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 112017

There are a couple of reasons why English learners make mistakes with these words. Firstly, they’re false friends in many languages. They look like words that mean ‘currently’ or ‘at present’ when really they mean ‘in fact’. That can get confusing. If someone asks me for our actual sales figures I’ll think they mean real ones when in fact they may be wanting the current ones.

And the other reason these words are hard is it’s not always obvious when we use them. Do they indicate that what we’re about to say could be surprising? Do they indicate that we think our listeners won’t like our answers? Do we use them to correct something we’ve just said or maybe to correct someone else? Well, actually we use them in all these situations! In our latest video lesson we have examples of them all.

 Posted by at 8:09 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
Jul 222017

This video tells a story that I’ve found really useful over the years because it illustrates some key ways our memories work. It’s great when you’re looking at ways to learn vocabulary and my students have always enjoyed it and found it helpful. Hopefully yours will too!

 Posted by at 8:30 pm