English teachers and students of a certain age may remember The Lost Secret, a BBC Education video course from 1986.
The course is aimed at lower-level students. There are 11 episodes of 13 minutes, each focusing on particular language points.
English teachers and students of a certain age may remember The Lost Secret, a BBC Education video course from 1986.
The course is aimed at lower-level students. There are 11 episodes of 13 minutes, each focusing on particular language points.
If your first language is not English, you may use a dictionary in any examination at INTO and UEA unless it is expressly forbidden – for example, during an English language test.
It must be a translation dictionary (e.g. Chinese-English) from one of these series:
It may be a good idea to buy one of these dictionaries, as you can use it throughout your time at both INTO and UEA. Prices range from about £4 to £14.
The Smithsonian Channel is a collection of short educational videos on science and other subjects. For example:
The videos have subtitles. There are other video categories at the Smithsonian’s main Videos page.
The Age of Uncertainty is a BBC television series about the evolution of economic thought from Adam Smith onwards. It was written and presented by the post-Keynsian economist John Kenneth Galbraith and broadcast in 1977.
In response the free-market economist Milton Friedman made a TV series called Free to Choose.
Among the films and TV programmes on Netflix are some business documentaries. These ones are currently available in the UK:
Learn English with Cambridge is a new YouTube channel, with videos presented by five youngish teachers.
The videos so far:
World of Better Learning is a blog about English language teaching, from Cambridge University Press.
Posts are written by various people and divided into three categories: Insights, Techniques and Tools. There are also audio and video presentations.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel by George Orwell. It was published in June 1949 – 70 years ago this month. It has been translated into numerous languages.
In the year 1984 Britain is a province of a superstate ruled by the Party. It is a society of meaningless slogans and worship of the Party leader, Big Brother. There is no privacy and dissent is punished by torture, brainwashing and death. The main character in the novel, Winston Smith, tries to rebel against the system.
The ELT Journal has been published since 1946. Until 1981 it had a section called The Question Box, which answered readers’ questions. Three examples from the earliest issues:
Question: I have recently come across fry-pan for frying-pan. Is this form considered correct?
Answer: Fry-pan is not accepted as standard English and is considered incorrect by most grammarians. It is probably an American form. Similar forms are swim-suit and fly-bomb, both to be found in newspapers in Great Britain. It is likely that such forms will spread and be accepted in time. Grammarians will explain that the correct forms are swimming suit, made up of the noun suit modified by the gerund swimming (a suit for swimming), and flying-bomb, made up of the noun bomb and the participle flying (a bomb that flies). The ordinary user of language does not trouble himself about nice distinctions between gerunds and participles. If the root form of the verb (fry, swim and fly) expresses the meaning, the gain in brevity will in time probably result in the adoption of the shorter forms.
ELT Journal (1946) ‘The Question Box’, 1(2), pp. 50-51. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/1.2.50-b
Question: Should we, in English, use Netherland or Netherlands as an attributive adjective? The bank named after the Midlands is the Midland Bank, and the regiment that derives its name from the highlands is called the Highland Light Infantry.
Answer: Usage requires the use of the plural form, as in The Netherlands Indies. For the foreign student of English it would be helpful if there were uniformity in these matters, but unfortunately there is not uniformity.
ELT Journal (1947) ‘The Question Box’, 1(7), p. 198. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/1.7.198
Question: Which is preferable: an opportunity (chance) to see you or an opportunity (chance) of seeing you ?
Answer: Both are correct and there is no preference either way.
ELT Journal (1947) ‘The Question Box’, 2(2), p. 54. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/II.2.50
Did you know that “winter denotes a season of the year, but connotes cold weather”?
Other sections include grammar, punctuation and spelling.
The United States Foreign Services Institute groups languages into four categories, according to the average time required for an English-speaking learner to become proficient in them. For example:
Language Log has produced an alternative ranking of language difficulty, based on a survey of the blog’s readers. These are some examples. The higher the score, the harder the language (e.g. written Chinese at 5.11 is harder than Spanish at 1.7).
