Archive

Archive for the ‘Site Review’ Category

WANNA DOWNLOAD STORIES IN AUDIO FORMAT FOR LISTENING PRACTICE?

May 10, 2015 4 comments

http://www.storynory.com/

It’s getting harder for me to steal a few hours in the middle of my recent activities, even only to write a short post for this blog. But I had promised myself that posting an article here is as important as my endless daily routines.

In this occasion, I just want to share you about a very nice site where you can take some benefits from.

Do you often need narrative texts to help you teach your students or just as an exercise for yourselves?

Do you often need an audio podcast to train your students or even just to train your listening capability?

If the answers are “YES”, then maybe you want to visit http://www.storynory.com/. There, you are not only able to read various English short stories, fables, and fairy tales by famous writers, but you can also listen to the audio format of the stories and download the audio for later use—free of charge!

Are you interested? Go to http://www.storynory.com/ now and have a nice day!

LANGUAGE EXCHANGE, WHY NOT?

January 18, 2015 Leave a comment

my language exchange

How a language learning process will bring us into success is definitely depends on so many factors: our discipline, media that we use, supporting environment, and of course, practices. I have read so many articles and books related to “learning English”. Why people should use flashcard, why people should use audio podcasts, why people should read aloud along the reading practice, and so on. But, I recently found a site with a very good idea: language exchange!

We often hear about “practicing with native speaker” method. We go online, sign in for a “about language” chat, find new friends from other country, and so on. It’s really helpful. But usually (or sometimes), an ordinary practice with native speaker only give benefit for one side—the language learner. Of course, for the natives, it’s still worth to build a friendship while helping other people to learn their language. But I found a very interesting concept on http://mylanguageexchange.com/ where we can find one or more partners to assist us in learning a language, while we will teach them back our language in the case of they need to learn our language too.

Of course, language exchange method is not something new. But in http://mylanguageexchange.com/ I found a real concept of language exchange: I speak Indonesian and I want to learn English. You, an English (native) speaker, want to learn Indonesian. We build a friendship and we exchange language lesson. http://mylanguageexchange.com/ might be not the only site with this concept, but of course, we can use this site as one of mediums to gain higher level of learning a language.

http://mylanguageexchange.com/ offers free membership where you can use all features but you can only “say hi” to the people that you want to learn from. Or you can pay US$ 6/month to say hi and send e-mail in unlimited number. By “upgrading” your membership, you can start the conversation with anyone on the board, especially sending e-mail. For the pricing policy, please refer to this page: http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/FAQMembers.asp.

Through http://mylanguageexchange.com/ we can search and filter other members based on the age, gender, native language, language they want to learn or practice, origin, and even the conversation method they want to use (e-mail, text chat, voice chat, or live exchange in person).

2013 IN REVIEW

January 1, 2014 2 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

(MORE) GOOD SITES TO LEARN ENGLISH

December 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Many useful English sites, which are providing English materials, are growing on the internet every day. Some of them are managed by government bureau, while the rest are by teachers, volunteers, or even by “hobbyists”. You might have known some of popular sites such as ego4u.com, speaking24.com, britishcouncil.com, and other good sites I reviewed here. We can download podcasts, e-books, printable materials, etc. from thousands of sites and blogs. Besides that, we can also practice and examine our English capability (especially speaking and writing) through hundreds of channels.

And now, since the various social media grow up and a lot of people are accessing them every time, there are more channels to practice our English such as through ESL group on Facebook or Google+. There, people are making interactive dialog, sharing ideas, or planning a hangout. Some people are using formal English on the forum, while the others may use “free” English. Both of them are good to improve our communication skills and knowledge about how people out there own a way to use their English. Obviously, slang and abbreviation are used quite often on daily conversation although they are not always being taught at school.

