Subject Guides: Resources for Language & Cognition 



About This Guide

Resources for English as a Second Language

Grammar, Vocabulary and Practice for Exams

Online Dictionaries and Thesauri

Full-Text Research Databases

Selected English Language Resources in the Hostos Library

Resources for the Study of Linguistics

Internet Resources

Selected Linguistics Resources in the Hostos Library

Resources for ESL 1384


Compiled by: Dr. Miriam Laskin

                      Language & Cognition Bibliographer






The Hostos CC Language and Cognition department offers courses and programs in English as a Second Language and in Linguistics. There are many useful resources – on the World Wide Web, in our licensed subscription research databases, and in books in our library’s collection - for both students and teachers. The first 4 sections of this Guide offer resources for ESL studies. The last 2 sections offer resources for the study of Linguistics. There are other excellent resources, both online and in our Library and if you do not find the help you need here, please ask a librarian for help with identifying more resources. 






Grammar, Vocabulary and Practice for Exams

This section provides Web sites for students; but quite a few also offer resources for teachers of ESL.


CUNY Write Site

Students at all CUNY campuses find this site useful for grammar and writing help, but also for the instructions and practice ACT and other CUNY exams.


CUNY Bilingual Information Competency Tutorials

For students who want to find out more about how to use our library, how to develop a research topic, how to find books or articles. The tutorials are bilingual, English and Spanish. for ESL Learners

Excellent free site for grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, reading, writing. What really makes this site a find is that there are many links on current social and other topics of interest, ESL conversation sites, resources for teachers, practice quizzes and exams, games, ESL articles, and much more.


Guide to Grammar and Writing (Prof. Charles Darling/Capital Community College Site)

This site has been on the Internet for many years now and it’s one of the best sites around for students who need help with grammar and writing – from words to paragraphs to essays. There are fun, interactive quizzes, too.


ESL &  Foreign Languages & Cultures Resources

San Antonio College Library hosts this wonderful link collection. Teachers of ESL will find tons of ideas and printable resources and students will find interactive games and exercises, online magazines, vocabulary builders, and more.



Hosted by The Internet TESL Journal, (Teachers of English as a Second Language). If you could only use one mega Web site, this would be it. The site is not fancy, but on the left are hundreds of links for students, and on the right, even more for teachers.


English Page
This resource offers an excellent collection of vocabulary and grammar lessons based on real-life topics such as the Internet, changing jobs, and getting an apartment. There are grammar exercises and mini-tutorials and links to CNN articles with vocabulary and a bulletin board to post ESL questions – and much more.


E. L. Easton - English Online

This interesting, fun and helpful Web site belongs to a language teacher. It offers “materials for teaching and learning.”  There are resources here for reading, writing, listening, speaking, spelling and grammar, but the most exciting resources for ESL teachers and students are the subject collections., from Art & Architecture, to Weather, with lots of other topics in between. For example, under History there are links to other Web sites on specific subjects (like Martin Luther King, Jr.) and along with the information on the subject, there are primary documents, quizzes and exercises for ESL students on each subject based on the readings.


The Tower of English 

A very cool interactive magazine for ESL students and teachers; it covers a wide variety of activities and material.


ESL Resources for Students (OWL Purdue)

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab is one of the best resources for students and teachers. This site offers online tutorials, handouts, practice quizzes, grammar, vocabulary, and too much more to list here.



Online Dictionaries and Thesauri

Below are some free online resources for definitions, synonyms and related words, antonyms, idiomatic usages, etc. Further down in this Guide, we list some dictionaries and other books about learning English that are in the Hostos Library.

A huge directory of Internet dictionaries, there are links here to more than 1800 dictionaries in 230 different languages. Dictionary categories include: Languages, Multilingual, Translations, Specialized vocabularies,  ’Nyms & More (Thesauri, Rhyming, Phrase, Punctuation, Acronym, Synonym, Homophone, Antonym, and Spelling). Articles and word games, too.


Roget's Thesauri presents Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition, 1995 and Roget’s
International Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases, 1922.
Enter keyword or browse alphabetically or by Roget’s broad categories to find synonyms. Includes an antonym search and dictionary as well.

          English Idioms and Sayings

          "Go the extra mile" and find out what this and many other American and British idioms mean, and where they originated!  A fun
          and educational resource!




Full-Text Research Databases

If you are on the Hostos Campus you can click on the links below to use the databases. But if you are using a computer off-campus you must use a different method to enter the databases. Speak to a librarian for more on how to access these databases from off-campus.


Our full text research databases contain articles and essays on many topics. You can print complete articles from the Hostos Library Reference Room computers, or email the articles to yourself and print them out in the computer lab or at home. Note: the first database listed below (Learning Express) is not an articles database. It is an interactive database that allows you to study and take practice tests such as TOEFL, ACT, and many others.


