(Reviewed Winter 2011)
Reviewer: Chenxia Zhu
Recommendation: Recommended with Reservation
The web site was created in 2001 by a German educator, Herwig Rothlander. No further information about the author can be found besides this web site, nor does the author cite his experience or credentials. The web site is targeted for beginning-level ESL/EFL students to give them a good head start in their English learning. A lot of grammar explanations and exercise instructions are provided in both English and German. The web site addresses two major categories – Grammar and Vocabulary, accompanied by exercises and quizzes in each section. The web site also includes some culture of English-speaking countries and cities, and it gets updated approximately every month.
English 4 U covers basic English grammar for beginning learners. The explanation for each entry is direct and simple. The author uses different colors to emphasize the main point and grammatical variation, which is helpful and easy to read. However, the examples provided are not sufficient to prepare students for the exercises that follow. The words and phrases matching game in the vocabulary section is very creative and fun to play, and quizzes and texts allow plenty of room for students to practice their newly-learned skills. In the text section, students can choose to whether to complete the paragraph with a word list or not, which allows adaptation to different language proficiencies. It is thoughtful for the author to create a hint tab at the bottom of the page that pops up a letter each time you click. It seems the Countries and Cities section is not well-developed, and the format appears inconsistent. Out of eleven countries and cities listed, only Australia, New Zealand, and San Francisco contain a brief paragraph about their culture and history while others places lack such introductions. A list of web sites for ESL/EFL learners is provided under the link tab along with the author’s description and comment next to them. For instance, next to the “http://www.real-english.com,” the author put “See, hear, and learn English online! An interactive online course for learning English using spontaneous, authentic video and interactive exercises to make learning English more motivating and enjoyable than ever before.” The web site does have two commercial advertisements from Google and University of Phoenix, but others are more like online tools for students such as Grammarly Checker, Lumosity Brain Train, and so forth.
English 4 U is a resourceful site for beginning ESL/EFL students and students whose first language is German.
Subject Headings: ESL/EFL Beginning, German, Grammar Exercises