Free Stuff

Free Things at The English Navigator

Free Stuff

FREE * STUFF * FREE * STUFF * FREE * STUFF

Is there a nicer word in the English language than ‘free’?

  • free will
  • free time
  • free wifi
  • free food
  • free hugs

Courses and classes and private lessons cost money.

Unfortunately, they have to.

Classrooms are rented, teachers are paid, textbooks are bought.

So you want as much education as possible, but it’s so expensive.

Not everyone has the budget to pay for all of the education they would like.

Thankfully, there are plenty of free English learning resources too. If you know what you are looking for, and where to look.

That’s why I created this page.

I have been asked so many times for suggestions for free English learning resources, that I decided to put together a selection of some of the most useful. Most of these are completely free, but where there is a price, it is quite low. Free alternatives suggested wherever possible.

Which skill do you want to develop?


I Want To Improve My … Vocabulary

  • dictionary.com – Look things up, get a ‘word of the day’, cross-reference words
  • thesaurus.com – Understand words with a same, similar or related meaning (synonyms) and words with opposite meanings (antonyms) using a thesaurus

All can be searched for using test names (GMAT, GRETOEFL, TOEİC, IELTS, PTEA, SAT, ACT)


I Want To Improve My … Reading


I Want To Improve My … Listening

  • Radio
  • The internet brings radio channels and programmes from all over the world, including many countries and cultures where English is spoken. Educational and entertaining, and usually easy to follow and learn some new words and phrases.
    • BBC Radio 4 – Offers a wide variety of educational, social and entertainment in British English, mainly in correct Queen’s English (also called ‘received pronunciation’) but often including regional accents.
    • BBC World Service – delivers a lot of Radio 4 content to the world, but also adds many international subjects and offers educational content to help people understand British culture and language.
    • BBC Learning English – Some simple resources to learn English while listening to selected news items and interesting programmes.
    • Voice of America – This is the version that lets you listen to news and read the words at the same time, to help learn American English while you get America’s view of world events and culture. I don’t generally recommend learning American English unless you intend to work with Americans or live in America, as the spelling and pronunciation is unique to the USA and most of the English language tests are in British English. Other English speaking countries (for instance Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, India, Nigeria, European Union) mainly use British English (International English) spellings, as do the many countries that have English as a second language (for example Sweden, Norway, Germany, France, African countries, etc). American English is much more phonetic though, so it will be a lot easier to learn if you mainly want to speak and listen.
  • Audiobooks
  • There are books from every genre and for every level of English, so if you want something to relax to, listening to an audiobook provides the same theatrical experience as TV, but using the power of your imagination to visualise the story.
  • Podcasts
  • It is the 21st century, and everyone is a content creator. Either via websites or apps, this is the fastest growing way of taking new information.
  • These are the major podcast applications and websites, where you will find every kind of content you could wish for. Every day hundreds of new podcasts are launched.
    • Audible (monthly fee, but unlimited content is free)
    • Stitcher (free plan has a lot of content, membership fee for premium content if you want it)
    • Spotify (monthly fee, unlimited free content)
    • iTunes (monthly fee, unlimited free content)

Podcasts may also be found everywhere on the web hosted on business or personal websites. You can download episodes for listening later, or follow channels for regular updates.

  • YouTube
  • Ok, I know you’re thinking ‘well duh!’, but if I don’t include it someone will message me suggesting ‘what about YouTube hocam?’.
  • Ignoring all the personal vloggers, there are some really interesting and informative channels published here.
    • Everything is available, but not always easy to find, and quality varies enormously.
    • Music with Subtitles and / or Lyrics
    • TV Series, movies or documentaries with subtitles and / or transcripts
    • English learning content (apparently anyone who speaks English can be an English teacher now), but search for English exams with listening parts, especially IELTS or TOEFL.

I Want To Improve My … Speaking

  • Speaking / Social Clubs
  • This the number two most asked question I get every week. Where can I practise my English? My answer depends on what you are trying to achieve. Something basic or advanced? Something focused on language or something more social? Something with native speakers or something with other learners?
  • There are many speaking clubs, and a wide range of different formats; general, business, speaking only, trips and activities, only in English or with a mix of languages and cultures
  • remember that it is not too important how many people attend, it is the quality of the conversations that matter.
  • I have spent a lot of time supporting, organizing or promoting speaking clubs in Ankara, and I have checked out their claims where possible.
    • Some say they have lots of native speakers (they don’t). No, seriously, they really don’t. I have taught in most of the private language schools and joined most of the speaking clubs, I would guess that you will find a maximum of three or four native speakers at any school, and maybe one or two native speakers in any speaking club if you are lucky. Those are generous figures.
    • or that they offer lots of different languages (generally not true). Do they have some other languages? Sometimes, and they may be able to support conversations in those, but generally it’s English, English, English and English, with occasional German or Spanish. You may see a lot of national flags displayed, but don’t assume that means the people speak those languages, and definitely don’t get too excited about your chances of meeting a native speaker of those languages.
    • or they use tricks to get people to join (have you had a random social media friend request from a hot girl / guy you’ve never met inviting you to meet for a good time at one of these speaking clubs? Sorry, it’s a fake account used to get you to come and spend money. He / she won’t be there, but they hope you stay anyway and buy food or drink).
  • I have also added my view of the ones I have attended to help you find one that is good for you.
  • Click the name of any club below to visit their home page

Grow the English Speaking Club community together

Let’s help each other. If you visit any of these speaking clubs, tell people you found the information on this page. That way we share the details and more people can try out more clubs and find the ones that are best for them.

Also, if you know of any other club that I have not mentioned here, send me the link or the details so I can check it out and add it to the list.

And if you go to one of these and discover a different experience or different information, let me know so I can update it.

Finally, if you are running one of these clubs and you think the information below is wrong, let me know, I am happy to correct it. We want people to have the right information when they are searching.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*

COVID-19 Update: After January 2020 speaking clubs had to stop meeting face to face. Most of them have managed to move online in some form (Whatsapp, Telegram, Skype, Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube Channels, etc), so you can still actively participate. It’s not as good as actually meeting in person, but there are still some language and social benefits.

A few have managed to restart with ‘social distancing’ measures, and at least one has started a hybrid online / offline meeting, including involving international partner speaking clubs.

Several have moved location at least once (no update below unless I learn it is a permanent move) and a few have joined together to keep numbers of attendees at a worthwhile level.

Availability will change according to the progress of the Covid pandemic and government responses to it, so do check before you go, but don’t give up hope of finding somewhere to meet and practice your speaking.

Club NameLanguages SpokenWhere?When?Free?Format & PurposeNumbers AttendingMy View
MultiLingua[Host is American]

English, plus occasional German, Spanish, French, but really mainly English
Route Pub, Selanik 2 Cadde No.70, Kizilay, AnkaraEvery Saturday Evening, from 19:00 until 23:00FREEOpen meeting, random encounters, general mixed conversationfrom 15 - 60I was co-organiser from January to November 2019, but I had different ideas about who should attend and what to offer, so I stopped going in order to focus on other things. You can expect a warm welcome, a mix of students and workers, lots of good conversation. If you go, ask the waiter to point to the language club, it meets on the ground floor at the back
Les Soldats de Michel Emmi[Host is Turkish]

English, but regular French, Spanish, others
Kajun, Selanik 2 Cadde No:61, Kızılay AnkaraEvery Saturday Evening, from 18:30 until 23:00FREEOpen meeting, random encounters, general mixed conversationfrom 5 - 30I have attended quite a few meetings, it is a very relaxed group, lots of different types of people partly because of the languages offered. If you go, ask the waiter to guide you, the group meets on the right side at the very back of the cafe without any signs, so other customers are around
Video Egitim Ankara[Host is Turkish]

English and Turkish
Tiriyaki Is Merkez, Ataturk Bvd No.61/24, KizilayDifferent meetings on different days, usually more than one meeting per weekFREEOrganized activities, field trips, movies, games, making things, discussion topics, and endless list, etcfrom 15 - 40I have attended a couple of meetings, this is a very sociable group, and there will be a warm welcome and lots to do
Ankara ToastMasters[Host is Turkish]

