Tag Archive: english speaking tutorial

Jun 06

The four needs and the first “I wish” grammar

206400361 8d17c9103a The four needs and the first I wish grammar

Unhappy about something? Complain about it!

Enjoy my quick video describing the four needs. We have previously talked about them already (click here to read more).

 

 

 

 

Basically, you need to study four different things when you study a language point.

These are:

  • Form/ Construction
  • Meaning
  • Context/ Situation
  • Extras

 

Don’t forget that with ‘Context’, it is a good idea to use the three filters (click here to read more)

 

and with our example from the video we can see them as:

Form

I wish + past simple

Meaning

I am not happy about something now (in the present)

Context/ Situation

Usually complaining about something or expressing a very strong want/ desire.

Extras

Usually used with comparative grammar (either adjectives like “warmer” or verbs like “eat more”)

 

With these four needs, you can learn any grammar fast and well.

I hope it helps

Happy studies

 

p.s. a few other articles

Jun 02

Advancing your spoken English – linkers/ joining words

6221125858 4a228ccf8d Advancing your spoken English   linkers/ joining words

Pull your language together

 

Which one seems better to you?

I love watching TV and I love going out with my friends

or

Not only do I love watching TV, but I also love going out with my friends

 

 

Of course you will say “example number 2″ !

 

But why?

  • It is the same information (2 things I love)
  • It has the same vocabulary (verbs: love, activities: watching TV, going out)
  • It has the same grammar (2 present simple tenses)

 

So what makes this so special?

The linkers

 

What is a linker?

A linker is a word/ group of words that we use to join sentences together. 

 

In the example we use “not only [auxiliary] + [subject] + [verb], but [subject] also [verb]“

This is a very specific example of a linker, and it is difficult to use, but it is common.

If you hear a person start a sentence with “not only…” you know that he is saying “and”

 

Linkers are a quick way to sound more advanced and increase your speaking skill quickly.

 

A common problem many students have is that they repeat the same general linkers again and again because they think the more specific linkers are advanced grammar or too difficult to use

 

There are 5 general types of linkers and we’ll look at a different example each week.

linkers Advancing your spoken English   linkers/ joining words

 

Let’s look at some specific examples of “more information”.

Any situation where you want to give more information, its easy.

 

Moreover:

3968092988 7644769b52 Advancing your spoken English   linkers/ joining words James Vaughan via Compfight

I have a degree in physics and a masters degree in chemistry.

 

I have a degree in physics. Moreover, I have a masters degree in chemistry.

 

As well as:

3499502280 a1a8ce4474 Advancing your spoken English   linkers/ joining words Rama V via Compfight

My country has a great football team and it has an amazing rugby team.

 

As well as having a great football team, my country has an amazing rugby team

 

Relative clauses: (this topic needs more explanation, but here we go)

describing things

20617327 08b5c92bdf Advancing your spoken English   linkers/ joining words Chuck Patch via Compfight

I have a brother and he is a doctor.

 

I have a brother who is a doctor.

 

examples of and Advancing your spoken English   linkers/ joining words

Using linkers is a great way to really advance your spoken English.

Now it’s your turn.

 

Remember the article about ‘how to study”? (click here to read it)

well, I have given you everything you need.

 

Can you describe your family?

 

I have a brother who loves playing Xbox

As well as having a brother, I have two sisters

As well as having a brother who loves playing Xbox, I have two sisters who always talk on their phones.

Easy

 

There are a few things like this that don’t change your meaning and make you sound better almost instantly!

and now:

  • linkers

 

Linkers are incredibly useful, and when you are doing exams, like the Cambridge English exams or perhaps the IELTS exam, it’s is a requirement. Without linkers, passing the speaking exam will be hard.

(in the future, I might go into detail about techniques needed for the different speaking exams)

 

I hope it helps

Happy studies

 

p.s. a few more articles to help you with linkers

May 31

‘Shall’ versus ‘Will’ – infographic number 2

infographic shall and will Shall versus Will   infographic number 2

May 30

“Shall” and “Will” – What is the difference? Functional situations to use them.

