The following resources will help you to expand your knowledge of American English, as well as enrich your understanding of American culture. From time to time we’ll post resources that we believe will be educational and useful to you.


The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is an established system for identifying sounds.  The IPA is used world-wide, and is the system used in the Improve your Spoken English and Pronunciation: An American Accent Course for Success in Business. Following is an informative article about the benefits of knowing and using the IPA.

If you wish to learn even more about the IPA, the following website gives a comprehensive explanation of the origins, system, and uses of the IPA.

Vocabulary and Phrases

Word a Day

The Phrase Finder website offers a free, weekly email with an American or British phrase or idiom commonly used in conversation. The information provided is entertaining, as well as educational, and a good way to learn a phrase or idiom and its origins.

English Grammar

Find in-depth English tutorials featuring many interactive exercises where the serious learner can practice English grammar and get immediate feedback.

American Culture

Expanding your knowledge of American culture is necessary to understanding what Americans value, and how Americans think and work. As you become more familiar with American culture and history, you will more readily understand American expressions and humor, and communicate more fluidly with colleagues and with friends. Film and books are enjoyable ways of absorbing cultural knowledge.

Filmmaker, Ken Burns, has produced several award-winning television film series that capture the American experience. Each miniseries contains stunning archival images and photographs, and is accompanied by clear narration and lovely music. You can purchase his series in DVD or book format.

THE WEST — This eight-part documentary is the story of the American West. It describes a unique time in American history of unbounded optimism as people moved West for new opportunities. This DVD series would add to your enjoyment of Take the Bull by the Horns, one of our Stories for Learning Useful Business Idioms.

THE CIVIL WAR— The story of America’s bloodiest war that divided the nation, ended slavery, and called upon all the leadership skills of President Abraham Lincoln.  Over 10 hours of film episodes with photographs and a stunning soundtrack.

BASEBALL — The story of America’s oldest sports game, told in over 18 hours of film, photographs, narrative and soundtrack. A great supplement to Touch All the Bases, one of our Stories for Learning Useful Business Idioms.

JAZZ — The history of jazz music in the USA, from its origins at the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. The 10 two-hour films feature interviews with present-day musicians, and each episode is rich in musical examples and classic, rare and unseen film clips.

THE NATIONAL PARKS: America's Best Idea — Six two-hour shows tell the history of America’s most famous national parks, including Yellowstone and Grand Canyon. Beautiful photography and informative narration are a part of each episode. Once you’ve seen this series, you’ll want to plan several vacations to America’s National Parks.