Sometimes I go over to Yahoo Answers and see if I can help somebody with their questions about learning English and today I had a nice surprise: two of my answers on Yahoo Answers were chosen as Best Answer.

The first one said, “I need agod website for learning english?” Which, of course, should be, “I need a good website for learning English”

And instead of just answering with some website urls I decided to show a few different types of websites to look for:

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
You’ve got thousands of choices:

1. Lessons for English learners
Youtube is a good place to start. Check out DuncanInChina, SteveFord, EnglishForTwo. Surf around and find something you like.

2. Reading and listening for native speakers
Search and surf. Look for children’s stories if you are a beginner. Find stories and games with both reading and listening. BBC has some.

3. Community sites where you can chat with teachers and learners.
Some of my students like paltalk; lingq has an interesting system; you can take classes on wiziq and similar sites.

The second question was on a topic that I’ve been thinking quite a bit about lately, and I’ll probably have to talk about in it’s own blog post soon: “Who can help me find an English reading Teacher?”

This question is something I hear a lot and it bothers me. Why do you need a teacher? If you want to learn to play the guitar then just get a guitar and start playing, and start listening to a lot of guitar music.

Anyway, here is my answer:

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters
Are you sure that you need a teacher? Why?

Even after you find a teacher, 80 or 90% of your time learning English will be learning by yourself. I think you should just find some reading and listening that you like, start reading and listening to English for at least an hour a day, and then teachers will come to you when you need them.

Don’t wait until you find a teacher to start learning. Start now, by yourself.

Search online for free reading with audio. There is so much available for free online these days, I don’t know why people pay $20 or $30 an hour for a teacher when it’s not necessary.
I’ve been teaching ESL full-time since 2001.

Here are links to the questions if you want to see them on


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