practice writing with a pen pal! You need to download the app before using this website.

Language Learning

You can access Mango Languages, an app to practice English and dozens of other languages, through the Newton Free Library.

Mango Languages Logo

Transparent Language, similar to Mango, is a language-learning online resource that builds listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Choose from over 100 world languages, including English language courses.

Some other popular apps for learning languages are Duolingo, Memrise, and Drops.

U.S. Citizenship

Citizenship resources text over blue background with US flag below
Click on the image above for resources to prepare for U.S. citizenship.

ELL and Literacy Collection

There are many wonderful books in the ELL and Literacy Collection on the third floor of the library! Here are some examples:

  • The True Stories series, with interesting, real-life stories at a variety of levels
  • Picture dictionaries, such as the Oxford Picture Dictionary and Word by Word
  • Multi-skill textbook series at a variety of levels, such as Ventures and English in Action

For tutors:

  • Compelling Conversations, which has conversation questions, quotations, and proverbs about a variety of topics
  • Teaching Adults: An ESL Resource Book, with many great ideas for activities to do with English learners
  • Learner English, which discusses the effects of learners’ native languages on their acquisition of English

Another resource in the ELL collection is Here We Are: Memoirs From A Legacy For Literacy. The memoirs were written by 68 learners in the Newton ELL program. Chapters include topics such as childhood, family, friendship, traditions, and more. Click here to download the PDF.

If you have any questions about these resources or would like more ideas, please contact Andrew Shapira, ELL and Literacy Coordinator, at NewtonELL@minlib.net or 617-796-1364.