TOEIC Listening Tests and More

If you are studying for a TOEIC test, or if you just want to improve your English, http://www.english-test.net has hundreds of listening tests, as well as grammar tests.Click here to start a listening test now.

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, Listening, TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Leave a comment

Learn English in the Shower!

You can dramatically improve your English listening starting now if you are serious! You can learn English in the shower. Think of how much time you spend in the shower. That can be FREE English time, fun and so easy. The shower is just the beginning.

Continue reading

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Videos | Tagged | 2 Comments

How to Write a Sentence: #4 Transitions

* First, read How to Write a Sentence #1,  How to Write a Sentence #2, and How to Write a Sentence #3.

Transitions are words or phrases that connect (link) ideas. The ideas may be in a sentence or in a longer text. Transitions help you to become a better writer (and communicator) because they help the reader (or listener) to follow what you are writing or saying. They help ideas flow smoothly and clearly. Transitions are often used to show:

contrast: however, nonetheless, on the other hand

cause and effect: therefore, thus, as a result

concession: of course, with this in mind, in view of …

example: to demonstrate, for instance, for example

addition: as a matter of fact, in addition, in the first place

(See below for links to extensive lists of Transitions.)

Now, have a look at the following two sentences:

Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. Fewer athletes use them.

How are attitudes shifting? Is drug usage becoming more or less acceptable? Using a transition can help the reader follow your thoughts.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. However, fewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. As a result, fewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting. In conclusion, fewer athletes are using them.

Transitions are not conjunctions. The punctuation rules are different. There are two usual ways* to punctuate them:

  1. (As above)                              Transition + comma + independent clause
  2. (See below) semi-colon + transition + comma + independent clause

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting; however, fewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting; as a resultfewer athletes are using them.

♦ Attitudes to drug usage in sport are shifting; in conclusion, fewer athletes are using them.

By the way, there are many useful transitions for you to use apart from those you may see in Transition lists like the ones I’ve listed below. A lot of expressions you may think of to link your ideas may be transitions. Use the punctuation rules above and see what you can come up with.

I use transitions when writing posts for this blog. My aim is to make these posts as easy to read as possible! I have used three transitions in this post:

  1. First, – This is the first word in this post (above the picture). It connects my ideas in the post to the heading, and to previous posts about how to write a sentence.
  2. Now, – This word connects my transition examples to sentences which show how to use them.
  3. By the way, – This transitional phrase is a common way to add more ideas to what you have already said. After explaining the rules and giving examples, I wanted to add that you can find more examples of transitions if you are interested.

∗∗ As you can see, none of the transitions I used connected sentences. Transitions do not connect sentences. Transitions connect ideas.

* For more ways to punctuate transitions … Continue reading

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to get better English Pronunciation in 2 easy steps.

The ENGLISH ACADEMY in Madrid, Spain, has great English advice for Spanish speakers. First, read their post on Pronunciation, and second, watch my video lesson on the 20 English vowel sounds.

The English Academy

A common complaint from native Spanish people in their attempts to learn English is the various difficulties that come up when trying to pronounce certain words correctly. One of the main causes of this problem is the general focus in Spanish schools towards grammar and reading, and the neglect of oral and listening skills. Here we have a look at some common problems faced by Spaniards with regard to their pronunciation.

Vowels

Perhaps the single biggest pronunciation problem for Spanish speakers is that their language does not have a distinction between short and long vowels. They often stretch all vowel sounds out too much and confuse pairs of short and long English vowel sounds like “ship” and “sheep” both in comprehension and speaking. Relevant pairs include:

  • bit/beat
  • not/note and not/nought
  • batter/barter
  • pull/pool

As the pairs above are all pronounced with different mouth positions as well as different lengths, focusing on…

View original post 448 more words

Posted in Speaking & Pronunciation | Tagged | 2 Comments

Real Life English – See How To Better Communicate With The World

I’ve discovered a great English language website called Real Life English. On July 8, 2016, it featured a video/podcast about Global Citizenship. Chad from Real Life English introduced the podcast  and the following video:

“Imagine if the whole world could communicate through one unifying language… that day is coming very soon and you can be part of it!

