Using Soundbites for Extensive Listening Practice

Soundbites is a collection of news bulletins from a wide range of authentic sources such as CNN and BBC. These give a taste of the kind of language used by native speakers around the world today and can be used as extensive listening practice for advanced English majors. Here are some suggestions for making use of the soundbites from our audio news mini-corpus.

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Download Cornucopia Word Formation 1, 2, Alpha 1 (Inspection Copies); New Microsite for Cornucopia Revision Projects

I’ve created a microsite dedicated to the Cornucopia Word Formation series and will start updating the word lists and exercises in these books. More usage notes, case studies, worksheets, word learning and teaching tips will also be added to the website soon. These revision projects are funded by some of my colleagues and myself (as my institutions are currently allocating funds for many other book projects). I’ll try to request for more support so that the resources can be free. For now, you can check out the inspection copies of these books and help me crowdsource more test items. This will help me understand better the issues faced by advanced English majors as well as teachers of specialised schools in learning, teaching, and testing word formation.

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Cornucopia: More Than Words (Free Ebook Edition)

Cornucopia: More Than Words is a new edutainment resource that aims to deliver language lessons through real-world and word stories. This Christmas limited ebook edition comes with: • 35+ reflective essays and life stories from the author’s private blog over the past three years, updated with new entries and illustrations; accessible to B2 and higher-level language learners 35+ articles about etymologies, theme-based word histories, with contexts and usage notes to help you access the wordlists from the previous Cornucopia Word Formation books and explore various aspects of word formation.

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-716-39085-2 (fixed layout, 280 A5 pages)
Texts: Joong Thanh. Advisor: Soo Weihan. Illustrator: Cai Dongdong
Available on Lulu (global), Kobo (Southeast Asia), Barnes & Noble (selected territories), Apple iBooks (selected territories), Bookmate (Singapore, the Philippines, and selected Southeast Asian countries; subscription-based), e-Sentral (Malaysia), Ookbee (Thailand)…

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New Support for National/Regional Advanced Language Exams (2021)

In 2021, I will be able to continue supporting advanced/gifted students and teachers of selective schools (with both standardised international and national/regional advanced exams and contests). I will also try to give more support for my previous publications (Cornucopia, Cambridge English Toolkit) and resume my book revision projects; new materials are underway, too. By “support” I mean we still focus on developing language awareness and proficiency at C1–C2 levels, nurturing language talents, and as ever, not on cramming for those tests and exams. I hope you can see that I have never meant to dismiss all those exams and contests or any learning opportunities; we will simply try to make the most of those resources.

For anyone who has been burning the midnight oil for the upcoming national language competitions, please keep in mind that success in these contests (and even in standardised international exams), is not necessarily a reflection of language talent, potential, or even fluency, but more a case of language exposure and practice. To pass those exams, or achieve maximum scores, or win gold medals, you clearly need to satisfy the requirements. But that, I believe, is not the ultimate goal of an English language major, nor is it the ultimate goal of language education, especially gifted education on language arts. No matter what you gain from those challenges, you all deserve your own rewards on your very own language journey, be they knowledge, enjoyment, scholarships, or medals.

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