As its name suggests, typing.com is a website which helps you learn how to type properly on a US English keyboard. The website is free, and it offers a few dozen sequential tutorials that guide you from the most basic beginner-level practice (F, J, and Space) up to advanced-level full-keyboard speed and accuracy drills. Students can create accounts to track their progress and earn achievement badges.
Typing is an important skill for ESL/EFL students due to the amount of typed work they may be expected to produce in classes as well as their later careers. It’s also a necessary skill to enable students to confidently tackle standardized exams (such as the TOEFL and GRE) which require that students type original compositions under time pressure.
Hello! This week, my suggested resource is a tool called a vocabulary profiler.
In your ELI classes, your textbooks and your teachers help you to preview vocabulary before you read a new text. But outside of the classroom, how can you preview vocabulary in the real world!?
A vocabulary profiler can analyze a text and show you which words you probably need to focus on and preview. The profiler finds all of the interesting or unusual vocabulary the text has. You can use this information to help you prepare to read (or listen to) a new text!
Here is a profile for a TED talk titled “How we can make the world a better place by 2030”:
On the left is the original text which I copied and pasted into the website. On the right is a colored text showing how common each word is. The most common and simple words are blue and green, while the least common words are colors like orange and people.
Here’s the important part:
In the middle is a list of uncommon English words that are used often in this text. For example, this text uses the word “capita” four times, “economy” 14 times, “forecast” four times, and “poverty” six times. If you don’t understand what those words mean, you will probably have difficulty understanding the speech! So you should review that list carefully and preview the vocabulary before reading or listening to the speech.
Give it a try: paste text from a newspaper article, magazine article, or TED.com into the vocabulary profiler and see what you discover!
Hello! Halloween has just passed by, and that’s a reminder that the end of the semester is getting close. And you know what that means: there will soon be a lot of major projects, papers, and exams to deal with! This week, I would like to share a couple of tools that might help you organize your work and motivate yourself to be more productive: Trello and Habitica.
Trello (https://trello.com/) is a website that helps you create and organize to-do lists. It is especially designed for teams working together on a project, but people use it for personal to-do lists as well.
There are many ways to organize and prioritize your tasks on Trello. Here are two simple examples:
Habitica (https://habitica.com/), also called HabitRPG, is a website that helps you turn your goals into games. As you study and complete assignments in real life, you earn rewards in the game. This is designed to help you keep your motivation high. Check out the video below to see how Habitica works:
I hope one or both of these resources helps you to achieve your goals for the end of the semester. Good luck!