ozdic.com: an online collocation dictionary, at last!

It has been a long time since the ast post, but I hadn’t found anything worth posting. Today I want to introduce you to a new resource I have been waiting for a long time. It is an on-line collocation dictionary and its name is ozdic.comIt is very useful for your writing tasks and even when planning any speech for your class or work.

Most of the times, we stick ourselves to the same combination of words, basically because we are unable to find other words to use or combine with the ones we need. There is when a collocation dictionary like this comes handy. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t know what to write or how to describe something, got to a collocation dictionary and part of the problem is sorted.

Imagine you have to write about your holidays in a little village and you need to describe it. Sometimes we end up describing the place as nice or friendly, but there are more possibilities, as the picture shows, there are a wide range of options we can choose from, it is only us now to pick the most convenient to our interest.

It is also useful if we don’t know how to combine a verb or noun. Remember that most languages have their natural way of mixing words which we need to be aware of so we do not get misunderstood. Take for example the noun “research”, in most cases students use “do” or, in the worst case scenario, “make” which is incorrect. If you look up in a collocation dictionary, you can find out what are the verbs and adjectives most convenient for this noun. Take a look at the picture to check what has been said.
 Hope this brief tutorial can be of help. Any contribution os more than welcome.

Challenge your vocabulary!!

Vocabulary.com is the easiest, most intelligent way to improve your vocabulary. It combines an adaptive learning system (The Challenge) with the world’s fastest dictionary (The Dictionary) so that you can more quickly and more efficiently learn words.” These are their words and, believe me, it is true. If you are one of those who moans about how little vocabulary you know, or if you are a words freek, or just a regular student, this website will probably be of help. 

Fun with grammar? Road to Grammar

Yes, there is a fun way to study grammar! Road to Grammar is a website specially disigned to offer fun exercises to practice any grammar difficulty you may have. All activities are adult orientated so you will not find them too childish. There you can find online quizzes, extra practice and games, they also do printables if you like to work on paper. If you have children learning English at school, there is a junior version that you can use with them and enjoy learning together. Thank you Antonio Jiménez for the tip.

road2grammar

 

More help to improve your writing: writingfun.com

writingfu.com logo

When learning a foreign language writing and speaking are the two most frustrating skills students have to deal with; the former being a real stone in the shoe that may lead to quitting. There are many reasons for that, but the basic problem is that writing is a very demanding skill, it needs to be highly organized and structured. On top of that the person(s), whom the piece of writing is meant for, are not present, what implies an extra effort in providing the information in full, nothing can be left aside. I bet you are already yawning or put off just with the thought of it. Well, it is time for you to take a look at the website I am introducing today Writing Fun. Jenny Eather has gathered all the basic types of writing and made a useful presentation using the latest technology in order to help ESL students with their writing skills. There you will find explanations, exercises, printables and examples of how to write and organize your ideas in formal and informal pieces of writing. By the way, I must thank Laura Martín (ESL teacher at EOI Las Palmas) for the tip.

 

Linguee: a new way of searching for meanings

 

In this post I would like to introduce you to a new tool which would be of great help with your writing. As you can see in the picture, the name of the tool is Linguee.com and it is a search engine for words and expressions in multiple languages and their translation in various contexts. It also provides the user with helpful information and examples. Although specifically meant for translators, Linguee.com can be used by students of English as a kind of thesaurus. You type the word you want to know the use of and the engine will bring you a set of different sentences with the specific word in a variety of meanings and contexts. One thing to bear in mind, Linguee.com is not a dictionary. Here you have a link to their about-us page.

MULTIMEDIA ENGLISH CLASSROOM

I have already talked about this site on this blog, but I thought it was a good idea reminding those who are new to all this. MEC is a multimedia website meant for English learners to improve their language skills. Here are a few words about themselves and their aims: “(…) 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, but there’s also a complete section for beginners. If you can read this and understand it (at least the general idea), then this virtual classroom is for you!(…)” Below you have the link to their website, there is also the possibility to follow their posts on Facebook.

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>Language Studying Problems? Here’s a solution.

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    Hi again! Browsing the net on the search for new resources for you, I came across with this simple, easy and effective site where you can find lots of useful tips on how to study and improve your language learning. For some, it may be extremely basic but I bet you all will find some nice tips to help with those dark areas of your grammar or spelling, for example. Pay a visit to the place and let your skills grow like foam! Ooops, I nearly forgot, the name of the site is “How-to-study.com” 😉 (If you click on the pic it will take you straight there)

>Something to never miss out when writing: Punctuation.

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Hi everyone! I hope you are still enjoying the amazing videos offered by The Teacher. Today I would like to tackle a very worrying issue dealing with your writing: Punctuation. I know it is a long time most of you left school and you are so much used to chatting, where commas, full-stops and all those little annoying bits and bobs are “of no use”, but we must all realize that those writing marks are very important if we want to be understood. Punctuation marks are as important as words themselves and their proper use may be crucial for a successful writing. To get a whole range of useful tips about punctuation just go to this site “How to use English Punctuation“. They also provide lots of how-tos on different matters, check it out!!