Latest resources

Latest additions to CALL@Hull are below. I used to record deleted sites but linkrot is so epidemic that I gave that up as a waste of time.


2nd April 2021

FutureLearn language courses. Free online courses (MOOCs) for English, Chinese (Mandarin), Irish, and Norwegian. Each MOOC is a guided multimedia course with content created by reputable universities, levels from beginner upwards. Text is usually in English for English-speaking learners. You are strongly encouraged to interact with fellow students, as part of FL's 'social constructivist' approach to learning. Regular self-assessments test and reinforce your acquired knowledge. Courses are free for an initial period, usually 6 weeks, after which you can pay to upgrade your course access. FutureLearn is a large collaboration of prestigious universities and organisations worldwide. Recommended.

Divina Commedia - Splash. The full text of Dante Alighieri's masterwork from the 14th century - Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso - divided into Canti. Each canto has the original text, in Dante's Tuscan, with a riassunto (prècis), critical introduction, and translation in modern Italian, unformatted but readable. Hosted on a 2001 platform so it might not last much longer. 

Divina Commedia: Inferno. Bite-sized digestible chunks of Dante's Inferno, aimed at intermediate and advanced learners of Italian, in the original Tuscan, moden Italian, and English translation, prefaced with contextual introduction and summary, in Italian. Hosted by the Literature section of the Online Italian Club.

Online Italian Club. A resource-packed site for intermediate and advanced learners of Italian, with exercises, grammar, literature, and audio clips with comprehension exercises and transcripts. It hosts the very useful Easy Italian News, which publishes regular 'news bulletins' taken from the Italian Press read in simplified Italian, with transcripts, and links to the original stories.

Migliori podcast italiani. Index of Italian language podcasts, categorised by subject.

Italian Short Stories. A free collection of short stories of literature rewritten in easy Italian (HTML and PDF), for beginners and intermediate learners.


8th August 2020

12 best Netflix series to learn Spanish. An article on how you could use Netflix TV series to improve your Spanish, with detailed descriptions and learning information (learning, accents, etc). Not being subscribed to Netflix I can't assess the value, or otherwise, of these programmes, but it's a nice way of exposing learners to authentic language.

Coffee Break languages. Bite-sized language learning which you can fit into a coffee break. As well as the usual European language suspects, there's a Coffee Break Chinese (Mandarin). The site maintains a free YouTube channel and Podcasts, but you have to pay to join online courses.

TRIO. An major online learning initiative, from the Regione Toscana, funded by the EU's European Social Fund. Freely available to all, with hundreds of online courses and resources across a wide range of subjects. Of interest to this collection, there are language courses in Italian (for foreigners), German, French, English, Spanish and Russian, at all learning levels. To use TRIO, you need to register, and the signup form requires rather a lot of personal information and uses an idiosyncratic mixture of English and Italian. The interface, implemented in a customised version of Moodle, could do with some improvement. (As a technical note - the 'courses' are provided as SCORM packages in popup windows.)

Common German Phrases and Words for your Travels. A site for beginners with useful phrases for travellers, with audio and video clips, dialogues, and phrase usages in formal and informal settings.

15th February, 2020

News in slow Italian. News and articles in Italian, presented as text and read by native speakers at a relatively slow pace, for beginners and intermediate students, to practice reading and listening. Site text in English.

Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic. DASG, a University of Glasgow project, is an "online repository of digitised texts, lexical resources and audio recordings for Scottish Gaelic", aimed at linguists and researchers. It holds a Gaelic corpus, and an audio archive of Gaelic speakers.

Duolingo: Scottish Gaelic for English speakers. Released in November 2019, the Scots Gaelic form of the widely-used Duolingo language learning platform created a major stir in the Gaelic language community, and rapidly gained over 70,000 adherents. As with other Duolingo languages, you can use this on mobile and static devices. You're presented with a range of exercises, and you're encouraged to learn daily through the accumulation of points and regular email reminders. Although free, you are nagged to buy Duolingo Plus and to not use adblockers. A good introductory tool for beginners, and revision tool for intermediate learners.

