Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hong Kong Poly Concordancer: Advanced Features

Today I'd like to present you with a powerful way of researching into the use of English on the Hong Kong Poly Concordancer site.

You want to find all the phrasal verbs with "put". Naturally, you want the concordancer to give you all occurrences of 'put', including 'puts', 'putting', etc.

Here's how to do it:
On the concordancer, choose 'Simple Search':

Choose 'Search string starts with:' = put

Choose your corpus.

Leave the default sort option to 'Sort right'. This will show words after 'put---' in alphabetic order.

And here's a sample result:

25 nnovative scheme is Kidlink, which puts British teenagers in touch with
26 uarterly trends survey last week puts capacity utilisation at its highes
27 26 January 1995 Shephard puts curb on lenient exam marks By J
28 today. Dr Ruddiman says: "Tibet puts deserts and rainforests where they
29 00 or 36, 000 miles. The purchaser puts down a deposit, usually 30 per c
30 17 January 1995 Dimbleby puts down organic roots Rachel Kelly

112 to allay such suspicions, Boulez puts on a fine display of modesty. "For
113 rtant birthday. Richard Morrison puts on a party hat The Viennese
114 y. When a West End producer puts on a play he first has to rent a t
115 eaning bills. A continental puts on a tie and it is a statement. It
116 hardly knows where to begin as she puts on her half-moon spectacles and
117 n 60 days and the public hearing puts on the record what the investigato
118 , is Harford's domain. "Ray puts on the sessions, Ray is the coach,
119 January 1995 Lottery syndicate puts out a contract Liz Dolan Fea
208 conservative, because the risk of putting on new work is prohibitive. F
209 e most successful of the rivals at putting on sales. The Observer

479 ce for dead comics? Why are they putting up blue plaques on the houses o
480 be seen homehunting for fear of putting up prices and attracting unwelc
481 ature film funding, with Channel 4 putting up the lion's share of the bu
482 ated the uncomplaining British for putting up with ugliness, petty restr

How many different phrasal verbs with 'put' can you find in the list above?

You will see that if you had used the 'Search String Equal To 'put' option, you would have had far fewer useful results.

Of course, you will have to eleiminate a lot of irrelevant words such as 'putative', 'putt' - a golfing expression meaning to hit a golf ball gently, or 'Putnam' and 'Putney', which are proper nouns.

That's all I have time for today! Try it yourself now - with 'put', 'get', 'let' and ... any more??

P.S. Notice at the top of the right-hand column: Latest Links of Interest. Check it out. There will be more to come.

Monday, September 25, 2006

To my Current Class, Sept 5A 18 - but all are welcome to read this:

Dear all,

Today I'd like to introduce you to a Grammar site:
The English Page, which is also listed in The Permanent Collection of sites in the right-hand column of this Blog.

At the beginning of our course, we were investigating Past Tenses: how to use the Past Simple and Present Perfect tenses correctly.

So, visit The English Page and in particular The Past Simple, and The Present Perfect.
When you have finished, try these exercises on the simple past and present perfect simple:
exercise 5 and exercise 6.

When you do these exercises, you can get a 'hint' - a little help - for each question. Or you can check your progress. For each question, or space, do not worry if the computer says 'Sorry - try again', especially if you have not finished the entire exercise. Instead, watch to see if your percentage score increases. If it does, you are giving the right answers. If you give a wrong answer, your score won't increase, and whatever you wrote in the gap will be deleted.

As usual, after trying this site, please do leave a comment. You now know how to do this since I demonstrated Comments some lessons ago.

Next post: how to use the associated keyword feature in the Hong Kong Poly Concordancer. Try it yourself first: use it to research the different meanings of phrasal verbs.

For instance, how many meanings can you find for 'give up'?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Learn English Professionals

This site is a must for any students of English at upper-intermediate level or above. There is a wealth of reading and listening materials. There are also plenty of reading and listening comprehension exercises. These will give you instant feedback, so they are very useful for checking your progress.

Much of the site is available to anyone, but some areas require a user name and password. I can help you obtain these if you are studying at a British Council centre.

Visit Learn English Professionals

E-Mail me if you are a student at a British Council centre and would like a user name and password.

After visiting the Learn English Professionals site, give us your opinions by sending us a comment.

More very soon.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

In With The New

It's New (Academic) Year at the British Council Rome.

So I'd like to remind new and returning students what this Blog can do for you.

The Blog gives you advice and ideas on how to use Internet as a resource for learning English. The Net has exploded in recent years not just in terms of numbers of sites, but quality of facilities available to you.

Among the top facilities are surely listening sites. Students complain that they do not get enough listening practice. However, it's now possible to listen to almost any radio station in the world. Here's one of the best:
The BBC News Site. Here's a picture of the main page:

Explore the page and click on video and audio links to try out your listening skills.

Another immensely useful web site is the Virtual Language Centre in Hong Kong. This has grammar games, a Net Dictionary and the immensely useful Concordancer. This shows you how words are used. Type in a search word and the Concordancer will show you all the occurrences of that word in context. Here's a picture of the front page:

And here is what the Concordancer screen looks like:

Try it yourself. How many meanings can you find for "would"?

Answers, please, in a comment.

Coming soon: the revised list of Net links in The Permanent Collection (see right-hand column.)



Monday, September 11, 2006

First Message of the Year

Dear Readers of the Rome EFL Blog,

Welcome back to a new academic year at the British Council Rome.

I hope you have all had a good summer holiday.

Now is the time for me to re-organise this Blog slightly. And the first task is to update the Permanent Collection of links. I plan to add some links I have found useful or even exceptional, and maybe delete less useful sites.

This will take a few days. Meanwhile, please do use the comments facility to contact me with your suggestions. Then, towards the end of this week, I hope to have something new for you.

More very soon!