Posts Categorized: Learning English

Want to Expand Your English Vocabulary? Read.

The best way to learn new words in English is to read something challenging. Read articles in an online magazine like Slate, or choose a book that interests you – probably non-fiction unless your English level is very advanced. Avoid getting frustrated by the difficulty of the reading by following these steps: 1) First try to understand… Read more »

Business English: How to Learn Business Vocabulary

What is the best way to improve your knowledge of business English vocabulary? Read. And I don’t mean read business English textbooks, which can be useful in a classroom setting. Read business newspapers, magazines, and websites. Choose articles that interest you and are related to your business. If you work for a bank, read the… Read more »

Film Notes: The Young Victoria

The third in a series, this article provides a preview of a current movie along with a vocabulary lesson for intermediate to advanced English learners. The selected vocabulary words are in bold and followed by succinct definitions. Previous articles: Invictus and  Sherlock Holmes . Victoria, crowned queen at the age of 18 in 1837 and… Read more »

English through Song: John Gorka

Gritty (showing fortitude in a difficult situation) songs about hardscrabble (earning a bare subsistence) or mean-street (poor or rough part of town) childhoods are a folk music tradition and the truth has often been bent (changed enough to give a false impression)  by songwriters with middle-class backgrounds jealous of the aura that comes with hardship, so it’s refreshing… Read more »

Film Notes: Invictus

The second in a series, this article provides a preview of a movie you might like to see along with a vocabulary lesson for intermediate to advanced English learners. The selected vocabulary words are in bold and followed by succinct definitions. Sherlock Holmes was the previous article in the series – check back soon for… Read more »

How to Learn Phrasal Verbs

Students of English often complain about the difficulty of learning phrasal verbs. Simply put, a phrasal verb is a combination of  a verb (an action word like look, take, set) and a preposition (a short connecting word like up, out, over) in which the preposition gives the verb a new meaning. In this sense, we can say that the meaning… Read more »

Film Notes: Sherlock Holmes

Film Director Guy Ritchie’s new take on the iconic 19th-century English detective Sherlock Holmes was released on Christmas Day in the USA. While preserving some of the brooding (preoccupied with morbid thoughts) aloofness (emotional distance, reserve) and bohemian (unconventional, anti-establishment) eccentricities of the character as seen in earlier film versions dating back to the Basil Rathbone series… Read more »

Take it Easy

For intermediate and advanced English students, one of the best ways to learn new vocabulary in English — and get a better understanding of how native speakers put words together — is to read an article that expresses an opinion on a topic that interests you. The nice thing about an opinion article — such… Read more »