If you are English students and you want to improve your vocabulary/comprehension skills I suggest that you try this website. Lingro is an amazing resource if you want to read a blog, an online newspaper, etc. You just have to write the link of what you want to read (number one in the picture below). You can select a dictionary (as you can see, I marked “English dictionary” with a red rectangle, but it’s not the only one, there are also English-Spanish, Spanish-English, English-French, English-Italian, etc.).
This is the homepage:
For example, you want to read an article on the website http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ . Firstly, you have to find an article you like, for instance, I decided to read this one: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150406-california-drought-snowpack-map-water-science/
Then, you have to copy the article’s link. Done that, from within the lingro’s website, you can enter the URL.
It’ll appear like this:
You can notice that I selected (I clicked the left mouse button) “warming” and “scarcity” .
Afterwards, you can study the words you didn’t know. There’s the possibility to create wordlists:
You can also play with flashcards:
If you want to know the origin of this idiom, read it on this website: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/raining%20cats%20and%20dogs.html
We give books is a website created mostly for kids, nevertheless it gives great resources to adult learners too.
You must register, but it’s free and it’s worth it!
For example, if you are struggling trying to learn weather vocabulary, this book could be helpful:
“Weather” by DK Publishing.
This is the website’s link: http://www.wegivebooks.org/
“We give books” supports worldwide charities. You can pick an organization and each time you read a book you will donate to that charity the book you’re reading.
Excellent IELTS preparation video with subtitles.