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Thursday, December 1, 2016

How to Use Everyday Habits for English Speaking Practice

English Speaking Practice

It doesn’t matter what profession you choose and where you live; you need to know English to become successful. A professor uses English when communicating with colleagues from all around the world. Business people also need English language when contacting international clients or partners. If you’re a student, you’ll need this language to locate learning material online. If you’re a traveler, English is the language you can use wherever you go.

It seems like English connects us globally. That’s why you can only benefit from making efforts to improve it. Learning the grammar and writing complete sentences in English may turn out to be easier than the speaking part.

Miles Miller, a language expert from Australianwritings, explains that phenomenon: “When you’re in a situation where you’re expected to use English, it seems like your knowledge of grammar disappears and you’re making mistakes you wouldn’t make in writing. Why does that happen? You don’t have enough practice; that’s why! The good news is that practicing is easy. We have access to many online tools that help us connect with natives and speak English every day.”

The Method: Immersion

There are many different ways of learning and practicing English. Some people prefer online lessons, while others opt for the traditional classroom instead. Some people like Skype sessions with their friends from foreign countries, but others like to travel and meet people in person. There isn’t a universal rule that would help us all master English speaking skills. It’s a rather individual process, which requires some experimenting.

Still, there is one technique that works for everyone: immersion. This is a method that teachers use: they make English the exclusive language of communication in the classroom. This doesn’t mean you should stop using your native language in your everyday life. However, it means you need to make English part of your lifestyle. You need to immerse yourself in it.

Tips: How to Make English Part of Your Daily Life

1. Learn vocabulary on specific topics
Are you interested in astronomy, science, make-up, sports, or anything else? Of course you have an interest! You can develop a daily habit of learning few words related to that interest. Pick a theme and start learning few words every single day.

You’ll benefit in two ways when you develop this habit:
  • You’ll improve your vocabulary, and…
  • You’ll learn a lot about the things you’re interested in, since you’ll be exploring online content in English.
2. Have an English breakfast
Have you seen recipe videos on YouTube? Well, you can practice a similar technique: speak while preparing your food. For example, a smoothie may contain bananas, strawberries, chokeberries, blueberries, honey, goji berries, coconut oil, and water. You can learn many words when preparing a simple smoothie.

Pretend you’re explaining the recipe in English. If you don’t know how a particular ingredient is called, look it up in the dictionary. Don’t forget to pay attention to the items you use to prepare the food. You have dishes, forks, spoons, a blender, and many other words you can learn. As usual, write down the new words.

3. Name the objects around you
Whenever you have free time on your hands, use it to look around. What do you see? Name the objects in English! It will be easy for you to name some of the items. A chair, table, TV. However, you’ll also notice a radiator, TV remote, curtains, candles, and some things you won’t be able to name. Use your dictionary to find those words. Don’t forget to speak up. Remember: this is a speaking practice.

4. Make sentences with the words you learn
All these habits help you learn new words. However, random words don’t mean anything if you don’t make them part of your vocabulary. That’s why you’ll need to use them in actual sentences. Form sentences related to your interests, the breakfast you’re making, or the objects you see around you. The candle is on the table. I will use a lighter to light the candle. The flame is bright. See? You can form many sentences around a single object, and all those sentences help you learn new words.

5. Learn English through your habits
Here’s the easiest way of making English a daily habit: don’t change your habits.
  • Are you listening to music every day? Well, you can listen to music with English lyrics and sing along.
  • Do you like reading? Start doing it in English.
  • You certainly read the news or celebrity gossip every day. Why don’t you bookmark some websites that provide news in English language?
  • You like watching documentaries or TV shows? Choose those with narrative in English.
  • Do you exercise in the morning? Find the names of each movement and keep telling them in English as you practice.
6. Use the right tools
The immersion technique can be even more useful when you combine it with the right apps and online tools. Here are few suggestions of tools that can become part of your daily routines:
  • Evernote – A tool for taking notes and making to-do list. Whenever you get an idea, write it down in English. If you’re heading out to the store, create a shopping list in English. You have a list for books you want to read or movies you want to see? Update it in English.
  • Quizlet – A collection of learning tools that enhance your memory through visual effects. You can create your own flashcards to study anything, and you can do that in English. You can write new words on the flashcards, and find images that grasp the concepts. There is a great collection of flashcards at the website, so you can use them when you don’t have time to create your own. For example, these Crime and Punishment flashcards can help you remember the characters from Dostoevsky’s book.
  • YouTube cooking videos – If you’re cooking every day, why don’t you try new recipes? You can watch different videos on YouTube and pick the favorite recipe of the day. These videos are very useful for language learners. You get clear, slow-paced explanations with visual presentation, so you don’t even need a dictionary to understand the new words. When you’re recreating the recipe, don’t forget to recreate the instructions, too.
  • Karaokegame – An online tool that gives you the background music of your favorite songs. All you need to do is sing! In English, of course.

