simple reads

This is for more advanced students.  These things are from Voice of America Learning English and The Smithsonian.  The words in these stories will not be very difficult.   These are basic but not easy things to read.

You can find some history, American culture, and literature here.


There are lots of TOEIC preparation resources available for free on the internet (you can see my own list here), but there's only one official practice test, and that's the one from ETS, the organization behind the TOEIC.

This is good news for TOEIC takers, since the third party practice tests available online or in books do not always reflect the actual level of the real TOEIC, even if the format is the same.

You'll have to create an account to take the test, but it's a small price to pay (in fact, it's free!), to be able to take a full-length TOEIC test and get an accurate idea of your TOEIC level.

If you are not already familiar with the TOEIC, the site also has an overview of the test, and some sample questions so you can familiarize yourself with the format before doing the full-length test.

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This is lesson six of my Everyday English for ESL course, in which a customer returns a pair of shoes to a shop. You can download a free 10-page PDF workbook to accompany the lesson, and see the course description below.

Do you already have a basic knowledge of English, but want to improve your ability to communicate in real-life situations? And do so in a fun, enjoyable way? Then Everyday English for ESL is just the course for you!

Each lesson begins with a fully-animated dialogue, which presents the vocabulary, grammar, and expressions you need to know in order to communicate successfully in English in a wide range of everyday situations.

The situations include:

• ordering food in a fast food restaurant
• checking-in at the airport
• making an appointment on the phone
• returning goods to a shop

The dialogue is presented with and without speech bubbles, and is followed by:

• a listen and repeat activity to help you improve your pronunciation and intonation
• a listening comprehension passage related to the topic of the lesson
• a series of questions for you to answer about the lesson topic

All the audio material has been recorded by professional voice actors with British or American accents, and each lesson comes with a ten-page downloadable PDF, which contains:

• a full transcript of the lesson
• language notes, explaining key grammar and vocabulary points
• a word list
• a series of language exercises
• a crossword,
• a word search puzzle

Several of these activities can also be done online, and the extra resources include Quizlet flashcard sets featuring the vocabulary used in each lesson.

At the end of the course, there's a Final Quiz, to test what you have learnt.

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