Category Archives: technology

Twitter

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Do you use Twitter? (You can read about it in several languages on Wikipedia.)

If you are a Twitter user, you can follow Readable. I’ll write about what I’m doing sometimes. I’ll try to use easy English, so beginners can read it too. You can send short, simple questions to me there. If the question is easy to answer, I’ll answer on Twitter as soon as I can. If the question is hard, I’ll try to answer it later here.

I don’t use Twitter on my cell phone, so I probably won’t answer right away. It might take some time for me to answer.

(I can’t do anybody’s homework or be anybody’s conversation partner, but I hope I can answer some of your questions about English grammar, American culture, etc. )

You can look for interesting and popular Twitter users to follow at Alltop and Twitterholic.

P. S. I’m sorry I haven’t written much lately. If you are an English learner who likes this blog, please comment sometimes or ask a question. That makes me want to write more.

I’m going to try to start posting twice per week, probably Tuesdays and Fridays. If that works, I’ll try to start posting 3 times per week. Remember, if you have something you want me to write about, you can leave a comment here. (You don’t have to use Twitter.)

5 Reasons for English Learners to Use Firefox

Firefox 2

1. Firefox is safer and more reliable. The internet is full of misleading websites that can infect your computer with viruses and worse. Firefox will protect your computer better than Internet Explorer can. Firefox also crashes less often.

2. Firefox handles non-English languages well, so it’s a better choice for multilingual people who may view e-mail and websites in several languages every day. For example, it handles Unicode much better than Internet Explorer does. In addition, you can download Firefox in many different languages.

3. Firefox is free, independent, and open source (read about the open source movement in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, etc.). It runs on MacOS, Windows, and Linux. If you are concerned about the negative impacts of globalization, consider using Firefox and other open source programs instead of those from companies such as Microsoft.

4. Firefox has lots of free, useful “add-ons” to help you organize your learning and find new ways to learn. The add-ons can be installed by just clicking the green Install Now button. Very easy! Here are two that I especially like. You will have to get a free account with each service to use it, but that is also easy.

  • StumbleUpon lets you share and discover sites on topics you’re interested in with other users all over the world. I’ve discovered some excellent English-learning resources there.
  • del.icio.us lets you quickly save and sort websites you want to remember. The bookmarks can be used from any computer with an Internet connection. If you often change computers, use computer labs or Internet cafes, etc., this is a wonderful thing. You can also search other users’ “tags” to find good sites, which is very useful. The sites tend to be of higher quality compared to whatever comes up first on Google, because they have been chosen and saved by real people rather than search engines. For example, here are my bookmarks tagged “useful,” and here are my bookmarks tagged “travel.”

5. Firefox has lots of free, useful “add-ons” especially for language learners and multi-lingual people. This page contains all Firefox language and translation add-ons. (I haven’t tried all of these.) GTranslate will translate English into other languages when you highlight a word or phrase. Converter will convert time-zones and measurements. FoxLingo, Translator, and several others will translate an entire webpage. Although you shouldn’t rely on auto-translation too much, it can be useful in many situations. Right now, some of my students are using Dictionary ToolTip, which displays an English<->English definition after you double-click on any word on a webpage. It’s really good practice for them when they find difficult words, because the explanation is given in English too.

If you try any of the other add-ons, please add a review on the Firefox site for other users to read. If you find a really good one, tell me about it and I’ll write about it in the future.

There are lots of other good reasons to use Firefox, such as its built-in spell-checker, its variety of useful search boxes, better pop-up protection than IE, etc. And it has a cute logo: Firefox 2 無料ダウンロード (You can even download wallpapers!. ;) )

Note: I don’t advise deleting IE, because a few websites will only work in IE. I keep an old copy around for those times, but Firefox is my default browser.

Click the button to get Firefox!
Firefox 2