Goal setting

How SMART Goals Can Help You Improve your English
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

  Thesis Writing Goals that work
A video on setting SMART goals for scientific writing.

Writing a Paper: Examples of Effective Writing Goals

 Neuroscience and learning

Neuroscientifically Challenged
2-Minute Neuroscience videos will help you learn the basics of neuroscience in short, easy-to-understand snippets.

Sleep Toolkit: Tools for Optimizing Sleep & Sleep-Wake Timing
A comprehensive toolkit consisting of behavioral and supplement-based tools that you can customize to enhance the quality, duration and impact of your sleep.

 Comics for inclusive language learning

The Comics for Inclusive English Language Learning (CIELL) project aimed to:

  • develop the competences of second language teachers by promoting the use of comic art, and other visual representations of knowledge, and
  • enhance the quality of language teaching materials used for teaching writing as a second language and support the needs of learners with dyslexia in a socially inclusive manner.

 Language for presentations

Language for presentations
An infographic that presents language and phrases you can use when making a presentation.  The phrases and tips provided will help set expectations around how your talk will proceed.

 Academic writing

 They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

This resource offers a comprehensive guide to mastering the essential rhetorical strategies and techniques necessary for effective academic writing, emphasizing the importance of engaging in meaningful dialogue with existing scholarly texts.

 Academic Phrasebank

Provides examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation. Other phrases are listed under the more general communicative functions of academic writing. The resource are particularly useful for writers who need to report their research work. The items are mostly content neutral and generic in nature; in using them, therefore, you are not stealing other people’s ideas and this does not constitute plagiarism.

 Sending Email to faculty and administrators

Learn now to send e-mail to your professors and staff following the conventions of professional email in any workplace

 Grammar and vocabulary

The Academic Word List (AWL)
Describes the Academic Word List (AWL), (570 headwords and other forms, by level), giving information on what the AWL is, as well as a complete list of all words in the AWL

Word of the day

Visual online graphical dictionary. Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts to produce diagrams reminiscent of a neural net and learn to associate words.

Learn English grammar through in-depth tutorials featuring dozens of interactive exercises.

Onscreen Academy
Developed by SFU’s Dr. Steve Marshall, OnScreen Academy offers 35 short videos (most under 5 minutes) on English language and academic writing, which include clear description of rules and forms, practice tasks, and a summary.

The Five Grammatical Moods
Learn how to convey your tone and message to your reader and make a lasting impression in your writing.


5 Ways To Improve Your Listening Skills At Home
Learn how to be an active listener to improve your listening skills

 Randall’s Cyber Listening Lab
Everyday conversations with adult and children’s voices.

British Council
Practise and improve your listening skills for your school studies and English exams.

 Reading/current events

 The New York Times Learning Network 
Daily resources for teaching and learning with The New York Times, including lesson plans, questions for writing and discussion, quizzes, monthly contests and more. Join the conversation by commenting on any post.

 Breaking News English
Interactive and printable English lessons; 26 page handouts, 2-page mini-lessons, and more tan 30 online activities


DEBATE LANGUAGE: Professional Speaking Skills

Dr. Tim Mossman offers these strategies for improving comprehensibility and intelligibility by speaking in thought groups, pausing, and stressing key words.

Speaking clearly: Thought groups change how you view English sentences
Great Youtube video that uses dialogue from The Big Bang Theory to demonstrate how using thought groups, syllable Stress, and pausing can enhance intelligibility in oral communication.

21 Idioms for Academic English
This video shows the 21 most common idioms used in academic writing in English, most of which are also common in academic speaking. They can be used to enrich vocabulary for university English, or for the TOEFL or IELTS writing and speaking exams.


Sounds of English
Pronunciation pages - pictures, sounds, and videos to help you with English pronunciation.

The Speech Accent Archive
Presents a large set of speech samples from a variety of language backgrounds. Speakers of various World Englishes read the same paragraph and are carefully transcribed. Good site to compare and analyze the accents of different English speakers.

 Learn English through movies

Full length movie with English subtitle. Click on any word in the subtitles and get a translation via Google translate.

Learning English through media.

Learn English Feel Good
Movie clips to improve your listening comprehension skills

 Library resources

Resources for EAL and English Language and Culture students
Tips and links for finding books and online resources for grammar, writing, IELTS and TOEFL tests, and other topics at the SFU Library. 

 Neuroscience and the brain

3-D model of the brain