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Tag Archives: ESL resources

Catch-up part one: some interesting sites.

1. A book, really – and a site that introduces it.

whiffling_ukcoverThe Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under and elsewhere).

Discover all sorts of words you’ve always wished existed but never knew, such as fornale, to spend one’s money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

Delving passionately into the English language, I also discover why it is you wouldn’t want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else.

I am a sucker for things like this, and you can do a lot worse than to become interested in odd and curious words, and above all in the fascinating stories that lie behind so many words.

2. A good reference site for ESL teachers

It doesn’t hurt that this site is included there! 🙂 — 15 of the Best Blogs for EFL and ESL Teachers.

efl

3. Ed Tech, e-learning, e-literacy.

There are some good posts on Barking Robot. For example: Study: Children Who Blog Or Use Facebook Have Higher Literacy Levels.

Research conducted by The National Literacy Trust on 3,001 children from England and Scotland showed that schoolchildren who blog or own social networking profiles on Facebook have higher literacy levels and greater confidence in writing…

Among the key findings:

  • 56% of youth reported maintaining an active profile on a social networking site such as Facebook or Bebo, while 24% said they maintained their own blog;
  • The study also found that 49% of young people believe writing is “boring.” However, 57 per cent of those who used text-based web applications such as blogs, said they enjoyed writing compared to 40 per cent who did not;
  • 56% of youth who had a blog or profile on a social networking site (SNS) reported to be confident in their writing ability: 61% of bloggers and 56% of social networkers claimed to be good or very good at writing, compared to 47% of those who had neither.
  • A total of 13% of children surveyed had their own website, 24% kept their own blog and 56 % had a profile on a social networking site like Facebook or Bebo;
  • Social web activity was also credited with encouraging children to engage with more traditional forms of writing. Those who were active online were "significantly more likely" to write short stories, letters, song lyrics and diaries than those who had no online presence;
  • The National Trust urges that kids should be encouraged to write blogs and use social networking sites like Facebook to improve literacy levels and encourage them to engage in writing…
 

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Two to look at

Students of ESL or EFL will find much to use on Real English. There is also an associated blog.

realenglish

The next is an Australian educational blog that came my way. It has much to offer teachers, especially but not only those dealing with very young students. I commend the ESL page, not merely because I get a mention but because it points to some excellent resources beyond ones I have so far noted. The literacy page is also very good.

rampantred

 

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Worth visiting

And yet another email informed me about this site:

multimedia

…which is how it looks in Google Chrome. 🙂

MULTIMEDIA ENGLISH CLASSROOM is a free online classroom to learn English, designed for students from all around the world. It uses authentic material and is targeted at students of English who already have a basic knowledge of the language (though we’ll soon have a section for absolute beginners too). If you can read this and understand it (at least the general idea), then this virtual classroom is for you!

This website is very young, but it is growing quickly. Every week (on Sunday) new material is posted and the old material is moved to libraries where you can access the stuff published here before…

Most of the language used here is authentic English not adapted to any specific level and taken from real sources. Though my language is British English, so that is the variety I use myself, the material on this site comes from different countries, especially the UK and the USA; there are even some non-native speakers too. That way, you train yourself to use and understand English as it is, the English used by natives (not the simplified, artificial language nobody uses in real life).

The activities and videos are usually loaded with lots of help and explanations in case you need it. If your level is low, understanding the general idea is more than enough, or sometimes trying to understand a few things here and there will help you progress. If your level is advanced, then you should be able to focus on more difficult aims.

And remember, the more you listen and read, the more you will understand.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2008 in English language, ESL, esl for students, student help

 

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Top 100 Language Blogs – Lexiophiles

I can’t say I was displeased when I received an email pointing to Top 100 Language Blogs – Lexiophiles because English/ESL has been listed there — at #75. I strongly recommend your browsing the list as some very interesting blogs may be found there.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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How to Study English 7 Tips and Ideas | UK Student News and Events

How to Study English 7 Tips and Ideas | UK Student News and Events is a new UK blog from an education consultancy firm. The post linked here does give good advice to the overseas students among us, whether here in Australia or in the UK. It is advice you will find in many places, but that doesn’t make it less worth having. 🙂

Here are the first two tips. Go to the link above for the rest.

1. Learn slowly

You are like a new born baby. You will learn a new language slowly and through careful steps. So, adopt the steps a baby would and you’ll develop in no time. First learn to listen and then learn to talk and then learn to read and write.

