Spice it Up! How to Make an English Conversation Interesting

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When you start learning English, it is always good to start using the language as soon as possible, that’s why we as teachers always encourage students to have conversations with native speakers and fellow classmates.

It is good to start with the usual questions like “What’s your name?” and “The weather is really nice today”, however, there comes a point where that is not enough. We all have heard the same conversation starters over and over again and are often on the lookout of something else.

You know what conversations I am talking about. You already have them in your native language. Those discussions you have with your best friends or family members, where you talk about your hobbies, goals of priorities in life. You explore global issues and topics that are important to humanity.

Now is the time to start exploring such conversations and expand your horizons. In this article, I would like to give you some advice on how to have interesting conversations in English.

Getting Bored? 5 Great Books To Read in English

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We can’t argue that reading books is necessary to succeed in all areas of life. It is said that knowledge is power, and this is a true statement, especially in language learning. Ask any English student how they felt after reading their first book in English, and you will see my point. Being able to fully understand a book in English will give you a true sense of fulfillment.

It is my true belief that you should not learn English by memorizing tables and vocabulary lists but rather by context, and for this, you have to develop ways to learn passively. One way of doing so is by watching TV; however, if you prefer to feed your brain and develop a new positive habit, then reading books is definitely the way to go.

How to Use Prepositions in English?

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Have you ever heard that phrase? Little things mean a lot? Whoever said this was probably referring to prepositions. It’s amazing how some of the shortest words in the language produce so much trouble!

Unfortunately, this is a point where many English students make a tremendous amount of mistakes. Another problem is that such mistakes will tell right away that you are not a fluent English speaker yet.

Let’s Talk About Relationships: Prepositions

Imagine that you find two nouns: tiger and book. (Remember that a noun is a word for a person, place, thing or idea.)How many ways can you connect the two nouns to express ideas?

Can You Repeat Please? 6 Tips to Improve Your Pronunciation

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Can you repeat that, please? How many times do you hear this when you are speaking? Although you master grammar and vocabulary, if your pronunciation is not accurate, it will still be quite hard for people to understand you because of your pronunciation, and learning to pronounce words correctly is one of the hardest parts of learning English.

Depending on your native language, you will notice that you have to learn how to make completely new sounds that you are not familiar with. Spanish, for example, is quite straightforward regarding its pronunciation, as words are pronounced in the same way they are written.

English is a whole different story, as English vowels make it really tricky to know how to say a word. “Way”, “weigh” and “whey” are all said the same, for example, while “comb”, “bomb” and “tomb” are all pronounced differently. This has proven to bring some serious stress to students, so in this article, I give you six tips to help you pronounce English words better.

8 Habits of a Good English Student

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As a teacher, I have seen many students over the years. I have seen students achieve their goals and I have seen them quit. I also came to see that there was an important difference in each group of students, that small something that made some of them succeed, and this is the habits they applied to their lives.

As I always say on the blog, the only way to improve is to practice. There is no magic pill that can certainly make you learn a language (not yet at least, although they are working on it), and even if we have it, there’s no better feeling than seeing your language abilities grow from the effort you put into it.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you practice once a week. The thing that will cause a significant and steady improvement is consistent practice, and this can only be done through habits. Without them, you are wasting your time at the institute (if you finish it, of course).

Can you Repeat Please? The 3 Skills to Understand Native Speakers

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You might have noticed by now that native speakers are not easy to understand. One thing is being in a classroom with your teacher slowing his speech down to make sure everyone understands, and another is to speak with a native English speaker when waiting for the bus. They speak too fast, they cut their words, they eat them and sometimes they even mumble them.

Although it sounds definitely as a hard scenario, it is something you will encounter quite often. Just think about it. Do you do the same in your native language? Do you start speaking so fast that even your friends need to tell you to slow down?

I know it happens to me. Quite funny actually, as I am an English teacher. When giving my lessons, I will make sure every word that comes through my mouth is as clear as possible. When talking to my native friends, however, will speak as fast as the ideas come to my head.

8 Tips to Avoid Forgetting English

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If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know about the huge amount of resources available online to learn English. The reality, however, is that many students will get excited about all this information and absorb it all… temporarily. After a while, they will forget what they learned.

I see this all the time as a teacher. A student will come to me and tell me about how long they were studying at their English institute and the good grades they got. The conversation would follow with me saying something like: “Great!, and what are you doing with your English right now?”. When I say this, they will reply something like: “I studied it then but haven’t really used it since I graduated…only occasionally”. The story repeats again.

Learn How to Type Better and Faster in English

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Learning how to type in English is really important. Chances are that if you are learning English, you’ll want to use it to improve your work situation. Well, as it is no surprise for you, you won’t be speaking all day. In an everyday situation, you will be required to use all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing), and the writing part will be most likely typing on a keyword.

But, how can I do this, Howard? I can barely write on my own native language. Much less in English! I just can’t find the “ñ” in my computer at work! (If you speak Spanish, you will understand). That’s the reason why I wrote this article. For you to learn how to type better AND faster. Yes, in that order. It is useless to write 200 words per minute and do so with massive errors.

Like with all things in life, the more you practice, the better you will get. There are no shortcuts for this. This guide is here to streamline the process, so you spend as little time as possible learning to type, and as much time as possible learning English.

So, here are some skills you need to acquire in order to become a typing master.

Achieve Fluency for Free! The Best 8 Resources to Learn English for Free

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Free, isn’t that a beautiful word? That excitement you get when someone gives something to you free of charge? It is a wonderful feeling indeed, especially when learning English. Although many students need a person that keeps them accountable, the amount of progress a student will have depends on how much time and effort is putting into learning.

This is when free resources come into play. They allow a student to keep nurturing even after he/she leaves the classroom, and experience has shown me such students are the ones that get to be fluent and achieve their language learning goals. I have the case of a friend of mine who’s an online Spanish teacher. He never stepped a foot into an institute, however, by using free resources to learn English from the internet, he got to be fluent in the language. Over time, he got his certification to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

7 Tips to Learn Irregular Verbs in English

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If you checked the last article about verb tenses, you may be feeling a sense of achievement by now, and you should. A big part of learning a language is being able to convey meaning, and that is something you can do already, so congrats! Let’s raise the bar a little bit. Just when you finally think you understand the tenses, you run into irregular verbs.

There are over 170 irregular verbs in English, and they all break the standard rules as most words do. Today I play, yesterday I played. Simple, right? The thing with irregular verbs is that there isn’t a rule you can learn for them. The only solution? Memorize them.

How to know if a verb is irregular

Let’s first define what an irregular verb is. Regular verbs have an established pattern through all their tenses. Usually, the only thing you have to do to form one is add -ed  at the end of the word and that’s it. For example:

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