Updates: 2017-04-12: Added input methods for MacOS. 2017-01-08: Fixed a few links. 2015-09-25: Fixed a few links, other small changes. 2015-04-10: Checked, updated and fixed all links in article.
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In our classes on e-mail, we regularly discuss "tone". Tone can mean two related issues when writing:
I just read a blog post about a new tool called ToneCheck that can help us with getting the right tone when writing an e-mail.
ToneCheck is offered in the freemium business model: the basic version is free, but if you want more features then you have to pay.
Update 2017-01-22: Added V.QQ.com clip and links.
Update 2011-05-12: I'm sorry, I just realized/remembered that of course Youtube is blocked in China. I will research some way to upload this video to a video site accessible in China.
I'm teaching a course on writing e-mails for business, with the first class focusing on tone: formal, neutral or casual.
I've also just started watching a British comedy series called The IT Crowd, which has a funny scene directly related to this issue.
Here's the clip (or click here to see it bigger on Youtube):
For people in China, I have found the clip on V.QQ.com and have embedded it below. The part about e-mail starts at 1'54".
In fact, V.QQ.com offers viewers in China the chance to watch the whole series:
One of my Hiknow students, Sabrina, asked how she could get more practice writing in English.
I remembered recently seeing a site that is a language exchange specialised in writing.
Most language exchange sites are focused on conversation: two people spend some time talking in one person's native language, then change to the other's native language. That way they both get speaking practice in the language they're learning.
But Lang-8 specialises in writing: people write in the language they are learning, then native speakers offer corrections.
I've added it to the Language Exchange section of the ESL Links. I'm going to sign up and try it out. If you have used it, please give your opinion in the comments.
Below is a short video exlanation of Lang-8.
G.A.L.E.S.L. / joe3
Some tips and links on learning English.