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Insider's Guide to the CCA Libraries: Resources for ESL / ELL Students

Overview of all the Libraries have to offer including resources, research assistance, & special collections.

Highlighted Books

Grammar & Spelling

Use these sites to boost your grammar knowledge, from verb tenses to noun placement.

Dave’s ESL Cafe: ESL teacher Dave Sperling’s in-depth site provides numerous lessons about sentence structure, word use, and grammar.

ESL-Lounge: Hundreds of exercises make this site an amazing tool for ESL students. Parts of speech and vocabulary are classified by difficulty.


Using English: A handy reference guide to major parts of speech and their usage, with bonus material for ESL students.

English Zone: English spelling, including possessives, verb endings, contractions, and more, with this site.

Breaking News English: These lesson plans teach ESL by drawing inspiration from recent news and global affairs. Packed with information about word usage and grammar.

Learning Resource Center


             Pronunciator Online Language Courses                   

Pronunciator offers self-paced online language courses for 80 languages, and ESL courses in 50 languages.  Create your account the first time you use the site to ensure access from off-campus.

Pronunciation & Speaking


These sites will help you learn how to speak or understand English words and phrases.

Business English Lessons: There are dozens of key phrases on this site complete with audio clips to help ESL students practice clear pronunciation.

Antimoon: Learn to recognize the sounds in the English language and use correct intonation.

English Leap: This site has several helpful pages including pronunciation rules for different letter combinations in English.

Idiom Dictionary: Idioms, or "colloquial metaphors" are the toughest part of learning a new language. When a phrase doesn’t make sense literally, turn to this idiom dictionary to understand what it means.

ESL YouTube Channels

Lessons that you can both see and hear can make all the difference in your conversational English. 

VOA Learning English: With this Voice of America channel, you can hear news and feature stories in American English, but spoken 33% slower than normal to make it easier to follow along. 

Listen and Read Along: Listen to stories and read along with them by following the highlighted word. Hear pronunciation and intonation while getting a better grasp on sentence structure.

OMGmeiyu’s channel: This site is great for Chinese speakers. YouTube user OMGmeiyu uses her animated style and knowledge of Chinese to help native Chinese speakers learn English in a fun and relatable way.

English with Jennifer: The host of this channel is an ESL teacher for those who needs more guidance than just reading off of websites. She’s separated her videos into playlists covering vocabulary, verb tenses, pronunciation, and more.

BBC Learning English’s Channel: BBC’s great site for learning English YouTube channel. Watch “The Flatmates,” a soap opera made for learning English, or learn about different idioms.

ESL Podcasts

Podcasts make great instructional tools for when you're on the go!

ESL Podcast: Regular updates and easy categorization make this podcast a great resource.

ESL Aloud: These lessons range from basic word instruction to more complex scenarios like going to the store or working in an office.

LanguageCaster: This podcast uses sporting news and analogies to teach English.

China232: There are dozens of helpful podcast lessons here that Chinese students can use to learn about North American language and culture.

Culips: Described as “a podcast for English learners throughout the world,” this site tailors content to a variety of languages. Hosts use news, history, and slang to break down the English language.

Online Reference Sources

Chicago Manual of Style »               

Encyclopedia Britannica »               

Oxford Art Online »                           

Oxford English Dictionary 



Writing & Vocabulary


Building a vocabulary is one of the most important parts of mastering a language!

Learn That Word: Learn vocabulary and spelling on this site. You can narrow down your lessons by commonly misspelled words or TOEFL vocabulary.

Flash Card Exchange: This browser-based tool lets you study thousands of words, create flash cards, and sort cards based on category and learner language.

20-Minute ESL Lessons: Audio lessons covering basic vocabulary for a variety of everyday situations, including office life.

Vocabulary Can Be Fun: This site offers a variety of games designed to enhance vocabulary use through interactive play.

Vocabulary Quizzes: These word quizzes cover everything from animals and food to famous quotes and American slang.

Pizzaz: This site uses poems and short stories as writing examples and exercises to teach creative writing and usage.

Games & Fun


Build vocabulary while enjoying something lighthearted and fun.

Comic Creator This site allows you to structure and illustrate the stories. You can design each panel with backgrounds, characters, and speech bubbles.

Armored Penguin This site makes word searches, crossword puzzles, and word jumbles. It’s very easy to use and has ready-made puzzles that change daily.

Lanternfish/Bogglesworld A collection of ready-to-print flashcards, worksheets and puzzles.

Puzzlemaker This site has the standard crosswords and word searches, plus cryptograms, letter phrases, and all sorts of puzzles.

The English Learner Movie Guides: This site takes popular movies and uses their summaries and idioms to discuss the English language. Great for ESL students with a love of U.S. culture.