Learn English Through Pictures

A picture paints a thousand words, it’s true, and pictures are a great way of improving your English, especially if you are a visual learner.

So, use pictures to learn vocabulary, and grammar. Don’t just look at pictures, think about them. Discuss them.

See if you can describe what’s happening in them, and name everything in them.

Visit photo blogs and read the descriptions you will find there.

You can join a photo sharing site and share your own pictures and access thousands of photographs.

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10 Methods for Improving Your Spoken English Without a Speaking Partner

So, you’re all by yourself. Forever alone.

Okay, maybe you’re not forever alone, but right now you need to practice English alone.

How can you practice speaking English without anybody else to help you?

Writing, reading, listening—these skills can all be practiced alone. Easy.

All the books, websites and apps in the world can’t help you learn how to speak English fluently.

To improve your spoken English, the best thing to do is to talk with a native speaker.

Sometimes we don’t have that option though! What if you don’t know anyone who speaks English?

What if you don’t have time?

What if you simply don’t feel confident enough yet to practice with a native?

Don’t worry. You can still improve your spoken English, even without a speaking partner.

1. Think in English.

Sometimes the difficult thing about talking in a new language isn’t the language itself, but how you think about it.

2. Talk to yourself.

Whenever you’re at home (or alone somewhere else) you can practice your English with your favorite person: yourself.

3. Use a mirror.

Whenever you can, take a few minutes out of your day to stand in front of the mirror and speak. Choose a topic, set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes and just talk.

4. Focus on fluency, not grammar.

When you speak in English, how often do you stop?

5. Try some tongue twisters.

Tongue twisters are series of words that are difficult to say quickly. One example is: “The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.”

6. Listen and repeat.

Do you watch TV shows or YouTube videos in English? Use them to improve your fluency.

7. Sing along to English songs.

Singing along to your favorite English songs will help you become more fluent.

8. Learn phrases, not words.

An even better idea is to learn word phrases, not just words.

9. Learn your most common sayings.

Take some time to really notice how you speak in your native language.

10. Prepare for specific situations.

Are you learning English for a specific reason? For example, are you learning English so you can get a job in an English-speaking company?

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The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English

Ailurophile A cat-lover.
Assemblage A gathering.
Becoming Attractive.
Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
Brood To think alone.
Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.
Comely Attractive.
Conflate To blend together.
Cynosure A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Demesne Dominion, territory.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Denouement The resolution of a mystery.
Desuetude Disuse.
Desultory Slow, sluggish.
Diaphanous Filmy.
Dissemble Deceive.
Dulcet Sweet, sugary.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Effervescent Bubbly.
Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.
Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Elixir A good potion.
Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
Emollient A softener.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Epiphany A sudden revelation.
Erstwhile At one time, for a time.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative Suggestive.
Fetching Pretty.
Felicity Pleasantness.
Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.
Fugacious Fleeting.
Furtive Shifty, sneaky.
Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
Glamour Beauty.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.
Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
Ingénue A naïve young woman.
Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.
Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.
Inure To become jaded.
Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.
Lagniappe A special kind of gift.
Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
Leisure Free time.
Lilt To move musically or lively.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Lithe Slender and flexible.
Love Deep affection.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Moiety One of two equal parts.
Mondegreen A slip of the ear.
Murmurous Murmuring.
Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.
Opulent Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panacea A solution for all problems
Panoply A complete set.
Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.
Penumbra A half-shadow.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora A large quantity.
Propinquity An inclination.
Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential Most essential.
Ratatouille A spicy French stew.
Ravel To knit or unknit.
Redolent Fragrant.
Riparian By the bank of a stream.
Ripple A very small wave.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.
Susurrous Whispering, hissing.
Talisman A good luck charm.
Tintinnabulation Tinkling.
Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.
Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.
Vestigial In trace amounts.
Wafture Waving.
Wherewithal The means.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

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English-Only Approach

The English only method is one of the most direct approaches to teaching the language. For this method, neither the teacher nor the student should speak their native tongue at all during instruction. All instruction should be done in English only.

Vocabulary should be taught first, as it is the easiest to grasp because it can be demonstrated with a visual aid. As the student builds vocabulary, the instructor can begin introducing abstract words and elements of the language, but without explaining or focusing on the actual grammatical structure. The complexities of the language will be learned inherently, with the student picking up on its patterns through practice and application only.

At the end of each class period, there can be an optional question and answer session where students are allowed to ask the teacher about that day’s lesson. Here, clarifications may be made and confusion may be cleared up, but again, this is entirely optional. Sometimes, the best way to learn the language through this method is to just tough it out and let it come naturally.

Who is this best for?

This method works best for situations where the instructor does not speak the native language of the students they’re instructing. (Of course, this would make the optional question answer sessions an impossibility.) It is also an ideal method for situations where there is a diverse set of students who don’t share the same native language, all trying to learn English. This way, the barriers and constraints brought in by an inability to communicate natively can be dismissed, and a stronger focus on the language at hand can be made.

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Stephen Krashen’s Theory of Second Language Acquisition

“Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill.” Stephen Krashen

Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition consists of five main hypotheses:

the Acquisition-Learning hypothesis,
the Monitor hypothesis,
the Input hypothesis,
the Natural Order hypothesis,
and the Affective Filter hypothesis.

The Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
There are two ways of developing language ability: by acquisition and by learning. Acquisition is a sub-conscious process, as in the case of a child learning its own language or an adult ‘picking up’ a second language simply by living and working in a foreign country. Learning is the conscious process of developing a foreign language through language lessons and a focus on the grammatical features of that language.

The Natural Order Hypothesis
Language is acquired in a predictable order by all learners. This order does not depend on the apparent simplicity or complexity of the grammatical features involved. The natural order of acquisition cannot be influenced by direct teaching of features that the learner is not yet ready to acquire.

The Monitor Hypothesis
We are able to use what we have learned (in Krashen’s sense) about the rules of a language in monitoring (or self-correcting) our language output. Clearly, this is possible in the correction of written work. It is much more difficult when engaging in regular talk.

The Input Hypothesis
We acquire language in one way only: when we are exposed to input (written or spoken language) that is comprehensible to us. Comprehensible input is the necessary but also sufficient condition for language acquisition to take place. It requires no effort on the part of the learner.

The Affective Filter Hypothesis
Comprehensible input will not result in language acquisition if that input is filtered out before it can reach the brain’s language processing faculties. The filtering may occur because of anxiety, poor self-esteem or low motivation.

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Train yourself to think in English

One way to make the transition from being very good at English to being fluent is to train your brain to actually think in the English language.

Constantly translating from your native language into English and back again inside your head consumes time and energy.

Every language has its own nuances and peculiarities, which makes it impossible to accurately translate from one language to another in certain instances.

As a result, your spoken and written English will flow much more naturally and fluently if you can just train your brain to think in English.

Think of it like a switch — when it’s time to communicate in English, you need to turn your English brain on and your mother language brain off!

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HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE?

1.) What does the word ‘proof’ mean in the phrase ‘the proof is in the pudding’?

a.) Evidence

b.) Test

2.) What does the phrase ‘the exception that proves the rule’ mean?

a.) That which is excluded from the rule confirms it in all other situations that have not been excluded

b.) The rule is validated by something that does not conform to it, thus the exception is the means by which the rule is tested

3.) Fill in the blank: Off your own ______

a.) Bat

b.) Back

4.) Fill in the blank: One ____ swoop:

a.) Foul

b.) Fell

5.) What does it mean to say something ‘begs the question’?

a.) It lays claim to a principle

b.) It raises the question

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7 Fun Ways to Learn and Remember New English Vocabulary

1. Read

This is an essential activity because reading is the best way to be exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary. Reading is an easy, fun and relaxing way to boost your language skills. Plus, you will be learning about other things as well: win, win!

2. Understand context

Great! So you have “learned” many new words; but if you do not know how and when to use them correctly, you have not truly learned. Context helps us comprehend when a word is used in formal language or informal language, if it is slang we can use with friends, or if it is a word that is usually used in written English but not in conversation.

3. Related words

If you just learned the word “care”, don’t stop there! Use a dictionary or the internet to find derivatives of that word, and expressions that use it.

4. Make sentences

Making sentences helps us put everything we have learned into action: so you have learned a new word and you understand when to use it. But for the brain to remember this word in the future, the best way to memorize is by using it.
By making sentences you are helping your brain to learn because it gets actively involved in the learning process.

5. Record yourself

By hearing your own voice say the words out loud and feeling your mouth move, you are making even more connections in your brain. So, use a camera, your phone or your webcam to record yourself practicing your new vocabulary words and using them in the sentences you made.

6. Play games

When you are having fun it’s so much easier to learn. So play games like word puzzles. These games will test your creativity and make you think outside the box.

7. Repeat

To learn anything you must repeat, repeat, repeat. Every day, set aside some time to study vocabulary. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but it is important that you practice a little daily. This will create a good habit.

And finally: be kind and patient with yourself.
Learning English is a big accomplishment, and you should be very proud of yourself each time you learn a new word.

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Stop translating

One of the obstacles for the average English learner is the speed at which native speakers speak.

The typical learner of English usually says something like this: “When I listen to the BBC or to CNN, I can’t understand anything because they speak much too fast.”

Again, it only seems as if native speakers speak too fast. In reality they speak at a completely normal speed.

The problem is that if English isn’t your mother tongue your subconscious mind always tries to translate everything you hear.

Translating is a very complex process that requires a lot of practice, training and experience.

You are a learner of English, not an expert translator or interpreter so why do you burden yourself with a task you cannot accomplish?

In other words: When you listen to English, you should not try to translate into your mother tongue.

Just relax and let your ears have the chance to absorb and filter the sound of new words and phrases.

You want to understand the meaning of those words and phrases.

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How Do You Learn Best?

For some people, learning new words is easy—it seems like all they have to do is see the word and its definition, and then that information immediately gets stored in their brains to use later.

Many others, though, struggle with learning and memorizing words, their definitions and how to use them in sentences.

Sitting down and looking up words in a dictionary is not the only way to find new vocabulary.

Don’t try to remember words alone. One way to do this is to remember words in a sentence. This is a great option because you will not only know the word, but you will also know exactly how to use it in conversation.

Another option is to remember words by groups. For example: large, humongous, gargantuan. What do you think “gargantuan” means?

Reading is a nice way to learn new words, but writing a blog or updating your Facebook/VK.com page is even better!
As you write, you will probably need to look up words in a dictionary. As you look up words, you will start to remember many of them!

After using your fun learning methods, test yourself later with a more traditional method — quizzes.

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