OK: okay?

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OK: and how to use it

Even if you have just started learning English, I’m pretty sure there is one word you already know – in fact, it’s the most recognised word in the world: “Ok”.

Going back to 1839 we see “Ok” being used for the first time as a playful abbreviation for “all correct”. Since then “Ok” has spread across the globe and found its way into all of our lives. Today “Ok” has become one of the most common expressions in the English language. Here is how you use it. Read more

Inspiration and Partnership

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Inspiration and Partnership

One of the best things about being a teacher is when our hard work is recognized by our pupils. This feedback is a great fuel for us to keep on doing what we do.

Six months ago we said See you soon to one of these very special students, Fernando.

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11 Extra Ways to Use LIKE

11 Extra Ways to Use Like

As I mentioned before, like is one of the most versatile words in the English language.  So far, we have reviewed the 5 most commonly taught and traditional ways of using it.  Now, we will explore all the fantastically diverse ways to incorporate like into your conversation.

 icon-exclamation-triangle CAUTION: Using like in the following ways will make you sound like a native speaker!

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How to use LIKE

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The Unlikely Power of Like

Like.  We use the word like in nearly every conversation. More recently, since the advent of Facebook, it has even become a physical action.  As we scroll through our friends’ timelines and posts, we make sure to click on that familiar icon just to show our friends that we have acknowledged their photo, their current status or even their tasty looking lunch.  And, though we may hate to admit it, our self-esteem may even depend on how many of those likes we can gather on our own status updates and photos.  Beyond our own egos, businesses large and small, are incredibly dependent on how many likes they can manage.

But, are all likes equal? Or has the simple, four letter, single syllabled word taken on a power of its own?

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Sentence Structure Part 2

The Big 5: Expanding the Basic Sentence Structure

In the BIG 5 Part 1, we learned how to construct the 5 basic sentence structures.  In this post, we will learn how to expand those basic structures by adding other parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs).  This helps to add certain details or information to our sentences. Read more

Sentence Structure Part 1

The Big 5: Sentence Structure in English

Real accuracy in English is easy once you know how to order the words in a sentence. Without the proper word order you may confuse the person you are speaking to, or at the least make it harder for them to understand you. Once you know the basic rules of word order you will find it much easier to speak and write in English with confidence.

In this first part we look at the basic elements of sentence structure. Please check out Part 2 for more information. Read more

Perfect Aspect (Part 1)

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Understanding the Perfect Aspect in English Grammar

They say that nobody’s perfect and that is true, especially when it comes to using English (even English teachers make mistakes!).  However, there is an aspect of English grammar that is perfect, the Perfect Aspect.  Though it may be perfect, it most definitely is not easy to understand.

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7 Ways to Learn English Faster

7 ways to learn English faster

7 Ways to learn English faster – that are backed up by science.

Many people think that learning English will be as easy as it was in their school days. They’ll quickly pick up the new words and reach a decent level of fluency in a month or two. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case!

Learning a new language as an adult is rather challenging. Learning grammar is tough, and remembering the correct pronunciation is even worse!

Here are some of the tips and hacks that we like to share with our students. I hope that they will help you as well!

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Building your Vocabulary

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New Ways to Improve your Vocabulary

So you want to improve your English vocabulary. Where do you even begin? A quick look around the internet will find you the usual ideas like: read, keep a dictionary, make lists etc. And these are good ideas, but is it enough? First we’ll review the common ideas and then we’ll take a look at some of the excellent advice from our teachers to see if they have any new ideas. Read more

How long does it take to learn English?

The Big Question: How long does it take to learn English?

People ask us all the time, “how long does it take to learn English?” And there is no simple answer – there are certain factors that can speed up or slow down how quickly English sticks in your brain!

We’re going to take a look at which factors affect how long it takes to learn English, including: the moments when language learning can either be gained or lost, whether or not English takes longer to learn than other languages, and the questions to ask yourself to help define what “language learned” means to you!

While the level of effort and your surroundings can undoubtably affect how long it takes for you to pick up a language, some languages just take longer to learn than others

Whether you’re asking so you can figure out how long to study English, or just out of sheer curiosity, let’s take a look at some of these factors to help you understand just how long it will take you to learn the English language. Read more

3 of the best ways to learn English

3 of the best ways to learn English

Here are 3 of the best ways to learn English

Want to learn English? Congratulations! Committing to learning English is a big step to make, since most people remain comfortable with the language they grew up speaking. Now that you’re ready to take the next step – actually learning the language – you’re probably wondering, what’s the best way to learn English?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll share with you the 3 of the best ways to learn English (or any language for that matter), where you can go to start learning, and the pros and cons for each option. Before we dig in, let’s first understand how we learn, and not just languages. Read more

11 Surprising Benefits of Learning English

The 11 Surprising Benefits of Learning English

Learning a new language like English is a big deal.

