If you don't think bad grammar can cost you, think again. In this case, one teeny, tiny, little comma actually cost one company five million dollars. That's one expensive comma! The Serial Comma Strikes Again An Oxford comma, also known as a serial comma, refers to the final comma in a list of items. It … Continue reading The $5 Million Comma: The True Tale of the Oxford Comma Lawsuit
Alternate Endings The pronunciation of words ending in -ed in English can be really confusing. For every -ed word, there are three alternative ending sounds to choose from: Add an extra syllable /-ed/ Make a stopped sound /t/ Make a stopped sound /d/ Alternate endings might be great for TV series, but alternate pronunciation in … Continue reading Target Pronunciation: How To Pronounce -ED Words in English
Every seasoned ESL teacher knows the good old -ED pronunciation rules. When a word ends in |t| or |d|, an extra syllable is added and pronounced as |id|. When a word doesn't end in |t| or |d|, the pronounced ending is truncated to a stopped |t| or |d| and no extra syllable is added. If … Continue reading Happy -ED Endings: A Story About Pizza, Pets, and -ED Pronunciation
I recently transitioned to online teaching again, so I really needed a way to showcase my original deck of 68 irregular verb flashcards in a digital format. I found a great program on ProProfs.com that allowed me to easily upload my images to the free flashcard maker, and voila! I now have a fantastic set … Continue reading Digital Flashcards Are Here, and I’m So Flipping Excited!
Breaking News! ESL Students prefer playing games to studying grammar. Thanks, Captain Obvious. Now, let's really drive it home: Hello, students! Raise your hand if you want to study grammar. (crickets.) Raise your hand if you want to play a game. (48 hands are up in a class of 24.) What have we learned from … Continue reading Variations on 4 Card Games ESL Students Will Flip Over
Let's face it. If our ESL students aren't reading now, what's going to change that? ESL teachers know that reading is essential to language acquisition, and the science backs it up. So how can we encourage students to find fluency through fiction?
Can I really improve my English in 30 days? Yes, you can! The 30-Day English Challenge is designed to improve your speaking, writing, fluency and confidence by following simple, yet meaningful daily tasks. How does it work? The idea behind a 30-day English challenge is simple. Your English will improve quickly because you will be … Continue reading The 30-Day English Challenge
Do you want to know a secret? Learning English is nearly impossible if you don't have the right people to speak it with. This may come as a surprise, but practicing English with an English teacher just isn't enough! Yes, an English teacher will understand everything you say. English teachers use simple, clear language that … Continue reading Conversation Club: December 18, 2020
It might sound simple, but taking 3 to 5 minutes to write a daily reflection following each Zoom lesson is one of the most important ways to boost language acquisition in online learning environments.
The preposition back generally means to return. But there are many different ways you can return something or somewhere! By using phrasal verbs like go back, get back, and come back, you can increase your vocabulary and be more specific in communication. Let's look at a few of these phrasal verbs with back in a fun short story about a trip to a tropical island. At the end of the story, there's a short quiz you can take to see if you really know how to use these return expressions like a pro.
When you have a strong understanding of how to use used to and usually, we can talk about 2 more similar phrases that students find confusing: be used to and get used to.
Learn the difference between yet and still with a quick video lesson.
With Valentine's Day coming up, I wanted to share some great expressions and idioms for talking about love and relationships. Whether you're single, married or something more complicated, there's surely a phrase or two here that will tickle your fancy. You may find yourself falling head over heels with this lovey-dovey vocabulary! Once Upon a … Continue reading English Expressions You Can Fall in Love With
It's easy to confuse these two terms. They are used when we give or take something that will be returned (Well, we hope it will!) LEND = Give To lend is to give someone something for a short time. Lend requires a direct pronoun (money, a phone, a sweater, etc.) and an indirect object pronoun (me, … Continue reading Borrow or Lend: What’s the difference?
Ordering drinks can be intimidating for a non-native speaker. Everything is moving fast, so you quickly blurt out your order. "I'll have 3 beers and...um...uh...a mojito." There. You feel pretty good. You said it right. He understands you and starts to make the drinks, but suddenly he asks a second question...
TOO = A negative description When something is not good, or you don't like it, or you can't use it, use too to describe it. When you use too in a sentence, it means that you are not happy, or there is a negative result. The driver was going too fast. (He crashed his car … Continue reading Too vs. So: What’s the difference?
Cats are so funny. You never know what they are really thinking about you, but we can guess from the look on their faces. They make such good expressions! THE BASIC RULE: S0 + ADJECTIVE When SO means "very," it is usually followed by an adjective. It's so hot today.The cats are so funny.She looks … Continue reading So or Such: What’s the difference?
History: The study of past events or people History is a subject that we study in school. We study the history of civilizations, important people, or topics, like the history of art. We only use the word history when referring to major events or people from the past. HIS-tuh-ree I studied art history in college. … Continue reading History vs. Story: What’s the Difference?