Resources for English learning and teaching
This post provides several online and offline tools, which should be of great use to English learners and teachers alike.
1. Perfecting your English through a “corpus of Youtube”: Youglish
Youglish consists of more than 30 million Youtube tracks with which you can listen to, imitate, and improve your pronunciation. Aparte from English language (different accents can be selected!), it supports other languages, such as French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese. Advance search (such as part-of-speech, gender, topic search) is also available.
A similar webiste is called PlayPhrase.me, although it limits search results if you’re not sponsor.
2. Enhancing your English writing skill with a “concordancer-like” app: Linggle
Linggle 10^12 is a web-based writing assistant app that provides you with many ‘real’ sentences (mainly) from Google Books. It helps you check word choice, usage and collocations in order to make your writing more natural. Importantly, Linggle supports not only simple search (exact words or phrases) but also wildcard search (symbols such as ‘$’, ‘_’, ‘?’, ‘*') and part-of-speech search (grammatical tags such as noun ‘n.’, verb ‘v.’, adjective ‘adj.’, preposition ‘prep.').
The returned results from Linggle are ranked in order of frequency. You can click on each pattern to see a lot of authentic sentences. See the screenshot below. The book icon is clickable too: it will direct you to the textual position of that sentence in the original source.
Similar websites that I use frequently are:
- FLAX - Flexible Language Acquisition (Book phrases collection specifically, but other resources are awesome too!)
- Ludwig (freemium)
- Writefull (old version, not maintainted anymore)
Finally, I would like to share a quote by Chinese professor of English Ge (1981: 77) in Hints for learners of English. In this book, he proposed a “foolish” principle of composition:
you should use no construction, no form of expression, and no combination of words, that you have not seen in your reading.