Many Chinese students adopt English names while studying in English-speaking countries. This article in Language, Culture and Curriculum explores why.
For example, when asked “Why do you use an English name?” (multiple responses allowed), students answered as follows:
A few months ago Twitter had a game with the hashtag #UnscienceAnAnimal.
The idea was to compose funny labels for the anatomies of various animals. such as the scalloped hammerhead shark (pictured).
Examples of labels are wiggly bits, scary part, booper, floof, squirt hole and so on.
Source: American Scientist
To create an essay, just enter three keywords: for example, international + students + Britain.
Educatee has not, and probably never will be debauched but not excessive. Society will always mortify international; some at executioner and others to the area of theory of knowledge. Great Britain which might be the allusion lies in the search for semantics together with the realm of semiotics. Seeing as international annotates postlapsarian utterances, humanity should incarcerate United Kingdom immediately.
As I have learned in my theory of knowledge class, educatee is the most fundamental analysis of humankind. While interference transmits plasmas, the same pendulum may counteract two different gamma rays at a scrutinization. The plasma inverts to oscillate. Information for the reprobate is not the only thing a neuron on comments which provision the people in question implodes; it also receives a neuron of Britain. From disseminating dictators, particularism with students can be more equitably proliferated. The assumption that should analytically be mastication and laments a demolisher by educatee changes the recondite United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The casuistry of reports, often on epitome, enjoins International. The more patter is lavish, pertinacious, and contemptuous, the more celebrations to an authentication for the administration magnetize the authorization or matriculate. Additionally, presumption, especially with demarcations, authorizes pupil. My retort accedes. Even so, knowing that a probe will be the quarrel that expedites demonstrations, many of the assassins at my pledge provide recount. Our personal salver for the response we contravene may hastily be an excessively atrocious declaration but articulates the inspection. Admiration that proceeds of Great Britain arranges exposures to altruists with my agronomist equally. an apprentice is scrupulously peripheral, not a reprover on executioner. In my reality class, just about all of the commencements for our personal explanation with the inquiry we surround intensify scenarios or surprise fetish. Because most of the circumscriptions are occluded by student, propagandists which hovers adhere to the same extent of student.
The regrettable Britain, frequently on the allegation, might be synecdoche. As a result of commencing, an abundance of United Kingdom can be more rapaciously sequestered. Additionally, students, typically at increasing advocates, can remarkably be the circumstance and is prelapsarian, pusillanimous, and professed. Our personal account by the avocation we perform intercedes. an oration should, still yet, be squalid in the extent to which we promulgate proclamations but concede the assiduously but probingly blustering excommunication. In my experience, all of the assemblies to my civilization compensate agriculturalists for plethora. Pupil which recounts confrontation appeases assimilationists but aggregates validation at our personal agronomist with the orator we complete too. an allegation for malcontent is livid yet somehow assiduous, not a device that will be the development. Our personal precinct on the admonishment we attenuate gloats. Abandonment that might vehemently be the allegation to Britain changes International which is vehement but not frugal and edifies comptroller.
Britain will always be a component of human society. Nonetheless, armed with the knowledge that the query verifies domains which bluster or commission pilfering, some of the inquiries by my injunction enlighten the performances involved. By the fact that adjurations are belittled of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a dictate at United Kingdom can be more culpably delineated. Educatee has not, and doubtlessly never will be eternally masochistic. International is the most generous diagnosis of human life.
If this fools an automated scoring system, maybe it could also fool your teacher…
Work, the what’s-its-name of the thingummy and the thing-um-a-bob of the what d’you-call-it.
– P. G. Wodehouse
Fortunately, I had all this wreckage to build a space swapping doodah-thingy-whatsit.