Tobar na Gaedhilge. A downloadable concordancer and corpora for Irish. In the author's words, these are "mostly from Ulster, but including some from Connacht, Munster, and Scotland", and " the corpus contains a considerable amount of parallel text in English, French, German and (a tiny amount in) Russian, enabling multilingual usage, eg. study of translations.". It's aimed at both learners and researchers. There's a lengthy and detailed 'user manual' on the web page, with the download link under the heading "Installation". The package is hosted on the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig servers. A site for learning Catalan, created and maintained by the official Catalan regional government, with levels at Basic, Elementary, Intermediate and Sufficiency (?), each rated at 3 months learning. The rather stiff and official site demo requires the Adobe Flash Player. You have to register, for free, with the site to access course material for self-study by filling in an inquisitive registration form which even requires an ID number! Site text in Catalan, Castilian Spanish, English, French and German.

Spanish speaking resources for Travelling to Mexico. An annotated list of useful resources for beginners in Spanish, focussing on the language spoken in Mexico.

The Catalan Language. A descriptive introduction, in English, to Catalan, with brief information on culture, speaking areas, history and of course politics. Written by a language tutor, it's hosted on a commercial language courses site so is clearly aimed at getting users to sign up, but it's a useful 'starter for 10' on Catalan without needing to pay any money.

Catalan dictionary. A searchable online dictionary of Catalan aimed at English and Catalan speakers, with extensive usage notes and examples. There's a conjugate feature, and downloadable and printable PDFs of the English-Catalan and Catalan-English dictionary, with notes for English speakers, made available for free under a Creative Commons licence. Bear in mind that the dictionary hasn't been updated since 2014.

TalkEnglish. US English lessons - text, audio, video (animations) - for beginner and intermediate learners of English, including basic self-tests. All the multimedia elements are in a generic US accent.

Middle English creole hypothesis. A description of the idea, held by a significant minority of linguists, that English is a creole language. When I worked at the University of Hull Language Institute in the 90s, the German head of the centre supported the hypothesis as English underwent considerable grammatical simplification from Old English, losing declensions, cases, inflections and tenses (not to mention diacritics), and modern English is considerably less complex than other European languages, such as German.

Language Learning apps and websites. A blog post on a commercial site listing 15 mobile language learning apps, and 5 language learning websites, for learning multiple languages, including non-European languages.

10th March, 2019

Glossary of essay terms. A glossary of English-language essay terms for students, from AMA to Writer's Guidelines.

Italian Teaching Resources website. Described as "a collaborative resource for teachers of Italian in secondary schools in the UK and their students", the site contains a wealth of teaching resources on a wide range of topics, and for a range of UK teaching levels (GCSE, KS3, Sixth Form). The resources are in Italian, downloadable as Microsoft Word (.docx) files.

Easy Italian News. A site for English-speaking learners of intermediate Italian, with monthly 'broadcasts' in Italian of condensed and simplified news stories, from Italy and the world. Each broadcast has an Italian transcript. This is a good tool for generating class discussion around current affairs.

AllESL. Resources for learners and teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL). Articles on English grammar (eg adverbs, possessives), lesson plans, plus articles and advice on being an ESL teacher at home and abroad. Worksheets are downloadable as, curiously, PNG images.

Busca Palabras. An interactive Spanish dictionary, with the options to search for words, get synonyms and antonyms, word definitions, and rhymes. There are also plenty of other features, including conjugations, spelling aids, converting numbers to letters, and more. Text and interface in Spanish.

Fó Interactive English => Irish dictionary with a crisp quick-loading mobile-friendly interface. Definitions include audio clips of entries (very useful for pronunciation), usage examples, and links to related terms. There's an app available for mobile devices (Apple and Android). Site interface in Irish and English, though definitions are all in English. Created and managed by Foras na Gaeilge.

Foras na Gaeilge. The official body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language throughout the whole island of Ireland, set up in 1999 following the Good Friday agreement. The site has useful resources for learners, in particular the dictionary and the main Irish language corpus. Site in Gaeilge and English.


14th May, 2018

Easy Teacher Worksheets: Language Arts. Downloadable PDF worksheets for English language teachers on parts of the language (eg Adverbs, Adjectives, Alliteration (sic :)).

Learn German. An English-language introduction to beginner's German, as one long page with links to short English-language videos for beginners. The site also has practical information (in multiple languages) on studying in Germany.

Ultimate Vocabulary Resource Guide. An annotated, categorised, one-page list of links to online vocabulary resources for learners of English.

100 Best Online Dictionaries. English language dictionaries, that is. A long 1-page annotated, categorised list of links to online dictionaries. What marks this list out from the zillions of others out there is that it includes specific flavours of English (eg NZ, Singapore) and specialised dictionaries (eg military, architecture), which could be useful for advanced students of English specialising in niche subjects.

30th August, 2017

Bla Bla Français. French conversation video lessons. Animations of conversational situations using colloquial French. The site is very much aimed at verbal learning, using the tried and tested method of presenting dialogues with short accompanying language notes, and encouraging you to role play characters. As the site says (and I know from experience!), everyday spoken French is often very different from that which you learn in the classroom, so exposure to colloquial French is essential. The animations are quite humorous and cute.

Language Learning Wiki. This is a gateway site where freely-available YouTube videos for language learners have been curated by academics and students into 'courses' at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Despite the title, it's not a 'wiki', neither does it deliver 'courses', but it could be useful for learners looking to watch videos on particular language topics. Current languages include the main Romance languages, plus Russian, Japanese, Hebrew and Mandarin.

Duolingo. Duolingo is a mobile and web application for learning a multitude of languages using goal- and task-based activities, with audio and the ability to record yourself. It looks to be mostly aimed at beginners and 'refreshers', though you can take a 'pre-test' to assess your level. You can 'compete' against other users if you wish.  Funded by venture capital, including Google, Duolingo has tens of millions of users worldwide.

World Newspaper Index. A directory of online and print newspapers worldwide, categorised by continent and country. A worthy successor to the sadly-missed Kidon Media Link. Web TV dedicated to Italian language and culture, for students, teachers or anyone interested in Italian. High-quality (technically and linguistically) videos. There are video courses available to 'premium users', but the rest of the site content is gratis. From the Italian publishers ALMA Edizioni.

Bartleby. A repository of English language classics: literature, poetry and reference books. It appears to catalogue only works out of copyright. Perhaps of more appeal to scholars, rather than learners, of English.

Guide to English Phonetic System: learn IPA sounds in Phonetics. A written guide to the mysteries of English pronunciation for befuddled learners of the language.

German Flashcards. An interactive flashcard set generator, allowing teachers to create custom flashcard sets to run online. You can set multiple tags (eg noun, verb) for the generator to choose cards from. If you register you can save your sets and your progress.

Busy Teacher. Many thousands of free worksheets for English teachers, covering levels from beginner to advanced, including exam-level texts, and ages from schoolchild to adult. Sorted by category and level. You can download the texts as Microsoft Word documents.

Teach100. A "daily ranking of education blogs". An automated ranking of education-related blogs, including blogs related to language learning and e-learning, with a strong weighting towards US blogs.

FluentU Spanish Learning Blog. Weekly posts with useful Spanish tips for Spanish learners and teachers, such as learning vocabularly via news, restaurant vocabulary, and native idioms.

LearnGaelic dictionary. An English - Gaelic dictionary. Part of the essential LearnGaelic site. As well as the standard word and phrase lookup you'd expect, results come with audio clips, which is really useful for learners as Gaelic pronunciation can be tricky, to put it mildly. Interface in English and Gaelic.

28th April, 2016

Enitaliano. A Spanish-language blog for Spanish-speaking learners of Italian, with sections on grammar, figures of speech, and living in Italy. The posts are purely text, without interactivity or multimedia. {Italian}

Study in France. A very detailed guide to the practicalities of studying in France, for any subject, with a particular focus on higher education institutions. There's information on why study in France, how to apply for courses, accommodation and daily living, and much more. {French} An online dictionary with a near-compendium of world languages enabling translations in thousands of language pairs (Finnish - Afrikaans, anyone?), often including audio clips. The founder's express goal "is to help prevent endangered languages from extinction". You're encouraged to register with the site to contribute your expertise. The site also provides a translator match-up - select your language pair to find registered translators; this appears to be how it funds itself. {Multi | Dictionaries}

Clilstore. Described as "Teaching units for Content and Language Integrated Learning", this unsung project has a cornucopia of language learning materials for a wide variety of mostly European languages, though non-European tongues such as Arabic and Afrikaans are also represented. Choose a language and level, and you'll find a range of videos and, innovatively, transcripts with hyperlinks to relevant dictionaries - click on a word and it'll bring up the relevant entry in one or more online dictionaries, so that you don't have to leave the video.Clilstore is part of the wider project funded by the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme. Very highly recommended. {Multi | Dictionaries}

Ynsee Gaelg. Learn Manx Gaelic. A large 'one-stop-shop' portal for resources in Manx Gaelic, akin to the portal for Scots Gaelic, containing lessons for all learner levels, news, information on Manx courses, events, links to other Manx resources, games, videos and more. The portal is heavily supported by State and private funders on and linked to the Isle of Man. {Celtic | Manx}

Huffington Post Italia. The Italian manifestation of the famous Huffington Post blog, with news stories and articles on Italy updated daily. Produced in collaboration with Gruppo Espresso, which also publishes La Repubblica and l'Espresso. An interesting alternative news source. {Italian}

Scottish Grammar Gaelic Wiki. A very handy and detailed reference for learners as grammar can be quite tricky. Sponsored by the Arizona Scottish Gaelic Syntax Project at Arizona University, USA, of all places. {Celtic | Scots Gaelic}

Memrise. The free version of Memrise comprises short drill and practice sessions in a very large number of world languages. Each session has audio clips and interaction. The wrinkles are that your progress is tracked, and the social networking aspect of the site which allows you to follow other learners. The paid version offers more, but the freebie is handy for practice. {Multi | Resources}

BACKBONE interview corpora. Interviews (audio, video) and transcripts in English (many varieties), French, Spanish and Turkish, available for download. The online concordancer allows you to search the corpora for multiple terms. Made available under a GNU General Public License (GPL). {Multi | Resources} {General - Linguistics}

FluentU Spanish Learning Blog. Weekly posts with useful Spanish tips for Spanish learners and teachers, such as learning vocabularly via news, restaurant vocabulary, and native idioms. {Iberian | Spanish}

Seachd: the Inaccessible Pinnacle Resource. A teaching resource for learners of Gaelic based on the beautiful Gaelic-language feature film Seachd. The resource comprises presentations and teachers notes aimed at school teachers and students aimed at primary and secondary level, but which would also be of use to intermediate learners of any age. {Celtic | Gaelic}

Scottish Gaelic verbs: Wikipedia. A very handy reference on Gaelic verbs, with conjugations and etymology. {Celtic | Gaelic}

Languages and Integration through singing. Learn various languages through song. This site has songs with videos, transcripts, exercises and even karaoke. The site is divided into teacher and student sections, with the songs sorted by learning level. At the time of writing, songs were available in Italian, Romanian, Russian, French, Spanish and Portuguese, and the site has interfaces in these languages. {Multi | Resources}

BBC Wales learning - learn Welsh. A good starting point for beginners to Welsh, with pointers to online multimedia Welsh languages courses, including the wonderfully-idiosyncratic (and often rude) Colin and Cumberland. {Celtic | Welsh}

One World italiano. A compendium of learning materials and interactive exercises for all levels of learners of Italian. The resources are mostly text-based, but there are also some audio and video exercises. Site text in Italian, English, German, French and Japanese. {Italian}

21st May, 2013

University Languages: Spanish. A nice page from the UK Open University listing selected useful sites for learners of Spanish, including grammar tutorials, dictionaries and courses.

Learn Finnish Online. A Moodle-based site for beginners to Finnish, which appears to be free to use. You have to send an email to be registered on the site and to access the learning materials.

Deutsche Rechtschreibung. A blog by a German interpreter and translator on German spelling, with videos aimed at intermediate to advanced learners.

Learn Italian Idioms. A blog serving an Italian idiom a day to learners of the language. Idiom and explanation in Italian, site text in English.

Bridge to China. A wiki hosted at the University of Central London, with Mandarin Grammar and Resources on China.

Bridge to Japan. A large, categorised directory of Japan-related Internet resources, founded in 1995 (and thus as old as CALL@Hull!). Link text in both English and Japanese.

Norwegian wiki. Maintained by University College London, this site has learning material on grammar, a Norwegian-English dictionary, many authentic Norwegian texts, and links to Norwegian-related resources. There are a few audio files scattered amongst the pages.

19th March, 2013

Kitty's Italian crosswords. Printable PDF crosswords for learners of Italian, focussing on particular language points (eg irregular passato prossimo, numbers), created by a mother teaching her daughter Italian. The crosswords are free to download and use.

Interactive Technologies in Language Teaching (ITiLT). A repository of resources for language teachers and trainers using interactive whiteboards: training manuals, teaching resources and over 250 video examples of classroom practice. A European Union project.

The Romance Languages Resource Page. A very large collection of links to sites related to Romance languages, sorted by language. Recommended.

SACODEY: European Youth Language. A "web based system for the assisted compilation and open distribution of European teen talk in the context of language education." Essentially its a concordancer with corpora of 'teen talk' in a number of languages - English, French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Romanian, and Spanish - and videos. The videos require RealPlayer to view. An EU Socrates project.

Multi-language apps. A useful directory of mobile device apps, both multi-lingual and language-specific, including teaching aids (eg dictionaries), media (eg internet radio), news, travel, voice recording, and more.

Clilstore: Teaching units for Content and Language Integrated Learning.The site contains teaching materials for many languages with authentic videos and transcripts, graded for learner level, with each word linked to a choice of online dictionaries in different target languages. You can register to upload your own materials. This innovative project is part of the EU-funded POOLS-T and TOOLS programmes.

Vocabulary trainer. A 'flash card' style vocabulary teaching application, focussed on the 5000 most used words in a language. There's a range of source and target languages which you can pair, and you can choose a 'course' based on learning level or particular vocabulary (eg travel, leisure, hotels etc). All words are presented with audio, images and with progressive intervals of repetition, and the methodology looks to be based on sound pedagogical practice, at least going by the references in the FAQ. There's also an option to create your own custom flashcards 'course'. A nice technical touch is that the application is implemented solely in Javascript (jQuery.jPlayer) without any proprietary plugins.

Audiolingua. A repository of freely-usable audio clips (MP3 format, streaming and download) recorded by native speakers, aimed at teachers and learners to aid oral comprehension . The clips and the site text are in multiple languages, including non-European languages such as Arabic and Mandarin, and "may be used freely for non-profit associations, personal, educational or professional purposes".

World Online Cinema: online resources for films. Links to native language movies on DVD,, and more importantly useful resources related to the films, such as commentaries, study guides, vocabularies, exercises and more. Resources are available for movies in a range of European and non-European languages, including French, German and Iranian.

Online language courses. Structured language courses delivered as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), taught by academics at respected higher education institutions. Registration is free and open to all. Part of a larger online courses site delivering courses across a wide range of subject areas. The site is designed to be mobile-friendly, but that may not be the case with all the courses it lists.

Papier-Mâchés: French writing workshop. An interactive tutorial designed for college students and individual language learners who want to improve their French writing skills outside of the classroom setting. Any user can access the program online, and at no cost. Papier-Mâchés offers two writing workshops: Artisan (intermediate advanced level) and Pénélope (advanced level). Examples of student work are posted on the third section of the program, Mille pattes. The content was developed the the Department of French at New York University. The site requires free registration to use, and the materials are made available under a Creative Commons licence.

iGàidhlig. A project by the very busy Michael Bauer, which aims to bring together, in wiki format, information on "all the existing tools and technologies [for Gaelic] with brief explanations of what they do and where you get them".

Page last modified: May 02 2021