4651477475 13daaec215 Shall and Will   What is the difference? Functional situations to use them. ModernDope (old account) via Compfight

Talking about the future!

 

Many students are normally confused with “shall” and “will”. Why?

  • Because they are very similar.
  • There isn’t a big difference between them in meaning.

So don’t look at meaning then, look at the situations to use them.   Look at the 3 filters (click here to read more) and try to understand them.

will and shall 3 filters Shall and Will   What is the difference? Functional situations to use them.

 

The video tries to explain some good situations to use them.

Tomorrow I will put the infographic up too.

So be sure to come and look here tomorrow

 

We have another infographic about. speaking and the parts of the brain (click here to read more).

 

Functional language will help you improve faster, and functional language is language that is normal for a specific situation.

 

And make sure you see our post about groups of words too (click here to read more)

 

I hope it helps.

Happy Studies.

Want to be the best English speaker in your group of friends?

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p.s. a few more infographics (if you haven’t seen them yet)

 

May 26

Giving advice and making suggestions – more functional language to help you improve

2769886314 b258dd9323 Giving advice and making suggestions   more functional language to help you improve Stephen Poff via Compfight

Does your friend have a problem? Something bad?

Do you have a helpful idea?

Well, this is the language to use!

We have already talked about functional language (click here to read more) and how can help to improve your spoken English!

 

There are two things to learn here.

1 - giving advice - I think you must do this

2 - making suggestions - we are friends, we can do this

 

They are similar, but making suggestions can be used when there is no problem and you just have an idea.

 

Here is an example:

advice12 Giving advice and making suggestions   more functional language to help you improve

advice2 Giving advice and making suggestions   more functional language to help you improve advice3 Giving advice and making suggestions   more functional language to help you improve

 

*Remember that giving advice is to help a friend with a problem*

(and you can use functional language for opinion to sound even better! Click here to read more)

*Remember that making suggestions is to give an idea for you and your friend to do something.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of the constructions:

giving advice1 300x224 Giving advice and making suggestions   more functional language to help you improve giving advice2 300x224 Giving advice and making suggestions   more functional language to help you improve

 

Using functional language really helps improve your spoken English, you sound very advanced and native.

I hope it helps.

Happy Studies

 

p.s. a few more articles to help out

May 24

How to learn – Steps to speak fluently

352573802 8f202edf53 How to learn   Steps to speak fluently Cindi via Compfight

How do you study?

Many teachers will tell you that you should study and practice a lot.

But the problem is that they don’t always tell you helpful information about what you should study and how you should practice.

We have talked about how to take real expressions out of an article (click here to read it) and we have talked about a good way to understand the new language with the three filters (click here to read more)

 

I call these “language learning requirements” or “the 4 needs of English”

This is what you need:

1 – form (how to make it)

2 – meaning (how to understand it)

3 – context (how to use it)

4 – extras (how to change it)

 

So lets look at al of them with examples.

*Please remember that teachers don’t always teach the context correctly*

 

1 – Form

[noun] is beneficial for [noun]

*Remember. In English if you see a noun, normally you can put a verb+ing instead.*

For example:

[verb+ing] is beneficial for [verb+ing]

 

And that’s it. Form. How to make it.

Easy

 

2 – Meaning

This is the perfect time to use the three filters

[verb+ing/noun] is beneficial for [verb+ing/noun]

 

General or specific?

specific. The general phrase is “[noun] is good for [noun]

 

Common or uncommon?

Common. Very useful in most situations.

 

Formal or informal?

More formal, but we use anywhere.

 

3 – Context

Well, we are describing the good things about a noun, and how that noun is good for another noun.

  • You are describing how one thing is good for another thing.
  • You can use this to explain, to sell, to describe.

