Oct 062017

There’s often no match between English spelling and pronunciation and the letters ough are an infamous example. In this video lesson we set about teaching how to pronounce the letters OUGH in English and demonstrate eight different sounds this letter combination can make – in British AND American English.

Click here to download a free chart with the eight sounds.

 Posted by at 9:40 pm
Sep 172017

Tongue twisters can be great pronunciation practice for English learners. They’re not only fun, but they also train your mouth muscles to move in new ways – something we all have to learn when we’re trying to speak a new language.

With the aid of some great English learners, we set too to teach a few. And come back soon because we have more planned.

 Posted by at 12:19 am
Sep 082017

There are a couple of things that seem to cause learners problems with causative verbs.

First is the meanings. The most common ones like ‘make’, ‘have, and ‘get’ have lots of other meanings too. And then there’s ‘let’ which is also very common, but why is it causative? Causative suggests it’s about one thing causing another, doesn’t it? How is ‘let’ like that?

And then there are the confusing patterns they follow. Why do we ‘make someone do something’ but ‘force someone TO do something. Sometimes English is just plain weird!

So we’ve made a video lesson about them. There was a lot to cover so we broke it into two parts. Here’s part one which is about meanings:

And here’s part two which is about the patterns they follow:

Hope you like it. Please share it with a friend if you do!

 Posted by at 11:46 pm
Aug 042017

I had to learn some new words when I went shopping for clothes in the US. Asking for a jumper, I’d be directed to pinafores and requesting a UK turtle neck would deliver polo necks. I couldn’t cover all the differences in this short video (it’s only 90 seconds) but it contains a list of some of the different words we have for clothing in British and American English.

 Posted by at 9:36 pm
Jun 232017

Are you ready for some grammar? I hope so! One of the reasons students have difficulty with ‘grow’ and ‘grow up’ is to do with whether they’re transitive or intransitive.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to keep grammar explanations simple, and I’ll often try to avoid the metalanguage of subjects and objects by talking about whether we (verb) or we (verb) something. I found doing that with these two verbs was too much of a challenge sometimes, but hopefully it’s still clear.

Here are links to some other commonly confused verbs where transitive and intransitive is an issue.
Raise and Rise
Lie and Lay

 Posted by at 8:51 pm