English Classes Online

In my last post,  I recommended my colleague Leonie Bywater https://www.facebook.com/ProficiencyExamExpert for those of you who were enquiring about learning English online, particularly for learners wanting private lessons and /or tutoring for English exams.

For Elementary and Pre-intermediate level students who are interested in being part of an Online English Class,  I’m excited to announce that the school at which I teach, Langports International English College, will be starting a New Online Course – Survival English next month. Check out the flyer below and click on the links for more information.

Click to access langports-online-courses-1.pdf

Posted in Elementary (Level 2), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Speaking & Pronunciation | 1 Comment

Online English Lessons

Hello Everyone! I’ve received enquiries recently about online lessons. Evidently, many of you have decided to pursue online lessons while you are spending more time at home.

Leonie Bywater

Online interactive lessons suit many language learners and if this style of learning suits you, you will benefit a great deal. 

Alas, I cannot provide online lessons at the moment as I am working full-time at my school teaching, you guessed it – English online!

However, I can highly recommend Leonie Bywater, a colleague of mine. I worked with Leonie for over ten years. She is a fantastic English teacher and her students love her. She is highly qualified and experienced at teaching all levels from Elementary to TOEIC and IELTS to Cambridge.  You can contact Leonie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProficiencyExamExpert or by email: leonie_b57@hotmail.com 


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Ω α Ω α Ω α Ω α Ω α Ω α Ω α Ω α Ω 

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Cambridge, Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Keep Fit in Isolation & Improve your English!

Dua Lipa has a new song called PHYSICAL and she has made a Let’s Get Physical Work Out Video which is the perfect workout class for all of you who are stuck at home feeling bored. While you watch and follow the instructions, your English will improve. Here’s a challenge for you:

How long will it take you to sing along with Dua Lipa while doing the workout? One week? One month?

Click on the picture below to watch the YouTube video (and start your new fitness class!) The lyrics are listed under the video,

LYRICS:

Physical by Dua Lipa

Common love isn’t for us.
We created something phenomenal.
Don’t you agree?
Don’t you agree?
You got me feeling diamond rich.
Nothing on this planet compares to it.
Don’t you agree?
Don’t you agree?

Who needs to go to sleep, when I got you next to me?

Chorus
All night, I’ll riot with you.

I know you got my back and you know I got you.
So come on, come on, come on.
Let’s get physical.
Lights out and follow the noise.
Baby keep on dancing like you *ain’t got a choice. (*ain’t = don’t have)
So come on, come on, come on.
Let’s get physical.

Continue reading

Posted in Dua Lipa, Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Songs, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Videos | Tagged | 1 Comment

Artist Niki Daly talks about IMAGINATION

I have found a heart-warming video to cheer you up in these uncertain times. It features artist Niki Daly who says inspiring things like, ‘Children have an imagination that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary’. 

The video is a short film produced by Green Renaissance. Who is Green Renaissance? “We are a tiny collective of 4 passionate filmmakers (Warren, Jacky, Michael and Justine). We live off-grid and dedicate our time to making films that we hope will inspire and share ideas.”

The subtitles provide excellent English.

         

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Speaking & Pronunciation, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Videos | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

English Words that are often Confused #4

First, read English Words that are often Confused #1, #2, & #3.

Today, I’m continuing with English Words that are often Confused: words starting with ‘E’. If you would like to receive all my future posts explaining confusing words, just click on ‘Follow’.

Confused?

Let’s have a look at some confusing words:

a) edible, eatable
     b) effect, affect
c) eminent, imminent
     d) endure, tolerate
e) enormity,  enormous
     f) especially, specially
 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

 

a) edible, eatable

♦ edible – adjective

♦ eatable – adjective

 Avocado are edible and this one will remain eatable for perhaps two more days.

I always thought that avocados were vegetables.  In Australia, they are served in salads, on toast, with seafood, and in dips like guacamole. I was surprised to hear my Brazilian students call them fruit! They eat them as a sweet and in drinks. They concluded that Australians were strange!

We all agree that avocados are edible: they can normally be eaten. (The stone in the centre is not edible. It is inedible.) However, that now decaying avocado you put in the fridge a month ago is not eatable! ‘Eatable’ refers to the condition of food.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Continue reading

Posted in Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Vocabulary | 1 Comment

How to Give Your Vocabulary a Boost as You Prep for Your IELTS Exam

How to Give Your Vocabulary a Boost as You Prep for Your IELTS Exam
– A Guest Post by  Ofer Tirosh 

The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is a standardized test of the English language used to measure the proficiency of non-native speakers. Recognized by employers and universities all over the world, it remains one of the most popular and trusted tests for determining one’s overall ability to communicate in English.

There are four components to the exam – listening, speaking, reading and writing – and each individual will find that the difficulty of each section depends on their own skills and strengths.

While it is often said that the IELTS is difficult, preparing well can make it seem much  less so. This article aims to offer you some fun and practical ideas to help you get ready for the exam. Because not everyone learns the same way, we have provided a variety of approaches to help you boost your vocabulary.