 

This expression is very flexible (good news) and flexible expressions don’t always have one specific context (bad news)

 

Here are some examples:

Meat is beneficial for children

Dictionaries are beneficial for defining words

A good textbook is beneficial for your studies

 

4 – Extras

So there are a few things that we can do:

 

Extra words:

Meat is QUITE beneficial for…

Meat is SOMEWHAT beneficial for …

Meat is VERY beneficial for…

 

More advanced ways to use it:

It is beneficial for people to exercise daily

It is beneficial for [noun] to [verb] [time expression]. = it is good for [noun] to [verb]

 

And:

[noun] has benefits for [noun]

Swimming has benefits for your health.

 

If you study in this way, it is easy for you to make and understand language.

 

Try this exercise:

Write down 5 things that can help you be healthy.

It is beneficial for you to [eat vegetables] everyday.

It is beneficial for you to [exercise] two times a week.

 

Study these four things

1 – form

2 – meaning

3 – context

4 – extras/ extensions

 

and then practice the ones that you like.

  • Repeat them.
  • Use them when you can,
  • It is beneficial for you to repeat new vocabulary often icon smile How to learn   Steps to speak fluently

 

Learning like this helps you to improve your English speaking skill and helps you to speak English fluently

 

 

I hope it helps

Happy studies

 

p.s. a few extra articles for you

May 21

More advanced grammar construction – Helping improve your English construction

First: Basic grammar construction
Now: More advanced grammar construction
5129700609 4e8e40f4ae More advanced grammar construction   Helping improve your English construction ep_jhu via Compfight

When we speak English, we need to be sure that we are using correct structures so that our language sounds complete.
We have already talked about general grammar construction (read the article here), but English has some more grammar that we need to know.

 

Remember!

We have already talked about learning English with groups of words (read the article here) but that is easy with vocabulary.
We need to study the same way with grammar. Learn the group of words that makes the grammar

eg. Have you finished your homework yet?
Yes, I have just finished it 2 minutes ago

advanced grammar1 300x210 More advanced grammar construction   Helping improve your English construction

 

advanced grammar2 300x237 More advanced grammar construction   Helping improve your English construction

 

 

 

yet/ already + present perfect simple. Very common.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also remember!
You can use the 3 filters for vocabulary and also for grammar.

eg. past simple = general/ common = used to talk about actions in the past
present perfect simple = specific/ common = used to talk about specific types of actions in the past

So, thinking like this helps your English learning.

 

Here we go, the passive grammar:

 

 

So remember, grammar isn’t everything. But a small bit of knowledge can help you a lot. Everything helps you improve your English speaking skill.

Coming soon: reported speech construction, conditionals, subjunctives

I hope it helps
Happy studies

p.s. a few websites to help you out

 

May 19

Think in English? Is this a good idea to improve your English?

“To translate or not to translate? That is the question”

5568499672 92e14b97ae Think in English? Is this a good idea to improve your English? Raymond Larose via Compfight

A lot of teachers tell students if they want to speak and understand English that they must not translate and they must think in English. So thinking in English is opposite to translating.

It is not so simple.

Beginners need to translate. There isn’t a faster way to learn a language.

 

OK, so we must translate.

No, for beginners this is a good idea. But not all the language that you find. There are probably 2000 general words in English (read the article about general and specific vocabulary). Everybody needs to translate these words.

For example.

1 – “Place” is general (needs translation)
2 – “Cup” is general (needs translation)
3 – “Beautiful” is general (needs translation)

 

You can argue what is general and what is specific. But it becomes easier when you look at other words.

1 – “Place” is general. “Mall” is a specific type of place. “Market” is a specific type of place. “School” is a specific type of place.

2 – “Cup” is general. “Mug” is a specific type of cup. A “glass” is a specific type of cup. A “champagne flute” is a specific type of cup. 

3 – “Beautiful” is general. “Handsome” is a specific type of beautiful. “Pretty” is a specific type of beautiful. “Cute” is a specific type of beautiful. “Gorgeous” is a specific type of beautiful.

