What do you need to be able to speak a language? Words. That means you have to remember words. A lot of them. And this is not going to happen by itself, you have to put some effort into it. Your brain is a muscle and you have to train it.
Which English words do you have trouble spelling? And which words do you think Americans can't spell? Make a list of the words you think you would find on a list of misspelled words in the US.
Here is a map showing the most misspelled word in every state, taken from Google searches. It's quite an interesting insight... Were you correct?
I love this song, Rihanna has such a powerful voice singing it.
Here's some useful vocabulary before you listen to the song:
Love on the brain: when there is something that we can't stop thinking about, we say I have **** on the brain.
fall apart: literally this mean to break into lots of pieces. We can also use it to talk about your mind, if you are having lots of emotional problems and you can't think well or do anything.
put me together: when something falls apart, you can fix it by putting it back together
Don't quit loving me: this is exactly the same meaning as the previous line, don't stop loving me.
fist fighting: fighting with your bare hands (a fist is when you clench your hand ready to hit something.)
beats me black and blue: hits me until I have a lot of bruises (in this song it's not literal, she is talking about being emotionally beaten)
I can't get enough: I always need more
it keeps cursing my name: keep + Ving is very useful. It means something keeps happening again and again. For example, I keep losing my keys.
Cursing my name means that love is not working well for Rihanna, it's only going wrong, like there is a malediction on her.
I'm tired of being played like a violin: I've had enough of being fooled (in love)
Here are the lyrics for you to sing along to. Enjoy!
About the only thing I have been enjoying about the Trump presidency has been all the political satire and humour all over the internet.
I have a little lesson for you...
Here's a great song to brighten up your Friday. Thanks to my student Emmanuel for suggesting Robbie Williams.
Click on Read More for the lyrics, explanation and some useful vocab.
Continuing on from the lesson on used to, here's a great song to end your week with about Somebody I used to know. Download the lyrics with vocabulary explanation and questions.
There's only one thing I can write about today and you all know what it is. I'm not American, but what happens in the USA affects us all. Waking up this morning for me was like waking up on June 24th this year, to hear that Britain had voted to leave the EU.
All I can say is, France, I'm counting on you now.
On a lighter note, there is some useful vocabulary in the cartoon above.
First of all I want you to guess the following words without looking in a dictionary:
scrap and ditch - can you guess what both of these mean?
How about ban?
And look at the election is rigged. If you've been following the US election campaigns, you'll have a good idea what rigged means.
This is a good exercise for you to see that if you have the context for new words, you can often guess (correctly) at their meanings. As your English gets better, you need to practise this more and more as it will help you understand the nuances of English.
America is about to elect its next president, and I think most of us outside (and inside the US) have been watching this election campaign first with curiosity and amusement and then horror. Most of you reading this are not eligible to vote in the US election, like me, but whatever the outcome, it's sure to affect us in some way or other. For me, Brexit was such a shock that now I feel like anything could happen...
Watch this video to learn about the very complicated voting system in the United States, so you can talk it about with your Anglophone colleagues around the coffee machine tomorrow:
Chunks are everywhere. And they are very useful for you when you're learning English. What are they?
It's Friday and it's been pouring with rain here, so we need a cheerful song like this to enjoy.
You can download the worksheet with the lyrics and a little bit of vocabulary. Nothing difficult, let your brain unwind for the weekend.
Practise your English every day!
You'll find lots of exercises to help you improve your English - listening activities, reading, advice and lots more.