Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My abscence

Still not sure if anyone reads this but I apologise for my abscence, I am building a new website for the school I work at and this has taken up all my working hours. (and many of my spare hours also). Launch date is July 31 so hopefully I will have something to say again early in August.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Oxford University Press Student Resources

Firstly I am sorry about the month break between posts. Things went a bit crazy here for a while but have quietened down again now so here goes....

Continuing on with the publishers theme for a little longer, today I will have a look at what's available on the OUP site.

OUP offer student materials to support their course books. The site is arranged by age groups (ie primary, secondary and adult) and then course book title. I had a quick look at three of the book sites to get an idea of how much they have available for free...

The Natural Grammar site has a range of activites from puzzles to practice exercises and downloadable study calendars. Suitable for intermediate to advanced students it's not extensive but certainly has some valuable materials.

Business Focus is a pre-intermediate business English coursebook and the site is organised to correspond with the units in the book. It offers a range of exercises covering grammar, common expressions, some vocab games and an assortment of web links . There are also several other business English coursebook sites to explore. So overall plenty of business English practice at OUP.

The Headway Series is Oxford's most popular coursebook and this site seems to be the most extensive too (but i have not looked at them all so apologies to OUP if i am wrong). There are some useful features such as a website learning record to help you note which exercises you have completed and study calendar to record new vocabulary learnt each month. The main content in arranged according to level. There are plenty of activities here and a nice build your own test function to let you practice the areas you feel you need most.

Overall OUP have plenty to keep you busy and when you are done check out the teachers pages for more...

Thursday, April 21, 2005



Longman have arranged their student resources into the following groups:
Young learners
Business english

Within each group there are different type of materials… such as quizzes, reading activities and companions websites for their books

Probably my favourite thing here are the penguin dossiers… these are a collection of non-fiction articles with audio recording and worksheets (some with teaching notes). The topics range from music and sport to technology and the environment. They are at an upper elementary/pre intermediate level and suitable for both teens and adults. There is a new article each month and an archive of about 20 or so articles on the site… well worth checking out

For business English students they have a "Business of the month" feature which provides a reading comprehension activity on a well-known business. Unfortunately they do not provide an archive so I can't tell if this is actually updated monthly.

For exam students there is lots of material to help prepare for the exams including links to the companion websites for the Gold series of coursebooks as well as several practice papers. A feature of the exam area is the discussion boards for exam students. They are free to use but you do need to register.. I had a quick look and they seem pretty active and may be quite useful to students preparing for exams outside a classroom situation.

There are also companion websites for most of the course books that longman publish although I noticed when I visited the website of their most popular business title"Market Leader" they were offering a paid site via a subscription that offered new materials every week. I imagine the goal of most of these sites is to keep the customers when they return to their home countries after completing their studies. Still there is enough free material to make publishers sites very worthwile for English learners

Tomorrow.... Cambridge

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

ESL Publisher websites

Publishers sites

In an effort to convince you to buy their materials many ESL publishers are developing companion websites for their best sellers. This week I am going to explore the four major publishers and what they have on offer.. On Friday I will round up some of the smaller sites that are still worth a looks.

Major ESL Publishers ( that are active in Australia)
Pearson/Longman -
Cambridge –
Macmillian -

All sites offer free materials for teachers to download and use in the classroom and also include many pages worth of activities for students to study alone.

So tomorrow I will look in depth at what's on offer at If you know any great publishers or book companion website please comment and let me know.


Monday, April 11, 2005

On Online list of irregular verbs

Probably the most common request I get in the library is "do you have a list of irregular verbs?"
I discovered this list on a website called "Using English" you can search an alphabetical list or get the random verb of the day. A further search on google found some nice exercises to practice what you have learnt on a site called "Grammar Bytes"

Both these sites are worth exploring....