5 Language Development Sites Every Student Should Bookmark

These days hitting the books doesn’t necessarily require “the books.” In this digital era, it’s key that every student has the right language-development site at their fingertips for those times in need—whether it be an essay due in a week or one that’s due, at say, 3 PM today.

We here at Dictionary.com have your synonyms and antonyms covered (we know you already bookmarked us, right?), but sometimes you need more explanation or a different perspective to help clarify why certain word choices or speaking styles are better than others. Luckily, the following sites provide the language 101s in a new, innovative way … they may not be what you are expecting to see. 

By the end of this slideshow, you’ll not only be able to use irony in your essays, but also understand what it means … finally!

WATCH: Two Nerdy Steps To Learn "Lay" vs. "Lie"


Study.com is a video-based site that allows you to actually earn real (yes, real) college credit.

Its classes are thorough and digestible, with a particular flair for language studies that make language development as easy as binge-watching a Netflix show. You can even use an online tutor, having someone in real time help to explain why you should be using effect instead of affect, a question that has been plaguing millions of English speakers and writers for centuries.

We’ll take real-time one-on-ones over commuting hours in the snow to get to a gen. ed. English class any day, thanks.   

big think

An essential part of the learning process is having an open conversation that allows for people’s thoughts to be exchanged and be challenged. Big think does just that.

With tons of articles, videos, and a podcast to boot, big think opens the doors for students to listen to experts talk about old topics in a refreshing way. And, for that language development aspect … check out some of their views on the best and worst ways to argue—not only will you get the core concepts of debate but you’ll also kick butt when your teacher challenges your ideas in your next class.

You can even get your own “dose of genius” by signing up for their newsletter, a welcome notification amongst all the spam.


Speaking of podcasts take a gander at howstuffworks, a site that’s half about written word, half about the online audio.

Howstuffworks looks into the seemingly mundane actions we do, like scratching your head while you think and explains why they occur.

One of our favorites: Why don’t we all speak the same language? Or, how do we use body language to flirt? Howstuffworks examines language at an unconscious level and that’s beyond interesting … you’re totally scratching your head now, aren’t you?


There are always tried-and-true ways to study that will be helpful, but sometimes a little update to keep up with the times doesn’t hurt. 

StudyStack takes one of the oldest aids of memory retention—flashcards—and creates on online platform in which students can access thousands of different flashcards on any subject for free as well as a bunch of different games that make remembering things way easier. For English in particular, there’s a whole stack of cards about words that regularly appear on the AP English exam, catering to specific study needs.

And, if you’re a giving soul, you can even upload or make a few of your own! That’s a community folks.


Maybe it’s not the way the content is being presented to you that needs to improve, but how you’re studying it that needs to change. HowToStudy, surprisingly, is a site that schools you in just that: the approaches you take and the barriers you may need to overcome to ensure you’re using your brain to its utmost capacity.

For English, they don’t just provide you the answers but help you understand how best to learn it, like what questions you should be asking as you read literature or how to read literature critically. In their own words, their site is for “when you hit the books–and they hit back.”

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