– The Sarah Jane Adventures (TV series)
English has several words for a thing or person whose name you don’t know or can’t remember or can’t be bothered to say. For example:
The ICAO Radiotelephony Alphabet (aka NATO Phonetic Alphabet) is a spelling alphabet used to say letters aloud on the radio or telephone. It is used internationally by airlines, armed forces, the police, etc.
It can also be used by international students when (for example) spelling their names. So, if your family name is Zhang, you would say Zulu Hotel Alfa November Golf.
Picture from NATO:
English language learners can measure the size of their English vocabulary at VocabularySize.com.
There is an online test of 140 questions. Teachers can create class tests.
It has been claimed that you need to know at least 98% of the words in a text to be able to understand it fairly easily. On this basis you need a vocabulary size of 8,000 to 9,000 words to read a newspaper.
A study of 205 international foundation students concludes that overall IELTS score (OIS) “is not a good predictor of overall receptive vocabulary size. The data shows the relationship is particularly weak for Chinese students.”
Students with OIS scores as high as 6.5 and 7.0 are likely to still encounter a large number of unknown words in writing intended for educated native-speakers and it should not be assumed that a student with OIS 7.0 has no further need for acquiring language. Many students at the lower end of the range of receptive vocabulary knowledge evident at IOS 5.5 and 6.0 will face what is likely to be an insurmountable level of difficulty in reading authentic academic texts…
Drummond, A. (2018) ‘Investigating the Relationship between IELTS Scores and Receptive Vocabulary Size‘, Journal of the Foundation Year Network, 1, pp.113-125.
The Open Dictionary is Macmillan’s crowdsourced dictionary, where you can suggest new words and expressions for us to add. The Open Dictionary started in 2009, and since then more than 4000 new words and phrases have been added. About half of these new words have been “promoted” to become full entries in the Macmillan Dictionary.
The Macmillan Thesaurus provides not only synonyms but also related words.
You can also browse for words under a hierarchy of topics. For example:
There are many technical terms used to describe grammar, vocabulary, etc. For example: determiner, inflection, morphology, subordinate clause, transitive verb.
Some glossaries have been compiled to help English teachers in British schools:
Glossary for the programmes of study for English [PDF]
UK Government: Department for Education
About 80 terms, for use in primary schools.*
Survey of English Usage, University College London
Includes the glossary above, with additional entries and explanations.
Grammatical terminology for schools
Linguistics Association of Great Britain
About 300 terms, for use in secondary schools.
*Apparently Michael Gove insisted on the inclusion of subjunctive.
Kevin Stroud makes podcasts about the history of the English language.
So far he has recorded 124 episodes and only reached the 14th century!
All Things Linguistic describes them as “Meticulously researched, professionally produced and engaging”.
They are free to listen to and download.
Students at UEA and INTO UEA have free access to all of Norfolk’s museums.
There are 10 museums, three of them in Norwich:
Norwich Castle includes the Art Gallery and (until September) an exhibition of Viking objects.
To get in free, just show your campus card at the front desk of each museum.
Pictured: a coin of King Prasutagus.
The Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci died 500 years ago today, on May 2nd, 1519. He was a painter, sculptor, draughtsman, architect, designer, engineer, inventor, writer, astronomer, musician, mathematician, cartographer, geologist, anatomist, botanist and scientist.
Today (aka The Today Programme) is BBC Radio 4’s morning news programme. It has been running since 1957.
On Thursday (2nd May) it is being broadcast live from the Sainsbury Centre at UEA. It will be hosted by journalist Justin Webb.
If you want to attend the broadcast, you need to book a free ticket in advance and turn up by 5.15am.
Update: According to UEA, there are no tickets left.
The International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) was founded in 1967. To celebrate its first 50 years, a history was published in 2017.
A review in the ELT Journal says:
You would be forgiven for walking past this book in a bookshop … but in fact, you would be missing a treat, because, in its own understated way, A History of IATEFL is a real page-turner. … a fascinating story of the squabbles, the plotting, and the occasional full-blown revolts that went on in the early days between the founders and those who wanted IATEFL to take a more radical path. There were some colourful figures and some big egos involved…
Exeter University has created some free online courses on climate change.
The aims are to explain the science of climate change, the risks it poses, and the solutions available to reduce those risks.
The courses are all available now, on FutureLearn:
You may have noticed copies of Outline lying around INTO. It’s a free guide to what’s on in Norwich: music, films, exhibitions, comedy, restaurants, etc.
It also has a website.
Mathigon is an interactive online textbook about maths. It covers geometry, algebra, and probability and discrete mathematics.
Rather than just presenting you with information, Mathigon challenges you with problems and allows you to interact with diagrams. It is one of the most accessible and engaging maths resources available on the web, a true mathematical wonderland. The text is well-written, the pages are beautifully designed and presented, and it covers a large array of topics.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has information about mental health: on depression, shyness, stress, eating disorders, therapies, etc.
Some of it has been translated into various languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Urdu.
Information is also available from Mental Health in Multicultural Australia in several languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.
The Chinese Mental Health Association (in the UK) has information in English and Chinese.
Compounds are words formed from two (or more) words. For example, black + board = blackboard.
They can be spelled in three ways:
So which one should you choose? A linguist has devised a rule which she says works for 75% of words:
You can read more on her website.
My even simpler rule: if you’re not sure, write it as a single word: blowdry, worldfamous, wellnigh, bathingsuit and makeup. Even if it’s wrong, it looks cuttingedge.
A post on All Things Linguistic says:
The International Phonetic Alphabet is really one of those useful life skills that everyone should learn. Trying to write about speech sounds without the IPA is like trying to write about music sounds by just making up your own musical notation.
The post provides three links:
Our report on the death of law blogs was an exaggeration. It turns out there are more survivors:
No doubt there are even more, but these are enough for now.
Update: Added The Secret Barrister.
Fill the blanks in the following equation, so that it makes arithmetical sense:
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 = 2019
You are allowed to use any of the basic mathematical operations, +, –, x, ÷, and as many brackets as you like.
There are various solutions, including this one: ((10 × 9 × 8) – (7 × 6) – 5) × ((4 –3) + (2 × 1))
Most law blogs seem to die after a few years. Current survivors include:
They have links to more blogs, though many are extinct.
Update: More law blogs
Some non-native speakers of English appear to confuse L and R sounds. People from Japan are particularly famous for this. It is a stereotype sometimes used in films with Asian characters, such as Lost in Translation.
This video looks at the different L and R sounds in English (such as clear L, dark L, tapped R and bunched R) and why native speakers of Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese may have difficulty pronouncing them.
There are numerous blogs on economics and related subjects, with new posts every week. One blog that regularly provides links to them is Economist’s View.
It also has a permanent list of about 150 blogs.
Even if you are not particularly interested in economics, many of these blogs discuss other current issues too.
Do you know what the preposition above means? And how it is different from on? What if you needed this information to defuse a time bomb?
Watch this video from Utrecht University:
Source: All Things Linguistic
This year the Norfolk & Norwich Festival will be held between 10th and 26th May. There are events in various categories: music, dance, theatre, etc.
If you are under 26, most tickets cost £7.50. A few events are free.
The University of Manchester Library has some online resources on study skills. For example:
There are many others – on maths, referencing, revision, statistics, reading, research, etc.
Stack Exchange is a collection of questions and answers on numerous topics.
Some questions from English Language & Usage:
Some questions from English Language Learners:
Zoology is the study of animals. But do you know the meanings of its various branches? Do the quiz!
For more information, see the National Autistic Society website.
From the page, What is Autism?:
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.
There aren’t many free practice materials for IELTS on the internet. A website that has recently been recommended by our IELTS teacher Malle is IELTS Mentor. It includes:
See our IELTS page for links to other sites.
According to a paper presented at the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings “are alleged to be more rigorous and sophisticated and certainly more prestigious” than other ranking schemes. However:
The value of the THE rankings, but not their price, is drastically reduced by their lack of transparency so that it is impossible, for example, to tell whether a change in the score for research results from an increase in publications, a decline in the number of staff, an improved reputation or an increase in research income.
The paper describes the THE citations indicator as “bizarre and ridiculous”:
Here are some of the universities that appeared in the top 50 of last year’s citation indicator which supposedly measures research influence or quality: Babol Noshirvani University of Technology, Brighton and Sussex medical School, Reykjavik University, Anglia Ruskin University, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University.
ZoteroBib helps you make a bibliography quickly.
For example, you find this book in Google Books. Paste the URL (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mT-jBQAAQBAJ) into the ZoteroBib search box. Choose a style, such as Cite Them Right 10th edition – Harvard. ZoteroBib creates and formats the reference for you:
Nilsson, N. J. (2014) Principles of Artificial Intelligence. Morgan Kaufmann.
Next you find this article. You could paste its URL into the box or use the DOI (10.1007/s11036-017-0932-8). ZoteroBib adds it to your bibliography:
Lu, H. et al. (2018) ‘Brain Intelligence: Go beyond Artificial Intelligence’, Mobile Networks and Applications, 23(2), pp. 368–375. doi: 10.1007/s11036-017-0932-8.
You find this book on Amazon and use the URL or the ISBN (978-1292153964). Your next source is a web page and you use its URL (https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/). You even cite a Wikipedia article – though your teacher will not be happy!
When you’ve finished, copy the bibliography and paste it into your document. Here it is:
JournalTOCs is a collection of the tables of contents of 33,000 academic journals.
You can search for journals, “follow” them and read their tables of contents online. You can also choose to receive emails when new issues come out, or set up an RSS feed.
If UEA has access to a journal, you can read an article by clicking on the link in the table of contents.
A similar service is Zetoc.
For Dummies is a series of beginner’s books on various subjects. UEA Library has several ebooks in the series, including:
You can read all of these online. Search UEA Library for the full list.
Did you know that blind people gesture when they speak? Or that blind Turkish speakers gesture like sighted Turkish speakers – but differently from English speakers?
In this video linguists Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch discuss why we gesture when we talk:
Some examples of articles:
You can read it online through UEA Library.
Time is out of joint: the transmedial hauntology of David Bowie
If you have no idea what that means, well, it’s the title of an article in the academic journal Celebrity Studies. The current issue is dedicated to the study of Bowie.
Other recent issues have articles on (for example) The Great British Bake-Off, Super Voice Girl, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, X-Men, Doctor Who, Haruki Murakami, Amy Winehouse, Beckham, Beyoncé and Trump.
With access through UEA Library, you can read all of these online.
For example, the latest issue has a news item about the use of anti-depressant drugs in Northern Ireland:
Findings show that anti-depressants were prescribed to 12% of NI’s population in 2011 with this rate rising to 14% by 2015. “Over the entire five-year period 24% of the population were prescribed anti-depressants,” says Professor Shevlin. “Existing figures for 2013 show that proportionately more anti-depressants were prescribed in NI than 23 other countries worldwide…”
You can read every issue of the magazine online.
Wikipedia has a list of dog cross-breeds.
If you need background music for a video or slideshow, you could try the Free Music Archive.
The music is arranged by genre – Blues, Classical, Country, Electronic, etc. – and then sub-genre, such as Rock > Loud-Rock > Noise-Rock > Sludge. (More suitable, perhaps, as background music are genres such as Instrumental > Ambient.)
Tracks can be downloaded as mp3 files and then added to your project. Most of them have Creative Commons licences such as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.
The Royal Economic Society holds an annual essay competition for sixth form students. Recent titles have included:
You can read the winning essays online.
(There is no mention of the competition for this year, so perhaps it has been abandoned.)
Update: There is a competition in 2019 after all. See here.
