Check123 is a video encyclopedia — a site which has curated high-quality short (1, 2 and 3 minute), educational and informative videos.

These are the categories you can choose from:

Here’s one from the politics category that’s very relevant this week, after the news that the Japanese government is going to allow the emperor to abdicate.

I found this one in the literature category: How to write a CV (resume)


Tube Quizard

Tube Quizard is a collection of YouTube videos with gap-fill quizzes. You can browse in several ways: by level, by language focus, by category, and you can choose either US English or UK English. There are two other options that don’t seem to be available yet (Australian and Indian). Let’s hope this site is just getting started and more options and more videos appear soon.

Click on the empty box and the video will cue to that time. Fill in the blank and check your answer.

You can also search the archives for available quizzes. Just past a YouTube URL into this search box.  The YouTube video you use must already have subtitles.

You can also create your own gap-fill quizzes. There’s an explanatory video on the About page.

Tween Tribune


The Smithsonian’s TweenTribune is a free, nonprofit newspaper for teenagers and “tweens” (people between childhood and their teenage years). Most of my students are 18-22 years old, but this site is good for language learners of all ages because you can choose articles by topic and by difficulty (“lexile level”).

These are the topics you can choose from:

Some recent stories:

“Take a virtual trip to the International Space Station”

How Mozart outsold Beyonce in CD sales in 2016

Michigan teen gets size-28 shoes, thanks to 3-D printer

Would you eat a pizza made by robots?

In Japan, autumn means a parade of robot puppets

Some older stories:

“Does acupuncture work?”

“Performers audition for spots on New York subways”

“Tennis and fashion are a match in Paris”

“Mrs. Obama asks, ‘How do you stay healthy?'”

“Britney, Katy on display at the Smithsonian”

“Fitting rooms go high tech”

Each story has a short reading text and a critical thinking challenge. Each story is also labeled by lexile level. Some stories have videos, too. You can read articles and comments without logging in, but to comment, you do need to log in. Students need the log-in password from their teachers (my students: let me know if you want to log in and I’ll give you the password the for “classroom” I created).

There are other things you can do by logging in: see the news captions on the photos of the day in the upper right corner (“What do you see?”), take a daily news quiz, and more.

Tween Tribune also has a page in Spanish, so if you’re majoring in that language, this is another good source of input.

“It all starts with a story.”

Pixar in a Box is free lesson series of videos and activities from Khan Academy about storytelling and making animated videos. Here’s the Introduction to Storytelling video:

If this interests you, go back and start with the introduction video to this lesson series on the Khan Academy site. These videos have transcripts, to help your listening comprehension.

This is a free course, and you don’t have to sign up to just enjoy it, but if you want to save your progress, sign up.

If you’re unfamiliar with Khan Academy, here’s Salman Khan’s TED Talk from several years ago, when the organization was just starting out: