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Archive for March, 2018

Struggling to Be Understood? Don’t Take It Personally

A long time ago, I arrived at a tiny guesthouse in a village in the countryside in Peru. The next afternoon, I asked, in Spanish, if the couple who owned the guesthouse knew where I could rent a horse to take on a trek nearby. I had only been learning Spanish for a few months, …

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The One Big Secret to Getting Your Pronunciation Right in a New Language

What’s the most difficult challenge when you’re figuring out how to pronounce words in a new language? I would say: false friends. These are words, letters or syllables that, written down, look the same or very similar to those in your own language. You see them and think: great! This one’s easy! I know how …

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English Idioms About the Word “Ball”

Image representing students The Most Common Spelling Mistakes for English Language Learners

The Six Nations Rugby Championship isn’t over yet, but Ireland has played so well that they already know they have won the competition. I guess that’s because they managed to keep their eye on the ball all the way through! No, I don’t mean that literally (although rugby players do need to watch where the …

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How to Make Sure You Sound Polite When Speaking a New Language

When you’re learning the basics of a new language – or even when you reach an intermediate level – you are naturally going to sound very direct. This is because you will often be using simpler grammar than native speakers do in conversation, as well as a smaller range of vocabulary, which makes it difficult …

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The Best Pubs in London

Not only are they UK’s largest export hits, they are also a popular place of refuge at any time of the year, day or night: pubs in London. Anyone who has ever set foot in one of these traditional establishments knows that the cosy atmosphere of dark panelled wooden walls, creaking floors, lively voices and …

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