Tech tips: Helpful software
The following are some applications and tools that you might find useful.
File backup and synchronization program. You can instal Dropbox on your various computers (and smartphones and iPad) to synchronize the same files across multiple devices. This allows you to work on or view the same file on different computers or devices, without having to transfer files yourself. The files are also backed up on the Dropbox server, which you can access online, in case your computer crashes or you need to remotely access a file. You can sign up for the free version, which gives you 2GB of free space.
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A web-based presentation application, and a cooler, more interactive alternative to PPT. Go to www.prezi.com
Free, fast, customizable web browser; functionality can be enhanced with many add-ons. www.getfirefox.com
Free, fast web browser. www.google.com/chrome
Free word processor / office software (based on the same code as IBM Lotus and the earlier OpenOffice). www.libreoffice.org
Free program for creating PDF files; works like a virtual printer on your PC. http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator
- www.dictionary.com: Probably the best online dictionary, as it aggregates information from other online dictionaries; linked to thesaurus.com
- www.thesaurus.com: Synonym and antonym dictionary, which also aggregates information from other dictionaries
- www.urbandictionary.com: Dictionary for slang and some idioms (including those that would be too informal or inappropriate for academic contexts)
- owl.english.purdue.edu: Online Writer’s Lab at Purdue University: Online handouts on all aspects of writing, including grammar, mechanics, ESL issues, MLA, and APA
- www.tinyurl.com/kentlee7: My website has various handouts on writing and teaching; go to ‘Writing’ for various handouts on writing.
- OCW sites: Many universities host online courseware sites, especially in North America, which can be found via simple Google searches; see also www.ocwconsortium.org and ocw.korea.ac.kr.
- TED.com: Online speeches by popular speakers from academia, business, and other fields; often, transcripts and subtitles are available, with the option of downloading subtitled videos.
- www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics: Iowa phonetics site - flash videos showing how English sounds are pronounced in the mouth.
- Sites for vocabulary & vocabulary size: lextutor.ca; and Paul Nation's website for vocabulary resources
Phonology / pronunciation resources
- Sounds of English
- Phonetics flash animation practice (U. Iowa phonetics site)
- English phonetics and phonology for non-native speakers
- Tongue twisters website [also, tongue twisters for other languages]
- Phoneme flashcards for kids
- Celce-Murcia, Marianne; Brinton, Donna M.; Goodwin, Janet M. (2010). Teaching Pronunciation. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press. [If you can find the first edition, that one is better; the 2nd ed. is poorly organized.]
- Celce-Murcia, Marianne, & Larsen-Freeman, Diane. (1998). The Grammar Book. 2nd ed. Heinle ELT.
Cowan, Ron. (2008).
The Teacher’s Grammar of English. Cambridge Univ. Press.
[A linguistically informed grammar book, mainly for ESL teachers; not well organized, but good contents, including ESL issues faced by different types of students according to L1 background.]
Lindstromberg, Seth. (2010).
English Prepositions Explained. John Benjamins Pub.
[This explains the core meaning and other meanings of prepositions; also applicable to phrasal verbs.]
- Oxford Collocations Dictionary. (2009). Oxford Univ. Press.
Oxford Phrasal Verbs Dictionary. (2006). Oxford Univ. Press.
[This has an appendix that explains the meanings or uses of verb particles like up, on, over, etc.]
Swales, John M. & Feak, Christine B. (2004).
Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Univ. Michigan Press.
[The presentation seems a bit dry or boring, but it has good information on advanced academic writing.]
- Quick guide to APA & MLA
- Detailed guide to APA citations
- Paraphrasing techniques
- Searching for sources in Google Scholar