Podcast: Cache Chat

Cache Chat is a conversational podcast hosted by two undergraduate Computer Science (CS) students at Clemson University. The Cache Chat hosts use informal language to explain CS concepts, demonstrate a little bit of conversational overlapping speech, and use lots of active listening signals. Their conversation sounds like they are good friends. Their topics and interviews […]

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Pronunciation: SpeakAP displays pictures of your speech

SpeakAP is a fun little app for Android, iPhone, and iPad that offers a useful angle on pronunciation of individual words. Unlike software that seeks to tell you if you’ve matched the individual sounds in a word, SpeakAP focuses on the timing, intensity, and pitch of syllables in single words. This is a particularly good […]

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Writing for Law School

CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, offers hundreds of online lessons and tutorials, many of which focus on writing in legal genres. Because legal writing organization, logical structure, and vocabulary can differ dramatically from other academic and professional writing, this focus on writing specifically for legal purposes is particularly useful. For example, one 45-minute […]

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Vocabulary.com personalized game and dictionary

The terrific website Vocabulary.com has been out for several years now, and it just keeps getting better. This is a product of Thinkmap, the group that created Visual Thesaurus. You might call it a dictionary with witty definitions. You might call it an advanced vocabulary game that can quiz you on up to thousands of words by […]

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“Got a minute?” Scientific American’s podcast offers one every day.

Do you want to work on vocabulary, fluency, pitch range, or interpreting technical content to a lay audience Scientific American is a long-established magazine that publishes articles on a broad range of scientific topics for non-specialists. One of my students led me to the groovy “60-Second Science” daily audio podcast, which always starts with the […]

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Using English for Specific Academic Purposes

Andy Gillett’s UEFAP site, Using English for Academic Purposes, supported by BALEAP (the British Association of Lecturers in EAP) offers a deep set of resources for academic communication in all skill areas. The best segments of the site offer an introduction, strategic advice and practice exercises, and sample phrases for very specific communicative purposes. The advice […]

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All the language learning you can do with NPR

“NPR” stands for “National Public Radio,” a not-for-profit radio network that emphasizes high quality, in-depth, long-form news and conversation. Most radio shows are available as podcast episodes, and there is some content only available via podcast. For advanced English language learning, the NPR website and apps are a gold mine for working on listening, vocabulary, […]

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MICASE Corpus of spoken English on campus

MICASE is a searchable collection or “corpus” of the transcripts of real-life spoken language on the University of Michigan campus.  Most of the audio files are available for free download too. MICASE represents language as it is actually spoken on one university campus, which differs dramatically from how language looks in English textbooks.  In MICASE, […]

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WNYC Studios Podcasts

WNYC is a public radio station in New York City. In addition to running a major radio station, WNYC Studios features 60+ podcasts on a wide range of topics, from storytelling to in-depth journalism, in a range of styles. Some are conversational, some feature a reporter, but all of them focus on compelling human stories. […]

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“Marketplace” podcasts

Whether you are interested in economies, personal finance, business, inequality, social and political movements, or how money impacts our daily lives, the Marketplace suite of podcasts has an episode for you. The context is primarily from the point of view of the United States. The style is largely conversational, interviewing expert guests and everyday people […]

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