What is the plural of ‘computer mouse’?
August 1, 2014
It’s an old question- what is the plural of “computer mouse”- is it “mouses” or “mice”? My 1996 Collins dictionary says it’s “mice”, while my 2010 Oxford Learner’s dictionary says either. A number of websites suggest avoiding the issue altogether, and calling them “pointing devices”. There is a theory that mouse is an …
Is “adorkable” a word?
June 19, 2014
There is a recent TED video, in which Anne Curzan, a Professor of English from Michigan University discusses how words move from being neologisms to established words. It’s witty, informed and well worth a watch. One of the most interesting points she makes is that people often say that it is a legitimate word if …
EAP in the MOOC age?
May 19, 2014
It sometimes seems that you can’t move without tripping over a MOOC, or another form of online learning. Rightly or wrongly, online learning is taking more and more space in the HE curriculum. An EAP (English for Academic Purposes) syllabus will typically have features that reflect a traditional university experience- reading, listening, writing essays and …
Snake Oil and Language Learning
April 22, 2014
Neuro-Linguistic programming. Visual/ Audio/Kinaesthetic. These are concepts that will be familiar with anyone in the world of English language teaching. They are sometimes championed by some of the big names in the field- and are often touted as the panacea for language learning. Increasingly, they also seem to be entering more mainstream higher education. However, …
The Essentiality of Reading
February 3, 2014
CELE Tutor Yan Lai Peen reflects on the value, importance and enjoyment of extensive reading The mention of books and reading evokes one of these emotions – excitement, dread, or nonchalance – depending on who we are and how we grew up. As I grew up in a house where the television set was dominated …
A Vicious Cycle (Part Two)
December 3, 2013
Yan Lai Peen continues her discussion of the Human Capital that a sound knowledge of English can provide In the last blog post, I wrote about the necessity of knowing when to use standard grammar as an educator and asserted that an educational institution is where students acquire linguistic capital, especially if it is a …
A Vicious Cycle
November 13, 2013
One of the CELE staff teaching , Yan Lai Peen reflects on the teaching of English in Malaysia, and the human capital it can provide…….. In the previous blog entry, the writer considers the gaps in the recent EF English Proficiency Index, in which Malaysia ranks 11th in the world. However, merely two months ago, …
Why international measures of English may not be so clear
November 7, 2013
Recently, English First, a global language teaching chain released the results of a survey of global English Language proficiency. In first place came Sweden, then Norway, and a slew of other European nations. Malaysia came top in Asia and 11th globally, beating Singapore into 12th place, and India came quite some way back. So, at …
Taking part in discussions
October 9, 2013
Some students find it difficult to take part in discussions, especially in English, and especially about complicated subjects. However, discussion is like many things, the more you put in, the more you get out. Below are some tips from the CELE senior tutor, Melissa Yoong, about what to do if this applies to you 1. …
A new self study resource
September 25, 2013
The British Council has a resource at http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/writing-purpose/introduction to help academic writers Based on extensive analysis of large collections of Academic Writing from British Universities, it helps students at all levels meet the expectations of academic writing.