Something new to read, every day

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Reading |

Every weekday morning, I get an email from Delancey Place.  It’s a non-profit organisation that sends short excerpts from non-fiction books and if you buy the book through the link they provide to Amazon, they make a donation to children’s literacy programmes.  For me, it’s a short piece of good writing I can enjoy when I have a 5 minute break in my day.  For you, it could be a nice way to have a broad choice of things to read in English. In the email from 1 May, you can read a very negative reaction to the introduction of technology into the classroom… from Plato!  He says that writing “is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.”  Write that in your speaking exam and let me know what score you get! You can subscribe to the Delancey Place emails on either of the links above or directly on this page.  Happy...

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Ask a teacher

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Grammar, Learning Websites, Vocabulary, Writing |

You’ve checked your dictionary and your grammar books and you still don’t know the best way to say something.  Or maybe you know the “right” way to say something, but you want to know why it’s the “right” way.  You might have problems with an idiom, slang or phrasal verbs; or you just want someone to check some sentences you’ve written. Here are two great forums where English teachers and native speakers will answer your questions for free!  I post on these forums because I like to learn more about the language and I just like talking to people. UsingEnglish.com/forum  I post here as Mr_Ben EnglishForums.com  I post here as mrBen Please be patient with the teachers on these sites we all answer questions in our free time and some questions are more difficult than others.  A lot of us answer questions on both sites as well, so please only ask your question once.  But I look forward to hearing from you… see you on the...

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Test your vocabulary and donate to the UN World Food Programme

Posted by on Mar 14, 2013 in Vocabulary |

Freerice.com seems like a simple game: you just match the word you see with a synonym.  But for every correct answer you get, the game gets harder.  When you choose an incorrect answer, the game gets easier.  The real challenge is trying to remember if the words are nouns, verbs or adjectives… it’s a lot harder than it seems!  This is a good way to practice for Part 4 of the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE). The game is run by the United Nations World Food Programme.  For every correct answer you get, you donate 10 grains of rice (an advertiser donates for you).  So practice your vocabulary and help end world...

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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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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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