Sample worksheet for using the VLC materials

This is based on a worksheet written by Terri Leung of the HKPU English Language Centre.

Task 1: Ways to use the VLC to improve your English

From the Virtual Language Centre home page, go to the Study Guide Section and write down 3 different things you can do with the site to improve your English.

Task 2: Using the Web Concordancer with a dictionary.

Find the meaning and definition for the words given below. Find at least one concordance example for each word.

Issue (noun), discuss (verb), factor (noun), state (verb)

NOTE: If you don't know how to use to the Web Concordancer, go to the VLC Study Guide. Click on the last option under the Students column ( use the Web Concordancer to find some concordance examples) and follow the guidelines.
















Now try looking up the phrase "it is because" in the corpus of student writing. You will see some examples like below.

Concordances for it is because = 29
1    t training opportunities provided. It is because apart from   salary, people also th
2    h in the next century(see table1). It is because carbon   dioxide gas adsorb the inf
3    .  I feel this book is useless.    It is because fax and E-mail are no format.  More
4    ain their communication   skills.  It is because if they can communicate in English 
5    mercial buildings in Hong   Kong.  It is because, in Hong Kong, most of money is obt
6    stalled air-  conditioning system. It is because it can ensure a cooler indoor envir
7    installed air-conditioning system. It is because it can ensure a cooler   indoor env
8    of the important   input factors . It is because it make the operation decisions. A 
9    such effect seems fairly forlorn.  It is because many countries are continuing to   
10   ntral city is   thereby produced.  It is because most of the white-collars travel to
11   ommon   source of job information. It is because newspaper is the most common   recr
12     and  activates your body. Today, it is because of  the popular of the TV   games w

Can you see what is wrong with these examples? (Be sure to check their context using the hyperlink). Look up the same phrase in any of the files which were not written by students (eg the Brown corpus). How many examples can you find? Why? (Clue: look up the phrase "this is because").

Do the same as above for the word besides. In the corpus of student writing you will see the following examples:

Concordances for besides = 160
1    ur site and  tied the CP2 as well, Besides, a last check should be made to see
2    ctive salary during this period.   Besides, a substantial percentage graduates
3     and other environmental problems. Besides, according to Derek Elson, many   c
4    nd is not so   large in Hong Kong. Besides, according to environmental protect
5     after  the  renewal  of  land  .  Besides  ,  after  a  long  time  period  ,
6     the trees will   loss their home. Besides after cutting of trees, the forest 
7    r the need for   them has expired. Besides Agricultural policy has focused as 
8    in 1 - 10 applications in 1998.    Besides, around one - third of subjects nee
9    ell as the circuit connection.     Besides, as the electrical generator plays 
10   ell as the circuit connection.     Besides, as the electrical generator plays 
11   ed by the use of the MCCB which,   besides being a sealed unit, is usually che
12   growth and lower productivity.     Besides, both precipitation and nutrient su

Click on the links to see the contexts. Do you think anything is wrong with some of these examples?
Look up the same word in any of the files which are not written by students and compare usage.

Repeat these steps for the word informations. What do you learn about this?

Task 3: Proof Reading

Do one of the proofreading exercises at>proofreading. You need to return to the front page (the main page) of theVLC

 and click the Proof Reading link (under Reading), this will take you into the Proof Reading section.

You can then try another exercise under the Proof Reading at

Write down what score you obtain in the space provided:

Mistakes: _____________ Score: ________________ No of errors: ___________

Task 4: SCMP exercises

Go to the VLC South China Morning Post ESL Corner from the VLC front page.  Click one of the topics you are interested in.  Finish the exercise and click the Submit button.Write down the number of questions you've missed in the space provided:

Missed questions: ___________


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