Continue reading

Posted in IELTS | 1 Comment

A Song with First Conditional, Imperatives, and Collocations

Image result for dua lipa don't start now album cover

Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now

Dua Lipa sings a song, Don’t Start Now, in which she tells an ex boyfriend very clearly that their relationship is finished and she is not interested in seeing him again. Her life is so much better without him. Her message to him is clear: If you don’t want to see me with another man, don’t look!

Click on the above picture for the official YouTube video. For the YouTube video with lyrics, click here.

Sentences starting with ‘If” are usually conditional sentences, and Dua Lipa is telling her ex what not to do in the future if he doesn’t want to see her with another man. Because she is referring to possible future situations, the sentence structure is First Conditional. Because she is warning him about possible future actions, she uses Imperatives:

Walk away!


Don’t show up;

Don’t come out;

Don’t start caring about me now.

Walk away;

› › › › › › › › ›

You may have studied First Conditional with WILL + Base Infinitive. If you would like to revise the rules for First Conditional with WILL, click here. Today, however,  I’m focusing on First Conditional with Imperative Verbs.

 

♥ The chorus is one long First Conditional sentence:

If you don’t *wanna see me dancing with somebody;            *want to
If you *wanna believe that anything could stop me,
Don’t show up;
Don’t come out;
Don’t start caring about me now;
Walk away; you know how;
Don’t start caring about me now.

Conditional Sentences are Complex Sentences, which means that they include at least one Dependent Clause (blue print) and at least one Independent Clause (green print). The chorus includes two Dependent Clauses and five Independent Clauses.

 

                                            ♥ Note the Imperative Verbs

https://unsplash.com/photos/QL0FAxaq2z0

Imperatives


Don’t show up

 Don’t come out

 Don’t start

 Walk away

 

♥ The song provides numerous Collocations, here in bold:

Did a full one-eighty …
But look at where I ended up.
I’m all good already;

So moved on, it’s scary.
I’m not where you left me at all,
Don’t show up;
Don’t come out;
I’m better on the other side.
Walk away.

Can you work out the meanings of the above collocations? Look at what you can understand. She is telling someone: ‘Don’t … Don’t … Don’t … Don’t … I’m all good … I’m better …”   When Collocations are idioms, you can often work out the meaning if you know the context.     

Did a full one-eighty … 

To do a one-eighty (180°) is to change your thinking and/or actions completely: to think or do the opposite. The singer thinks about the way she was before and the way she is now – from heartbroken (maybe) to ‘all good’.

But look at where I ended up.

To end up is to eventually finish, to end a situation. The singer was possibly heartbroken but at the end, she was ‘all good’. For more examples of ended up, click here.

https://unsplash.com/photos/zdSoe8za6Hs

I’m all good!   I’ve moved on!


I’m all good already

She is not just ‘good’; she is great, completely okay. Don’t worry! (‘Already’ means ‘sooner than expected’.)

 ♦ So moved on

To move on from a relationship means to accept that the relationship is over, finished, and to be ready for a new relationship, a new life.

So … , it’s scary.

So + adjective/adverb, it’s scary, means that something (or someone) is so bad / wonderful / clever etc. that it is hard to believe. The singer has moved on and recovered so quickly and easily from the relationship that it is impressive and hard to believe – it’s scary.

I’m not where you left me at all

Literally, where you left me, means the last place you saw me. However, here it means that she is not the sad, rejected person he said ‘goodbye’ to. She has moved on.

Don’t!

     ♦ Don’t show up

To show up means to arrive. For example, All the employees were expected at the Christmas party but fewer than half showed up.

      ♦ Don’t come out

Meaning: Don’t leave your house. Stay at home. If you don’t want to see me with another man, don’t leave your house!

 the other side

I’m better on the other side. Her life is better now after the end of the relationship. The experience has been like a journey and she has come through to the other side. She is no longer in the journey or experience. She is at a distance from it: the other side.

Walk away.

To walk away from someone or something means to leave or abandon the person or situation. She tells him to walk away, leave her. She reminds him that he knows how to walk away because he had abandoned her more than once. 

For more examples of walk away, click here.

Click here for a free idioms and phrases dictionary. 

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Posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Songs, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

English Idioms in Pictures #9

Click on the picture below to find out the meaning of the idiom PULL YOUR SOCKS UP.

Once on the site, you can click on Follow at the bottom of the page to receive more pictures and explanations of idioms FREE.

PULL YOUR SOCKS UP

Iddy pulls his socks up

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Posted in Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Reading, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Christmas 2019

  Happy Christmas!  

It’s that time of year again when many of us prepare to celebrate Christmas. Traditionally, for Christians, it is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ approximately 2,000 years ago. However, Christmas has become an important time for celebrating with family and friends for both Christians and non-Christians. Let’s have a look at some of the ways we observe Christmas:

Figurines: The Infant Jesus with Mary, Joseph, and an Angel

  For over 2,000 years, Christians have celebrated the arrival on earth of a very remarkable person: Jesus of Nazareth.  We know a lot about Jesus because of  widespread writings, not just from his followers, but also from well-known scribes of the time. Jesus was a historically real person. His teachings of love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance appealed to all kinds of people as well as his message of hope for a new life after we pass on from this one. He practised what he preached, being kind and non-judgmental. You could say that he was, and is, the perfect role model.

