Welcome to Language Link Vietnam’s Blog!


About Language Link VietnamWhat Is This Blog About?
There is an old saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

We want to teach you how to fish. Actually, we want to help you improve your English. But we don’t just want you to sit in classes listening to your teacher. We want to help you understand how to learn English, so you can learn effectively on your own.

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In the news: Justin Bieber blows his top


Popular Canadian singer Justin Bieber found himself in trouble on Friday when he argued with a paparazzi outside a London hotel.  The teen heart throb was seen pushing a photographer, who had been taking his picture, as he was getting ready to continue his tour of the United Kingdom.   During  the incident, both men seemed to swear at each other and the star’s minders had to intervene to break-up the fight.

Bieber confirmed on Twitter that he had been having a “rough week” in the UK.   He arrived late for one concert on Monday and had to go to hospital on Thursday.



1)  Which country is Justin Bieber from?

2) Where is he currently on tour?

3) Define the word ‘paparazzi’.   Which country does the word originate from?

4)  What is a ‘minder’?  Can you think  of any synonyms?

5) ‘To blow your top’.  What does this expression mean?

6) Do you think Justin Bieber’s behaviour was acceptable?  Why/why not?




The American Center, US Embassy

One topic that was raised at the coffee meeting was free language activities in Hanoi. The United States Embassy in Hanoi offers services to members of the public, such as book lending, public meetings and field trips. You have to register in order to use these services (Language Link cannot guarantee you will be able to use all of these services, you will need to contact The American Center directly). You can find out more on their website:


Our first coffee group meeting

Thanks to everyone who came for coffee at our first group meeting. We chatted about lots of different things for a few hours. We talked about ideas for learning English, online and in class. Our next meeting will be 23rd March. Please email me if you want to attend. I will be posting details of what we discussed on the blog.

Coffee on Sunday 3rd March

We will be having a coffee meeting on Sunday 3rd March at 7pm. It would be great if you could come! Please email me for details (venue and my phone number)

We will be discussing learning English and blogging.
I hope to be able to meet lots of you. The first ten people to email me will get a free coffee on Sunday.

What did I do yesterday? I slept….

Many of you work, either in an office or a college/university.  It’s pretty tiring, right?  So….

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

A)  sleep

B)  stay at home and play computer games

C)  stay at home and watch TV

I probably do A, B and C, probably too much!  It isn’t very interesting, but it’s nice and easy.   However, when students do nothing in their free time, it’s a big problem when those language students are doing speaking activities (or tests).

Ok, another question.

Why do teachers and examiners ask you about your personal life?  Why do they ask about your free time activities?

A) they’re really interested in you and your life

B) they want to test your English

As a teacher, though I love getting to know my students, the main reason that I ask about free time activities is to test my students’ English.     If a student replies:

“Teacher, yesterday I slept”

I only learn that my student can use past simple of ‘sleep’ and the marker ‘yesterday’.

So, here are some tactics to make your speaking activities and tests better.

  • do lots of interesting things in your free time 

Maybe that’s a bit tough,  so let’s make it easier.

  • lie

As a teacher, I don’t care if you tell me the truth or not in a speaking activity.  Of course, if you haven’t done your homework and you say that your little brother ate it, that might be a problem!  But, if I ask you about what you did the day before, I would prefer you told me about lots of exciting things in English.  Perhaps, ‘lie’ is the wrong word – just be creative/imaginative, like you are telling a story.

When you are being creative/imaginative, remember to talk about subjects that you know about.

You are in an English test and the examiner asks you what you like to do in your free time.  Yesterday, you slept but you remember Matt’s advice and you decide to be creative.  What do you talk about?

A) football (you know lots of English words about football)

B) baseball (you know only a few English words about baseball).

I think you’d be better talking about A / football, but remember to learn more about baseball (in English) for next time.

Have fun being creative!  No more talk about sleeping!




Using your TV to learn English


Many of us love watching TV, right?  It can be fun, scary, funny or just a good way to spend some time.  It’s also a great way to improve English.

Here in Vietnam, if you have a cable TV package, you probably have the Australia Network.   This is a TV channel/network that uses a lot of ABC programmes and other programmes from Australia and other English speaking countries (including the UK).

The Australia Network has a special programme and a website called English Bites that helps students of English.


This is a link to the current schedule for the Australia Network in Vietnam; it gives times for when programmes are on TV.


I hope you find the English programmes on the Australia Network helpful and useful. Remember to post your ideas and feedback here, especially if you know about other good TV programmes in Vietnam for learners of English.

Bloggers coffee meeting on Sunday


For any subscribers to our blog who want to come and talk about English and the different courses at Language Link, please come to meet me (and other Vietnamese learners of English) at:

Tulip Cafe, 109 Lang Ha (opposite Language Link 80A Lang Ha).

I’ll buy our competition winner a coffee, others will have to buy their own!

This will be a regular event so if you can’t come on Sunday, please don’t worry.

We’ll be there from 12 until 1.30pm, Sunday 4th November.

I look forward to meeting you!