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, […]

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Extraordinary academic English learning website

Monash University in Australia hosts an academic English language self-study website, Language and Learning Online, with vast breadth and depth in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and grammar. The challenge may be in deciding where to start. If you’d like an overview of everything offered, the site map may be helpful. The site is indexed not just […]

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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://eolf.univ-fcomte.fr, a website with dozens of free interactive games, exercises, and tips for learning English independently.

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Writing for Law School

CALI, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, offers hundreds of free 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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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.

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Academic vocabulary and writing practice

Happy New Year! 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, […]

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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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