English Language & LINGUISTI Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer

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  Vocabulary size   Find out how many words you know at testyourvocab.com.
  New words   Are you interested in new, creative and often playful word formations? 

Then www.wordspy.com is the site for you to visit. 
The dictionary publisher Macmillan also has its own buzzword page.

You can first practise guessing the words' meaning on the basis of their parts (an ability you need to develop for translation anyway) and then read the definitions .

  A word a day   What nicer way to enlarge your vocabulary than by subscribing to A word a day? This free newsletter gives you information on the word of the day's pronunciation, meaning, etymology and usage.
  One word a day   A very nice alternative newsletter that specifically addresses German learners of English can be found at www.owad.de. Here you will find not only definitions, usage examples etc. but also German translation equivalents.
  Academic Word List   The Academic Word List (AWL) is a list of 570 words which frequently occur in academic texts but are less common in general writing or speech. It was created by Averil Coxhead, who analysed many academic texts from a wide range of subject areas. The AWL is divided into 10 sub-lists comprising 60 words each (except sub-list 10, which only has 30), with sub-list 1 containing the most frequent words, and sub-list 10 the least frequent ones. Each headword stands for a whole family of related vocabulary. The list item conclude thus implicitly evokes conclusion, conclusive, conclusively, inconclusive and inconclusively.
  Vocabulary training programs   PONS's Lexitrainer is a free online vocabulary program that tests your vocabulary knowledge in different ways. It also remembers the words that you look up in the online dictionary at www.pons.eu and thus allows you to revise your own personalised vocabulary.
      Other free electronic vocab training programs, which were recommended to me by my students, are WinVok and Pauker.
  Learn vocabulary and save the world at the same time   You would like to expand your English vocabulary and do other people good at the same time? This is actually possible: at www.freerice.com, a site which is supported by the United Nations. For each word that you correctly identify as the synonym of a hard word, they will donate 20 grains of rice to hungry people all over the world. Even though it is questionable whether hard words are that useful for learners (actually, the most frequent words are usually the most tricky ones), enlarging your vocabulary on this site may still do you - and maybe others - some good.   
  A way with words   The entertaining one-hour radio show A way with words deals with the origins of words, curious expressions etc. You can listen to the episodes online.

Recommended reading

bulletBerman, Michael (1996): Pizazz! Puzzles and Exercises for Students of English. Southampton: Englang.
[The most enjoyable way to enlarge your vocabulary.]
bulletBulmer, A.F. and W.R. Adamson (1996): Which Words? A Fresh Approach to Vocabulary Building for Advanced Students. Southampton: Englang.
[Not only useful but also fun to read.]
bulletHoffmann, Hans G. and Marion Hoffmann (2003): Großer Lernwortschatz Englisch. 2nd ed. Ismaning: Hueber.
[If you want to learn vocabulary with German translation equivalents, this is the book for you.]
bulletHumphrey, Richard (2001): Your Words, Your World. Stuttgart: Klett.
bulletMcCarthy, Michael and Felicity O'Dell (2002): English Vocabulary in Use. Advanced. Cambridge: CUP.
bulletParkes, Geoff and Alan Cornell (1989): German-English False Friends. (3 Vols). Southampton: Englang.
[These cleverly illustrated books give you an idea of possible false friends - but handle with care and do not let them confuse you.]
bulletThe university of Plymouth offers several texts with advice on vocabulary learning.