An Internet shortage of free grammar sites? Never. But with the aim of each to improve grammar, how are students to know which are most effective, accurate even, and ultimately worth the effort of finding?
This post is the sophomore (second) entry of a 3-part blog series focusing on online resources to share with students. Be sure to join us on every stop along the way – next up, the top 5 writing sites! See also our top 5 game sites!
With Emended you can easily guide your students to the right grammar – well-modelled material that maps individual mistakes while plotting a course for self-improvement along the way. Simply utilise links in your own feedback commentary to steer them directly to topics and activities that may as well have been designed just for them. Feedback doesn’t get more actionable than that!
To spare you searching all the wrong sites for just the right lesson or topic supplement, here are our top 5 English grammar sites to share with students:
Speakspeak tops our list and does so based not on having superior content to the remaining four, but rather how fittingly they’ve organised and presented that content. With Speakspeak, students can be shown to any topic from an alphabetised A-Z grammar page, making that process for you an easy one with disambiguating entries including not only large umbrella concepts, but also individual words, phrases, and singular issues within grammar itself. Is a student struggling with each versus every, or nuances of using since? It’s all too easy with Speakspeak to have them zero in on what’s been proving tricky to get right.
As a bonus, the site offers countless printables for teachers to share with their students and all of which come neatly packaged per pre-intermediate, business, and everything in between. Lastly, use of the site is free but if you find yourself willing and able, they have downloads and e-books for purchase to help support the site.
Education First’s English Grammar Guide boasts a navigability and welcoming use of space that isn’t something to baulk at. Its content is rich, well visualised when it needs to be, and exemplified exhaustively to allow students really to see how words and concepts are put into play. Their Punctuation page is probably the best of the bunch (because how many of your students know in earnest the power of the semicolon?) and even explains differences between American and British variations (where relevant) without the usual clutter of its competitors.
While geared a touch more for the already English-literate or intermediate student, the lesson-masters over at English Grammar 101 have done a truly fantastic job of serving portioned instruction on all things grammar.
The highly responsive and left-right sliding layout makes finding a specific lesson or topic, dare we say it, fun, and with every topic in and of itself being graded (that is, packaged into steps), you’ll quickly notice the site content in its entirety leaves virtually zilch to be explored elsewhere. While select content and/or services do come at a fee, the abundance of free material warrants the site’s entry on our list and included in that material are even in-lesson interactive quizzes to wrap up each step, allowing students to self-assess! An obvious service from folks with backgrounds in teaching and the education sector.
The online resource heavyweight it is, Englishpage.com featuring in our top 5 should come as no surprise. A couple of the greater attractors to the site are its fun weekly lessons and lively forum community. From the homepage, the main menu-opener Weekly Lesson directs you to an automatically chosen mini-tutorial and from the perspective of an English student, that can be a refreshing way either to broaden or fine-tune one’s language horizons. The flip-side to the Weekly Lesson feature is the tutorial master list being accessible within a click and that’s where you can go to seek out target content with a student’s error(s) in mind. For students themselves, its active forum arm lends itself encouragingly to a feeling of never giving up and always striving for self-improvement; moreover, anything that effectively connects English students and teachers from across the globe is a big plus in our book.
Rounding out our top 5 and yet another resource whose approach puts pragmatism above theory, the stripped-down albeit friendly Woodward site hosts a purposefully two-pronged grammar resource of guide versus games (but what can be likened more to question-answer challenges). While grammar topics abound, what stands out about Woodward English is its Students section, where you can link students directly to a topic of interest (and more so, any challenges or exercises pertaining to that topic) from amongst the many conveniently available and coded per a tidy table format. Does feedback get much more digital than that?