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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SkELL: Sketch Engine for Language Learning reveals word usage

I’ve had “review Sketch Engine for e-Resources” on my to-do list for quite awhile now, because the site looks promising and like it may take some time to dig into. This tool can provide quite a bit of information about word usage: the various searches one can conduct are well-documented in a paper published by […]

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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 and Carson Maynard of the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan. The phrases […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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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