Flashcards should be a staple part of any students’ study routine. You can use them to memorize and drill anything from vocabulary to verb conjugations or lexical chunks. The trick is to stick with it and review at regular intervals so you don’t forget all that useful info. (Learn more about how our brains memorize new words and retain information, and how to harness this in my previous post here.)
The most simple flashcards have a word written in your first language on one side and the translation in your target language on the other side, but flashcards have come a long way from the homemade handwritten variety. Now, there are loads of great apps with lots of cool features which you can use to review anytime, anywhere, on the go. Much more convenient than lugging a stack of cards to the library with you.
But, which app is right for you? In this blog post, we look at the pros and cons of 3 flashcard apps - Reji, Anki, and Quizlet. Keep reading to find out more.
Continue reading “Flashcard App Comparison: Reji vs Anki vs Quizlet”
Words are the building blocks of a language. If you want to build a solid house you need a good foundation. After the structure of the house is sturdy and secure, you can continue adding to it by investing time and hard work. The same is true of expanding your vocabulary.
So, what happens if you do a sloppy renovation job? Maybe something breaks and needs to be repaired. That means maintenance work. Either you can let it go and just live with it or you can reinforce which would definitely be the best long-term policy. Again, this rings true of learning new words in English.
Continue reading “How to Really Learn New Words: 5 Tips to Boost your English Vocabulary Fast”
For some reason unbeknownst to me, some students have this notion that synonyms are like the holy grail of vocabulary. My hunch is that they think since they already know the meaning of these words, they’re easier to memorize. Whatever the reason, synonyms are a useful tool for language learners to avoid repetition when speaking and especially when writing in English (or any other language for that matter). If you don’t know what a synonym is, it’s simply a word or phrase which has the same meaning as another word.
Don’t get stuck in the habit of memorizing long lists of words which you’ll never actually use and eventually just forget! Instead, try to expand your vocabulary in a conscious and meaningful way. It will make remembering them new vocabulary easier and more enjoyable. Not sure how? Read on for 3 easy tips.
Continue reading “Same Same But Different: 3 Easy Ways to Learn Synonyms”
I’ll never forget the day my first-year university Spanish teacher informed me that I spoke Spanish with a French accent. She said it nonchalantly, a passing comment, a curiosity. For her, I suppose it was. For me, not so much.
You see, languages have always come quite naturally to me. And up until this point, I had felt extremely confident in class. I understood everything the teacher said. I found the expressions and grammar easy. I participated lots and helped my friends out too.
Continue reading “How to Improve your English Pronunciation: 5 Tips To Speak English with Confidence”
It’s easy to get into the habit of using the same words over and over again when we’ve been learning a language for a while. I know I’m guilty of it at times… Are you?
Continue reading “Vocabulary: 10 Evocative Describing Words to Describe Personality”
Writing a compelling essay can be a tricky task. The best essays are not just well-researched, but well-presented and convincing too! It takes practice and flair to write a cohesive piece of writing; something which often presents difficulties for both ESL students and native speakers alike.
Want to write a well-structured and logical essay? This is where transition words come in. Transition words connect ideas, and help your argument flow naturally - they’re basically the glue of your essay. Without them, your essay will feel clunky and disjointed.
There are lots of different types of transition words you can use in your writing. Today I’ve grouped them into 8 main types according to their different uses. This list is far from a complete list of all the transition words out there but it’s a good starting point.
Continue reading “Writing: 8 Types of Transition Words You Should be Using in your Essays”
Learning a language is definitely a process, and, at times a frustrating and overwhelming one. For many, it feels like a lifelong struggle. Over the years, I’ve taught countless students who confide in me the same problem…
“I’ve been studying English since I was a child and I want to improve my speaking and pronunciation.”
So, how can you improve your English pronunciation and speaking? Well, there are lots of different ways but today we’re going to focus on one simple strategy and we’re going to break it down into 3 easy steps which I’ll explain in detail below. This should give you a good base to continue working on your pronunciation later.
Continue reading “English Pronunciation: Pronounce the 100 Most Common Words in English Like a Native”