Tips on effective learning of English language

If you want to learn a new language you have to be motivated and prepared for a serious work. Set a goal for yourself and try to achieve it. If you come across any difficulties, don’t  give up quickly. Be persistent and patient. Ask for help from your friends, from other learners or from teachers.

I’ve made a list of eight most useful tips on learning English. My focus is English language, but these tips can be applied for other languages as well.

1) Learn

Set up your plan for learning English and stick to it. Try to learn at least one word a day. Use grammar books, CDs, workbooks, English dictionaries, visit some website that publish lessons and study online.

2) Think

Regularly ask yourself this question: “How would I say this in English?”. Think of some situation and how would you communicate in English. If you are not sure, try to find the answer in your books or ask someone for help.

3) Listen

Listen to the radio or music in English. This a very interesting way of practising English as there are a lot of exercises you can do while you listen to music, such as learning new words, filling the gaps, discussing the meaning of the song, etc.

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4) Watch

Watch films and TV programmes in English. Listen to the people speaking in English will help you learn the correct pronunciation and stress. Additionally you will learn new words and phrases while enjoying a nice film or a TV show.

5) Read

It doesn’t matter if it is a magazine, newspapers, blog articles… Read something in English every day as this will help you get familiar with sentence constructions in English.

6) Write

You should write something in English as often as possible.  It can be a short story; you can write a response to an article / forum post, you can post your status update, anything. Keep a vocabulary notebook where you would write new words and expressions you learn. When you learn new words, try to use them and write example sentences in your notebook.

7) Review

Always review the grammar and / or vocabulary before the next lesson. It is important to review regularly so that you don’t forget what you have learned so far. As language is a system, you have to review what you have learned in order to connect that to the new lessons.

8) Communicate

Speak, speak, speak! Your ultimate goal is to speak English, right?! So speak English every day. Find if there are conversation groups in your city and join them. If it is difficult to find someone to talk to, try practising English with other people online, via email or in the chat rooms, forums, etc.  Alternatively you can find pen pals online and write emails.

Questions for you:

Learners – What tip do you find most useful?
Teachers – Do you have more tips on effective learning?

Five cool songs to teach adjectives in English

Using songs to teach English is a great way to engage your students. Depending on the song, you can teach various topics, from tenses to pronouns, from vocabulary to grammar constructions. Let’s focus on teaching adjectives today.

1. Lenka – Everything at Once

This song is great for teaching a large number of adjectives, as well as for using the pattern “as…as”. See the complete lyrics with gaps to fill in here.

2. James Blunt – You’re Beautiful

While teaching adjectives with this song you can explain the difference between “you’re” and “your” at the same time.

3. Kelly Clarkson – Stronger

This amazing song is great not only for teaching adjectives, but also for explaining comparison of adjectives to your students.

4. Alanis Morissette – Hand in My Pocket

Interesting fact – “I’m” is used over 34 times in this song, “I’m this”, “I’m that”… Your hunch is right; there are a bunch of useful adjectives to describe people.

 

5. Kaiser Chiefs – Everyday I Love You Less and Less

If you wish to teach adjectives, especially the adjectives ending in –ed, this is the perfect song to use.

How do you teach with music? Share your favorite songs for teaching English in the comments.

How do you teach English?

There has been a survey among more than 500 ESL teachers all around the world in order to discover what additional resources do the teachers use for enhancing their lessons.

The greatest percent of ESL teachers (86%) use music to make English lesson interesting. English-speaking celebrities and movies are also commonly used. Then follow the newspapers, TV shows, radio, comics and computer games.

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All of these can be used to present vocabulary or certain grammar rules. For example, if you want to teach your student adjectives, find a song that has a lot of adjectives in the lyrics. Furthermore, you can follow up by explain the comparison of adjectives and then using the same adjectives for practice. If you wish to teach the passive voice, you can find the newspaper article and ask the student to find the passive sentences and then follow up by analyzing the text.

How do you make your English classes interesting? What is the most effective way to enhance an English lesson?

British Vs American Vocabulary

British American
lift elevator
boot trunk
trousers pants
autumn fall
cinema movies
chips fries
car park parking lot
holiday vacation
main road highway
nappy diaper
petrol gas, gasoline
pocket money allowance
pavement sidewalk
postbox mailbox
rubber eraser
rubbish garbage
sweets candy
timetable schedule
tube subway
windscreen windshield
torch flashlight
tin can
railway railroad
post code zip code
lorry truck
driving licence driver’s license
biscuit cookie
aeroplane airplane
grey gray

Have they gone bananas?

Have you ever lost your cool because someone was giving you the cold shoulder? Have you heard of the news spreading like wildfire? You shouldn’t be taken by surprise when they decide to get down to brass task. And then, out of the blue, you realize that the world is your oyster and you call the shots. These kinds of expressions can rock the boat for some people but it shouldn’t be difficult getting to the bottom of this. The buck stops here.

These expressions called idiomatic expressions, commonly used by native speakers, can impose certain problems for non-native speakers because they don’t imply literal meaning. They cannot be understood by analyzing the meaning of the individual word of the expression in question. Their meaning is fixed and learned by heart.

So let’s get this off your chest by explaining some of the idioms used in the previous text:

go bananas – became crazy, silly
loose your cool – to lose temper, become angry
give a cold shoulder – to treat someone in an unfriendly way
spread like wildfire – to spread rapidly
take somebody by surprise – to happen unexpectedly
get down to brass task – to discuss the essentials of the matter at hand
out of the blue – suddenly, unexpectedly
the world is your oyster – you’re free and able to enjoy life
call the shots – exercise authority or be in charge
rock the boat – to cause a problem
get to the bottom of something – understand something completely
buck stops here – problems are solved here
get something off your chest – talk about something that worries you or causes problem for you

 

And to add 10 frequently used idioms:

chicken out (of something) – withdraw from something due to fear or cowardice
back to square one – having to start all over again
piece of cake – something that is very easy to do
to kill two birds with one stone – to manage to do two things at the same time
adding salt to the wound – making situation worse than it is
take a rain check – postponing someone’s invitation for later
long time no see – it has been a long time since they last met
to cut a long story short – stop telling details and get to the main facts
keep your fingers crossed – hoping the things will happen the way you want
break a leg – wish good luck to someone

British Vs American Spelling

British American 
centre center -re           -er
metre meter
theatre theater
colour color ou, ue
catalogue catalog
honour honor
programme program
neighbour neighbor
cheque check
plough plow
travelled traveled -ll-
analise analize -ise          -ize

 

memorise memorize
organise organize
realise realize
dreamt dreamed ending -t

ending -ed

leant leaned
smelt smelled
spelt spelled

Fun facts about English Language

“Underground” is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters “und”.

“Rhythm” is the longest English word without a vowel.

The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” uses every letter of the alphabet.

“Almost” is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.

George Bernard Shaw used to mention that “ghoti” can be pronounced “fish”. The “gh” from “tough”, the “o” from “women”, and the “ti” from “nation”.

Of all the words in the English language, the word “set” has the most definitions.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple.

Apart from ‘angry’ and ‘hungry’, there isn’t any word in English language that ends in ‘-gry’.

What comes after once, twice, thrice?
Nothing! These three are the only words of their type.

The two longest words ine English that contain no letter more than once are uncopyrightable and dermatoglyphics.

The two most common words that contain the five vowels (a, e, i, o, u) in the right order are abstemious and facetious.

There’s just one seven letter word in English that has five vowels in a row: queuing.

‘Bookkeeper’ is the only English word without hyphen that has three consecutive repeated letters.