January 24, 2010

Improve Your English Proverbs

English proverbs have several things in common.

# They are short and concise
# They provide advice (which is usually gained from experience)
# Some are very popular and are very common in everyday speech. Practice makes perfect

Some people confuse proverbs with Idioms but they are different. An idiom does not provide the listener with advice and sometimes is more difficult to understand when you first read or hear it.

Do you know any more popular English Proverbs?What do you think the following proverbs mean?

# A penny saved is a penny gained
# Don't put all your eggs in one basket
# Better late than never

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.

The million dollar question is,
How can English Proverbs help me learn English?

Here is what you should do

1) Find a list of English proverbs.
2) Choose those that are interesting and useful FOR YOU.
3) Everyday, choose one and try to incorporate it into your day.

Try to say it to other people when appropriate. Try to write it in e-mails. Try to think of situations where you could use it. Try to use the proverb over and over until it becomes second nature.

Do this for each proverb. A new day = a new proverb. Do this for one week and then go back and review the proverbs again. Practice makes perfect and in order to really learn it you need to practice over and over again.

Need a list of proverbs? I found a great one for English proverbs and the Spanish equivalent.


# A penny saved is a penny gained
- This means that if you save a little you have something. Generally, it is better to do a little than to do nothing at all. In terms of learning English, studying for 20 minutes a day is better than doing nothing.

# Don't put all your eggs in one basket
- This is warning you not to depend on one thing. For example, making money. Do not invest all your money in one stock or share. If that stock falls then you lose all your money.
# Better late than never
- Ok, imagine that you are 60 and you decide that you want to learn English. Many people might tell you that it is too late to learn a language. You could turn to them and say, "better late than never". This proverb encourages people to try things because it is better to try a bit late than not to try at all. Read More..

January 12, 2010

Types and Functions of Clauses

A clause is essentially a phrase, but with both a subject and predicate (more on those in the next post). Clauses are either dependent or independent. An independent clause can exist by itself as a complete sentence (as in “I love grammar.“), while a dependent clause cannot.
Dependent or Subordinate Clauses

A dependent or subordinate clause depends on an independent clause to express its full meaning (as in “Because I love grammar.”). These clauses begin with a dependent word, like a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun.

Dependent clauses can function as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs :

* Noun Clause – “The boy wondered if his parents bought him what he wanted for Christmas.” A noun clause can replace any noun in a sentence, functioning as a subject, object, or complement (see English Grammar: Basic Sentence Elements).

* Adjective Clause (or relative clause) – “I listened to the song that you told me about.” An adjective clause describes a noun just like an adjective. Which song? The new song, the good song, the song that you told me about. Often called relative clauses, they’re either restrictive or nonrestrictive (also called defining and non-defining, essential and nonessential, or integrated and supplementary):
o Restrictive Clause – “The building that they built in San Francisco sold for a lot of money.” A restrictive clause begins with a relative pronoun like that or who (or sometimes which – see Which Versus That). It specifies or restricts the noun; in this case, it specifies which building the speaker is referring to. Note: the relative pronoun is often omitted (“The building (that) they built”), leaving what is called an elliptical clause or contact clause.
o Nonrestrictive Clause – “The building, which they built in San Francisco, sold for a lot of money.” A nonrestrictive clause begins with a relative pronoun like which or who. It adds extra information about an already-specific noun; in this case, there’s only one building to talk about, whereas the example for the restrictive clause implies that there could be several buildings.

* Adverb Clause – “I’ll do the laundry when I’m out of clothes.” Like all adverbials, adverb clauses express when, where, why, and how something occurs. A dependent clause is an adverb clause if you can replace it with an adverb, as in “I’ll do the laundry later.”

Note: appositives can include clauses, but I’ve yet to find a source mentioning an “appositive clause.” They’re generally regarded as a type of noun phrase, even though they can be restrictive or nonrestrictive like relative clauses.
Read More..

January 1, 2010

Intermediate English Listening

Below is a list of Intermediate English Listening & Speaking Books, CDs and educational materials about this subject.
1. Pronunciation Matters: Communicative, Story-Based Activities for Mastering the Sounds of North American English by Lynn Earl Henrichsen, Brent Green, Atsuko Nishitani, Carol Lynne Bagley, Paperback: 112 pages, Publisher: University of Michigan Press / ESL
Using story-based approach, Pronunciation Matters provides ESL / EFL learners with almost two hundred practical communicative and motivating toward mastery of English sound contrasts in the troubled North America to other speakers. Address unit that many areas experienced ESL / EFL teachers have been noted as a problem for English language learners - not just the vocals and consonants, but also stress and intonation, for example. In the context of carefully engineered to focus on important voice contrast in English North America. Blackboard-style drawings illustrate each context and to make practice more meaningful and interesting.

2. American Accent Training (American Accent Training) by Ann Cook, Paperback: 210 pages, Publisher: Barron's Educational
Second edition, now on 5 audio CDs, is for the foreign-born students and business people working, traveling or studying in the United States and Canada. Through extensive intonation and pronunciation exercises, students learn how to speak standard American Accent. At the same time, listening comprehension increased dramatically. Additional materials include detailed instructions nationality eight languages (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Korean), access to a comprehensive website, and referral to a phone analyst who qualify for any diagnostic speech analysis. Also includes colored markers for written exercises, and a mirror to practice accurate pronunciation.

3. Active Listening 1: Introducing Skills for Understanding Audio CDs (Active Listening) by Marc Helgesen, Steven Brown, Dorolyn Smith, Audio CD, Publisher: Cambridge University Press
On Listening to the lowest level the series, three-level listening course in English North America took on the latest research in the understanding. It started low high medium text offers 20 attractive, task-based units, each built around a topic, function or grammatical theme. Active listening activate students' knowledge about a topic before they listen, give them a frame of reference to make predictions about what they heard. Students learn to listen through a careful balance of core activities, including listening, listening to specific information, and make conclusions. Main features: - a "Before You Begin" unit to develop awareness of listening strategies - listening to the scheme pre-development activities - balanced carefully listened to the various tasks - the natural recordings with various accents - short readings to provide cross-cultural information -- a speaking activity in every unit. Active Listening level consists of Student's Book, an interleaved Teacher Edition, two cassette, and three audio CDs.

4. Listening 3; Cassette (2): Upper-intermediate by Joanne Collie, Stephen Slater, Adrian Doff (Series Editor), Audio Cassette, Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Cambridge Skills for Fluency is a learner centered on various materials designed to develop students' fluency and confidence in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The books are at four levels from pre-intermediate to advanced and suitable for use as supplementary texts or as core texts on skills development courses. Each book in the Cambridge Skills for Fluency series: improving fluency by presenting a variety of both old and new topics in creative ways and imaginative, genuinely engages students' interest and encourage them to share personal reactions and opinions fluently - focus on skills But certain other integrated skills in a way that reflects real life use of language - contains twenty units designed to take about one hour of class time, a detailed contents map and brief teaching notes.

5. Intermediate Listening Comprehension: Understanding and Remembering Spoken English (College ESL) by Patricia dunkel, Phyllis L. Lim, Paperback: 177 pages, Publisher: Heinle & Heinle
Intermediate Listening Comprehension 2 / E is a program of intensive training in listening to the smooth development.

6. Ship or Sheep? Student Book: An Intermediate Pronunciation Course (Introducing English Pronunciation) by Ann Baker, Paperback: 176 pages, Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This is a comprehensive pronunciation course for intermediate students of English. Provide a systematic practice of English pronunciation, stress, and intonation through a variety of exercises and interesting activities. The program is accompanied by the practice of recording all the material on three cassettes. Books and tapes are both designed for use in the classroom and by students working alone.

7. Extra Book and Audio CD Pack listening: A Resource Book of Multi-Level Skills Activities; Paperback: 136 pages Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Listening Extra contains a bank of imaginative photocopiable materials designed for young adults (16 +) and adults. There are more than 50 easy-to-prepare activities elementary, secondary and senior secondary levels. The material offers teachers a refreshing approach to 18 familiar topics and can be used to supplement existing coursebooks. These activities are designed around authentic scenarios and practice listening skills, such as listening to the details, identifying emotions or listening to opinions. At the same time as the key to practice listening skills, integrating activities other skill areas. Students exposed to a variety of native and non-native speaker accents. Recordings include various genres of radio and television to academic lectures, presentations and dialogue conversation.

Read More..
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