ELI Computer Lab Class: Week 2 – typing.com

Today’s post is about typing.com!

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.

So check it out!

ELI Computer Lab Class: Week 10 – Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a very popular website which American university students use to improve their academic writing. In addition to hundreds of resources and references about academic and professional writing, OWL has a specific section for ESL students:

ESL Instructors and Students page of OWL
ESL Instructors and Students page of OWL

Here are just a few examples OWL’s hundreds of resources:

I have used OWL many times to help me improve my writing, and I’m sure it will help you, too. Check it out!

ELI Computer Lab Class: Week 9 – Vocabulary Profilers

Hello! This week, my suggested resource is 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!

Click the link below to begin:

http://www.lextutor.ca/vp/comp/

Here is a profile for a TED talk titled “How we can make the world a better place by 2030”:

A of How we can make the world a better place by 2030
A vocabulary profile of 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!