Learning English Is a Lifetime Commitment. Turn It Into a Habit!

It’s not that hard to improve your vocabulary when you practice every single day. The tips above show you how to include that practice in your lifestyle. Try some of the tips and tell us how they work for you.

Jessica Freeman has been a journalist and a freelance content writer for 6 years now. She is a professional in her niche and prefers using creative approach while focusing on the sphere of academic writing, education, and business. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
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Sunday, October 11, 2015

How Edufind can help you perfect your English

Edufind

For English learners, the Internet gives you access to an unlimited supply of native English writing, video, audio, and online interaction, but there’s so much English learning material online, and of such variable quality, it’s difficult to choose which site to use. One site I can recommend is Edufind, a non-profit site with a complete English grammar guide and a database of all the accredited English schools in 9 countries with reviews of most schools.

If you’re only studying English online, Edufind is a reference book for grammatical rules, verb conjugations, adverb placement, etc. The English grammar guide is available in Spanish, Italian, French, German, and Japanese in addition to English. The Edufind Facebook page is also very active with posts in English on English idioms, quotes from famous people who have struggled with English, and other fun English learning tidbits.

If you’re considering taking an English course abroad, Edufind is a unique reference. No other site lets you see all the accredited schools in a city, state, or country on a map, read student reviews, and get in touch with the schools directly. As I mentioned before, Edufind is non-profit, so the schools don’t pay to be listed. That makes a big difference.

Most sites that let you compare English schools are agencies, so they are selling the courses at those schools and taking a commission. Those sites want all the schools to look good. You’ll see only positive student “reviews” on those sites, and only a partial list of schools, usually the larger schools and chain schools. For a complete list of schools of all sizes and unfiltered student reviews, you can’t beat Edufind.

Finally, if you’ve ever taken an English course abroad, go find your school on Edufind and leave a review! Your fellow students will thank you.

I look forward to hearing what you think of Edufind if you decide to have a look around. Edufind is a one-woman show, so whether you contact me via the site or on Facebook, you’re going to be talking to the same person. Best of luck with your continued English studies! As we say in English, practice makes perfect!

Visit Edufind.com
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Euphemisms: What are they and why you should use them

There are some words that some people might find outright offensive or impolite or upsetting.

So how do you convey your message without offending someone?

The answer is just one word: Euphemisms. These are terms used in place of those ‘offensive’ words to make it sound tolerable, acceptable or polite. It’s like sugar-coating the message to make it seem less harsh than it actually is.

Here’s an example: Instead of saying “John was sent to a jail after that incident”, you could say “John was sent to a correctional facility after that incident”. In this case, “jail” and “correctional facility” both mean the same thing but the second sentence makes the situation more palatable.

In this article, we’ll explore euphemisms for some common topics.

+ Physical/ mental disability: Instead of saying “handicapped” or “disabled”, you could say “physical challenged” or “differently abled”. Instead of saying “retarded”, you could say “mentally challenged”. “Special needs” could be used for people that are physically and/or mentally challenged.

+ Death: Instead of saying “died”, you could say “passed away”, “deceased”, or “taken to Jesus”.

+ Euthanasia: “Put one to sleep” or “put one out of misery” could be used instead of “euthanasia” or “euthanized”. (You’ll mostly find it used in vet clinics)

+ Overweight: “Ample proportions”, “plus-sized”, or “stocky” could be used in place of “fat” or “obese”.

+ Lavatory: You might find it hard to believe but the words “bathroom”, “washroom”, and “restroom” all are euphemisms for “toilet”.

+ Flatulence: “Break wind”, “pass gas”, “cut the wind” could be used instead of the word “fart”.

+ Lying: Instead of saying “lying” or “lied”, you could say “color the truth”, “bending the truth”, or “misstatement”.

And there are euphemisms for almost all of the ‘taboo’ topics in English. It is understandable when some of you say English is a difficult language but using euphemisms in everyday conversation not only makes you appear sophisticated but also makes your message much more acceptable.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Discover Some Free Mobile Apps to Learn and Improve your Level of English

The recent developments in computer and information technology have eased human life to a great extent. All our activities take less time and energy these days because of the pervasive influence of technology. If internet is one major thing which brought in a sea of changes in our lives, mobile phones and the accompanying applications is another welcoming change. Mobile applications are of great help for people of all ages. They assist us in education, business and other deals. Let us have a look at some free mobile apps to learn and improve your level of English.

Duolingo

Duoling

Instead of the usual boring lectures and instructions, this application has lessons structured as a skill tree with “skill points” being awarded for the completing lessons. The progress of the takers of these lessons can be tracked. The users can use their knowledge to translate the real-world content which may then be rated by other users.

Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Memrise

Memrise

This app offers a large variety of courses in different languages which are all free. This is a good learning platform which also provides an offline mode by which people can continue learning even when they are not connected to the internet. The gamified learning of this app includes a point system which makes the learning process jovial.

Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Lingua.ly

Lingua.ly

This app facilitates language learning and vocabulary building. It also uses a language-processing method by which texts will be recommended to users. Vocabulary tests which are designed as per their interests will be selected. Users can read real texts in whichever language they are learning. Such texts will enable them to improve their command in a language.

Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Learn English Grammar

Learn English Grammar

This app was developed by the British Council. It is an interactive app which is designed to improve the grammar accuracy of the takers. There is the US and UK English versions of this app which offer questions in four levels in the increasing order of complexity. Both the editions offer easy-to-access in-app helps which make it sure that the users do not get stuck in any of the interactive tasks.

Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge

Johnny Grammar’s Word Challenge

This app is a little quiz application that test spelling, grammar and vocabulary. It requires the users to take as many questions as possible in a matter of 60 seconds. Three different levels of tasks namely easy, medium and hard are offered by this app. Users can begin with the basic levels and go on winning round after round till they reach a stage where they compete with users on a global leader board.

Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Speaking Pal English Tutor

Speaking Pal

This app is interactive in nature which uses voice-recognition technology to simulate a voice call with a native English speaker. Spoken English and pronunciation of the users will improve very much by the help of this app. This app provides more than 100 levels of tasks, dialogues, sentences and vocabulary items. The first 16 levels come for free and the subsequent levels need to be bought by the users.

Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Author Bio: I'm Julie Vickey, a freelance writer and academic enthusiast. I'm currently working for law essay writing service, an online source for getting assistance on popular topics. I write about almost all topics and always aim to give something helpful for my readers.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

5 Ways to Boost Your Grammar Skills

Learning English relies on mastering a complex series of definitions, principles, and rules about how everything fits together. As is the case in other languages; grammar represents the rules used to craft meaningful passages. Teachers use a variety of approaches to drive home grammatical rules, including repetitious exercises designed to cement students' understanding of English grammar. Some English language educators, on the other hand, maintain a more passive position regarding grammar, believing that other principles are more important to learning the language.

Whether you are a stickler for grammatical details, or an English language student committed to mastering words and phrases ahead of the grammar that guides them, it is important to recognize the importance of syntax, semantics and other grammatical features of the language. Use these proven approaches to guide your grammar skills to the next level:

Read English Language Books

Depending on your current level of understanding, reading books written in English may furnish your most comprehensive exposure to grammar. Even when you're not focused specifically on grammar, reading brings proper structure and other grammatical rules to the surface, as you read. And when language lessons relate to certain aspects of grammar, written material provides references, where you can see how authors applied grammar correctly.

Practice Creating Sentences and Paragraphs using Grammar Rules

While grammar plays a role in conveying your intended meaning, it is not the only force at play getting your message across. Early-on learning the language, English language students struggle to use the right words and phrases, rather than striving to join their ideas in grammatically correct ways. To boost grammar skills, successful English language students flip their approaches, at times, in order to consciously think about grammar as they express themselves.

To better understand relationships between words, phrases and grammar, think of learning language as learning to type, for example. In most cases, without any keyboarding skills, you'll still be able to get your message across. But with a concerted effort, you'll eventually learn to use the keyboard as intended, without looking at the keys. In much the same way, vocabulary and a cursory understanding of how words and phrases work within a language provide enough tools for you to communicate. However, when you consciously apply grammar to your approach, it refines your expression, allowing you to share ideas more effectively.

Study Punctuation

Grammar is a general term, encompassing several aspects of how various nuances operate within the language. Punctuation yields clues for those learning English, adding formal reinforcement to principles at play in spoken and written language.

Exceptions to Grammar Rules

While some grammatical concepts remain consistent throughout the English language, others are subject to exceptions, which can be daunting for those learning grammar. The best approach is to apply rules you learn along the way, without holding yourself accountable for all of the grammatical exceptions within the language. Mastering English is an ongoing pursuit of perfection - even for native speakers, so exceptions need not be committed to memory in the early stages of learning the language.

Set Realistic Goals

In some cases, learning English is tied to specific needs and responsibilities requiring you to use the language. Setting realistic goals helps you learn the language efficiently, in order to accommodate the ways you'll frequently use it. Specialized jargon and technical terms, for example, would not generally be included in your language lessons. If special vocabulary is required in your employment setting or in other parts of your life, account for them as you learn the language, setting realistic benchmarks for mastering the grammatical rules your situation requires.

Learning grammar is only one aspect of mastering English, so it shouldn't consume your effort to become proficient using the language. Setting goals and exposing yourself to diverse examples are sure-fire ways to boost your understanding of English Grammar.

This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Freepeoplesearch.org. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.
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