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How to start teaching online: 7 tips

Online education have seen a significant growth and more and more people are using the Internet to study English. Common reasons are convenience, accessibility, and scheduling flexibility. This growth opens up new avenues of income and career advancement for teachers...

Writing tasks for busy students

Are your students really enthusiastic about writing for and against essays or formal letters? As long as they are preparing for taking exams, they have to. But in other cases adults are very busy and unmotivated to spend their time on writing something academic....

ABC for beginning teachers (lesson planning)

Lesson planning is a significant element of teaching-learning system. A lesson plan is a step-by-step guide that provides a structure for an essential learning. It helps the teacher to choose the materials, adapt the activities to student’s needs, be prepared to...

Week eight: The wonders of ‘for’

Last week we looked at the basics of when to use ‘to’. If you haven’t read it yet, go back and remind yourself, because next week we will be moving on to the advanced uses. This week we are tackling the ying to the ‘to’s yang. The nemesis of students everywhere –...

Week six: Tackling ‘to’ and ‘for’

So far we have concentrated upon using listening to help to overcome some of the difficulties of learning English. This week we are going to explore those difficulties in a bit more detail. As we discussed in the first week, the strange way that English formed left us...

Week five: The Magic of Harry Potter

As we have discussed, the key to becoming excellent at English is to become brilliant at listening. However, this can be a challenge because the stress-timed rhythm of the language makes the schwa sound – which we need to be able to hear in order to identify tenses,...

Week Four: The Wonders of Rhythm

The second aspect of pronunciation that can help with listening, speaking, and language acquisition in general is rhythm. ‘Rhythm’ is the pattern of a language, including its stresses. When discussing the rhythm of language, the terminology can be intimidating....

Week Three: The Problem of Pronunciation

It is something that causes profound problems in English. This is not just for students from other countries, but also for native learners. Pedagogues and language theorists have been struggling for many years to find the Holy Grail of English language acquisition....

Week Two: The Joy of Etymology

The previous blog episode provided an introduction to some of the unique challenges of English. The next episodes aim to look at some of the strategies for making the learning process easier. The topic for this week is etymology. Etymology, which came into English via...

Why is English so Difficult…?

As a linguist, writer, and teacher, one of the questions that I am most frequently asked is why English is so difficult to learn. This is not just a problem that second language learners have: it also perplexes native learners. Indeed, neuroscientists have found that...