- Based on the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), this tool is an absolute goldmine for students who need to find ways to improve their own writing, especially the appropriate and accurate use of collocations and synonyms in writing: http://www.wordandphrase.info.
- Aligned to this, is a similar interface that is geared specifically for academic writing: http://www.wordandphrase.info/academic
- Learners can test their vocabulary size. Two popular tests are Beglar & Nation's 1K to 14K test http://www.lextutor.ca/tests/levels/recognition/1_14k/ and Nation's classic level test http://www.lextutor.ca/tests/levels/recognition/2_10k/
- Another reputable vocabulary size test is available at the Test your Vocabulary Size: http://my.vocabularysize.com/
- In addition, learners can test their knowledge of the 505 common English phrases at http://www.lextutor.ca/tests/levels/recognition/phrasal/
- Lots of useful tools for researchers, including some basic statistical tools for correlation at http://www.lextutor.ca/stats/
- The CLOZE tools are quite powerful, although it does take some effort to understand how to use the interface at http://www.lextutor.ca/cloze/
- Mash up to visual thesaurus is restricted by subscription, but the free version at http://vocabgrabber.com/ allows you to filter according to specific genre.
- Analyze a text to show the commonly used words: http://lextutor.ca/vp/bnl (best viewed in IE8+)
- Analyze a text to show common and academic words: http://www.wordsift.com/
- Perhaps the 'flashiest' of flash card sites: http://quizlet.com/
- Not so flashy, but has a great range of games which you can use live in class, such as the classic hangman http://www.studystack.com/
- The classic tool is http://wordle.net - basic but very useful in seeing frequency in a text
- If you want to get fancy, you can try http://www.tagxedo.com/ which lets you create word clouds in shapes. You need to install SILVERLIGHT, but that is a simple plug in.
Cloud-based language tools
- GOOGLE translate: http://translate.google.com/
- NOTE: If you use GOOGLE CHROME as your browser, you can speak into your microphone and GOOGLE will write what you say. You have to tell it what kind of accent you speak with.
- The APP for smartphones is really quite good. You can speak to it, it will transcribe your speech to text and then translate this to the target language, and then speak it in the target language.
- NOTE: If you have a GOOGLE ID, you can 'add' words you look up to your own personal 'phrase list' and save them in your GOOGLE drive.
- Fantastic resource to encourage more extensive reading. You can install a browser extension so that it works for any page loaded in your browser. If you click on any word, a translation will appear. It works on a phrase level, but in the free version the number of phrase lookups is limited. If you are logged in to your account, it remembers each word you looked up (and the context) and lets you review them later, or create flashcards automatically.
- Longman Dictionary of Contempoary English: http://www.ldoceonline.com/
- Cambridge Dictionaries: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
- Lexipedia (a graphical interface): http://lexipedia.com/
- http://www.gingersoftware.com/ - free version is quite good at catching most of the common errors. If you subscribe, it will keep track of errors, give you suggestions and practice activities, and monitor your progress. If schools subscribe, teachers can monitor all of their students with this. Not perfect, but if you find that you are constantly highlighting the same simple errors, the use of this could free you up to comment more on content and organization, rather than on nitty gritty grammar points.
- https://swiftkey.com/en - predictive sentence construction...it uses corpora to suggest which word(s) you should type next. Quite useful on a mobile phone. It is great for helping students not to forget prepositions, etc., and use the correct collocations.
- http://graphwords.com/ - very nice visual thesaurus
- http://www.snappywords.com/?lookup=english - another free visual thesaurus
- http://www.visuwords.com/ - a very thorough visual thesaurus
- http://lexipedia.com/ - a good interactive thesaurus and dictionary
- This is a neat tool that lets you create your own interactive corpus, creating a clickable word cloud and simple concordance extracts: http://folk.uib.no/nfylk/concordle/
- British National Corpus - http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc
- Corpus of Contemporary American - http://corpus.byu.edu/coca
- If you aren't put off by the interface, the OPUS parallel corpora can be an interesting tool to see the variety of meanings. The corpus based on subtitles of movies is very good for slang. See http://opus.lingfil.uu.se/trac