Resources for ESL/ELL Students

Writing is a complex form of communication and English often presents challenges that require additional resources. The following links focus on assistance for those speaking, studying and writing in English, which is not their primary language. Rules differ for grammar, spelling, and structure for writing, and research norms may vary from those taught in international universities. In addition to these resources, students are encouraged to look at the other sections of this Moodle page for assistance.

The first group of resources are UIUC-based and cover workshops, programming, and resources. The rest of the resources involve web pages and downloadable documents.

UIUC-Based Resources

Department of Linguistics:  The Department provides an ESL web page and runs tutorial programs.

Links regarding linguistics, EPT, classes and summer institutes.

In addition, the Linguistics Department runs a tutoring program for those taking the EPI, as well as private language tutors:

Intensive English Institute: (IEI) Opportunities for professional and personal development of English language skills. IEI presents programs on making formal presentations, pronunciation, vocabulary development, and writing research papers.

International Student & Scholar Services: Links to campus and community opportunities for practicing conversations and learning in academic as well as social settings.


Idioms: Look-ups for idioms, colloquialisms, and other phrases associated with a particular group, language, locality, or culture.

Macmillian: Several different dictionaries and a thesaurus

Metasearch dictionary:  One Look offers a metasearch engine to find words or phrases. There are different types of dictionaries and translation options.

Other Resources

Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA): A database that allows you to search for words or phrases and see examples of them being used in context.


Practice Opportunities online:

Grammar Bytes:

Kent State Dept. of English:

Oxford University Press: