About the Today Page


The Today Page:  Home
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The Today Page is a non-commercial site intended chiefly for people learning English as a second language. The contents of the main page change every day. All visitors are welcomed with unfailing cordiality by Toady, the caretaker of The Today Page, whose only fault is that he keeps trying to rearrange the letters of the name. Toady appears only on the graphical version of the page. If the graphical version loads too slowly over your Internet connection, please use the text-only version. The daily change of contents occurs at midnight Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). That's nine o'clock the following morning in Toady's real home: the city of Fukuoka, in Kyushu, Japan. If you find that the page has not changed when it should have done so, please try refreshing your browser.

The section entitled "Toady's tidbits for today" always consists of two items: "Words to keep" and another under various headings. "Toady's teaser for today" consists of a single quiz question that will be answered the following day, as well as the previous question and answer. "Toady's triathlon for today" consists of three exercises in English: one new today ("New challenge"), one appearing for the second day ("Review"), and one appearing for the third day ("Last chance!"). Please note that the exercises may not work in all browsers. The vocabulary exercises reappear about two weeks after their first appearance, for the purpose of checking retention. Other contents are recycled at longer intervals.

While The Today Page is intended for people who wish to strengthen their command of English as a second language, it is not planned to support learning at a particular level. It should be most useful to those mentally curious adults who see an unknown word or expression as a chance to pick up something new. Researchers say that picking up new words from a reading text becomes too difficult when new words amount to more than 10% of the text. This means that some readers may find the quotations in the "Words to keep" section very challenging, while finding the exercises relatively easy. Please approach these materials mainly for the pleasure of doing a little reading and a little working out with Toady each day.

Language

The Today Page uses US spellings, such as color and organization, except in quotations containing UK spellings. The punctuation also follows American custom, for the most part. An exception is the placement of quotation marks (inverted commas): inside any marks of punctuation that do not belong to the quotation. The date format conforms to usage in most parts of the English-speaking world: day-month-year, not month-day-year as in the United States or year-month-day as here in Japan. The aim in all these choices, as in the choice of GMT for the delimitation of the day, is to adopt globally convenient practices rather than maintain cultural consistency.

Proprietorship and copyright

The Today Page is the property of David Mayo, who teaches in the Department of English, Fukuoka Jo Gakuin University Junior College, Fukuoka, Japan. Unless otherwise attributed, all contents are the work of the site owner. If you reproduce any part of them, please make attribution to The Today Page, including the URL (www.todaypage.org). Please direct inquiries to home@todaypage.org.

Mission CALL

The contents of this site are adapted from a small part of Mission CALL, a computer-assisted language learning site located on the internal network of Fukuoka Jo Gakuin (commonly called "Mission School" in the local community). That site currently contains about 1,200 original exercise problems, including about 680 listening problems, as well as a small number of original language puzzles, an English-only bulletin board, instructional pages and vocabulary lists, and some reading pieces (both original and public-domain). It also has its own Today Page. Mission CALL is accessible only on the Fukuoka Jo Gakuin campus.

Organic CALL Kit

A set of templates for use in developing an Organic CALL site like Mission CALL is available free of charge as open-source material for educators. If you would like to obtain it, please write to home@todaypage.org. I will send it to you by return e-mail in a .zip file (about 55 kilobytes). After unzipping the contents, please read the file "readme.txt" before proceeding.

Technical notes

The main resources used in the production and operation of The Today Page are the open-source database MySQL, the server-side scripting language PHP, and various ELT authoring programs produced by Martin Holmes and Stewart Arneil or by Martin Holmes and John and Muriel Higgins. For further information, please visit the following sites:


MySQL PHP Hot Potatoes TexToys


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