Friday, 22 October 2010

My Words toolbar now supports Firefox 3.6!

Good news for Firefox 3.6 users!

If you have already upgraded to Firefox 3.6, you may have noticed that many of your extensions stopped working, including My Words toolbar. Well, no longer! We have now produced a stable Firefox 3.6 version of the My Words Toolbar. We would like to give special thanks to Mr. Anton Elloway (Development Coordinator of ICT in ELT at the University of Edinburgh) for sharing with us how he’s been using the My Words toolbar at the University of Edinburgh.

The My Words toolbar is now compatible with the following Web browsers:

  • MSIE 5
  • MSIE 5.5
  • MSIE 6.0
  • MSIE 7.0
  • MSIE 8.0
  • Mozilla Firefox 1.5
  • Mozilla Firefox 2.0
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.0
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.5
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.6
  • Netscape Navigator 9

Install the My Words toolbar today to experience the resourceful add-on features of My Words on Firefox 3.6!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Software Engineer wanted!

Details of Job Vacancies


Research Assistant (Software Engineer)
(Duration: 1 year, renewable)


Language Center

Closing Date: 2 October 2010
Ref No.: 2010-0923

1. Duties

The appointee will be required to provide technical support for a web-based portal for English learning, including user support (e.g. answering queries about using web-based systems) and documentation. Training in the relevant projects will be provided.

2. Requirements

Applicants should have a recognized degree in computer science, information technology or equivalent; excellent computer skills; excellent knowledge of PHP, MySQL, DHTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, and preferably be familiar with WordPress, BuddyPress and other social media systems. He/She should be self-motivated, responsible, and able to work independently. Good communication skills with a good command of spoken and written English is required.


Conditions of Service

Starting salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits including annual leave, medical and dental benefits will be provided where applicable.


More information on the Department/Office

Application Form for Executive, Clerical, Secretarial, Technical, Research and Teaching Support Positions (including demonstrator and instructional assistant)

We thank applicants for their interest, but advise that only shortlisted candidates will be notified of the result of the application.

Application Procedures

Application forms can be obtained:

  • from the Souvenir Center in Room G027 of the University;

  • from the Human Resources Office in Room 5333 of the Academic Building of the University;

  • by writing to the Human Resources Office, HKUST, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope;

  • by fax (2358 0700) to the Human Resources Office;

  • by E-mail ( ; and

  • by downloading from HRO Website

Completed application forms should be returned to the Human Resources Office.

Friday, 10 September 2010

New “Arts” Trophy Released!

Do you have a taste for the arts? Learn 51 words associated with arts and complete five activities to prove you have the vocabulary to differentiate Picasso from Michelangelo.

Click here to start learning the arts today!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Self-test : Dictation test

With the addition of the new dictation test, there are now 7 different ways to test your vocabulary on the My Words web site!

The dictation test assesses your ability to recognize and spell words that are spoken. All you need to do is activate the speech (powered by the Say It Right engine) in each question and type the word that you hear in the space provided.

Your test results will be given to you instantaneously and they will show your answer next to the correct one. Click on both to have them read back to you and compare your incorrect answers to the correct ones to hear what you are mishearing!

Why not try out the new dictation test and practice your listening skills today!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Silent letter words

In My Words (Say It Right), we have just added a new section about silent letter words. Silent letters are letters that you cannot hear when you say the word, but are there when you write the word. For example, "sword" is pronounced as "sord" because the "w" is silent.

Review words with silent letters today and hear the correct pronunciation! Link:

Monday, 21 June 2010

Proceedings of the NAACL HLT 2010 Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Writing: Writing Processes and Authoring Aids

The workshop took place on June 6, 2001 at NAACL HLT 2010 in Los Angeles, USA.
The proceeding of the paper "A Toolkit to Assist L2 Learners Become Independent Writers" is available now.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Video from the "Improving English Fluency and Accuracy Using My Words and Check My Words" workshop

Thanks to all who attended our workshop on 27 Apr 2010. If you would like to review the workshop, it is available online now!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

User Feedback Survey

We would like your opinion regarding the language learning tools on the My Words website. Your views are important to us and they will help us improve the applications; making them more user friendly and effective for all our users.

Please help us by completing this survey; we really appreciate your time and effort.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Software Engineer wanted!

Position: Research Assistant (Software Engineer)
(Duration: 1 year, with a possibility of renewal)

1. Duties
The appointee will be required to design and develop elearning projects related to web-based language learning software; perform creative and technical analysis of user requirements and improve user interfaces and support users (e.g. explaining and facilitating the use of the web-based systems).

2. Requirements
Applicants should have a degree in computer science, information technology or equivalent, and excellent knowledge of PHP, MySQL, DHTML, Ajax, CSS, XML, JavaScript and server-side technologies.
Good knowledge of ASP, VB, VBA, Flash (ActionScript 3 and 2) and Object-oriented programming; preferably with mature attitude and capability of working under pressure are required.
He/She should be independent, self-motivated, responsible and innovative.
Strong organizational skills with ability to coach other team members and be able to plan and organize work independently; quality-oriented; analytical thinking with good problem solving skills; be capable of learning new technology quickly plus good command of both spoken and written English are required.

Conditions of Service

Starting salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits including medical/dental benefits and annual leave will be provided.

More information on the

We thank applicants for their interest, but advise that only shortlisted candidates will be notified of the result of the application.

Application procedure here:

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

CELT eTools showcase for learning and teaching

Date: 27 April (Tue)
Time: 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Click here to register now.