Learning Express

This completely interactive online learning platform of practice tests and tutorial course series helps students and adult learners succeed on the academic or licensing tests they must pass. Immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results. Over 300 Practice Tests and Courses, including the ACT, SAT, GED, GRE, TOEFL Exams, CUNY Math and Reading, ESL skills, Civil Service exams, citizenship, and much more. The tests are mirrors of OFFICIAL Tests so that students gain familiarity with the test format. Each new user must Sign in and create a unique user ID and password at a computer on campus to access the tests. But once an ID and password is created, you can then access the site from home or anywhere off campus.


MAS Ultra - School Edition
Designed specifically for high school libraries, this database provides full text for nearly 550 popular general interest and current events publications with information dating back as far as 1975 for key magazines. Includes 550 full text pamphlets, 281 full text reference books, 91,600 biographies, 75,000 primary source documents, and an image collection of 107,135 photos, maps and flags.


InfoTrac's Literature Resource Center

The Literature Resource Center and MLA International Bibliography is a complete literature reference database which provides access to biographies, bibliographies, and critical analyses of authors from every age and literary discipline. If you want to find information on a particular author’s life and works, or critical essays on a novel, short story or poem by an author, this is a great resource to use.


Ethnic NewsWatch
Ethnic NewsWatch contains a full-text collection of articles, editorials, and reviews published in the newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic minority and native press. The articles are available in both English and Spanish. This database provides multicultural coverage on subjects of general interest, with special focus on African-American, Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, Native American, Asian American, Jewish, Arab-American and European-American news.


Selected English Language Resources in the Hostos Library


The American Heritage dictionary for learners of English.

Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2002.

Hostos CC - Reference - PE1628 .A6229 2002


The American heritage thesaurus for learners of English.

LeBaron, Joyce

Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2002.

Hostos CC - Reference - PE1591 .L36 2002


Everyday American English dictionary : a basic dictionary for English language learning. 

2nd ed. Lincolnwood, IL : NTC Pub., c2001.

Hostos CC - Stacks - PE2835 .E86 2001


English idioms and how to use them.

Seidl, Jennifer and W. McMordie

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978

Hostos CC - Reference - PE .1689 .S4


Ologies and isms : a dictionary of word beginnings and endings.

Quinion, Michael.

Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.

Hostos CC - Reference - PE1175 .Q46 2002


The grammar guide: developing language skills for academic success .

Ackles, Nancy M.

Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2003.

Hostos CC - Stacks  - PE1112 .A28 2003


An introduction to American English. 

Tottie, Gunnel.

Malden, MA : Blackwell Publishers, 2002.

Hostos CC - Stacks - PE2808 .T68 2002




Linguistics is the study of the structure and development of a particular language and its relationship to other languages

In this section you will find Internet Resources and some of Hostos Library’s collection of books about linguistics.


Internet Resources


Portals (large collections of Internet resources on a variety of linguistic studies)

 Mary D. Taffet's Home Page: WWW Sites for Students of Introductory Linguistics

This is a mother lode web site. There are links to useful resources such as dictionaries (including slang – rap, prison, regional & more); dialects, online linguistic journals, phonetics, the English Only Movement, Ebonics, interviews with famous linguistics, linguistic oddities … you name your interest, it’s probably here! Unfortunately some of the links have not been recently checked and are “dead links” but there are plenty of good links.


Linguistic Resources on the Internet

SIL International (formerly called the Summer Institute of Linguistics) is a non-profit organization that provides links to their own and other linguists’ research and resources on languages – many of them unwritten languages (Creoles, dialects, etc.) SIL also publishes Ethnologue: Languages of the World. It is a huge book/electronic database on languages around the world.

Ethnologue, Web Version

   Ethnologue: Geographic Distribution of Living Languages

   Ethnologue country index

   Ethnologue language family index



Language & Linguistics Resources from’s Web Directory

Google, the Search Engine also has a subject directory and the annotated Web sites listed in the directory are great places to do research because information specialists, not a computer program, have chosen them.


Pidgins and Creoles

 English Based Pidgins & Creoles

 North American Black English


 Ebonics/Black English/African American English (AAE)

 African American English: A Webpage for Linguists

Personal webpage of Peter L. Patrick, University of Essex

CAL Ebonics Information

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Ebonics Information Page has links to many fine academic papers, books and web sites on Ebonics.


Black English Vernacular (Ebonics) and Educability

An essay by Alondra Oubre, Ph.D.



Code Switching Behavior and Knowledge of Adults and Children

Julianne E. Hammink, of the University of Texas at Al Paso has written this interesting and useful article about the various ways Spanish speakers mix English and Spanish.


Diccionario de Spanglish

Nelson Gonzalez’ Spanglish dictionary, with his comments. In Spanish.

La Pagina del Idioma Espanol- The Spanish Language Home-Page

Ricardo Soca provides several essays and articles in Spanish, about Spanglish. Opinionated and interesting.