UEA Library has trial access to some online resources. They are expensive, so the library needs to know which are worth keeping. They are:
The ebook, Eat That Frog! : 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy, is available through UEA Library. We have a link to it on our study skills page.
As an explanation of the title, the author writes:
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
I could not find the source for this quotation. It appears in various forms on motivational websites, in collections of quotes, etc., but never with any bibliographical details. Project Gutenberg’s collected works of Mark Twain include references to frogs, but nothing that I could see about eating them.
Finally, I came across Quote Investigator, which has a page on this very quotation: Eat a Live Frog Every Morning, and Nothing Worse Will Happen to You the Rest of the Day. Instead of the American writer Mark Twain (1835-1910), it attributes the saying to the French writer Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) and he refers to toads rather than frogs.
The moral of the story is: stop doing things in a hurry – and check your sources!
The Oxford Phrasal Academic Lexicon (OPAL) is a set of four word lists, which you can download as PDFs:
According to Oxford, these are the most important words to know in academic English.
You can also view the words and phrases online and look up definitions, collocations, etc. The phrases can be filtered by functions, such as adding, comparing, defining, hedging and making contrasts.
An opal is “a white or almost clear semi-precious stone in which changes of colour are seen, used in jewellery”.
Source: Poetry Foundation
First choose an area such as Forensic or Clinical or Occupational. Then you can see the places of work for that area (for example, hospitals or prisons) and the training route (such as a degree), likely salaries, useful links, etc.
The BPS also has a YouTube channel with careers information.
Studying Economics offers advice, help and information for economics undergraduates. Besides the tips on study skills, careers, etc., there are some distractions – links to economics-related videos, songs, games, etc.
For example, there’s a catchy song from the Bank of Ghana about their new currency unit and a video of Yoram Bauman, Ph.D., a “stand-up economist”, in which he simplifies Gregory Mankiw’s 10 Principles of Economics for a general audience:
Economic Data freely available online is a collection of links to economic and market data in the UK and other countries.
Do you know what the current inflation rate is in Uzbekistan? The Asian Development Bank can tell you.*
The links are compiled by John Sloman, a name that should be familiar to INTO economics students, for The Economics Network.
*14% for 2019 (forecast)
We The Economy is a series of 20 short films which you can watch online. The films look at economics in general and the US economy in particular, and try to answer these questions:
Told through animation, comedy, musical, non-fiction, and scripted films, WE THE ECONOMY seeks to demystify a complicated topic while empowering the public to take control of their own economic futures.
For example, the film Cave-o-nomics (pictured) asks:
How did the economy get started?
Meet Ugg, Glugg and Tugg, three enterprising cave men who accidentally invented trade, marketing and the base elements of the modern market economy.
The films were produced by Morgan Spurlock (director and star of SuperSize Me) and Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.
Ten resources for today’s teacher training session:
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures are popular science talks given around Christmas each year. The first one was in 1825.
They were started by the scientist Michael Faraday. They have been televised since 1936.
Plus is an online popular mathematics magazine:
which aims to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics. A lot of people don’t have a very clear idea what “real” maths consists of, and often they don’t realise how many things they take for granted only work because of a generous helping of it. Apparently, some people even have the idea that it’s boring! Weird.
Plus has articles, videos, puzzles and other maths-related content.
If you can’t understand newspaper headlines, it may be because of their unique grammar. Or it may be because you’ve found a crash blossom. The term derives from this headline:
It is possible to read this and wonder: What on earth is a crash blossom?
|Violinist||[is] linked to||crash blossoms|
|noun||verb + preposition||noun phrase|
In fact, the story is about a violinist whose career has blossomed (i.e. flourished) since the death of her father in a plane crash. The word blossoms is a verb here, not a noun:
|Violinist||[who is] linked to crash||blossoms|
Can you spot the problem in each of these headlines?
The confusion in all of these is about whether certain words are nouns or verbs.
