Learning with your DVDs

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening, Videos, Vocabulary |

Practicing English by watching films is good for improving your stamina, but there are other things you can do as well.  Take a film that you know very well from watching it in your mother tongue.  Now watch this movie in English (with English subtitles if you like) and you will learn all kinds of language because you know what they will say so you can pay attention to how they say it. When you’re watching a film for the first time, after a conversation you understand that he’s mad at her, she wants a divorce, there’s not enough money… the basics.  When you watch a film that you know, you know what will happen–he’s going to tell his mother-in-law that he hates her and then she’s going to tell him that she’s going to ruin his life (I’m afraid I’m not very good at writing movie scripts)–so you can really pay attention to how he tells his mother-in-law that he hates her and how she says she will ruin his life.  You’ll be able to remember much more vocabulary this way and learn lots of new and exciting ways to express...

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Learning can be inspriational

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening, Videos |

TED is an incredible organization that brings some of the most intelligent and passionate people in the world together to give lectures and inspire the rest of us with their ideas.  They also have subtitles in many languages and an excellent interactive transcript tool for every video.  For a taste of the amazing minds who participate in TED lectures, watch neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran talk about some very unusual things he has discovered while studying the brain, or watch Michael Pritchard explain his invention: a handheld device that can turn contaminated water into safe clean drinking water, something desperately needed by millions of people every single day.  There are hundreds of videos on this site, all with transcripts and each one showing a different genius at...

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Train your accent

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening, Speaking, Videos |

It is possible to do some speaking practice alone, especially accent training. Choose a speaker of English who you like, someone who you think has a good accent. Try and find some videos of this person speaking on youtube or on DVD, and take a section that’s about 30 seconds long. Listen carefully to it: pay attention to the speed, the rhythm, the intonation and the pauses. Now go to Vocaroo (or use recording software on your PC) and record yourself saying the same lines. Now listen to yourself! Compare it with the original and record yourself again.  When you think you have a good recording, save it and play it at the same time as the...

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English blogs for English readers

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening, Reading, Videos |

Do you have English websites that you like to read?  Here are some blogs and journals that are updated regularly, maybe one of them will make its way into your bookmarks bar! Boing Boing Wonkette Jezebel You Are Not So Smart Bad Science Lifehacker Monbiot News of the...

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Weekly or monthly news sites

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Listening, Reading, Videos |

Do you have English websites that you like to read?  Here are some magazine sites that are updated frequently, maybe one of them will make its way into your bookmarks bar! The Economist The Atlantic Monthly Harper’s Mother Jones The New Republic Dissent Adbusters Salon Slate Wired Utne Reader Boston Review Esquire The Onion (satire) San Francisco Bay Guardian Village Voice (New York City) Chicago Reader The...

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