Tools at Your Fingertips: Interesting Online Resources

I love a successful session of browsing on the Internet. Let me share two discoveries. Both of the following online resources would be useful during lesson preparation.

  • My search began at a colleague’s site. Ryan Detwiler’s  offers authentic videos coupled with ESL quizzes. The sources include commercials, news reports, movie clips, and more.  The level of the quizzes range from beginner to high intermediate. The existing quizzes are ready-made materials to be included or expanded upon within a lesson. You can even design your own quiz based on a source of your choosing, all of which gives you the flexibility to target any number of skills, from listening to grammar. Ryan Detwiler will be presenting and illustrating the uses of his site in during TESOL’s Electronic Village Online 6-week session to be held in January and February 2010. (See the TESOL site for further details. Session title My Video Classroom 2.0.)
  • Following a series of links from, I ended up familiarizing myself with a tool designed by the University of Hong Kong. Vocabulary Profiler  is a simple but useful tool for vocabulary-centered lessons. If you enter a text, the program indicates high frequency words, giving special attention to words appearing on Coxhead’s Academic Word List (AWL). Although it’s possible to work on instinct and highlight vocabulary we think our students should know, it’s also good to have confirmation that our selection will be of value to the students. A set of lyrics, an excerpt from a novel, or a complete online article could be copied and pasted into this program, and we’d be guided in our decision regarding what vocabulary to study.

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