Good writing, meaningful memories


Monday is Memorial Day in the U.S. – a day during which we honor those we love who have passed away and those who have given their lives to defend our country. A few days ago, I honored my mother, who passed away two weeks ago, on the ESL Podcast blog. Today I offer William Zinsser’s American Scholar essay In Memorium to honor those who have died for our country. This is the way memories should be written about.

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SuccEng Nominated for Top 100


Successful English Twitter feed nominated for Top 100 SuccEng, the Successful English Twitter feed, has been nominated as one of LexoPhile’s 2011 Top 100 Language Twitter Feeds. The Top 100 will be chosen by a combination of votes from followers and the opinion of a professional jury. Voting is open from May 17 until May […]

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More than news, different than fiction


The Oscars: Who calls the shots? Volcano of Rage “I Heard the Shots and Ran Toward the Sound” When Irish Eyes Are Crying America’s Gandhi: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr A Cocktail Party in the Street The Bull on the Mountain The Dancer and the Terrorist These are just a few of the titles you’ll […]

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RSS your way to better English


RSS can help you free up time for the reading and listening that will lead to better English. Today I have some suggestions for using RSS to bring reading and listening material to you automatically so it’s there, waiting for you, when you want to read or listen.

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Finding books for intermediate readers


Many English learners would like to read to improve their English, but they can’t find books that are easy enough to understand. On the ESL Podcast blog, Lucy Tse has written an excellent post about choosing intermediate-level reading. I’d like to add some additional ideas and recommend some books my adult students have enjoyed.

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Dictionaries for English learners


When you’re reading and meet a new word, you have several options – ignore the word and continue reading, reread the sentence or paragraph, guess the meaning from the context, ask a friend, or look it up in a dictionary. But which dictionary?

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Better academic English for mathematics, economics, and science students


If you’re a mathematics, economics, or science student and want to improve your academic English, the Khan Academy can help you.

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The best ebooks at the best price: free!


If you have trouble finding books in English, is another place for you to look. ManyBooks has more than 28,000 books in their collection, books they say are “the best ebooks at the best price: free!”

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To write well, read well


In a recent tweet, I encouraged readers to subscribe to William Zinsser’s Zinsser on Friday blog posts at The American Scholar (TAS). Unfortunately, I left out the link. Here are the links to the TAS web site and the blog feed The American Scholar web site. The American Scholar RSS feed – including William Zinsser’s […]

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Spotlight – great ideas and academic English delivered to your desktop.


The best way to improve your writing and speaking is to read good writers and listen to good speakers! Today I’d like to spotlight three great reading and listening sources for more advanced English learners. All three of them contain a lot of academic English. And all three of them provide RSS feeds so you can feast on more great ideas and good English every time they add something new.

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Spotlight: DISCOVER the power of reading and listening


Curators are people who select, organize, and look after collections. Museums have curators, and so does Successful English! My main job here is to create and curate Successful English’s two collections. LEARN is a collection of articles based on the work of the best researchers and language specialists I know. DISCOVER is a collection of the best intermediate and advanced reading and listening resources I can find. And this week there have been some important changes in the DISCOVER collection.

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A feast of academic English


The word feast can be used several ways. Today I’m using it to describe a book – Writing to Learn – by William Zinsser. Writing to Learn is a feast because it contains a generous supply of enjoyable academic English. If you want to improve your academic English, it’s a good place to start.

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English language coaching: path to fluency and success


Most English learners dream of the day they’ll be able to use English effortlessly and fluently. But they’re not sure how to get there. English language coaching shows them how.

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The purpose of language instruction


What is the purpose of language instruction, or education?

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Korean professor says extensive reading is necessary


Shin Kyu-cheol, professor in the department of English language at Far East University, says that extensive reading* is crucial (of the greatest importance) to English acquisition.

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