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, […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

“Got a minute?” Scientific American 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 question, […]

Read More »

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. For advanced English language learning, the NPR website and apps are a gold mine for working on listening, vocabulary, and even pronunciation. Virtually all content can be downloaded for free. There are hundreds of different voices […]

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

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, […]

Read More »

Funky English online community

What does “funky” mean?  According to vocabulary.com, it can mean “offensively malodorous” or “stylish and modern in an unconventional way.” www.funkyenglish.com appears to embrace the second definition by developing an online social community for English language learning. Ironically, however, language instruction itself on the site is quite traditional and conventional. Nonetheless, Funky English may be a useful […]

Read More »