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We've all been there before, as a student or as the teacher: the teacher finishes talking about a topic and then "broadcasts" a question to the whole group. What happens next? Often, nothing. Nada. Crickets. A whole herd of deer in headlights. And then after that initial uncomfortable time-span, what then? Usually anywhere from two to five students raise their hands to participate. The others just sit there. Are these other students thinking about the topic, but just n
When you first start learning the French language or the German language, or any second language, the fastest way to "open mouth, insert foot" is to use idioms like the one I just did. Idioms can make for idiots. Not really, but I love alliteration. The initial response of my students when I impart that advice is "What's an idiom?" An idiom is an expression or phrase, where the meaning of each individual word does not add up to the message being conveyed. The whole is
English wasn't his first language. I was once coaching a young man of Chinese origin in public speaking, *Sam, who was extremely fearful of speaking before groups. Apart from the universal fears of 'being nervous', 'making a fool of himself', 'not being interesting' and 'being judged by others', his overriding fear was that of feeling humiliated in front of his peers because English wasn't his first language.
Many students have difficulty in taking longer turns in conversation. This article investigates the nature of these skills and considers the problems students may have in acquiring them.
Many people study phrasal verbs a great deal but still have difficulty using them. They may have trouble hearing them, or perhaps using them correctly. This article takes a closer look at these problems and how to fix them with good listening practice techniques.
Confusables Words that sound alike or nearly alike but have different meanings often cause writers and speakers trouble. Here are a few of the most common pairs with correct definitions and examples: