When I began teaching English at the end of the 1970s, the internet as we know it today did not exist. English teaching and learning materials were almost exclusively physical, i.e., books and audiocassettes, though of course we did have TV and radio back in those days! The videocassette recorder was the latest teaching technology, and I well remember organising an exchange with a French teacher in England. She would send me videocassettes of English programmes that she had taped off air, and I would do the same in French. In fact, I've still got those videocassettes. They are gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere in the school – even if we no longer have a VCR to play them on!
How times have changed. Nowadays, learners of English have access to an unlimited amount of authentic material in the form of online news, blogs, e-books, podcasts, YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc. Not to mention all the sites and resources specifically aimed at English learners. And you don't even have to be sitting in front of a computer any longer — mobile learning on smartphones and tablets has become commonplace. With this wealth of material, one might think that it would be much easier to learn the language. The problem is that the sheer amount of material can be overwhelming. How can you find the most suitable English-learning resources for your level and needs when a Google search for "English listening intermediate" (for example) returns over six million results? The good news is that I have done a lot of the work for you. Over the years, I have identified and tested hundreds, if not thousands, of sites. I have also reviewed many of them on my blog. And that is the knowledge that I am pleased to be able to share with you in this guide.