 

So?

  • So, beginners need to translate these types of general words. Then they need to learn that these specific words talk about a general word in a special situation (for example, Gorgeous is very, very beautiful. Easy.)
  • Intermediate students need to start leaving their dictionary at home. Trying to see specific words and translating them to the general words in English.
  • Advanced students should be able to think in English because they can connect all the vocabulary together; general or specific. No dictionaries should be needed.

But, don’t forget this important idea!!!

Words are not used alone. Words are used in groups. Learn this now because it will improve your language very quickly.

  • For example, the general word “like” we use to talk about our hobbies. A more specific way to talk about our hobbies is with the group “am interested in”. 
  • I like football. I’m interested in football.
  • A lot of students will panic. They will say things like “I don’t understand ‘interested’”
  • It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that “I like [hobby]” = “I’m interested in [hobby]“ 
  • These panicking students don’t need to panic. They understand “like”. It’s not difficult.

 

So the question of translation? Not thinking in English?

  • Beginners yes (translate general words mostly)
  • intermediates yes and no (translate only general words, no translation for specific words)
  • Advanced no (no translation at all )

Dictionaries?

  • Beginners yes
  • intermediates yes and no
  • Advanced no

giving opinions 300x225 Think in English? Is this a good idea to improve your English?

There is one more problem.

Thinking in English is a good idea. You feel closer to the language.

but if you learn the wrong word/s or learn the wrong group of words, and then you use this word/group of words in your head again and again and again and again…….what will happen?

 

Of course! You will make a habit of speaking with the wrong words.

      “what’s the hex you saying”

  • ok, so the general group of words/ expression is “what are you saying?”
  • to make it more specific/ stronger/ put more emotion

       we say things like “the hell”, “on earth”

  • “what the hell are you saying?” “What on earth are you saying?” 
  • There is another way, it is specific, and it is “the heck” (specific and child-friendly way to say “the hell”)
  • “What the heck are you saying”
  • he said “what’s the hex you saying”
  • He heard this, repeated what he thought was correct and now it is his natural English.

 

Thinking in English sometimes isn’t the best practice. You need to be sure that you are correct and that you are saying what normal people say.

Don’t think that grammar is the answer. It isn’t.

 

I hope it helps

Happy Studies

 

p.s. a few other articles on this topic. Agree or disagree?

 

 

May 16

Giving Opinion – Functional language to help improve your English Speaking

We have talked already about functional language and this post continues that idea with functional language for giving opinion.

opinions 22 Giving Opinion   Functional language to help improve your English Speaking

This type of situation is asking for your agreement or disagreement.

opinions 1 300x241 Giving Opinion   Functional language to help improve your English Speaking opinions 3 300x237 Giving Opinion   Functional language to help improve your English SpeakingWe all have different ideas, but how can we say them without repeating “I like” all the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opinion language like this is great, people really sound well-spoken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giving opinion structures:

Table 1:Slide1 300x225 Giving Opinion   Functional language to help improve your English Speaking Table 2:Slide2 300x225 Giving Opinion   Functional language to help improve your English Speaking

Remember to look and ask the three filters:

Which is general and which is specific?

 - Table 1 is general, table 2 is more specific.

 

Which is common and which is uncommon?

 - Table 1 is very common, table 2 is less common.

 

Which is formal and which is informal?

 - A good general rule is that short (few words) = informal, long (more words) = formal

 

please note that this video is not mine, but it was my favourite on youtube for this topic.

 

Using functional language really helps improve your spoken English, you sound very advanced and native.

I hope it helps.

Happy Studies

 

p.s. as usual, a few related links

 

 

May 14

How to find a language partner to help you improve your English

456611804 d638a680cb How to find a language partner to help you improve your English

Hector Parayuelos via Compfight

Need a language partner?

 

A language partner is someone who speaks the language that you want to practice and helps you improve by practising with you.

 

Why do I need a language partner?

