Using Google as your virtual English teacher


Google is your friend in many ways when you are learning English (or any other language).

I am sure I won’t think of half the reasons it can help you but here are some of them:

1. Google translate – a translator that learns from itself every day and can translate into and out of hundreds and hundreds of languages. Still not 100% perfect but gets better every time someone uses it and if you work together with the translator you can translate documents, webpages and even messages instantly while someone is standing next to you. It is generally good at getting the word order and grammar right, but the vocabulary often needs tweaking.

2. Google images – not sure if you are talking about the same thing as the person opposite you? Google Image it and see if it is what you thought. This is useful for everything from trees to different parts of roads to clothing sizes. Not sure if someone is a man or a woman? Google Image them and see if people with that name are usually male or female.

3. Google as a spelling checker – Google two spellings of the same word and see which one gets more hits, or more serious hits. Or Google both words as a question – for example: ‘ageing or aging?’ and see what comes up. Chances are many people have asked that question before you.

3. Google for pronunciation help – ask it for pronunciation help and you will get results in images, documents and videos. So if you are not sure how to pronounce epitome (hard for native speakers as well) then google ‘how do you pronounce epitome?’ and you will get back a phonetic transcription, a sound file or link to click on and online dictionary help. Or just type the word and a definition and sound file will usually pop up.

4. Google for English courses online – they are out there in their millions – quizzes, questionnaires, texts, tests, lessons, videos.

5. Type in ‘what is the difference between’ and you will see people have asked that question before. For example what is the difference between subscribe and ascribe. Or what is the difference between compare with and compare to.


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

Leave a Reply