English Only
Turk Amerikan Dernegi, Cinnah Caddesi No:20 Kavaklıdere, Cankaya, 06680 AnkaraEvery Tuesday Evening, from 19:00 until 23:00NOT FREE

first four visits free [flexible], after that there is a membership fee - this is a branch of a global organisation
Closed meeting, everyone takes a role, the aim is to improve presentation skills in English. Topics change every week, everyone takes a turn to be a speaker or checking what is saidfrom 10 - 20I have attended a few meetings, it is a really positive and proactive group, a mix students and workers. If you go, ask security where the meeting room is
Interlanguage Club[Host is Turkish]

English, others may be available
Loophole Booze Bite & Fun,
Maresal Fevzi Cakmak Caddesi No: 18, Cankaya, Besevler, Ankara 06500
Every Saturday Evening, from 19:00 until 23:00FREEOpen meeting, random encounters, general mixed conversation, some gamesfrom 10 - 20I have attended a few meetings, it is a really positive and proactive group, a mix of students and workers. They meet downstairs on the right, you can't miss them.
Paylaşım Çemberi Eğitim ve Sanat Platformu - English Speaking Club[Host is Turkish]

English, also offers German / Italian on other nights
Dr. Mediha Eldem Sokak 38/10 Kızılay, Gürol Apartmanı, Kat 3Every Thursday Evening, 19:00 - 22:00FREEGeneral conversationUp to 10There are no signs, so climb the stairs and ring the bell.
System and Generation[Host is Turkish]

English, others may be available (Italian, Spanish, Romanian, etc)
S&G Offices, Necatibey Caddesi 19/21, Kizilay, AnkarEvery Wednesday from 17:30 - 19:30
Every Saturday from 18:00 - 19:00
FREE

this is a charity organisation working with Erasmus Plus, so there are exchange students from other countries
Organised activities, for example moviesLess than 10I attended once, people were nice and welcoming, but not a lot of interaction happening. Probably varies according to who is there and what activity is happening
AnkaraLingo[Host is Turkish]

English, German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian, others - depends who arrives
Zaytung Zone Restaurant, Konur Sokak No:8, Kızılay, 06420 AnkaraEvery Saturday Evening, from 19:00 until 22:00NOT FREE

Last time I checked entry prices were Ladies 1 Lira, Men 10 Lira - that tells you quite a lot about the real purpose of the club
Open meeting, tables are organized for each language, indicated by national flags, any topic can be discussed. The aim is to improve your speaking ability, and drink and dance and date. A percentage of all money spent on food and drink goes to the organizer.from 80 - 120, making it the biggest in Ankara. They claim that 200 people attend, which I doubt, but is not impossible. It is certainly often too crowded to have good conversationsI have attended a lot of meetings, it is a really energetic group, with mainly students. I stopped going because it is too dark, the music is too loud, and it seems to be more of a dating club than a speaking club. Oh, and at ten o'clock it turns into a dance party. If that sounds like your kind of thing, check it out, they are friendly and you will get some dancing language practice
InterNations[Host is UNKNOWN]

English, and any other depending who attends, it's really international
Moves around, check for locationCheck for website announcementsNOT FREE

Basic membership level is free, Albatross level with all the best features is charged
Organised events and online networkingFrom 20 - ?I went a couple of times, I met a lot of different foreign people, mostly workers, it was enjoyable but not enough to justify the cost for me. They advertise that it is for foreigners only, but they do seem to accept lots of Turks or dual nationals there too, so don't worry too much if your English is not perfect
English Speakers Meetup Group[Host is Turkish]

English
Wherever members agree to meetWhenever members agree to meetFREEOnline discussion, meetings when members agreeHowever many agree to any particular eventSeems to be dead or lacking leadership, but new members were still joining in late 2019, so who knows?
Hello Cafe[Host is Mexican / Spanish]

English
Gokyuzu Sanatsal Iyilik Vakfi
Alacaatlı Mahallesi 3377. Sokak Bahçeci Konakları No:12 Çayyolu/Ankara
Sunday
Group 1 - 14:00-15:30
Group 2 - 15:30-17:00
FREEMixed conversation in groupsNo information, but likely less than 10Haven't managed to attend a meeting yet, but when I do, I will share my thoughts about it