Subject Material

Planning the Year - Useful Online Resources

Published: 02.09.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Below you will find a list and a brief description of online resources that may prove particularly useful in this course in International English. This list of recommended sites is in no way complete. It is suggested that you bookmark the pages and use them as a way to approach various curricular issues. We have chosen not to list obvious links such as news sites nor resources attached to readers/text books commonly used in this course.

About the English Language and History

Ages of English Timeline - BBC On this site you can study a set of interactive animations showing the development of the English language. It also includes audio samples.

British and American Terms This Oxford Dictionaries' site depicts the differences between British and American spelling and terms. Besides offering writing aids, this site also contains facts about the English language and the history of dictionaries.

British and American English often spell the same word differently, for example:

  • labour/labor, enthrall/enthral, or centre/center.

You can find out more about these differences in this link:       British and American spelling 

Timelines of History is a site that offers an alphabetical list of countries and lists main events. It also enables you to make your own timeline.

About News and Curricular Topics

Breaking News English contains educational material and lesson plans on a variety of topics and world news. Most of the articles are recorded on mp3 files. In the search bar you may type e.g. "outsourcing" or "terrorism" and come up with main articles with suggested activities.The website will enable you to keep a close eye on news and the lessons that are elaborated will improve understanding as well as language skills.

The English Blog is an excellent resource for class discussions. Every day the blog presents current news by means of a brief video, an explanation of words in the news and a cartoon.

The Learning Network provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on New York Times contents. Teachers can use and adapt lessons across subject areas and levels, whereas students can respond to opinion questions, quizzes and other activities.

Newsy Video offers brief (ab. 2 min.) news videos and transcripts, whereas CNN Student News is a ten-minute, commercial-free, daily news program for middle and high school students with transcripts and discussion questions.

NUPI, Norsk utenrikspolitisk institutt is engaged in research and provides information about curricular topics in our International English course. As a rule most articles and news are submitted in Norwegian.This might be an advantage, since the site requires advanced skills. It is recommended to use the entry Hvor hender det? The site also offers quizzes and tasks with useful English-speaking links.

The United Nations provides information, not only about the organization and its activities, it also gives news updates, statistics and facts and articles on topics relevant to this course. Note also this address to The UN Refugee Agency.

Indian born Anup Shah's website Global Issues contains many articles and external links that are valuable in this course.

Library of Congress - Teachers offers material and resources for teachers and students related to many relevant themes (e.g. immigration, Native Americans and advertising).

Cross Cultural Communication and Intercultural Understanding

Kwintessential is a UK-based free website originally designed for business people and travellers. Among others it contains an alphabetical list of countries with valuable information about etiquettes, language, customs and taboos. It also offers very useful quizzes.


Film Education is a UK based site that promotes the use of film in education. The site offers an alphabetical list of quality films and suggests ways and activities to work with the various films and the topics raised.

Literature and Writing

Even if it has some annoying pop-up ads, CliffsNotes is free and it offers study guides and suggests essay questions. You will find an alphabetical list of literary work that is commonly read in this course.

BBC offers great sites regarding how to write and analyse. This site also contains audio clips. GCSE Bitesize English 

Furthermore, BBC offers study guides to prose fiction, short stories and dramas. The site also provides audio clips and videos. Note that many of the literary texts are written before 1950 (it is a requirement in the curriculum for International English that the texts are from after 1950) GCSE Bitesize Literature.

OWL Perdue Online Writing Lab includes writing resources and instructional material for students. Writing Thesis Statements provides tips to support students in the writing process. You will find substantial instructions and get valuable help when writing e.g. a report or a thesis.

Grammar, Vocabulary and Pronunciation

English Grammar Quizzes is a site with lots of articles about grammar and vocabulary and activities on different levels, whereas the New English File, in addition to grammar and vocabulary, also offers pronunciation and writing aids.

The Course in General

Teaching English Using Web 2.0 is a blog by Ann S. Michaelsen (Sandvika vgs). It is updated continuously and contains a lot of useful material on news in general as well as links to good teaching resources. You will also find student blogs here and you may respond to various topics being discussed.

Nik's Daily English Activities is a blog by Nik Peachey. He presents activities where the students have to to use different web tools to improve their English as well as their digital literacy skills. He updates the blog regularly. To find activities he has published earlier, click "activities" in the top bar.