I’m certain you’ve heard of the BBC: the British Broadcasting Corporation. It’s the largest broadcaster in the world, providing TV, radio, and online services to thousands of households in the UK and beyond. But did you know that the BBC has been helping people learn English since 1943?
The BBC launched its Learning English website in 1996, and it currently has 1.5 million registered users. The site features print, audio, and video materials, along with downloadable lessons and worksheets. Content is based on real news events and stories, and updated daily by English experts in the UK. Some material is designed for teachers, but most is designed for students. And it’s all free!
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!
Why do you read in English? Do you do it for pleasure? For work? Or do you read because you need to answer a question – from your teacher or on an English test? For many students, this last reason is most common.
People use different reading skills for different situations. For example, if you’re bored and looking through a magazine, you’re going to read differently than if you’re trying to answer questions on the IELTS.
In this post, we’re going to look at the kind of reading you do when you’re taking a test, such as IELTS or TOEFL. Understanding the kinds of questions you’re going to be asked will help you understand the strategies you need to answer them.
To put it another way, knowing why you’re reading can help you understand how to read.
Learning a new language can be an emotional experience. I know, because I have been learning Vietnamese for three years, and I still get frustrated when I have problems. I think:
Why can’t I say this better? Why do I make so many mistakes?
When I have problems communicating, I sometimes feel like I’m stupid. Do you ever feel this way too?
It’s easy to get excited when you start learning a new language. Everything is new! You’re constantly learning new words and expressions, and when you say a simple sentence, it makes you so happy!
But after awhile, this begins to change. You think: In my language, I’m so smart! Why don’t I sound like this in English? You’re no longer happy saying simple things. You want to express your personality – and you get frustrated that you’re unable to do it.
Here’s the thing to remember: these feelings are normal. Everybody feels this way sometimes – but you don’t need to feel that way all the time! Here are some things you can do to build your confidence while you continue learning English.
When we talk, we want people to understand what we are saying. So pronunciation is VERY important.
Listen to this conversation between a Vietnamese person and an American:
What happened? The American could not understand the Vietnamese speaker because her pronunciation was unclear.
In my experience, both as a language learner and a language teacher, there are a LOT of pronunciation differences between English and Vietnamese. But some problems are more serious than others. A pronunciation problem becomes serious when it interferes with communication.
There are TWO common problems Vietnamese speakers have that I believe are very serious. If you consistently make these errors, people will not understand you.
How Do We Learn Things? We learn from parents, uncles, aunts, grand-parents, friends, and strangers. We learn from books, films, and surfing the ‘net. We learn by chatting, listening, reading, watching, and even dreaming. Even our pets teach us things – about them and about ourselves.
In fact, the whole world is a teacher to us: the mountains, the weather, the stars.
Our parents teach us because they love us – and it is what our friends do because they love us too.