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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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What is Mother’s Day and Where Does it Come From?

Image representing a student studying a lesson on tense and aspect

Mother’s Day is a yearly event that is celebrated over much of the English-speaking world (and by some non-English speaking nations), although different countries celebrate it on different days of the year. In the US, this is celebrated in May. In the UK, it is celebrated three weeks before Easter Sunday – which, this year, …

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6 Top Tips for Getting Started with a New Language

The hardest part of learning any new language is getting started! Here are some ideas to help you speak up those first steps and keep motivated as you start on your language learning journey. Start With the 100 Most Used Words Learning a new language is a big commitment and it can be very difficult …

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Your Guide to Party Etiquette in the UK

Image representing students learning about party etiquette in the UK

Every country in the world has its own unspoken rules and expectations of how to behave when it comes to social gatherings – and the UK is no different. Often, people think that conventions in their own culture apply everywhere, or that the way you should behave is just ‘obvious’. That’s simply not the case, …

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6 Chat Up Lines in English You Definitely Should NOT Use This Valentine’s Day

Image representing students learning about 6 chat up lines in English which you definitely should NOT use this Valentine's Day

Love is in the air and romantic ideas are everywhere. If a gorgeous girl or guy has caught your eye, now’s your chance to impress them with your charm and flirtatious conversation. Unless, of course, you use one of these terrible chat up lines in English, in which case they will probably never speak to …

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What Your Boss Says in English… and What They Really Mean

Image representing two people learning about what the boss says in English and what they really mean

Trying to work out the subtext (hidden meaning) of things other people say is often tricky in your native language – and it’s REALLY difficult in another one! Added to this, there are certain unspoken rules in workplaces that employees are just supposed to ‘get’. For example, in many offices, when you go to the …

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6 English Words You Never Realised Were Taken from Other Languages

Image representing students learning about 6 chat up lines in English which you definitely should NOT use this Valentine's Day

From the 17th Century until the late 19th Century, England seemed to be obsessed with taking over as much of the world as it possibly could. In fact, at one point it was said that “the sun never set on the British Empire” – meaning that so much of the planet was controlled by this …

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3 Things No One Tells You About Moving to the UK

Image representing moving to the UK

Heading off to start an adventure in the UK? Perhaps you’re about to begin a new job or course. Perhaps you’re hoping to improve your English. Or perhaps you just want a change, and you hope to figure it all out when you get there. Whatever your reasons, here are three things you should know …

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