Praat

Praat is “a free scientific computer software program for the analysis of speech in phonetics”.

ConcApp 5

The concordancer software ConcApp (version 5) has now become purchaseware. It is an easy to use program recommended for those learning to use corpus and concordancers. Its best feature, though, is that it can be used for not only English and French texts but also Japanese (tested), Chinese, Thai and Russian.

While it is purchaseware it is reasonably priced (USD20 as of posting), well worth it if you are in need of concordancing in languages other than English.

The WordSmith Tools mailing list

If you use WordSmith Tools and you haven’t already become a member of Mike Scott’s WordSmith Tools mailing list then you should. Questions and queries about the program and its use can be made at this open forum. More information can be found at http://groups.google.com/group/WordSmithTools/.

Japanese primary schools to teach 285 English words in 2011

From the Yomiuri Shimbun (copied and pasted due to lack of archive)

Fifth- and sixth-year primary school students will learn a total of 285 English words and 50 expressions in compulsory English classes to be introduced in the 2011 school year, the Education, Science and Technology Ministry said Thursday.

The students are expected to learn the words and expressions with textbooks compiled by the ministry titled “Eigo Noto,” (English Notes), according to ministry officials. The 50 expressions are currently taught in the first year of middle school. The ministry has distributed a preliminary version of the textbooks–one each for fifth-graders and sixth-graders–to about 550 schools nationwide to be used on a trial basis in the school year that started this month.

Continue reading Japanese primary schools to teach 285 English words in 2011

WordNet 3.0 Vocabulary Helper

This seems like an interesting tool, WordNet 3.0 Vocabulary Helper. Wikipedia defines WordNet as something which “groups English words into sets of synonyms called synsets, provides short, general definitions, and records the various semantic relations between these synonym sets.”

Created at Princeton University for research in Machine Translation. An offline version can be downloaded from the official Princeton University website.

Just The Word

I found this online concordancer called JustTheWord. It looks like it was made for teachers to search for (Japanese) student errors.

Errors in JACET 8000 Level Marker

I have been using the JACET8000 Level Marker (new link here) page for my research. It is a great tool. And I would like to thank the creator, Shinichi Shimizu, for it. However, when I checked the output I had found a number of errors. Below is a list of words which have been incorrectly numbered. The digit to the left (in red) of the word is what the output gives. The digit to the right (in green) is what the number or level should be:

1 march

2

1 lower

3

1 saw

3

1 means

4

1 thanks

4

1 leading

4

1 finding

4

1 thinking

4

1 china

4

1 sin

4

1 colored

4

1 saying

5

1 forward

5

1 basin

5

1 doing

5

1 making

5

1 controlled

5

1 kin

6

1 mar

8

2 audience

1

2 preferred

6

2 flatter

7

3 interpret

2

3 clothes

4

3 handicapped

6

4 including

3

4 upward

7

5 boom

4

5 ethics

6

5 summons

6

6 constructive

5

6 ragged

7

6 robin

7

7 chatter

6

8 coastline

7

9 alight

8

I had checked this with the March 2003 data as well as the publication “Daigaku Eigo Kyoiku Gakkai Kihongo ni Motozuku JACET 8000 Eitango” (ISBN 9784342788734). This information was correct at the time of posting.

[update] Checking through some of the words I found they were difficult to classify. For example, ‘saw’ could be the past tense of the verb ‘see’. In that case it would be placed in JACET 1. But as a noun – an tool to cut things in half – it would be in JACET 3. But others were clearly errors. ‘Audience’, ‘interpret’, ‘including’, ‘boom’, ‘constructive’, ‘chatter’ and ‘alight’ were numbering errors at the cut-off point between levels. The rest of the errors I cannot figure out.

KH Coder

kh coder logo
KH Coder is a corpus linguistic tool for Japanese texts. Follow this link to learn more about Japanese corpus linguistics.

A Wordsmith Tools discussion list

wordsmith tools 5.0
Mike Scott, the creator of Wordsmith Tools has a mailing list by that name. The archive is open to public, but to post one must become a member of the list, pending approval.

Two useful pages for Range program

Here are two useful pages I found about Paul Nation’s Range program:
BNC spoken freq
TV as language teacher