I can’t say I was displeased when I received an email pointing to Top 100 Language Blogs – Lexiophiles because English/ESL has been listed there — at #75. I strongly recommend your browsing the list as some very interesting blogs may be found there.
Category Archives: English language
World Wide Words by Michael Quinion is a most interesting site for anyone interested in the English language, or wanting to develop their understanding and vocabulary in depth. It is on my links page here, and I have occasionally referred to it on this blog, but I have never featured it before.
How to Study English 7 Tips and Ideas | UK Student News and Events is a new UK blog from an education consultancy firm. The post linked here does give good advice to the overseas students among us, whether here in Australia or in the UK. It is advice you will find in many places, but that doesn’t make it less worth having. 🙂
Here are the first two tips. Go to the link above for the rest.
1. Learn slowly
You are like a new born baby. You will learn a new language slowly and through careful steps. So, adopt the steps a baby would and you’ll develop in no time. First learn to listen and then learn to talk and then learn to read and write.
2. Listen everyday
Make sure that you are always listening to English. Listen to the radio. Watch English movies and regular TV. Enjoy a day out at the cinema and watch English movies and make use of any English audio you find online. There will be loads and it doesn’t cost you a thing!
And just one more, because I approve of this so much:
4. Read, read and read some more
You want to be reading as much English as possible. Not only to help your reading skills but in order to expand your vocabulary too. A great place to start is children’s books and stories and these can be picked up for next to nothing from charity shops all over London. Read many of the UK’s free newspapers, the backs of packets whilst shopping, adverts on the Tube and trains. When you think about, there is English you can read everywhere. So make sure you do every single day.
You’ll have to adapt that a little for Sydney: ads (not adverts in Aussie English) on bus stops maybe… And make sure you pay for those “children’s books and stories”… 😉
We do have good public libraries in Sydney too. The one in Chinatown is excellent; of course it does have a big collection of material in Chinese, but an even bigger collection in English. They have DVDs too; you can try watching a movie in English with the English subtitles on — getting both reading and listening.
I currently have a student enrolled in a tertiary course in Accountancy. Now let’s be frank here: this takes me beyond my usual comfort zone as an English teacher. Do any of you out there have any suggestions for resources, or any ideas at all?
I have found the following:
1. At a very introductory level, but a plus is that the material is Australian, is the site Discovering Democracy.
2. There are some useful links, even if in a US context, on LANGUAGEandLAW.org. For example:
the creation, structure, and interpretation of the legal text sample legal texts from throughout the ages (wills, deeds, writs, trials, etc.)
Any more ideas?
A student the other day made a series of mistakes in his writing, things like:
- My father asked me what sport will I like…
- I wanted to know will you go out with me…
What is happening here is that the grammar of direct questions, the actual words someone would have said, is being mixed in with a report structure.
The father in the first example would have said “What sport will/do you like?” The second example would have been “Will you go out with me?”
But when you report a question, things change. First, word order changes. Second, question words often disappear. Third, word order changes. Fourth, tense changes to suit the time frame of the report.
So our examples would become:
- My father asked me what sport I would like…
- I wanted to know if you would go out with me…
Reported questions are more common in rather formal registers, but they do quite frequently occur in narrative, partly for variety, and partly for focussing the narrative viewpoint in a certain way.
Many of the rules are just the same as in Indirect or Reported Speech.
Indirect questions (British Council)
Just had this email:
I am a regular reader of your English/ESL–and more! blog and I have found your site to be an inspiration. I am a teacher of high school English at Katikati College in New Zealand and I have been blogging for about nine months…
So I checked them out. I suggest you do the same.
This one is for Year 13 students (New Zealand):
This one is for other years, the majority of students at Katikati College.
Students here will find many relevant articles and links.