loading...
We are currently dispatching orders as normal, but delivery times may be affected Find a rep
Free tools and resources for primary and secondary to support mental and physical wellbeing Find out more

Collins ELT

Where to start when softening your English accent

Where to start when softening your English accent

Changing an accent is not an overnight task and many people try and fail because they don’t know the best way to approach accent modification and become overwhelmed. The trouble is we talk all the time without even thinking about it, so when we try and think ‘how do I say that?’ we can’t answer.

Tips on how to use Collins Work on Your Accent in the classroom

Tips on how to use Collins Work on Your Accent in the classroom

Accents are muscular habits. As such, learning a new accent is like learning a gymnastic move, and any teacher should aim to balance the teaching need for muscular repetition with the learner’s need to feel they are making progress.

Problematic Sounds For Many Non-native Speakers

Problematic Sounds For Many Non-native Speakers

One of the most challenging sounds for non-native speakers of English is actually the most common sound in the English language! That sound is The Schwa. The schwa is a very subtle, quiet sound – you may barely have noticed it, but without it, you can never hope to capture the rhythm of English. Any written vowel can be replaced by the schwa if it’s in an unstressed syllable.

COBUILD: The Evolving Corpus – How corpus use has changed over the years

COBUILD: The Evolving Corpus – How corpus use has changed over the years

Size matters when it comes to corpora. At 220 million words of text, the corpus used to create the second edition of the COBUILD dictionary in 1995 was over ten times the size of the one used for the first edition, and 220 times bigger than the first electronic corpora developed in the 1960s and early 1970s. Yet it was tiny compared to those we use today, some of which amount to billions, not millions of words.

COBUILD: Shifting senses – How the meanings of words change

COBUILD: Shifting senses – How the meanings of words change

In the 30 years since the publication of the first COBUILD dictionary, a whole flurry of new words has come into the language and as they’ve caught on and become part of everyday usage, they’ve been added to the dictionary.

COBUILD Part 2: The Early Years – A dictionary from a corpus

COBUILD Part 2: The Early Years – A dictionary from a corpus

By the time I arrived at COBUILD as part of the 1993 intake recruited to work on the second edition of the dictionary, the whole project had been fully computerised for several years. This meant working on screen at terminals linked to mainframe computers that hummed away in a separate room, still with the green text on a black background, as described by Andrew Delahunty in Part 1

COBUILD: Design and Layout – Changes over the last 30 years

COBUILD: Design and Layout – Changes over the last 30 years

Where were you 30 years ago? I was in the middle of my university studies, still to embark on my ELT career, and as such, a smidgin too late to be part of the intrepid and free-spirited COBUILD dictionary team. Led by the late John Sinclair, this large young team was involved in bringing to life his vision: to create a dictionary for learners that was based on a large digital language database – or a corpus. 

Understanding academic grammar

Understanding academic grammar

For students new to dealing with academic texts in English, they can seem daunting; full of long words and long complex sentences. Are academics just trying to show off how clever they are and confuse their poor readers? Well, maybe just a little bit sometimes, but most of the time, there are good reasons for the grammatical choices made by academic writers. Understanding the reasons for those choices can help students of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) make more informed choices in their own writing.

Tense vs aspect

Tense vs aspect

Tense and aspect are often labelled as the same thing. It’s not uncommon to see the present progressive referred to as ‘the present progressive tense’ or will have + past participle referred to as ‘the future perfect tense’, for example. However, tense and aspect are not the same thing.

Grammar and register

Grammar and register

This article has been written by Julie Moore, who is an ELT materials developer and lexicographer. Our last post focused on the difference between ...

Prescriptive vs descriptive approaches to grammar

Prescriptive vs descriptive approaches to grammar

What's the difference between prescriptive and descriptive approaches to English grammar, especially in the context of the Collins COBUILD English Grammar? Penny Hands, one of our series editors, answers in this blog post.

Collins COBUILD English Grammar: a functional grammar

Collins COBUILD English Grammar: a functional grammar

This article has been written by Penny Hands, who is one of the contributors to the Collins COBUILD English Grammar.   Most people who study and us...