You can’t learn all you need from books. With language, you need real-life speaking and listening practice.

A language partner is also the best book/dictionary/listening CD that you will ever find.

They can tell you what words mean, they can explain things, and when they speakyou must listen.

 

Step 1: finding a language partner

854298772 7fa611479e How to find a language partner to help you improve your Englishetringita via Compfight

Well, if you are online why don’t you try websites like

 

REMEMBER: language partners on the internet normally are learning your language, so you must be able to explain a little bit of your culture too.

 

In your country, it might be a little bit more difficult to find a language partner

But here we have 2 options

 

1 – seeing someone in the street

 

2 – finding places where English speakers might go

 

Ok so let’s chat about the first one.

 

When you see someone in the street, the first thing you need to do is start a conversation. This is difficult because many people naturally think this is a trick or that you are trying to steal something or sell them something.

The best way to do this is:

  • Pretend that you are lost and that you are asking for directions.
  • Be careful, if you don’t talk for a long time about the directions, they will know that you don’t really what directions.
  • Only at the end, ask them if you can buy them a coffee sometime (not now) to thank them, and then you give them your contact details (email, mobile number, etc.)
  • Also you can add that you would love to practise your English, but you must offer them something too, maybe say that you help them with translations into English, or tell them which food is the best, or something that they can learn about your city.

 

Remember that you need to learn not to be desperate for a language partner. It is difficult. But there are a few things you can do:

  • You must be the person to say sorry because you understand that this is strange.
  • Don’t ask for their contact details.
  • You must be the person to say “Please excuse me, I need to go. Have a nice day”.

 

Ok, the second option is finding places where English people go. Please be careful. I’m not talking about bars and clubs. The people here are not always interested in a language exchange. If you know what I mean.

 

I’m talking about places like gyms, coffee shops, social evenings, conferences and other day meeting places. There are websites that might have group meetings too.

Try www.meetup.com and see if there is a language group in your area. Or perhaps try any groups that are connected to your hobbies (sports, culture, theatre, anything is good)

  • Now you have to do the same thing like you did in the street, start a conversation.
  • This is easier, they will not feel like you are trying to steal or anything like that.
  • Just ask them a question. Anything is ok but maybe something that makes them feel special is a good idea. For example (in a coffee shop) “Excuse me, I was here yesterday and I had a capuchino. I didn’t enjoy it much. Is there anything that you recommend here?”

Something like that is enough.

 

Now I have a language partner. Now what? They aren’t  a teacher.

Language partners are great, if you know how to work with them. Most of them are not teachers so don’t ask them to explain things. Ask them for examples, ask them to check your examples, and also ask them the three filters (click here to read the article).

Language partners can feel silly and dumb when they can’t answer grammar questions.

you must be the person to control the questions.

You must do this with pronunciation too.

You cannot ask them to correct you anytime you say something wrong. They will not do it, they don’t want to be rude. You must listen to yourself and ask them if it is correct or not.

4195880838 47c227e3e5 How to find a language partner to help you improve your English Tintin44 via Compfight

Here are some questions you can ask:

  1. Is it common to say this or more uncommon?
  2. What is the most normal way to say?
  3. Did I say that correctly?
  4. Ok, I don’t understand that. Can I use that expression in this type of situation?
  5. Did I use that word/ expression correctly?

 

Here are some questions you shouldn’t ask:

  1. Did I say everything correct? (too general)
  2. Did I have any mistakes? (too general)
  3. Ok, I don’t understand that. Can you explain? (They are not teachers, they are practice partners)

 

If you don’t understand something, don’t ask them to explain. Write it down, go look for it on google, ask a friend, ask a teacher, ask anybody else. Don’t ask them to explain. Just write it down and go to the next topic/ continue the conversation.

 

Happy Studies503922823 5feae232b2 s How to find a language partner to help you improve your English                                                                                                                                                   Mani Babbar via Compfight

p.s. here are a few great websites

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