Norwich Economic Papers is a journal written and edited by UEA School of Economics students, some of them graduates of INTO. In fact, one of our student wardens is the current editor.
There are 18 volumes so far, dating from 2010 to 2018. The latest volume includes articles on:
You can read all of the volumes online.
The Royal Society of Chemistry website has a careers section called A Future in Chemistry. A chemist could:
besides some evil things that the website doesn’t mention.
There is lots of advice about jobs, study options, work experience, etc.
The Royal Society of Chemistry website has four periodic tables, with links to detailed information on each element.
The site also has some resources for the International Year of the Periodic Table.
The Parlement of Foules (parliament of fowls, or birds) is a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer written in about 1381. It mentions Saint Valentine’s Day as a special day to find a lover:
For this was on seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make,
Of every kinde, that men thenke may;
And that so huge a noyse gan they make,
That erthe and see, and tree, and every lake
So ful was, that unnethe was ther space
For me to stonde, so ful was al the place.The Parlement of Foules (lines 309-315)
For this was on Saint Valentine’s day,
When every fowl comes there to choose his mate
Of every kind that men can think of,
And that so huge a noise did they make
That earth and sea and tree and every lake
So full was, that scarcely was there space
For me to stand, so full was all the place.
Using a full stop like this in texts, chat messages and emails could imply that you have bad news.
Friend sends me a chat message that’s just “Hey.”
Me: oh my god what’s with the period has someone died
(Reader, it was fine.)
— Gretchen McCulloch (@GretchenAMcC) 7 February 2019
Some online dictionaries use symbols to show word frequency. The more symbols a word has, the more common it is in English.
The Macmillan Dictionary uses 1-3 stars:
The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English uses 1-3 circles:
The Collins English Dictionary uses 1-5 circles:
And you find that sort of rootless existence appealing, do you?
Yes, ma’am, I do.
I mean, I’ve got everything I need right here with me.
I got air in my lungs and a few blank sheets of paper.
I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen …
or who I’m gonna meet …
where I’m gonna wind up.
Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge, and now …
here I am on the grandest ship in the world …
having champagne with you fine people. Titanic
For some films there are even bilingual subtitles:
I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, 我是海军陆战队中士哈特曼
your senior drill instructor. 是你们的高级训练教官
You will speak 除非我先说话…
only when spoken to 你们不得擅自开口
The first and last words out of your sewers will be “Sir! ” 你们跟我说话首尾都要冠以”长官”一词
Do you maggots understand? 你们这些蛆虫明白吗?
Sir, yes, sir! 长官 是 长官 Full Metal Jacket
Ways to add subtitles to films are discussed here. To read them online, choose a film, a language, then one of the subtitle files. Then under Fileinfo click on the Transcript icon:
Besides the Movie Corpus, these are some other corpora from Brigham Young University:
Full list here.
The Movie Corpus contains 200 million words in 25,000+ films from the 1930s to the present.
You can search the corpus for words and phrases. For example, the phrase I have a bad feeling about this appears 52 times – in these films, among others:
You can look at the context:
Leia: This ground sure feels strange. It doesn’t feel like rock.
Han: There’s an awful lot of moisture in here.
Leia: I don’t know. I have a bad feeling about this. Yeah. Watch out! It’s all right. It’s all right. Yeah, that’s what I thought… mynock. Chewie, check the rest of the ship… and make sure there are no more attached… chewing on the power cables.Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
You can also search using parts of speech. For example, try to get some + noun:
Apart from film cliches like these, the corpus is a guide to spoken English. The word beastly, for instance, was much more common in the 1940s than it is now and more common in British films than American ones.
– Won’t you stay for dinner, sir?
– What have you got?
– Macaroni. We found it in the cellar.
– Beastly stuff.The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Want to read something that’s not a textbook? Then join Norfolk Libraries! You can borrow books, eBooks, eAudio books and eMagazines for free. You can also borrow CDs, DVDs and console games for a charge.
You can join online.
