Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Enhance Your Vocabulary Items Through Technology

I will be introducing a new technology which is JustTheWord, a new kind of aid to help both students and teachers with writing English and choosing just the word. You must be really amazed in using this technology as it serves range vocabulary items, specifically the concordance. How to get into this tool? Just click on this link: Just the word

How to use it?

Firstly, you will see this page coming up from your screen: 

Then, you may just type a word or a phrase that you want to look up for the concordance or the most frequently words used together with the word/ phrase that you search for. 

Note that, Choosing the 'Thesaurus' button will use only semantic proximity as a measure of confusability. Choosing 'Learner Errors' will use a corpus of actual learner errors of all types by speakers of various first languages".  

So, you may use this tool according to your own needs and preferences. For instance, I am searching for the concordance of the word energy. Then, press on either combinations or alternative tab.  You will see this page:

Click on this picture to get the explanation on how to understand how to look at the concordance. I have briefly explain about it on the right side in the red and grey column.

The two most frequent and good combination words that students/ teachers can use with the word energy are expend energy and waste energy. Noticeably, the combinations have been clustered according to meaning. If it refers to consuming the energy, the concordance will be clustered in cluster 1. It's also important to note that, we can't type too many words ,  but do include articles ('a', 'the', etc.) as this will help the system to get the right answer.

There are several advantages of using this tool for your teaching and learning purposes. Firstly, it can enhance wider range of vocabulary items and concordance which might be useful for writing an essay like a native speaker's use of words. Besides that, it is an alternative for learners to quickly get the word combinations without the need to look at the dictionary or thesaurus. This tool also offers Help tab, which is useful for the users in understanding deeply on how the tool works. It has really a detailed explanation on how to use it. 

However, there are also some downsides of using this tool as the words that come up on the screen are too many, which might be time consuming for students to choose the best word combinations.

Foot note: This technology is more or less quite similar to the BNC website.

1 comment:

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