(reviewed Fall 2008)
Reviewer: Roselyn Gomez
Recommendation: Recommend with Reservations
This Web site provides information on all aspects of the English language. It is sponsored by Studylanguages.org, which promotes language schools all over the world. Both Web sites were created by Internetstudios.org, which also lists gaming and sports Web sites among its credits. The English Language Guide is a valuable resource for learners which includes instruction in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. There is also information on English history, statistics, culture, and literature as well as learning tools like a verb conjugator and language level testing. There are links to English courses online and abroad as well as advice for English teachers. The site is also available in Spanish, French, and German versions.
Overall, this site is a good all-around resource for English learners. However, I would only recommend it with reservations because its negatives considerably outweigh its positives.
On one hand, the highlights of the site are the general information about the language, the learning tools, and the links to additional resources, including dictionaries. I think learners will find the history and culture articles interesting and informative, and the verb conjugator and level testing very useful. Basic and survival vocabulary are defined, and an introduction to grammar is offered.
On the other hand, there are numerous problems with the site, including a lack of illustrations or translations for certain vocabulary, a lack of exercises to increase knowledge, and an inclusion of complicated linguistic information.
First of all, there are no pictures on the site to help learners understand abstract vocabulary, except for colors and a clock on the color and time pages, respectively. All other vocabulary is simply listed in English without pronunciation information. Oddly, there are Spanish and French translations given for many of the basic terms, but none are offered for some of the most difficult vocabulary.
Secondly, there are no exercises to apply any of the grammar lessons. In addition, much of the information is provided using complex terminology, like “genitive marker” and “determiner,” which would be difficult for an ESL learner to comprehend.
Lastly, some of the linguistic information is very esoteric; for example, the abstract terms suprasegmentals and phonemes are explained on the site. The definition for suprasegmental reads, “[they] are called that because they apply to more than one segment (vowel or consonant). In English, the relevant suprasegmentals are the markings for primary and secondary stress.” Phonemes are briefly explained as sounds that can be written between slashes. This is advanced information that would need to be explained in greater detail to the average student, let alone ESL student, so I am confused by why it is included on the site.
Subject Headings: ESL students, English grammar