Online Tools and Resources: Priming

SKILLS | Using online resources (Lexical Tools)

LANGUAGE FOCUS | Collocations and Lexical Chunks

1) The first site is, an online collocation dictionary.

You can discover, for example, what adjectives have a tendency to describe advice:

2) Naturally, you might ask yourself which of these adjectives might be the best to use. By best, I mean occurring most frequently. There are two sites that can be checked: Ngram and

Let's say you want to check 'constructive advice', 'helpful advice' and 'excellent advice':

You can infer from this result that helpful might have a stronger connection. It should be pointed out that the database searched is taken from books and not spoken English.

You can also use Netspeak to find out the same results:

So, try this out when you are not sure which word combination might sound the least awkward.

Now, you might ask yourself which noun frequently collocates with constructive:

3) My other favourite resource is for pronunciation. This site allows students to hear a word or phrase used in a multitude of contexts. One word that gives my students some pronunciation trouble is hierarchical. Click to hear a sample.

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©2019 by Rob Amo | Study ESL Online, Toronto, Canada

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