If you don’t have time to listen to this whole podcast at least make the time to watch this amazing video about global citizenship, and the positive effects of expanding your empathy.”

Jason Silva Explaining Global Citizenship

“Please watch this video and leave a comment telling us what you thought about it.”

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Listening, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Videos | Tagged | Leave a comment

25 Easy & Proven Ways to Prepare for your TOEIC Test

♦ HOW to be SUCCESSFUL in the TOEIC Test ♦

Error recognition is an important part of the TOEIC Test. Why don’t you start practising here and now? With regular practice of these 25 Error Recognition Tests, which will encourage you to look for typical mistakes, you will feel so much more prepared for the TOEIC Test. Click here to start.

For vocabulary from the TOEIC Test – 600 Essential Words, click on:

Nouns

Nouns & Verbs  (same form/spelling)

Verbs + Preposition

Transitive Verbs

Adjectives

Adverbs

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Learn English and have fun with ‘EXTRA ENGLISH’ videos

EXTRA ENGLISH is a language education television series presented in the style of a sitcom (situation comedy). It has been made in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish.

Having watched and enjoyed the French series, I can highly recommend the English series which has the same plot. It’s easy to watch, funny, and you will learn everyday English conversation.

extra+english+2[1]

Extra English – Episode 1


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Beginner (Level 1), Elementary (Level 2), Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How will this modern day Romeo & Juliet survive?

Afghanistan’s Romeo And Juliet And How They Escaped An Honor Killing

https://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2016-01-25/afghanistans-romeo-and-juliet

This picture of Zakia and Ali on the run, first published in <em>The New York Times</em>, has become iconic, with many Afghan artists painting versions of it.This picture of Zakia and Ali on the run, first published in The New York Times, has become iconic, with many Afghan artists painting versions of it.

Two years ago a young couple in Afghanistan fell in love. They’re from different races, ethnic groups and Muslim sects. She’s a Caucasian Sunni and he’s an Asian Shiite. They defied their parents’ opposition to marrying and eloped. His family came to accept the marriage, but hers wants her dead – to restore their honor. This Afghan Romeo and Juliet story gained international attention when a New York Times reporter wrote about the couple in a series of articles – and now in a book. We talk to the author, a young Afghan human rights advocate and an Afghanistan expert about honor killings and the struggle many Muslim women are engaged in to win basic rights.

To listen to the interview or read the transcript from the interview, and an excerpt from the book, click here.

For the latest updates on women affected by war and conflict, and Women for Women International’s work, click here.

logoHELPING WOMEN SURVIVORS OF WAR REBUILD THEIR LIVES

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, IELTS, Listening, Reading | Tagged | Leave a comment

Get Help Now with English Pronunciation

Click on the picture for help with English pronunciation.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Beginner (Level 1), Elementary (Level 2), Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Pronunciation Videos, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

They’re, their, & there … You’re & your …

They’re, their, and there all have the same pronunciation: /ðɛə/

♦ They’re is a contraction of they are.

They’re studying English at Langports. = They are studying English at Langports.

Their shows possession. Their is always followed by a noun.

∗ The students are using their new textbooks in the classroom.
∗ The students are in their new classroom.

There is used for everything else.

∗ They are there now.
There is a new student in the class.
There will be a new schedule each week.
There are several class options.

∗∗ They’re there now studying with their new textbooks. ∗∗∗

You’re and your both have the same pronunciation: /jɔː/

♦ You’re is a contraction of you are.

You’re a wonderful student! = You are a wonderful student!
You’re wonderful students! = You are wonderful students!
You’re not getting enough sleep. = You are not getting enough sleep.

Take note: Another contraction for You are not = You aren’t

Your  shows possession. Your is always followed by a noun.

∗ Where is your homework?
∗ Where are your new books?
∗ You passed your test easily.

∗∗When you’re ready, please begin your test. ∗∗

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Elementary (Level 2), Grammar, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3) | Tagged , | Leave a comment