narrated linksThe web is ideal to help you improve your language skills as so many documents are written in English. Why not find sites that interest you and interact with them and then follow links from these sites to other sites? You'll be reading all the time.
I recommend the following to get you started - and remember: "a little - often" is better than "a lot - seldom".
1. NewspapersJohn Osborne said: "Never believe in mirrors or newspapers". You still might like to read an English newspaper, though. Try the following to find your favourite:
The Guardian: a good quality newspaper and one of my favourites
Telegraph: conservative, but with quite funny and frank obituaries
Financal Times: well-known for the latest UK and international business, finance and political news
Daily Express: says it's the "world's greatest"
Daily Mail: could be seen as the women's tabloid
The Independent: twice named newspaper of the year
Subscribe to a regular newsletter where possible. If you have already heard or read the news in German, it might be easier then to understand it in English.
2. More newsBBC: a great website for up-to-the-minute news, breaking news, video, audio and feature stories
Deutsche Welle: one of my favourites for news and up-to-date information on a variety of topics from Germany and Europe
3. MagazinesI can highly recommend Spotlight and Business Spotlight – with their bilingual glossaries, from English into German - which you can subscribe to or buy at your local kiosk. You can also find a lot of good reading on the websites of English magazines:
Scientific American: for those interested in science issues (such as the earth, environment and space)
The Economist: a weekly current affairs publication focusing on world politics, economics and business, science and technology, and the arts
Time: a weekly American magazine covering international affairs
National Geographic: free maps, photos, videos and articles about animals, the environment, science and space, travel and cultures, etc.
New Scientist: a weekly science magazine offering science news and science articles
Spiegel: the online international edition of one of the largest-circulation news magazines in Germany
4. BooksNancy Mitford said, "I have only read one book in my life, and that is White Fang. It's so frightfully good, I've never bothered to read another".
Why don't you read an English book and just try to get the gist of the story? If you can't find a bookshop near you that sells English books, you can find books on the Internet. Visit the English website of Amazon.
If you have time, choose a paragraph, get your dictionary out and look up the words you don't know. Or read the English translation of a German novel you have already read. You could even try listening to an audio book.
Or choose a book from a free online library (now there's no excuse!). Visit ReadPrint.
5. Vocabulary trainersD. A. Wilkins said, “Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”. Learn a word a day from one of Langenscheidt's calendars or try the following:
One-Word-A-Day: a free email service which sends you a new word or idiom every day
Free Rice: a simple game that can help improve your vocabulary and that gives free rice to hungry people
Phase-6: an excellent tool for locking the words you want to learn into your long-term memory (used by many of my language learners)
6. Develop your writing skillsFind a penfriend or eTandem partner to help improve your writing skills – and then check that your communication is crystal-clear.
Plain English Campaign
Style Guide: The book is very readable and entertaining.
7. Improve your grammarThere are lots of sites offering explanations of key grammar points, exercises and grammar games. Try these out:
British Council: good explanations of key grammar points and answers to grammar questions
8. Test your englishWant to test your English just for fun? Try
9. Quizzes and GamesBBC: Seventy questions on the 20th century
Millionaire TV: Who wants to be a millionaire?
10. Online DictionariesLooking for a dictionary? The following may be able to help you:
LEO: also for technical and business English, with a translation forum
Hyperdictionary: my favourite online monolingual (just English!) dictionary
Dict.cc: definitely my favourite!
11. Video and audio clipsJust a very small selection from a wide range of video and audio clips:
BBC Learning English: audio clips to help you learn about the language of news reports
Sky News: video clips of the UK and World News
National Geographic: great video clips about researchers and explorers as they make the discoveries that shape the way we see the world
Lingual Net: watch a number of authentic English language movies, with or without subtitles (I love Popeye!)
There are, of course, so many other websites that I could name, but I think that this is enough to get you started. I sincerely hope that you find something to motivate you.