Explore the following academic and professional
- gateway to college and research level Internet resources maintained by
former librarian Mike Madin and a volunteer group of subject specialists
large collection of scholarly Internet resources collectively maintained
by several libraries, including those from the University of California
AllLearn: Academic Directories - guides to high quality
directories in the academic disciplines maintained by Oxford, Stanford,
and Yale Universities; also features a small collection of
Learning Guides in academic
The Best Information on the Net (BIOTN) - collection of academic
resources maintained at St. Ambrose University in Iowa
The Internet Public
Library - large, selective collection from the University of
BUBL Link - UK
funded project of selective resources from the University of Strathclyde
Library in Glasgow, Scotland
Librarians' Index to the
Internet - carefully chosen, organized, and annotated directory
maintained by a large group of librarians in California
Network - searchable interface to major meta-sites in academic
Report Archives - searchable database of 10,000+ critical
summaries of Internet resources for the academic and research community
A to Z - extensive collection of subject pages from the
University of Delaware Library
- It provides free and easy access to government information of
Discuss the following questions with your group members.
Please list THREE search engines your group members use more
frequently. Compare the three search engines and choose your
favorite one and explain why this one is the best.
What difference does it make when you enter keywords or phrases
in quotes (e.g., "computer assisted language learning")
in your web search?
If you put the word "OR" between words/phrases in your
web search, what does it mean?
You can also use these signs "
+ ", " -
", and " ~ " in your web
search. What function does each sign have? Please give examples.
(Be sure to include a space before a sign, but no space after a
sign. e.g., movie -video)
There are different domain types in websites' URLs. What do
these domain types mean?
If you want to find images or sound files on the Web, what should you do?
In addition to providing easy access to billions of web pages,
many search engines also provide a number of special features to
help people find what they want more efficiently. Please find what
special features those search engines have and choose THREE features that you like the
most each engine offers.
What web search problems have you encountered before? Please
share some with your group members and see if you can find
solutions now. Each group needs to report at least two common
problems and your solutions (if you have found them).
Exercise 3.2 Finding Materials on the Web
3.2.2 Online Dictionaries
Please go to my webpage Online Dictionaries.
Pay particular attention to the following websites and find how
they differ from other dictionary sites. List special features
that each of these five sites has.
Did you notice that when you double-click any word on this page,
you will get an instant definition of the word ? Do you like this special feature?
(Note: This feature is provided by
Now try this function: type a word you don't know in the look-up
box below and then you can get its definition and
much more. Do you like this feature?
(Note: If you are interested in adding an online lookup box to your
webpage, check the above webpages and then copy and
paste the html codes that you want onto your web source page.)
You can also add "Word of the Day" (or other free content
including "Quote of the Day", "Article of the Day", "This day in
history", and "Today's Birthday" provided by
TheFreeDictionary.com) to your webpage (check
As a web surfer, you can download a free online dictionary to
your computer and use it at any time to help you find the
meaning of unfamiliar words on the web.
For example, you can download
MSN Encarta Right-Click Dictionary
TheFreeDictionary right-click add-on Dictionary
CleverKeys for Windows
(provides instant access to definitions at
Dictionary.com, synonyms at
3.2.3 Online Concordancers
concordance is an
alphabetical listing/index of the words in a text, given together with the
contexts in which they appear.
concordancer is a computer program that allows users to search a
of authentic texts (i.e. a corpus) for multiple examples of selected words or phrases.
corpus is a collection of either written or spoken texts (The plural
is corpora). In fact, the World Wide Web itself is a huge corpus that
we can take advantage of to find sufficient occurrences of language
of concordancers for language learning and teaching:
can use a concordancer to find examples of authentic usage to demonstrate
word collocations, word usage, or even the structure of a text.
can generate exercises (e.g., cloze tests) based on authentic,
interesting examples drawn from a variety of corpora rather
than made-up traditional grammar examples.
can work out rules of grammar or usage and lexical features
for themselves by searching for key words in context. This helps them to
raise their language awareness, particularly in word collocations.
Explore the following
VLC's Web Concordancer:
It is a simple online
concordancer available at
the Virtual Language Center of the
Polytechnic University of Hong Kong.
various types of corpora in English,
Chinese, French, and Japanese.
Online KWIC Concordancer
This concordancer allows users to search
for occurrences of selected words from many business letter corpora
(TANGO), and Collocation Checker:
English-and-Chinese bilingual corpora:
and 2) Records of Hong Kong Legislative
Council (English and Chinese).
*Note: When you get to their website, please
click on [研究測試區]
or [Beta Test].
You can try TANGO and Collocation Checker
without login, but you need to register and
then login in order to be able to use TOTALrecall.
This site allows users to search for
occurrences of selected words in
Search of BNC (British National Corpus):
This site allows users to search for
occurrences of selected words in the BNC, a very large corpus of modern
British English designed to present as
wide a range of modern English as
possible (English only).
This concordancer works right across the
Web as its corpus, riding
on the back of different search engines.
It is slow but produces good, rich
results. Operated and maintained by the
Research and Development Unit for
English Studies (RDUES) at the
University of Liverpook, UK. (English
Using Google as a simple concordancer
works quite well, e.g. to check for
possible collocations (multilingual).
* Note: For more information on using concordancers in
language learning and teaching, please see
ICT4LT Module 2.4.
3.3 Evaluating your Ability to Use
Please download the
(designed by ICT4LT) to evaluate your ability to use browsers. Then
make sure you know how to do all the things listed on the form. If
you don't know how to do certain things, please ask your group
members or the instructor.
3.4 Evaluating Websites
The Internet is totally unregulated. There are huge amounts
of good material, but there are also amounts of material of poor and
dubious quality. There is no guarantee that the information of the
websites you found through search engines is accurate. Therefore, it
is important for you to determine whether the information in a
website is worth trusting and using.
the following evaluation guidelines and compare their
- Look at the URL
- Scan the perimeter of the page (authorship,
currency, credentials on the subject)
- Examine the quality of information (sources
of information, completeness, authenticity, choice of links, viewpoints)
- Check what others say
- Find out why the site/page was created
- Content (accuracy, comprehensiveness, currency)
- Style and Functionality
- Authority (credentials, impact of domain on content, contact
- Accuracy (bias, verified content, appropriate date)
- Audience (relevancy, type of webpage, audience characteristics)
Develop your own website evaluation criteria with your group
members and explain why the criteria you choose are important.
Choose a language learning website and evaluate it together with
your group members.
Then write your evaluation in the message board and give a brief oral
report to the class.