Category Archives: Learning English

If you are learning to speak English then this category is for you. In this category you will find helpful advice for learning English as well as lessons, activities, and more. Here you will find information about learning grammar, pronunciation, speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Basic English Word List

Charles Kay Ogden produced a list of 850 ‘basic’ English words that he believes all students need to know. He further states that if a person can only understand these words then they should be able to converse in English. In my opinion, they might be able to speak, but most speakers use a vocabulary of many hundreds of thousands of words, so would they be able to listen successfully? Anyway, find a complete list of 850 basic English words here.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Hip-Hop

Steven Mayeux is our guest blogger today and he’s passionate about two things: teaching English and hip-hop. Read about how he has managed to successfully combine the two to provide his students with a fun lessons. This isn’t just a way to integrate hip-hop music into his lessons, but he has managed to use the music as a basis to teach a range of language skills. Read more about how you can fuse hip-hop into your English classes.

Spelling Rules For Regular Past Tense Verbs

English spelling is a complicated matter and there are a number of rules that students must follow to spell words correctly. I’m not a fan of rule based learning and I prefer to teach students using other methods rather than just giving them a long list of rules. However, some students find it helpful to remember rules to help them to spell. Here you can find out the 7 rules associated with adding -ed to the end of words in the English language.

Present Simple Uses

The present simple is often taught first because is the the most simple tense to learn! This blog post goes through all the uses of the tense and will tell students when they need to use the present simple. Basically we use it to talk about facts, feelings, opinions, schedules and more. Read this comprehensive discussion that clearly outlines the different uses of the present simple. Moreover, helpful examples are provided to help the students fully understand when to use this tense in English.

Present Simple Questions

Learn all about how to form questions in English using the present simple tense. In this blog post we cover the structure of questions, yes/no questions, wh questions, questions using modal verbs and more. The grammar is clearly explained and there are helpful examples to help the student fully understand how to form questions using the present simple tense. More often than not, this tense is one of the first ones taught to students and it’s very important that they know how to use it correctly.

Present Simple Statements

Read all about how to form sentences using the present simple tense. Basically, the structure of a sentence is just subject + verb. Here we take a closer look at the basic structure using verbs, the verb ‘be’ and ‘have’ as well as modal verbs. We also outline the various contractions that students might encounter when using this tense. The present simple tense is often taught first because it is the most simple tense to use. Read all about it in this blog post with clear explanations and helpful examples.

Mr or Mr.?

Microsoft office told me that Mr was wrong and that it should have a full stop afterwards. I was quite surprised as I have always used ‘mr’ without the full stop and it was only until I took a closer look at the language settings on my computer that I found my answer. There is indeed a difference between American English and British English. Read this discussion about which title is correct and other written forms of this title in this helpful blog post.

How To Learn English Fast

My students often ask me how to speed up the process of learning English. They want to become fully fluent English speakers in the shortest amount of time possible. However, learning English is a process that takes many months and it can take years to reach advanced levels. Having said that, there are a few things that students can do to help them speed up the process of learning the English language. Read some helpful tips and advice about to to learn English quickly in this blog post.

How To Learn Spoken English

The best way to improve your spoken English is to practice as much as you can. Some students say that they don’t have the opportunity for practising because they have nobody to practice with! This blog post provides some ideas for practising speaking as much as possible, even when you are on your own! Not being able to practice is just an excuse, dedicated students will find anyway to practice their spoken English and remember that every little helps!

Why The English Language Is So Hard To Learn!

Any language is hard to learn and English is particularly hard for a number of reasons. Can you tell the difference between read, read and red? Two are spelt the same and two are pronounced the same, yet they all are used in different ways. Why doesn’t the phrases “great meat” have the same vowel sound, what then about polish and Polish? As you can see there are many nuances in the pronunciation of words in English and this post seeks to explain why these things make the language very difficult to learn!