Phrases to get things done in English: Imber’s Verbal Stratagems

This simple and easy-to-use Verbal Stratagems website offers a robust collection of phrases for specific purposes, such as agreeing, checking for understanding, expressing gratitude, or making a suggestion. These phrases have been collected and maintained by Dr. Brenda P. Imber of the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan and Carson Maynard, a Michigan […]

Read More »

Practice pronunciation watching Youtube videos in YouGlish

This review is by guest contributor Emmanuel Orozco Castellanos. Learning English on Youtube may not seem like a new idea. There already exists a virtually infinite amount of videos to learn English or any other languages. You can find anything from grammar lessons to tips to perform better at job interviews. But sometimes all you […]

Read More »

MICUSP corpus of written academic papers

MICUSP, the Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Papers, is composed of papers with a grade of A from the University of Michigan written for upper undergraduate and early graduate courses. This searchable database makes it possible to see disciplinary differences in academic writing, to observe the various ways that a particular word or phrase is […]

Read More »

Use “Just The Word” to find phrases that sound great

Just The Word is a powerful tool for figuring out how a word patterns with other words: what are possible grammatical phrase structures for a word, and what words go with your search term? Just The Word uses a subset of 80 million words of the British National Corpus, a database of published written language and transcribed […]

Read More »

Preview a Reading with VocabGrabber

VocabGrabber, a tool from Thinkmap’s Visual Thesaurus, allows users to paste in up to 100 pages of text, and then see a visual display of the most frequent and most relevant vocabulary. If you have a transcript of something you want to listen to, you can also grab the spoken vocabulary in the same manner, […]

Read More »

Loads of free advanced English practice activities and tips on one website

L’Université de Franche-Comté in Besançon, France has a prominent “Applied Linguistics” program. Part of the way this program shares its expertise on language learning with the world is to host “English Online France” http://cla-tice2.univ-fcomte.fr/eolf/, a website with dozens of free interactive games, exercises, and tips for learning English independently.

Read More »

Common Errors in English Usage

“Common Errors in English Usage” represents one retired Comparative Literature professor’s effort to document the types of written errors that frequently appear in the writing of native speakers of American English. The content of the site is now available as a Kindle e-book, as a Twitter or podcast feed, as a long text list, and […]

Read More »

Humor, idioms, fluency, and … science?

Sandra Tsing Loh hosts a 90-second radio show called the “Loh Down on Science”http://www.lohdownonscience.org/–the show is dedicated to finding humorous ways to introduce the general public to interesting science. Every episode is transcribed with about 95% accuracy.

Read More »

Academic vocabulary and writing practice

Sometimes, a gift arrives by email. I received one just before the new year: a link to Reading and Writing Tools for Academic English, a site designed by Eoin Jordan and Andy Snyder, instructors at  Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. This site offers a suite of nifty tools, games, and practice for academic reading, writing, and vocabulary. Let’s […]

Read More »

Find common phrases with your words in Netspeak

A student introduced us to Netspeak, a project of Bauhaus Universitat of Weimar, Germany. The point of this website is to help writers select words and phrase structures when writing in English. Netspeak uses a huge Google database (corpus) of 1-word to 5-word phrases or “NGrams” that appear frequently in publicly-available web pages in English.

Read More »