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For new students General English Listening News Uncategorized Vocabulary

Listening on your own? By Ana Sierra

Listening on your own?

When I was a little girl, I was made to study English as my second language, and I hated it. It was really boring, I was taught lots of grammar rules and writing, but I was never made to speak! So after many years of studying, I couldn’t say a word or express an idea of my own. We never listened to any English either.

One day I realized that it didn’t make any sense.It came to my mind that when we learn our first language, we listen a lot and then we speak. We learn by listening,not by studying rules or reading. And when we start speaking, we usually make mistakes – that’s normal. It doesn’t matter if we don’t use our grammar correctly.We just go on listening until we self-correct our mistakes. Right?

So I thought, why can’t we do the same with a second language: listen a lot and then try to speak; first by repeating what we hear and then, when we get the right words and phrases, we can say what we want? The thing is to listen to our second language as much as we can, so we need to find resources. Fortunately, today we have plenty of stuff on the Internet. We have many sites for students of English. We have different social networks. We have news pages with special activities for students of English, We have movies, and of course Youtube, among other resources.

Let’s see some ideas here:

What do you think? What about this?

The thing is to listen as much as we can! Listen! Listen! Listen!!! It makes sense, right? It’s logical. It’s practical. You can do it while you clean up or tidy your room. You can listen when you walk to school. You can listen when you have a shower!  It’s “ready-to-use” material. You listen and then you can say or repeat what you have just heard.

 

At all levels. You can listen and repeat simple words or phrases first. You can start with some basic vocabulary words:

 

And then build up, add some ideas and learn new expressions:

 

Have you enjoyed Ana’s lesson on listening so far? Well come back next week because she has more fun and listening for you! In the meantime, why not put those listening skills to work by communicating with your fellow students in a group lesson? You can schedule yours here.

 

Categories
Advanced English General English IELTS Preparation News Uncategorized Writing in English

Elements of Descriptive Writing (part 1) -By Bethany Hall

Speaking in English is challenging enough, but writing in English creatively injects an additional hurdle. Writing creatively requires more than just a large vocabulary of adjectives. Meet Bethany Hall. Bethany is going to share her ideas about descriptive writing that will help you “kick it up a notch”, in the words of my favorite Chef Emeril Legasse.

Elements of Descriptive Writing  -By Bethany Hall

As lovers and students of the English language, we have many tools at our disposal:

1)We can use our knowledge of the language to persuade.

2)We can use our extensive vocabularies to impress but, perhaps, the most fun element of our language is to paint mental pictures.

3)We can create, quite accurately, an image with words and relay emotion with a few well-placed adjectives.

4)We can convince a person of the intensity of an event by using verbs and transform an ordinary object into a life-like anomaly. This phenomenon of the English language is descriptive writing.

Sensory Details

The first element of descriptive writing is sensory details. This means that the writer appeals to the reader’s senses, that is, sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. This way the reader can imagine or create a mental image of what the writer is describing.

Image result for senses

We do not need to appeal to every sense in every piece of writing. This would make the writing feel forced and clumsy. If we are trying to describe a beautiful painting, we would not describe what it tastes like or what it smells like. These things would seem silly to the reader.

On the other hand, if we were trying to describe a freshly baked cookie we could describe what it looks like, what it tastes like, what it feels like, what it smells like and what it sounds like, e.g.  The heavenly aroma of the baked goods filled the house(smell). The cookies still lay on their baking tray. Each perfectly round with generous chocolate globs, gooey and inviting(sight). They were still slightly warm, light and airy(touch). A crisp and clear CRUNCH echoed through the room when the first bite was taken(sound). They tasted exactly as they should, sweet, delicious and like home(taste).

Come back tomorrow for part 2 and see what other elements Bethany has to share. In the mean time check out this list of descriptive words 

http://descriptivewords.org/

and come on over and schedule a writing lesson with Aaron, Kristen, or Toni.

 

 

Image result for plate of cookies

 

 

Bethany Hall is a writer from South Africa,with a degree in Linguistics and English, and experience in content writing, technical writing and journalism. She has a versatile writing style and vast knowledge of the English language and its outworkings.

Categories
General English Listening News Uncategorized

Listening on your own? By Ana Sierra

Listening on your own?

When I was a little girl, I was made to study English as my second language, and I hated it. It was really boring, I was taught lots of grammar rules and writing, but I was never made to speak! So after many years of studying, I couldn’t say a word or express an idea of my own. We never listened to any English either.

One day I realized that it didn’t make any sense.It came to my mind that when we learn our first language, we listen a lot and then we speak. We learn by listening,not by studying rules or reading. And when we start speaking, we usually make mistakes – that’s normal. It doesn’t matter if we don’t use our grammar correctly.We just go on listening until we self-correct our mistakes. Right?

So I thought, why can’t we do the same with a second language: listen a lot and then try to speak; first by repeating what we hear and then, when we get the right words and phrases, we can say what we want? The thing is to listen to our second language as much as we can, so we need to find resources. Fortunately, today we have plenty of stuff on the Internet. We have many sites for students of English. We have different social networks. We have news pages with special activities for students of English, We have movies, and of course Youtube, among other resources.

Let’s see some ideas here:

What do you think? What about this?

The thing is to listen as much as we can! Listen! Listen! Listen!!! It makes sense, right? It’s logical. It’s practical. You can do it while you clean up or tidy your room. You can listen when you walk to school. You can listen when you have a shower!  It’s “ready-to-use” material. You listen and then you can say or repeat what you have just heard.

 

At all levels. You can listen and repeat simple words or phrases first. You can start with some basic vocabulary words:

 

And then build up, add some ideas and learn new expressions:

 

Have you enjoyed Ana’s lesson on listening so far? Well come back next week because she has more fun and listening for you! In the meantime, why not put those listening skills to work by communicating with your fellow students in a group lesson? You can schedule yours here.