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American English

For many foreign-born spouses, learning the English language and understanding American culture are important steps to take before they begin their job search.

Many employment opportunities are available for foreign-born spouses, both in the United States and abroad, and the U.S. Department of State has provided a website called “About American English” to assist you with learning English and adjusting to the United States.

Although the “About American English” website was developed for teachers, plenty of great resources are available for spouses who want to improve their English language skills. Start searching for resources by checking the settings that meet your current skill level. Select 'Learn English' and then choose the appropriate level: beginner, intermediate or advanced. Select the skills you want to work on, as well as the type and theme of the content, if desired.

Below, you’ll find just a few of the learning tools for each proficiency level.

  • Beginner level includes basic text, word games, puzzles and an introduction to the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
  • Intermediate level includes books, holidays, puzzles, games and information about taking the TOEFL.
  • Advanced level or Adult Learners level include articles on American culture, politics and social issues.

Have fun learning new English language skills and cultural information by using the following resources:

American culture resources

  • About the U.S.A. – Find out more about the customs, history and government of the United States.
  • Celebrate! Holidays in the U.S.A. – Learn about the 10 federal holidays and additional special days like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Download information by holiday name or as an electronic book.

Songs and games

  • Board Games – Make learning English fun by choosing from 10 board games you can download, print or play online including “What You Might Find,” “What Do I Know About” and “Would You Rather”. The games will help you practice your vocabulary, learn about grammar patterns and learn English for specific situations.
  • Word Games – Learn English with crossword puzzles, idioms, limericks and more.
  • Word Bricks – Choose from games like “Brick Bingo,” “Sentence Challenge,” “Sorting Race” and more.
  • Games, Quizzes and More – Visit this Environmental Protection Agency website for online activities to help you learn and practice your English skills.
  • American Rhythms – Download song lyrics and music, and sing your way to better English.
  • American English on Facebook – Meet other English language learners from around the world and discover additional resources to assist you in learning English.

Video resources

Whether English is your primary or secondary language, English language training is a portable skill you can take with you to every duty station.

For further assistance in finding ways to learn or expand your English language skills on MySECO, view resources like Improve Your English Language Skills and About English as a Second Language. You can also speak to a career coach at 800-342-9647 to discuss any questions you may have about finding resources to assist you in improving your English language skills.

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