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Examination of Aptitude & Vocabulary on L2 Writing in Chinese College Students Highlights the Importance of Receptive Vocabulary

The article “Exploring the Relationship between Language Aptitude, Vocabulary Size, and EFL Graduate Students’ L2 Writing Performance” in TESOL Quarterly by Yingli Yang, Ya Sun et al. of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China examines the relationship between language aptitude and L2 writing performance. The study tested sixty-seven Chinese grad students […]

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Hyper-Vigilant Attribution Culture Exacerbates Academese

… the secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb which carries the same meaning that is already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing […]

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Steven Pinker’s 13 Tweets for Writing Well-Written Prose

Steven Pinker is a linguist and psychologist who teachers at Harvard University. He’s most famously known for his popular-science book on linguistics titled The Language Instinct among other books on cognitive science. In my classes, however, I most often use the style guide The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st […]

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Teaching Shudder Quotes

Shudder quotes, or weird quotes as the the author Chuck Wendig refers to them in the tweet at the end of this post, can be used to indicate your are using a word with ironic intent. Consider when you refer to the “stroke of genius” upper management foisted on everyone, and how all your colleagues […]