Christians attend Church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. They listen to readings about the special night when Jesus was born, pray together and sing Christmas Hymns. (My favourite is O! Holy Night.’) It’s a very happy occasion!  

 Giving presents, decorating Christmas trees and homes is also traditional for many. Children in particular love all this Christmas activity and get very excited at the thought of a visit from Santa.

Photo by Ann Danilina on Unsplash.com

Presents are opened on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or at a party beforehand. Many workplaces have parties and some, like mine, organize a ‘Secret Santa’. We pick the name of a colleague out of a hat and buy a gift for that person. No-one knows who has provided their present. It’s lots of fun! Not everyone is a Christian but that doesn’t matter. It’s the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ that is important: a feeling of goodwill towards everyone.

  In Australia, as in many western and European countries, this is an occasion for being with family, especially family whom we don’t see regularly. We get together and tend to eat and drink too much! It’s a busy time, when we acknowledge the importance of family.

Cristo Redentor, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

⛪If you would like to join in the Christmas festivities and you don’t have a family or friends to celebrate Christmas with, I strongly recommend that you contact a Christian church nearby; for example, The Catholic Church, The Anglican Church, The Pentecostal Church, The Presbyterian Church, The Methodist Church, or The Salvation Army. They welcome everyone,  provide a lovely Christmas dinner and a jolly experience and expect nothing from you. You don’t need to be a Christian. You don’t have to attend a church service and you just might make some friends! Alternatively, church services can be viewed online. Just open You Tube and search: ‘Christmas Mass’. It is streamed live on Christmas Day and on Christmas Eve.

Pavlova – a traditional Australian dessert

 Australian Christmas is different to Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere where it is cold in December. Here, it is summer and while some households still enjoy roast turkey, hot vegetables, and hot Christmas pudding, many of us prefer cold meat, seafood and salads and cold or fruit-based desserts. Pavlova, cheesecake, and ice cream pudding are favourites.

Because it is very hot here, barbecues are very popular which means that cooking indoors is unnecessary. After lunch, the beach is popular for those fortunate enough to live near one or holiday at one. Summer in Australia is holiday season, especially for school children and their families, and Christmas lunch or dinner is often casual: delicious and special, but simple. The beach is calling! 

https://unsplash.com/photos/6acAfzG7dfw

                                                              The beach is calling!                                                                                                    Many thanks to Britt Gaiser from unsplash.com for this photo.

If you would like to listen to some delightful Christmas Carols sung by Michael Bublé, click here. To hear a magnificent version I’ve recently discovered of a traditional Hymn , click here.

  

I hope you have a

Very Merry Christmas & a

Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2020!!

      

Posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Elementary (Level 2), Intermediate (Level 4), Pre-Intermediate (Level 3), Songs, Upper Intermediate (Level 5) | 1 Comment

How to Write a Sentence: #2

First, read How to Write a Sentence: #1

There are three types of sentences in English: SIMPLE, COMPOUND, & COMPLEX.

All sentences must contain a subject, a verb with tense, and they must have meaning.

You need to know which type of sentences you are writing, so that you can apply the appropriate rules. So, here we go …

SIMPLE SENTENCES Simple Sentences have one subject and one main (complete) verb,

You are reading  this blog.   

Who is hugging that girl? 

OR   two subjects and one main verb,

The girl and the paper man love each other.

OR   one subject and two main verbs,

She is hugging him and smiling. (Verbs: is hugging & is smiling)

OR two subjects and two main verbs.

The paper man and the girl are hugging each other and smiling.

Look at the following sentence. It is a Simple Sentence because it has one subject and one verb. 

The beautiful tropical gardens across the road from my old school were destroyed in the earthquake last month.  

The sentence has a lot of ‘extra stuff’, but when you take out this ‘extra stuff’, what is left?

The gardens were destroyed.

** Don’t be confused by long sentences with lots of adjectives, adverbs and prepositions. To understand the structure of a sentence, you need to find the verb first. Then, find the subject.

COMPOUND SENTENCES  Compound Sentences are formed when two or more Simple Sentences are joined (linked).

The gardens were destroyed and many houses were damaged.

The gardens were destroyed but my old school was not damaged.

The old school was not damaged so we are all relieved.

A Compound Sentence is composed of two or more sentences (independent clauses) which are joined by Co-ordinating Conjunctions. For a complete explanation of how Co-ordinating Conjunctions are used to make Compound Sentences, click here.

Click here for How to Write a Sentence: #3: COMPLEX SENTENCES

Click here for How to Write a Sentence: #1

 

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Posted in Grammar, IELTS, Intermediate (Level 4), TOEFL, TOEIC, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Writing | Leave a comment