You’re learning a completely new form of communication, and it enables you to communicate with people you never could have before.

But there are benefits to learning a language that you might not have expected when you started the journey. not just learning how to speak English but surprising benefits like increased confidence, being more outgoing, and increased mental clarity.

In this article, we’ll share the 11 surprising benefits you’ll experience when you learn a language like English. Read more

How to Learn English Faster: 23 Tips for EFL Students

23 Tips to Help you Learn English Faster

English can be a daunting language to learn. It’s full of contradictions and odd rules and pronunciations, its idiosyncrasies are what makes it interesting, but it can be a challenge if you’re new to it – and even if you’re not! This is why we want to offer you some useful tips on how to speed up the process of learning this complex language, so that you’ll be fluent before you know it. Read more

Pronunciation Clinic 2

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Pronunciation Clinic for Arabic Speakers

Getting English pronunciation right is always a challenge for people learning the language. We have seen how certain first languages can influence a student’s attempts at improving their pronunciation. If you speak Arabic you are going to find certain sounds in English difficult to reproduce. But with some guidance and a bit of practice you will soon start sounding much better! Read more

Talent vs Motivation

Is Talent or Motivation More Important for Learning English?

For some people, learning English is easy. They pick up the language quickly and with ease while others struggle along. You may be tempted to think that certain people have a specific language gene or a secret skill that helps them to learn English so easily. But is this true? How much of learning English is based on talent and how much is really about motivation? Read on to find out. Read more

6 Obstacles to Learning English (and how to overcome them)

6 Obstacles to Learning English (and how to overcome them)

Learning English is like anything else in life that you want to achieve – it’s a long and often difficult journey. It’s been found that most people struggle to reach fluency not because of their age, their ability or how much money they have. But it’s because they give up too soon.

If you are learning English you will encounter certain inevitable obstacles during your journey to fluency. We believe that the best way to deal with these challenges is to be prepared for them and face them with the best strategies to overcome them.

So, here are 6 major obstacles you will face and how to overcome them. Read more

6 Secret Tricks to Improve your English

6 Secret Tricks to Improve your English

I have been helping students learn English for many years, and I have come across the same problems again and again. Here are some comments I took note of during the tutorials I recently did with some of my students. Read them and see if you can relate:

“I don’t read in English because I don’t have enough vocabulary.”

“I don’t watch English films because I don’t understand.”

“I don’t write because I don’t need to write in English.” Read more

Four Benefits of Speaking a Second Language

The 4 Benefits of Speaking a Second Language

If you’re learning to speak English then you’re getting ready to speak the language of approximately 400 million people. And if you speak Spanish, for example, then you can add another 500 million to that. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to speak to 12.5% of the global population? Read more

The Silent /h/

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Pronunciation of the Silent /h/

If you struggle with your English pronunciation don’t worry! There are times when pronunciation can be a problem for native speakers too! Just watch Justin Trudeau mispronounce “heir” while being sworn in as the Prime Minister of Canada. Yes, the Prime Minister of Canada making a mistake with English pronunciation!

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The verb BE explained

The Mother of All Verbs:“BE”

When we are born we rely on our mothers for survival right? And when we start to learn English the verb “be” is super important. That’s why I like to call it the mother verb, because without it we can’t learn English.

It is very important that you understand the verb “be” and its functions, and that you are able to use it across all skills with accuracy and fluency. This is because the verb “be” is the foundation of English, and as we know, a house built on sand will eventually collapse because it needs a strong foundation in order for it to survive. Read more

7 Ways to Make a Conversation

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7 WAYS TO MAKE A CONVERSATION WITH ALMOST ANYONE

Think about this – every person in your life was once a stranger to you, until you had that first conversation with them. Every day we all meet strangers, people we know nothing about: the guy who sold you your coffee, the taxi driver, the receptionist at the company you visited. It’s only when we talk to these people that we make a connection with them, and through them a connection to more and more people. Read more

Basic Grammar for Speaking

4 Essential Grammar Tips to Improve your Speakingbaby-reading112

Think about how you learnt your home language – your parents didn’t start by teaching you grammar rules did they? You learnt your language through speaking and listening. So why would you try to learn English by studying grammar first?

Speaking is the first step for anyone who wants to learn English. We highly recommend working on your speaking and listening skills first, before you start to study English grammar.

Once you begin to speak English with a bit of fluency you will find grammar much easier! It doesn’t work the other way around: studying grammar will not help you with your speaking. Read more

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