Prof. Michael Newman's Linguistic Web pages

The owner of this website teaches at Queens College. He has made a study of New York Latino English and Literacy and Hip Hop and there are links to these subjects on his web page.


(“That curious mixture of English and Spanish is here to stay.”)

Alex Johnson’s article, from The Broadsheet, Spain’s monthly magazine in English. (no date available)



Selected Linguistics Resources in the Hostos Library


How to study linguistics: a guide to understanding language, 2nd ed.

Finch, Geoffrey.

Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Hostos CC – Stacks - P51 .F544 2003


Speak: a short history of languages.

Janson, Tore.

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Hostos CC – Stacks - P140 .J36 2002


The English language: a historical introduction.

Barber, Charles Laurence.

Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1997, 1993.

Hostos CC – Stacks - PE1075. B265 1997


The study of language, 2nd ed.

Yule, George.

Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Hostos CC – Stacks - P106.Y85 1996


The handbook of linguistics.

Malden, Mass. : Blackwell Publishers, 2001.

Hostos CC – Reference - P121 .H324 2001


An introduction to linguistic theory and language acquisition.

Crain, Stephen.

Malden, MA : Blackwell Publishers, 1999.

Hostos CC – Stacks - P118.C6747 1999



Below you will find Internet resources about Thomas Jefferson and the American Revolution, Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Civil War, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Enjoy.


Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence


Thomas Jefferson PBS Archives

In 1996, the filmmaker Ken Burns completed his documentary film, Thomas Jefferson and it was shown on PBS (Public Broadcasting System). The PBS Web site maintains an archive of this film, including Burns’ interviews with historians who have studied Thomas Jefferson. Click on the link to go to the inteviews, starting with Natalie Bober, who answers the questions, “why do we care about Thomas Jefferson? What’s important to understand about him?” You will also find a link to the Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, digital images of the Declaration, and it’s final version, signed by Congress. 


Brief Timeline of American Literature and Events

Professor Donna Campbell of Gonzaga University in Washington State has created a wonderful Timeline of American History, complete with hyperlinks to political maps, digital images, primary documents and more information on the men and women who contributed to American history. This Timeline is actually two interconnected timelines: on the left is the political events timeline and on the right is the Literary timeline which highlights the writers and their works. Click on the link to start at 1750-1799 and then click on the next timeline to continue into the 1800’s.


America During the Age of Revolution: 1764-1789

The U.S. Library of Congress offers this year-by-year timeline to explain the historical events leading up and and including, the revolution of the American colonists that led to the birth of the United States of America.


Biography of Thomas Jefferson

The University of Groningan in The Netherlands hosts this Web site, “From Revolution to Reconstruction and What Happened Afterward.” Click on the link to read a biography in three parts of Thomas Jefferson. There are hyperlinks to original documents and related historical figures in the biography, and on the left-hand side of the site, find links to essays, documents and more biographies of American historical figures.



FREEDOM & DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS: Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Civil War


American Civil War Timeline and Documents

Although this is a commercial Web site, it offers complete timelines, primary documents, information on Lincoln and other important historical figures, as well as photographs from the Civil War period and much more. Click on the link to go to the Web site’s homepage and then click on Civil War Timeline; other choices include Civil War Documents, Women in the War, Photo Album and Period Maps.

Go straight to Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address (including interesting photographs).

Go straight to the Background of the American Civil War for an article explaining the reasons for the Civil War.


Biography of Abraham Lincoln

This biography of Abraham Lincoln is from the University of Groningan’s Web site, the same one as that for Thomas Jefferson’s biography (above).




Here are two additional hyperlinks to American History Web sites which include lots of information on the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.


Timeline of American History

This commercial Web site offers timelines for American Revolution, the Civil War, and selected 20th Century history. It includes hyperlinks to images of historical figures and to important historical documents.


History of the United States is a commercial Web site. It is directed towards high school students as a part of their Social Studies Reference Library. You can click on the images for the American Revolution and The Civil War, among others, to reach timelines of the period, links to other high quality Internet sites on the period, and more detailed historical information.





Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is the most important Internet resource on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University.” Whatever you want to learn, see or listen to by or about Martin Luther King, Jr. is here. For example, when you arrive at the Homepage, click on “Popular Requests” to hear Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech, among others, or to find the most popular quotes from King’s many sermons, speeches and other writings. You can read his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, given in Memphis the night before he died. Read his interactive biography. There is much, much more. The project at Stanford to collect and digitize King’s papers and speeches was begun at the request of Coretta Scott King. Click here The King Center to go to the King family’s official Web site.


Timeline of the Civil Rights Era (1954-1971)

The PBS station WNET has provided a Web site called “African American World” which includes a timeline of the Civil Rights era. You can read it and then click on Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the year 1957 to read the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s entry on King.