  1. Two Minutes English. On my post about creating environment to start speaking English, there was a visitor left a link to Two Minutes English. There were so many downloadable English videos there, which we can use to learn and to practice daily conversations. On Two Minutes English Facebook fans page we can interact with many people there and learn English at the same time. I do really recommend you to visit the site and join the group.
  2. http://english-the-easy-way.com/. Recently, I found a unique English site that makes me think it would be good to share to you here. The site name was http://english-the-easy-way.com/, a very simple site in interface. As its name, this site provides easy English materials. This site also provides light materials that are described in short paragraphs so it wouldn’t be annoying and boring to read, although the sentences are not quite well formatted and there is no illustration there. Some materials are covered by this site are grammar, writing skills, academic writing, punctuation, speaking, proofreading and editing, reading, job hunting, vocabulary, and confusing English. If you love the site, then you can share it to your friends by clicking on social media buttons provided.
  3. http://englishclub.com/. Another good site I found was http://englishclub.com/. There I found a lot of contents that should be useful for both English learners and teachers. Not only materials, but also quizzes, videos, and games. If you are running an English club at school, you could get inspiration to run it from this site. One of my favorite parts of this site is the vocabulary section, especially where I could learn the differences between confusing words such as rise and raise.
  4. http://jakarta.usembassy.gov/. Do you live somewhere in Indonesia? The US embassy in Jakarta also has a good site for both teachers and students. There, we can find downloadable teacher and student resources besides a lot of information about visa and other references about living and studying in America.

So, are you interested to join one of those channels above to improve your English skills? And if you have some recommendations about a page, group, or site that might be helpful for English learners, please share it here.

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR TEXT READABILITY

August 16, 2013 Leave a comment

When we are writing English articles, essays, papers, stories, or any other English texts, we usually give a big attention to spelling and grammar. We try to be perfect on our writing. But, do you know that besides a text should have a perfect spelling and grammar it should be “readable” too?

There are some popular theories and tests about text readability. A readability test is important to measure how readable a text is. As we know, some texts are sometimes more suitable for university graduates while the others can be easily understood even by 7th graders!

Now, in this post I’d like to share some information about “Readability Indexes” that commonly used to test readability level of a text. You might be interested to know it, to re-check your texts, whether they are “easy to understand” or not.

Read more…

HISTORY OF ENGLISH IN 10 MINUTES

January 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Click the following link if the video preview doesn’t appear:

Morawa in English

A look at the history of the English language without the boring bits:

View original post

LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS

January 18, 2013 Leave a comment

two minutes english

Having another new business has forced me to stay so far from this blog for weeks. But of course, I can’t let you all, my precious readers, feel disappointed. When you visit this blog again, you must be hoping that there is a fresh article, right? Just like me, if I visit my favorite blog while the contents are the same as I visited before, I would be disappointed.

Well, while I’m having a spare time I’d like to post about Speaking. Speaking, as a part of communication, sometimes is a hard thing to do, especially speaking a foreign language. And English, as a non-mother-tongue here in Indonesia, is still categorized as a language with a particular difficulty level. Actually, not only English. Learning a foreign language (whether it’s Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, etc.) has its own challenge. Luckily, not like any other languages, English is still “the easiest” language to learn. Because there are so many sites providing tutorials, audio podcast, and even video materials.

Weeks ago, my visitor named Nikitha Roy commented in my blog and left a link to http://www.youtube.com/twominenglish. I followed the link and found a great video collection to help beginners to speak in English. I do appreciate to Nikitha Roy for leaving the link. It is so helpful, even for me.

Watching a-few-minutes-in-duration videos from http://www.youtube.com/twominenglish has opened my mind that learning English is getting easier. We only need to download the video and burn it or play it directly to our students. It will be a great experience for our students because they can watch and repeat after the native speakers. We can also encourage the students to download the videos so that they can do a practice at home.

Learning English through a video is not something new here, of course. Most teachers only do it rarely. In fact, a video as a learning tool has stronger effect than reading textbook or listen to an audio podcast. Through video, students can watch the native speaker’s expression too.