2. Listen everyday

Make sure that you are always listening to English. Listen to the radio. Watch English movies and regular TV. Enjoy a day out at the cinema and watch English movies and make use of any English audio you find online. There will be loads and it doesn’t cost you a thing!

And just one more, because I approve of this so much:

4. Read, read and read some more

You want to be reading as much English as possible. Not only to help your reading skills but in order to expand your vocabulary too. A great place to start is children’s books and stories and these can be picked up for next to nothing from charity shops all over London. Read many of the UK’s free newspapers, the backs of packets whilst shopping, adverts on the Tube and trains. When you think about, there is English you can read everywhere. So make sure you do every single day.

You’ll have to adapt that a little for Sydney: ads (not adverts in Aussie English) on bus stops maybe… And make sure you pay for those “children’s books and stories”… 😉

We do have good public libraries in Sydney too. The one in Chinatown is excellent; of course it does have a big collection of material in Chinese, but an even bigger collection in English. They have DVDs too; you can try watching a movie in English with the English subtitles on — getting both reading and listening.

 

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Radio Australia’s special English sites

Related to the last post here, I have been exploring:

Radio Australia: Learn English

learnenglish

Worth a look.

 

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ESL for Law and Accountancy: ideas and help wanted

I currently have a student enrolled in a tertiary course in Accountancy. Now let’s be frank here: this takes me beyond my usual comfort zone as an English teacher. Do any of you out there have any suggestions for resources, or any ideas at all?

I have found the following:

1. At a very introductory level, but a plus is that the material is Australian, is the site Discovering Democracy.

2. There are some useful links, even if in a US context, on LANGUAGEandLAW.org. For example:

  • the creation, structure, and interpretation of the legal text
  • sample legal texts from throughout the ages (wills, deeds, writs, trials, etc.)
  • 3. TransLegal together with Cambridge ESOL has a page of downloads related to the International Legal English Certificate. See also:

    plead 

    Any more ideas?

     

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    Indirect or reported questions

    A student the other day made a series of mistakes in his writing, things like:

    • My father asked me what sport will I like…
    • I wanted to know will you go out with me…

    What is happening here is that the grammar of direct questions, the actual words someone would have said, is being mixed in with a report structure.

    The father in the first example would have said “What sport will/do you like?” The second example would have been “Will you go out with me?”

    But when you report a question, things change. First, word order changes. Second, question words often disappear. Third, word order changes. Fourth, tense changes to suit the time frame of the report.

    So our examples would become:

    • My father asked me what sport I would like…
    • I wanted to know if you would go out with me…

    Reported questions are more common in rather formal registers, but they do quite frequently occur in narrative, partly for variety, and partly for focussing the narrative viewpoint in a certain way. 

    Many of the rules are just the same as in Indirect or Reported Speech.

    MORE INFORMATION

    Indirect questions (British Council)

    Questions in reported speech

    Reported questions

    Quiz on Indirect Questions

     

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    Welcome to the Sydney English Student Blog

    Here is a new blog designed, it seems, for the many overseas students here in Sydney:

    The blog is written by English teachers, for English students. Here you will find everything you need to know about accommodation, work, schools, technology, English resources… Everything you need to live and study in Sydney, written in clear, simple English – you can practice your English as you learn about Sydney.

         Some features that you might like to explore on the blog are:

    • Translate – if your English is not so good, choose a flag above to translate the site.
    • English Resources – links to GOOD English resources online to help with your study.
    • Ask a Question – if you have any questions you want answered, pleases leave a message. Every week 1 question will be answered.
    • Entertainment – a list of things to do in Sydney (bands, galleries, concerts etc.), mostly FREE.
    • Subscribe – stay up to date with the blog by subscribing (click the FEEDBURNER button).
    • Share – share this site with friends on Facebook, Digg, Mixx and Stumbleupon.
    • Games – play games between classes, some English games, some just for FUN.
    • More to come…

    It has only just started, but already there is some useful material there.

     
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    Posted by on April 13, 2008 in esl for students, student help

     

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    More good educational/English Studies blogs

    Just had this email:

    I am a regular reader of your English/ESL–and more! blog and I have found your site to be an inspiration. I am a teacher of high school English at Katikati College in New Zealand and I have been blogging for about nine months…

    So I checked them out. I suggest you do the same.

    This one is for Year 13 students (New Zealand):

    katikati2

    This one is for other years, the majority of students at Katikati College.

    katikati1

    Students here will find many relevant articles and links.

     

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