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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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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