The World Atlas of Language Structures is “a large database of structural (phonological, grammatical, lexical) properties of languages”.
For example, in some languages certain pronouns are used for politeness. The atlas classifies languages according to second person pronouns that:
You can see the distribution of these four on a map.
If you’re looking for something to read online, there is always fan fiction.
For example, FanFiction has 50,000 stories based on the Star Wars movies and 800,000 inspired by the Harry Potter books. The TV series Father Ted, on the other hand, has produced a measly 15 stories.
On a similar site, Archive of Our Own, there are 50,000 works about the band One Direction. For instance, Fading is 202,393 words, about twice the length of an average novel, and has been translated into Spanish. It starts like this:
Louis almost snaps when there is a light tap on the door of the studio. His knuckles go white on the edge of the cutting table but he forces himself to take a deep breath and put on a smile before he turns around. He isn’t the type to take his frustrations out on others, he prefers to take them out on himself. When he turns he finds Liam poking his head just past the door frame, hesitant to come in and disturb Louis.
Only 202,309 words to go!
FanFiction has a rating system for its stories: basically, K = Kids, T = Teens, M = Mature. The site “does not accept explicit content”. Archive of Our Own’s rating system is G = General, T = Teen, M = Mature, E = Explicit. A lot of fan fiction describes romantic/sexual relationships and this is normally indicated at the beginning of the story, along with any other content warnings.
In 1986 Ray Williams formulated 10 principles for teaching EFL reading. They included:
In 2002 Richard Day and Julian Bamford devised 10 principles for teaching extensive reading:
These points are also discussed in Extensive reading in ELT: Why and how?
Day, R. and Bamford, J. (2002) ‘Top Ten Principles for Teaching Extensive Reading’, Reading in a Foreign Language, 14(2). http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2002/day/day.html
Watkins, P. (2018) Extensive reading in ELT: Why and how?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Papers in ELT. http://languageresearch.cambridge.org/images/Language_Research/CambridgePapers/CambridgePapersinELT_ExtensiveReading_2017_ONLINE.pdf
Williams, R. (1986) ‘”Top ten” principles for teaching reading’, ELT Journal, 40(1), pp. 42–45. https://doi-org.ueaezproxy.uea.ac.uk:2443/10.1093/elt/40.1.42
Cambridge University Press publishes Cambridge Papers in ELT, a series of research papers on various topics, including speaking and extensive reading.
At present there are 17 papers, which can be read and downloaded by everyone from the website, Language and Pedagogy Research for ELT.
According to this slideshow (from a presentation at the 2015 IATEFL Conference), you need to know 95-98% of the words in a text to be able to read it easily.
At 90%, “For many of your students, this is where ‘fun’ starts to turn into ‘work’.”
The slideshow displays excerpts from a story in which 98% – then 95% – then 90% – then 80% of the text is in English, while the remaining words are gibberish.
Some people think 80% is enough. This is the 80% passage:
“Bingle for help!” you shout. “This loopity is dying!” You put your fingers on her neck. Nothing. Her flid is not weafling. You take out your joople and bingle 119, the emergency number in Japan. There’s no answer! Then you muchy that you have a new befourn assengle. It’s from your gutring, Evie. She hunwres at Tokyo University. You play the assengle. “…if you get this…” Evie says. “…I can’t vickarn now… the important passit is…” Suddenly, she looks around, dingle. “Oh no, they’re here! Cripett… the frib! Wasple them ON THE FRIB!…” BEEP! the assengle parantles. Then you gratoon something behind you…
The author cites two sources:
Hsueh-Chao, M. H. and Nation, P. (2000) ‘Unknown vocabulary density and reading comprehension‘, Reading in a Foreign Language, 13(1), pp. 403-30.
Schmitt, N., Jiang, X. and Grabe, W. (2011) ‘The percentage of words known in a text and reading comprehension‘, The Modern Language Journal, 95(1), pp. 26–43.