Archive : Tag

5 Tips to Maintain Your English Fluency

POSTED ON December 18th  - POSTED IN Language Learning Tips

Even if you are (almost) fluent in English as a Foreign Language (EFL), you cannot think that that is the end of the road for you. Any language skills – like soccer skills or piano skills – need upkeeping if you want to stay on top of your game.

Luckily, you have come to the right place, as we have compiled 5 tips to help you maintain your English fluency.

Tip 1

If you still live in your native country and opportunities to practice your EFL skills are scarce, consider joining a language club – either one that meets in person or an online one. Meetup is one resource you can use to find others who are learning English or are newly fluent in English.

Tip 2: Use Online Resources

There are so many resources online (see also here and here) to help you maintain your English fluency skills, and most are free, too. Some free online courses to consider to keep on practising English include:

Tip 3: Listen to Podcasts

Listen to a podcast or three a week to keep up your listening skills. TED Talks is another great way to listen – in English – to some interesting discussions on a multitude of topics.

Tip 4: Challenge Yourself withQuizzes

Many online resources – and even books – have English language exercises and quizzes for you to complete. These are great practice because it can illustrate in which areas you need more review or practice.

Tip 5: Use Movies and Music

English movies and music are other ways to practice your English skills, plus learn about a culture, too. Subtitles or song lyrics are also available for reading practice or in case there is a word or phrase you want to look up.

Do you have any more ideas about how you can maintain your English fluency? Please share with us.

Want more articles like this? Visit our Language Learning Tips blog.

About the Author

Denine Walters is currently a freelance writer, editor/proofreader and ESL teacher. Previously, she taught online English lessons to students from all around the world and, before that, she lived and taught English to young learners in Taiwan. In her free time, she likes to read, do scrapbooking and grammar quizzes, and travel.

Short Films for ESL Students

POSTED ON October 24th  - POSTED IN Teaching Tips

There are numerous ways in which you can use video clips and short films in your ESL lessons. Whether as a warmer to pique your students’ interest or as a main activity for the class, using media can enrich your lessons and capture your students’ attention.

While you may be sold on using video clips in your classroom, finding free, online, appropriate media isn’t always so easy. Take a look at these top recommended websites for finding videos to use in your ESL classes.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all the content on these sites or channels will be appropriate for all viewers, so know exactly which video you want to use and have the correct one queued up before class.

FILMS Short

This website is a number one choice for ESL teachers’, whether you are teaching children, teens or adults. On the FILMS short website, you can easily find what you’re looking for because the films are sorted into different genres, as well as country of origin. One of the handiest features is that you can easily tell which films have dialogue and which don’t (particularly useful because, for use in an ESL classroom, dialogue-free videos offer so many options for potential activities). Just look for the ‘*’ in the title and you’ll know that video is dialogue-free. They also have listings of award-winning films and frequently update the website.

Check it out here: FILMS short

Short of the Week

Another must-see website for finding the perfect film clip is Short of the Week. If you want access to the latest short films, sign up to get updates delivered to your inbox every week. If you’re looking for something specific, click on ‘Channels’ to browse by genre, country or topic. If your students are tech-savvy and tend to have already seen whatever you rustle up from Youtube, this website is a great place to find new material as they showcase videos by up-and-coming film-makers.

Visit here: Short of the Week

Future Shorts

While Future Shorts have their own website, the best place to view their work is on the Youtube page. They release seasonal catalogues of brand new films and the variety is immense. Browse by genre or check out the ‘Best of Future Shorts’ if you don’t know where to start. Be wary of graphic content – always check the films before you show it in class! Future Shorts films are a real conversation starter and many of them are just a few minutes long – perfect for a warmer to start your class.

Watch some here: Future Shorts

The CGBros

Another Youtube Channel not to be missed is the CGBros – the number 1 stop if you’re looking for CGI animated shorts. As well as the latest CGI clips, you can also find tutorials and other videos of interest relating to CGI – great potential if you’re doing a film-making class.

Click the link to visit the channel: The CGBros

Move Clips

Looking for short clips from your favourite Hollywood movies? Look no further than Movie Clips, a Youtube Channel which helpfully splits up great scenes from top films into bite-sized chunks. Whether you’re showing your students clips of a new release or introducing them to something you watched decades ago, Movie Clips can provide the links.

Here is where you’ll find them: Movie Clips

Want more learning tips? Visit our Teaching Tips blog.

About the Author

Celia Jenkins is a freelance writer and TEFL-trained English teacher who spent five years teaching in Asia. She specialises in travel writing and writing for children, and has a penchant for knitting. Celia is the author of Knitted Sushi (easy knitting patterns for beginners) and Ben and Maki – Let’s be Friends (an English/Japanese bilingual picture book). To contact Celia about freelancing work, check out her Upwork profile or contact Celia through her website.

Learn English by Going to the Movies

POSTED ON September 25th  - POSTED IN Language Learning Tips

What you watch as you learn English effects how you learn the language.

I get the question from many of the people I have tutored in English. What should they watch to make their English better? At first, I cannot think of just one thing that would do the trick. Like with life, variety is the spice of language learning.

I have known people who have never once set foot in the U.S. but who speak with such a refined sense that you could mistake them for Americans. They used to watch shows like Martin and Friends, absorbing not only culture but also vocabulary and pronunciation.

 

Going to the movies to learn English... or watching reruns of Friends.

One of the most recognizable shows of all time, Friends brought ‘American’ to a worldwide audience.

At the other end of the spectrum are people just learning the language, struggling with Hollywood’s complicated dialogue and plots. People at this end are especially interested in knowing what kinds of movies will help them improve their language skills.

My answer to my tutees usually depends on their personality. What you watch should entertain you. In some cases, I suggest reality TV. While the language on these shows is highly regional, there is much to learn from the conversational style. In other cases, I would advise the classics, for the rich dialogue (When Harry Met Sally), or dialogue-heavy sitcoms today (The Office).

Learn English at the movies with rich dialogue (like in When Harry Met Sally)

Movies rich in dialogue are great for learning English.

What you watch does not matter as much as how you watch it. Are you following along word-by-word or trying to get the general gist? Do laugh naturally at the jokes? Monitor yourself as you watch these shows. What you want to achieve is a balance between focus and relaxation, so that you enjoy watching. What you enjoy you will better remember.

Learn English watching cooking shows.

Even cooking shows can help you learn English (or even cooking classes).

For more learning tips like this one, be sure to visit our Language Learning Tips blog.

About the Author

Dagmawi is a man of many hats. He was written web content, as a journalist and creatively. An engineer by training, he also has experience with marketing and business development. But travel and writing are his two passions and he is always on the search for greater opportunities to express himself through the written word. Follow him on twitter https://twitter.com/dgyntiso.