Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wallwisher, a virtual bulletin board

The virtual "corkboard" is just one of many learning links on Larry Ferlazzo's top ESL and language learning resource site. Check the sidebar here for the feed. Larry writes, 
Wallwisher, the pioneering “corkboard” Web 2.0 tool that lets you create virtual bulletin boards, has recently updated its site and it seems to work very well (thanks to Angela Cunningham for the tip). As many of us had noticed, it had become quite buggy over the past year. 
I, like others, explored other similar tools (see The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”). Now, with its problems worked-out, I’m adding it to The Best Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced English Language Learner Sites.
Reposted from Wallwisher Updates Its Site. So what do you think about adding a Wallwisher or another virtual corkboard right here, either just under the tabs or on a separate page? We need more networks... got one? Join ours and share it with us.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grammar Rules: Subject and Verb Agreement

Mini-Lesson on the grammar rules surrounding subject-verb agreement.

grammar rules subject verb agreementThe rule is simple: singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs. But sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether a subject is singular or plural. That’s why subject and verb agreement errors crop up in so many pieces of writing. Making matters worse is the fact that most people don’t know what subject and verb agreement means. In fact, too many people don’t know a subject from a verb.

When you’re fixing up your sentences and making sure they are correct, it helps to know the parts of speech, how to conjugate a verb, and how to diagram a sentence (so you can identify the subject). If you understand all those basic elements of language, then you can easily make sure your subjects and verbs agree.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

book patrol: Summer Reading Flowchart for the High School Set

Are you looking for books to feed your mind ? created this handy flowchart featuring 101 books in a variety of genres to help US students. Although for American secondary school students, it should useful for intermediate and advanced English learners. 

Warning!!! - if you don't read regularly, your reading skills will deteriorate - guaranteed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fantasy and Science Fiction:The Human Mind, Our Modern World

Here's a free online course that might suit more advanced learners, I'd say high intermediate through advanced. The course would be good reading, writing and listening practice. If the syllabus seems overwhelming, you can join just to follow and doing what you can manage. There are many students from around the world ~ more non-native than native speakers and many there to practice their English. 

We understand the world — and our selves — through stories. Then some of those hopes and fears become the world.

About the Course
Fantasy is a key term both in psychology and in the art and artifice of humanity. The things we make, including our stories, reflect, serve, and often shape our needs and desires. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Language Garden

Take a look at Language Garden. It is a very attractive site about an original and appealing approach to language learning. Try out the interactive activities designed around grammatical mind maps and collocations.

Language Garden

You can also subscribe to free resources by email. Read more about Language Garden and here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here's Why. - Kyle Wiens - Harvard Business Review

Who in this study group has problems keeping commas and periods ~ and when to use which ~ straight?  Are you studying English for business? Pay careful attention to this article from the Harvard Business Review. Grammar and correct writing do matter in business. Don't panic or give up just yet. The writer does allow that being an English is an extenuating circumstance. 
If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.
But grammar is relevant for all companies. Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn't make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can't tell the difference between their, there, and they're. 
Good grammar makes good business sense — and not just when it comes to hiring writers. 
Read the rest of "I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here's Why" by Kyle Wiens at the Harvard Business Review

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Movie clips to practice English

I'll be focusing on listening practice and comprehension for a while. Of course, dropping by a study group and checking for lessons isn't the same as actual conversation practice. But the better your listening comprehension, the better prepared you will be for conversation or listening to lectures. So make some popcorn and get ready for a night at the movies...

ESL Listening Comprehension Exercises:
Learning through media (movies, music, etc.) is one of the best ways to learn a new language. The clips below will improve your listening comprehension skills, helping you to learn and practice English as spoken by normal people every day! These particular clips are from recent movies

Here's what you do: 
  1. Click on the video you want to watch below.
  2. Watch the video, and pay attention to it! (You can pause and rewind the video.)
  3. Answer the listening comprehension questions below the video.
  4. Check your answers.

Here are the Movie clips to practice English. Let us know what you think of these listening exercises. Check out the rest of the site too.

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab is another good listening resource. Start with the easy ones and work up. Take as long as necessary listening and repeating
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