What do you think is the biggest problem I see with my students’ English essays? Well, if you have read the title of this blog post you will have guessed that it is incorrect use, or lack of use of linking words and phrases.
Using linkers correctly is the biggest single thing that most English learners can do to vastly improve their essay writing, so let’s take a look at some of these linkers and at how we should be using them when writing in English.
Do you find that your English study is haphazard and lacks any kind of focus or organisation and that as a result, you are not making the progress which you had expected? If so, you should think about making a clearly defined study plan…..and sticking to it.
Everyone has different needs and different amounts of time to devote to study, so it will be impossible to make a plan which will be suitable for everyone, but what I would like to do here is to give you some ideas which you can adapt to your needs and circumstances.
But maybe, ‘reading’ is your thing and you want to focus on improving your English through reading. Well fortunately, as with listening, there are many sources of fantastic reading material that is often free to access, and can help with your English, and in this blog post, we are going to take a look at a few of them.
For the English learner, the main reason why you may want to read texts faster is that you have a reading exam to complete. For the purpose of this blog post, we are going to focus on the IELTS exam, but the strategies we will discuss are equally applicable for Cambridge Exams – Cambridge First, Cambridge Advanced, Cambridge Proficiency, and the TOEFL Test.
I meet many students who complain to me that they just “don’t have enough time to read the whole text and answer the questions”. So, how can youimprove the speed of your readingand give yourself the best chance of answering all the questions and obtaining the grade that you need?
We have all probably experienced learning something that we have been told to learn and have no interest in, and learning something that we enjoy. For the former, time seems to drag and there seems to be no way to get the information to stick in your head whilst for the latter, time flies and you don’t even feel like you are learning….you are having fun.
This latter is how all learning should be and for all you English learners out there, it is how it could be.
Use synonymous to make your spoken or written English better
Do you prefer to watch a movie in colour or in black and white? Most of us would prefer a movie in colour I think, because colours make the pictures more interesting, lively and lifelike…and also possibly, more beautiful.
So, when you speak or write in English, do you do it in black and white or in colour?
Many people get into a groove of only speaking in black and white. Compare for example:
Having taught English for more than 5 years, I often have to explain idioms and fixed expressions to my students. With the time I have come to realize that some of them will never be used outside the classroom or during an exam.
Others seem to be really useful and can make even not such a confident speaker of English sound more fluent. So here are some idioms and phrases that will definitely make a difference when speaking English in informal situations.
Instead of saying that something is easy and simple to do you may want to say: “it’s a piece of cake”. It’s a pretty common phrase and everybody appears to be using it these days so you should also give it a try.
When telling a particularly long story because you are getting tired or your friends are getting bored and you want to get to the end and spare a few details you may say: “To cut a long story short” and then finish with what actually happened. Use this next time you are telling a story in English.
When you want to say that something is exactly the opposite of something else say “It’s the other way round”. For example, somebody says “The Sun goes around the Earth” and somebody else corrects them by saying “No, it’s the other way round”. Continue reading 9 English idioms for everyday use→