Jun 022017

Sometimes teachers or students ask us a question and I think, ‘Oh we can answer that quickly’. But then when I start, I realise there’s a lot to explain. The phrase ‘of course’ is one of those!
This time the question came from Saraswathi in India and they said:

Hi Vicki and Jay. You have produced good videos. So far, I have not understood when we use “of course”. Could you produce a video about ‘of course’.

Thank you so much for asking us this Saraswathi. It was a great question!
The thing is, ‘of course’ is not always polite. I expect other teachers have experienced this too. We’ve asked a question and our student has answered ‘Yes, of course’, but it wasn’t quite right. In fact sometimes it was down right rude! Here is our video about why that can happen.

 Posted by at 9:01 pm
May 122017

Should learners try to think in English?
Of course they should. It will help them speak more fluently and structure your thoughts like a native speaker.
Can students think in English when they’re not fluent?
Yes they can. In fact the sooner they start the better because it’s about developing regular practice habits.
Here’s a video with five steps they can take to get going.

 Posted by at 8:33 pm
Apr 282017

Are you preparing for an English job interview? Then this video is for you! It’s an English Show where we look at common interview questions and how to answer them. Joining us is ‎Shanthi Cumaraswamy Streat‎, business English teacher, author and creator of the terrific English with a Twist blog.

The English Show is designed for #ESL English learners, packed with conversation and language practice, games, raps and great tips to help you learn faster.

 Posted by at 9:47 pm
Apr 142017

Pragmatics is a relatively young branch of linguistics and it’s the study of how more meaning gets conveyed than with just the words spoken. It’s the study of secret or hidden meanings, if you like. But my favourite definition of pragmatics is it’s the study of how we don’t say what we mean.

And that’s often true. We’ll say one thing when we mean another. Here’s a video where we look at how we make indirect requests. We look at some common ambiguous English phrases and explore the social benefits that ambiguity can bring.

 Posted by at 9:01 pm