Tuesday, November 29, 2011



1. WordDynamo is a website that will help you build your vocabulary. You can take quizzes, play games, make study guides, and much more. It will help you organize your new vocabulary and watch your progress. You can even choose specific vocabulary words that relate to your interests (computers, engineering, culinary arts, law enforcement, biotechnology, history, art, etc). Have fun!

Do you keep using the same word over and over again in your essay? Can't think of the right word to express your feelings? Use a thesaurus to learn synonyms or find a word that you just can't remember. However, don't forget to use your thesaurus wisely. Make sure you understand the meaning of your new word and how it's supposed to be used in a sentence. It can be helpful to first use a thesaurus, and then check the meaning and use of your new word in a dictionary. See the list of links below for some helpful online resources: a. Microsoft Word. If you're typing a paper in Microsoft Word, use the program's built-in thesaurus. Highlight the word you would like to find synonyms for, right click, and mouse over "synonyms." b. Thesaurus.com c. Free Thesaurus d. MSN Encarta Thesaurus

3. Verbalearn is a vocabulary-building website when where students can create a studylist, and then learn the words in that study list by using various formats such as MP3, flashcards, and crossword puzzles. Visit the website to sign up for a free account.

4. This website offers a spaced repetition program called Smart.fm. Smart.fm is a spaced repetition program that can be used to learn any vocabulary. What is spaced repetition? Spaced Repetition takes the science of how our brains remember things, and uses it to help us learn! By signing up for this website you can enroll in pre-made programs, or create your own. The system will then tell you when and how many words to study. It's fun, interactive, and effective. Smart.fm has many prexisting programs in several languages, and you can even use it to learn important test items for your other classes. The best part is, it's free!

5. The fun vocabulary builder at FreeRice.com has a unique twist: for every answer you get correct, the program donates grains of rice to areas of the world that are affected by starvation. The more you play, the more you help!

6. Please check out the video Academic Discourse if you want more ideas on phrases you can use!

7. Check out http://fraze.it/ to see words in context and to translate if necessary!


Sometimes we just can't carry around a heavy dictionary with us all the time. Fortunately, there are several good online dictionaries available, many of which are made especially for English learners. Another advantage is sound; many of the dictionaries will provide a sound file with the correct pronunciation. Here is a list of some of the dictionaries available online:

1.  The Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary (This dictionary has very simple definitions and good example sentences.)

2. The Longman English Dictionary of Contemporary English (The Longman Dictionary provides more example sentences and detailed definitions.)

3. Heinle's Newbury House Dictionary of American English (This dictionary has the shortest definitions, and is very good for beginning ESL students.)

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