Workshop: Improving English fluency and accuracy using My Words and Check My Words

Do you need to improve your English
- Vocabulary?
- Pronunciation?
- Accuracy?
- Fluency?
This workshop will show you how to become a better speaker and writer of English in your own time and at your own pace, using online tools developed at UST.
My Words is a vocabulary-learning website that allows you to add words from any website and learn these words systematically (meanings, pronunciations, collocations and more):
Check My Words is a toolbar for Microsoft Word that gives you access to a wide range of writing resources that explain common errors, help you never use the wrong word again, correct any English phrase, and much more.

For more information, please visit

What does the workshop cover?
This workshop will introduce two programs developed in the Language Center that target the English learning needs and difficulties of Chinese speakers. Hands-on practice will be provided to ensure that by the end of the workshop, you will be able to:
• Improve your vocabulary using My Words
• Access games and tests to evaluate your vocabulary learning progress
• Check your English accuracy and fluency using various resources in the Check My Words toolbar

Target audience
Faculty, instructors and students who have limited or no experience with the My Words suite of programs and who want to improve their English fluency and accuracy.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Workshop on Online English Reference Tools for PG students

Date: 20 April (Tue) 2010
Time: 1030am – 12nn
Venue: LT-K
Title: Tools to help you improve your English Accuracy and Fluency

Abstract: This workshop for graduate students will introduce a set of tools you can use to improve your written and spoken English. These tools include:

1) A vocabulary-learning website (My Words), including a browser toolbar you can use to hear any text on the web read with accurate pronunciation and intonation. You can also capture words and phrases from any website and build your own vocabulary portfolio.

2) A word-processor toolbar (Check My Words) you can use to correct common written errors and improve the way you use words and phrases in context. You can download and install Check My Words from

This workshop will help you become an independent, confident and professional speaker and writer of English! The tools are free to all HKUST students, before and after graduation.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Student helpers wanted! (closed)

Thank you for your interest. The application period for this position has been closed

Do you want to improve your English as well as earn some pocket money? Here's your chance!

We are looking for out-going student helpers who are happy to speak/write/practice English. You should know simple Microsoft Office operations & Web search techniques. The job mainly requires visiting users on campus to help them with these simple techniques. The hours are flexible (about 3-5 working hours per week).

We offer about $100/hr for this job.

We appreciate your interest in the student helper position. However, we would like to find out more about you so that suitable tasks can be assigned to you.

Please note that the questionnaire is NOT a test. It will NOT be used against you in any way. It is important that we determine where your strengths and interests lie, so that we may use them optimally. We would really appreciate honest and accurate answers from you.

Please answer the following questions in as much detail as possible when you 'contact us':

  1. How familiar are you with the following programs?
    a. My Words
    b. Nano
    c. My Words toolbar
    d. Say it Right
    e. Check My Words
    f. Mark My Words (this can be from the perspective of either giving or receiving comments)
  2. Which Microsoft Office programs are you familiar with? And what is your level of proficiency with each of them?
  3. How good is your ability to navigate the Web and find relevant information? What Google search commands can you use? Which web browsers are you familiar with?
  4. What areas of learning English interest you? (You may choose multiple areas of interest) Vocabulary / Writing / Oral Practice (including pronunciation) / Grammar
  5. At what times during the week (Mon-Fri: 9:30am to 5pm) will you be available on campus?
  6. How many hours can you work at home? (This may involve writing reports on your visits to instructors)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

MMW Online Edit Comments

You can now store and edit your personalized comments online in Mark My Words.

We have prepared a tutorial to help you get familiar with the UI.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

CL&W 2010 Paper accepted

Our paper titled "A Toolkit to Assist L2 Learners Become Independent Writers" has been accepted as full paper to appear at "Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Writing: Writing Processes and Authoring Aids at NAACL-HLT 2010" (CL&W 2010)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

How We Walk the Talk: Symposium on Assessment for Learning

We gave a talk at the Hong Kong Productivity Council ( Kowloon Tong) on "How We Walk the Talk: Symposium on Assessment for Learning" on 26 March 2010.


Title / 講題:
My Words: An English Vocabulary-learning Portfolio for the 21st Century
My Words – 廿一世紀的英語字詞學習歷程檔案

Objectives / 目標:
This workshop will introduce an exciting approach to vocabulary acquisition, assessment and portfolio management and will give participants an opportunity to experience the enjoyable and user-friendly way of improving students’ vocabulary that this comprehensive learning environment provides.

Abstracts /簡介:
Until now, methods of vocabulary learning and assessment have been largely haphazard, lacking in any empirical basis and not very attractive for learners of English. My Words (for upper secondary, tertiary and adult learners) and Junior My Words (for upper primary and lower secondary) provide a systematic and comprehensive method for learning, revising, remembering, and using the most important words for learners at each grade level.

These web-based programs are easily accessible from anywhere, require little or no setup and are very user-friendly. They have been extensively tested with teachers and with learners at various levels and are in line with the latest EDB guidelines for curriculum development and e-learning.

目前為止,英語字詞學習和評估都是較隨意的,既沒有記錄學習者進度,又未能吸引英語學習者。My Words (適合高中及成年人) 和 初級My Words (適合高小和初中程度人士) 提供一個學習、複習、記憶,及運用學習階段中重點字詞的全面而有系統的方法。

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Discovering different word forms in English

Words in English take different forms in different contexts.

For example,the word assemble(verb) has the following word forms:

  • assemble: I will assemble a complete list of creditors and outstanding balances.
  • assembled: I assembled a complete list of creditors and outstanding balances.
  • assembles: He assembles the list of creditors and outstanding balances.
  • assembling: He is assembling the list of creditors and outstanding balances.

Download this Excel file to review all the word forms extracted from the British National Corpus (BNC). If you are using Check My Words, you can simply click on the "Word Family" button to see all the word forms.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Collocation page updated in the EGG

You can see more examples in the English Grammar Guide's Collocation page.