The English language can be very sophisticated and as international students, we’re expected to use it everyday in our interactions on campus, in classrooms and online with friends, teachers and peers.
For some of us, it’s easy to speak and write English but for others, perhaps not so much. And understandably so; it’s a second language to us and though we might not fully grasp it, especially when it comes to writing assignments in English or reading course material provided online, there are unique ways to help combat it.
Given students’ proclivity to lead an online life, why not make the most of your internet experiences by getting more out of your web browser? Most students default into using Google Chrome as their preferred internet browser and with Chrome, you can download a wide range of browser extensions from the Chrome Web Store which can enhance your browsing experience. Not only that, you can download and add extensions that can enable you to become more productive and learn as well!
So with that in mind, we give you four Chrome extensions to download that can help you improve your English.
Refine your grasp of the English language with the Exactly extension. More than a dictionary, the extension allows users to not only discover the definition of a word they come across in real time but also allows users to add words to their learning list.
Words you wish to use later on are saved to Exactly’s database. The extension will then remind users throughout the day of the worlds they’ve saved before they forget them. Recall the correct definition and the rate in which the the word will appear in your notifications will increase so that you’re consistently reminded to expand your vocabulary!
To add Exactly to your Chrome extensions, click here.
For students who are about to face official English tests like the IELTS or TOEFL, consider adding Magoosh Vocabulary to Chrome.
With Magoosh Vocabulary, every time you open a new tab, you’ll be given a new word, its definition and an audio file pronouncing that very word. Why’s this special? Because every word provided comes from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), which are officially recognised standardised tests for students. IELTS and TOEFL exams are part of the GRE which use words used in the Magoosh Vocabulary list.
So if you have a GRE-related exam or test coming up, use this extension to build your vocabulary and become familiar with the kind of words you’ll likely encounter!
To add Magoosh Vocabulary to your Chrome extensions, click here.
The English language is a hard language to master, and it’s not just international students who struggle with it. With so many rules around syntax, sentence structure and punctuation, navigating the proper ins and outs of the English language can be difficult even for native speakers.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Grammarly is one of Google Chrome’s most sought after and popular extensions. With Grammarly, everything you write is automatically picked up by the extension. Think of it as an additional proof-reader within your browser. Whether you’re writing emails or updating your friends on Facebook, Grammarly will process everything you write and checks your writing for punctuation, grammar, sentence structure and more.
It’s essentially a really powerful tool to help you write better. And if you pay for its premium service, Grammarly can be especially useful for students as premium account holders are able to detect plagiarism in their writing, get citation suggestions and more!
To add Grammarly to your Chrome extensions, click here.
It might sound like sacrilege to say that you’re too lazy to read but sometimes it helps to have someone read out to you so that you get a better feel of how sentences and paragraphs are meant to be read.
But if you don’t have someone who can do that for you, do one better by downloading Read Aloud, an extension that does just that — it will read back material you highlight yourself or entire pages in your current tab/window. This extension is most useful if you need a better understanding of how one might present their work or material aloud if they have an oral presentation to give.
Moreover, it can give new language users a chance to pick up the proper speed, pronunciation or enunciation necessary for everyday communication. The extension can translate 40+ languages in its current state, with automated readings sounding close to realistic (they might sound like newscasters but that’s okay!).
To add Read Aloud to your Chrome extensions, click here.
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.