Bbc World Service Learning English General Essay

Wondering if it's right for you as a non-native speaker? Our co-production Go The Distance with BBC Learning English gives you a 10-week taste of what distance learning is really like – with real students, real tutors, key study and digital literacy skills and lots of help with your English. It's fun and – best of all – it's free.

Every day BBC Learning English will have new content for you:

Monday – Follow genuine distance learners as they manage their Student Life
Tuesday – Get Academic Insights from distance learning experts
Wednesday – Pick up the Study and Exam Skills you need for success
Thursday – Develop your Academic Writing with our activities
Friday – Get online with our Digital Literacy series

And keep checking out our supporting clips and content each week here on OpenLearn, to help extend your skills further.



If you are a teacher willing to exploit the programmes in class and to help your students feel confident and ready for their English Exams, visit here for a collection of FREE worksheets.



Here are five student-friendly sites offering effective resources.

If you know of similar online materials, please send us a link with a brief description of what you found helpful: you can email us at

Please note the BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Improve Your Prospects Through UK Exams

These British Council resources offer guidance on how to choose and take an ESOL exam. They also include links to materials produced by leading TEFL publishers for students preparing for English Language exams.

IELTS - International English Language test - British Council.

Amos Paran, one of our Ask About English experts, recommends:

How To Start Writing

This has a clear, 'clickable' diagram of the writing process from Prewriting to Proofreading, so it's easy to see the main issues related to each stage. For example, there is guidance on keeping a notebook or journal (Prewriting), and advice on how to cut your writing down to size (Editing).

There are also helpful sections on four types of writing for exams
  • Essays

  • Critical literature reviews

  • Reports

  • Dissertations

  • Amos Paran is the Course Leader of the MA in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) by Distance Learning at the Institute of Education, University of London.

    Mission Possible: A Study Skills Pack


    A wide range of tried-and-tested resources, including
  • Building Your English

  • Techniques for Reading

  • Presentation Skills

  • Making Sure You Answer the Question

  • Processing Notes

  • There is also sound advice on the importance of sleep and the quality of revision!

    These materials were developed by Mario Petrucci, former Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, 'with the bogged-down student very much in mind'!

    Writing Essays: A 'toolbox'


    This guide takes you through the whole essay writing process - from preparing and planning to completion. There are many very helpful sections, including
  • What is an Essay?

  • Drafting and Editing

  • Making an Argument

  • Writing Essays was written by Dr David Kennedy. It is The Royal Literary Fund's online guide to 'everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask about writing undergraduate essays'!

    Improve Your Memory!


    Try the techniques used by 'memory champions'! This site describes many different strategies for improving your memory, such as 'chunking' and 'imagery'. There are also tips to help you remember words in a new language. Enjoy!

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