I’m currently working on a free webinar (and probably later an in-depth interactive online course) sharing my best tips for learning the academic vocabulary needed for university study and test-taking.
My biggest problem is deciding which strategies and vocabulary are most important. (Over the years I’ve written about a hundred pages on EnglishHints teaching vocabulary that seemed important for success.)
If you might be interested in such a free webinar or an online course, what types of vocabulary and tips would be most useful to you? Please take two minutes to answer a few questions to help me make the webinar and course as helpful as possible. (To thank you for your time, I've included a Vocabulary Strategies Checklist pdf on the form's Thank You page.)
(Include your first name and email if you would like to be notified of the free webinar or course. I will not use your email address for anything else, and it is secure on this site.)
activities and fresh ideas for your class. (See also information on the English Detective newsletter below.)
Related Readings, Practice, & Resources
The best way to learn vocabulary is to read and practice it over and over in context.
The easiest way to improve reading skills is to read a lot on the same subject, so that you recognize the ideas and vocabulary and can integrate them into your own thinking.
For these reasons, among others, EnglishHints tries to connect and cross-link reading, activities, and vocabulary practice as much as possible.
The English Detective newsletter is especially useful for making those connections.
Follow the word clues
Each monthly issue has a theme with related readings and resources, and often also vocabulary and practice activities.
The first year and a half of English Detective featured readings, videos, and practice activities to teach academic vocabulary, especially the vocabulary of the Academic Word List (AWL) The Academic Vocabulary Word List pages give the themes, vocabulary used in the readings, and practice activities of the first 23 issues (that taught the entire AWL.) You can also see the back issues here.
Since mid 2014, English Detective has focused on themes, readings, and resources likely to be especially useful to ESL classes and teachers. It links to ideas on how to teach different topics as well as interesting reading or listening activities for students, with related practice.
Subscribe below (or on the nav bar to the left, which also links to more information.)
English Hint # 1?
read, and practice whenever you can-- then practice some more!
√ Even a few minutes a day will make a real difference! Play a game, learn an English idiom, or do an exercise from this site when you have a few minutes free.
√ Make yourself think in English! Tape notes to the bathroom mirror, sing a song in English while you clean or do chores, listen to the radio or a podcast in English while you exercise.
√ Talk to anyone you can in English!
√ Read a lot! Study English language newspapers online, analyze journal articles in your field, read stories to your children, even read ads—-anything that makes you think in English!
Try this short quiz to see if the lessons and exercises in EnglishHints.com could help you learn English online. (See bottom of the page for suggestions about related pages.)
(After answering and checking each question, click the right-facing arrow to get the next one.)
For questions 1-6, choose one or more:
1. Fearlessly means
a person who is afraid
doing something because of fear
a person who is unafraid
to act without fear
2. An ‘employee’ is
A person who is employed at a workplace
A person that supervises or gives jobs to others
A company that provides jobs for people
3. Things that burn easily are:
4. ‘Put off’ may mean
to take off a piece of clothing
to drop something on the floor
to push something aside
to help someone exit a bus or train
5. “Cut it out!” can mean:
6. Mary told me she looks up to Mark. She probably means
Mark is taller than her.
Mark is always climbing something.
She thinks Mark is funny.
She admires Mark.
7. Four of the following sentences mean basically the same thing, but the other does not. Which sentence has a different meaning?
Although I have spoken English all my life, I still am learning new words.
I have spoken English my whole life, but I know only a fraction of the words in an English dictionary.
Even if I had spoken English all my life, I still could learn new vocabulary.
Even though I’ve spoken English for as long as I’ve lived, there are still words I don’t know.
In spite of speaking English all my life, I continue to learn new words every year.
8. Which of the sentences in the answers is the closest in meaning to the following statement?:
Before introducing a major new product, a corporation’s management team needs to consider all the different ways it may impact their business.
Before a new product is developed, a business should calculate its potential profitability.
When a company wants to produce a new product, it first needs to analyze its various possible effects on their profits and other products.
While an innovative product may be attractive to a company, management should look into its costs before committing to manufacture it.
Business analysts need to examine the value of a product before it goes into production.
In question 8, all of the
sentences are similar in meaning. However, A, C, and D talk about considering only
profitability (A), costs (C) or value (D). The example sentence talks about “all the different ways it may impact their business.” Sentence B is similarly
inclusive. It talks about its “various possible effects on their profits and
other products”—not just its costs or profit.
For help planning what you need to learn in English, see Learning English Online. For specific suggestions by level, or for specific purposes like preparation for a test or business English, see Study English Online.
Just minutes a day studying English will bring you closer to your goals. Enjoy the journey!
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