English Language - Recommended Sources


Freely available, high quality dictionaries in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish with translations into other languages also provided. Audio files give the pronunciation for every word listed.

A good site for helping with your reading and writing

The most trusted source about words in English, containing definitions, plus very detailed word histories.

Access a range of English and multilingual dictionaries, including synonyms, abbreviations and acronyms

Key Starters for Essays and Dissertations

A variety of reference works, including dictionaries, which tutors may well prefer to Wikipedia, and it even tells you how to set out a reference to what you find. Try out the 'Mind Map' option to see how your keyword links to others - useful for essay planning and dissertation work (use the arrow next to Basic Search to get to it).

Over 240 unlimited access in-depth guides to current and classic research across a range of subject areas. If you can't access something via this site, put the book title into the Portsmouth catalogue instead as we have previously bought some titles via Ebook Central.

Access over 750 entries about key practical and theoretical aspects of TESOL. Each entry is organized into three sections: “Framing the Issue,” “Making the Case,” and “Pedagogical Implications”.

Useful for Everyone

This fantastic resource has captured UK terrestrial TV and radio programmes from 1998 onwards for anyone in UK universities to watch for free. You can create playlists and clips to embed in presentations, as well as putting in requests for recording. Look out for all the useful documentaries. (Not available to anyone outside the UK.)


Use this site to find Government information from departments, publications or statistics. 
H.M. Treasury is particularly useful for publications and statistics.

The official website of the UK government, making it the best place to find government services and information.

If English is a 2nd language

If you are not a native English speaker, try these sites to improve your English: 

• BBC News 

Improve your listening skills by listening to the latest news

Go to 'Stuff' for Students for grammar lessons, pronunciation, quizzes etc.

Grammar exercises, listening practice and much more (including links for teachers).

A range of activities including listening and writing exercises to help improve your English.

A free website from the British Council, including Listen & Watch, Grammar & Vocabulary, Fun & Games. 

Try out a wide range of fun resources designed to help you improve your pronunciation and knowledge of phonetics

A site recommended by your lecturers to help improve your reading skills

A site recommended by your lecturers to help improve your reading skills

A good resource for English Language teachers compiled by the British Council and BBC World Service

Links about life and culture in the UK, plus advice on how to improve your English

Your Subject Team

Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian

Email: Anne.Worden@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3243

Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian

Email: sharon.bittner@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3234

Further Information