Rejoinders are quick responses to show that you are interested or paying attention. (Oh) Really? That’s interesting. Is that right?   Note how rejoinders are used in the following situations. 1. I just got a new job. 2. I lost my wallet yesterday. Oh really? That’s great! Oh really? That’s too bad.   Rejoinders may […]

Count noun and non count noun

Count and Non-count Nouns in Context

Count nouns can be counted as one or more. Non-count nouns cannot be counted. They usually express a group or a type. Listen to the examples below:     Non-count Nouns I’d like to buy some _________. How much do you need? Let’s see. Five ____s* should be enough. All right. Five____s of ________. Anything else? No, […]

The best way to learn a foreign language is to speak it

This is probably the most frequently repeated piece of advice for language learners. You will hear it from teachers, webmasters of ESL sites, and people in the in this discussion. For most language teachers, the goal is to have you talking as early as possible and as much as possible. They believe that they should […]

It is OK to make mistakes when speaking English

If a student in a language class does not want to speak, the teacher will normally assume they are shy, and will encourage (sometimes force) them to speak. He’ll tell the student: “Speak and don’t worry about mistakes”. After all, speaking practice is more important than making mistakes, isn’t it? Fact: Mistakes are not harmless. […]

As a beginner, you’re bound to make a lot of mistakes

This is often given as justification of the “Mistakes are OK” myth. The reasoning is that mistakes are a part of learning, therefore it is pointless to try to avoid them. Fact: While you cannot eliminate mistakes completely, you can speak and write with very few mistakes, even if you are a beginner. The trick […]

Studying English is never too late

This is a more general version of the “foreign accent” myth described in the previous article in the series. It has its roots in the Critical Period Hypothesis proposed by Eric Lenneberg in 1967. Lenneberg suggested that one’s first language must be acquired before puberty (about 12 years of age). After puberty, he claimed, neurological […]

Studying pronunciation is not important

“Studying pronunciation is not important” Many language learners assume their pronunciation is good enough because their teacher doesn’t correct them too often or because other students can understand them. Fact: Those learners are often dead wrong — for two reasons: Most teachers ignore all but the biggest pronunciation mistakes of their students. Normally, they just […]

Three biggest challenges facing an English learner

1. Developing a passion for learning English All English learners would like to speak English well. They are excited at the idea of being able to communicate in English fluently. However, they usually don’t care about the learning process itself. For most learners, learning English is a duty — something that they have to, but […]

Why learn English?

Learning to speak English well may be the best thing you can do to improve your life. That’s right. Do you think it would be fun to have access to information that other people can’t get? Talk and write letters to interesting people that others can’t communicate with? Impress people around you whenever you opened […]

English Conversation at Work – Negotiating a Deal

Jim: Yes. This is very important. Jim: How much will it cost if I only buy one? Jim: And if I buy two, will it be cheaper Jim: If I buy two, it will be cheaper. O.K. Thank you. Mark: Wow! It sounded like you were ordering something very important for your company. Jim: Well… […]