Build Your Vocabulary with Prefixes and Suffixes

What do the words repeat, restart, review, and remember all have in common?

They all ask you to do something again.

  • Repeat = say something again
  • Restart = begin something again
  • Review = look at something again
  • Remember = think of something again

With all four words, the prefix re- is key. Once you know how to use this prefix, you can use it to make other words that mean, “to do something again,” for example, repaint, reorder, and replace.

Learning to recognize common prefixes and suffixes is one of the best things you can do to build your vocabulary. It will help you guess the meaning of new words while reading, help you use dictionaries better, and help you when you take tests, such as IELTS and TOEFL.

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How To Make Smoother Conversation

Learn to speak English fluently at Language Link VietnamQuestions are a terrific way of opening talk up. After all, we often open conversations with easy questions – How are you doing? Hey, how’s it going?

Today I want you to think about some techniques for making communication go more smoothly. About that…and about tennis.

Think of conversation like a friendly table tennis match: I hit a question to you; you hit me an answer right back. But you need to be relaxed about this. You don’t want to sound as if you’re a policeman questioning a suspect!

Here’s how to promote ‘give and take’ when you talk to someone. The secret is: be aware of question tags, and how they’re used in conversation.inflatable football tunnel

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Take the Phonetic Challenge!

In an earlier post, we told you about the International Phonetic Alphabet, also known as the IPA.

The IPA is useful for language learners because it tells you exactly how a word ought to be pronounced. For example, when you look up the word “foreign” in the dictionary, the phonetic spelling will appear to you like this:

/ˈfɔrɪn/

The phonetic spelling tells you exactly which vowel to use (/ɔ/) and it tells you where the stress should be (/ˈfɔr…). In other words, it tells you exactly how to pronounce the word.

So how good is your phonetic spelling? Do you think you’re pretty good? Why don’t you take the Phonetic Challenge and find out?

The Phonetic Challenge is one of the exercises on the Language Link Online web site, available to all Language Link Vietnam students. For those of you who are not students, we’ve presented it below.

Please note: you need a browser with Adobe Flash software to play this game. If you are using an iPad or a computer with no Flash, we’re sorry.

Making Sense of Tenses

Learn more about grammar at Language Link VietnamUgh, grammar. Does anybody like grammar? I sure don’t. However, if you want to learn English properly, you can’t ignore the basics. And grammar is a BIG basic!

This is the first article in what we hope will be a series of monthly posts on grammar. We’re going to take one grammatical headache each month and shed a little light on how you can make it work.

Understanding Time
One of the key points about English is that for every verb we use, for every action we describe, we need to be clear about WHEN it happens. English language learners often say things like:

I go Lenin Park.

This drives listeners crazy. WHEN DOES THE ACTION OCCUR? Did you go in the past? Do you go every week? Are you planning to go next weekend? You must make the time clear: is it past, present, or future? Your listener NEEDS to know.

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Ten Tips to Help You Speak English Like a Native

Improve your English pronunciation at Language Link VietnamStudents often ask me how they can lose their accent when speaking English. I have two things to say on the topic.

My first point is that you don’t want to entirely lose your accent. Accents protect you. When you’re in an English-speaking environment, an accent helps people know that you are not a native of their culture. If you make any mistakes, people are more likely to forgive you.

The second point is, of course, if your accent keeps people from understanding you, then you must try and reduce it as much as possible. Keeping in mind my first point – an accent is not always a bad thing – here are TEN TIPS that will help your pronunciation improve so that your accent does not interfere with understanding.
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Three Tips for Turning Mistakes Into Opportunities

Learn to speak English confidently at Language Link Vietnam
Is it necessary to get English correct every time?

The short answer is NO! Speaking English correctly every time is a great goal, but it can give students a problem – especially when speaking English.

The problem is that too many students are scared of getting something wrong and this shuts them up. Bad move. Don’t be scared of making mistakes when you speak. You don’t have to be right all the time – you only need to communicate.

Here are three tips that will help you speak with confidence, even if your English skills are not 100%.

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Thesaurus: The Best Tool for Building Your Vocabulary

Use a thesaurus to improve your speaking and writing skills at Language Link VietnamWhat if I told you there’s a tool that can expand your English vocabulary and improve your writing – and it’s 100% FREE? Would you be interested?

Well, there is such a tool, and it’s called a thesaurus. Learning to use a thesaurus is one of the best things you can do to develop your vocabulary and writing skills.

What A Thesaurus Can Do For You
A thesaurus can add style to your writing and make it more interesting to read. Consider this sentence:

I had a great vacation and did a lot of interesting things.

Is that an interesting sentence? No, not at all. But let’s put a few of these words into the thesaurus and see what comes up:

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An Introduction to Punctuation

Watch this humorous introduction to English punctuation. Learn the most important punctuation marks, and see how they can help improve your writing. Make sure you have your speakers turned on so you can hear the audio!

Download the PDF: Simple Rules for Effective Punctuation

Key Points

  • Punctuation marks give rhythm and meaning to text
  • Do you know the names of all the punctuation marks? Learn them in this video
  • Just a couple of punctuation differences can change the entire meaning of a text
  • Look at a passage and decide how to punctuate it effectively
  • What if punctuation marks had sounds? Watch James Bond save the day…with the help of punctuation!

What Do You Think?
Do you know how to use punctuation correctly? Do you have any advice to add, or questions you’d like to ask? Let us know in the comments section below!