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Saturday, 29 August 2009

How To Get Ready To Take the TOEIC Test

The TOEIC test is not based on the content of any particular English course but rather on your English-language proficiency—your overall ability to use English. Improvement in proficiency may take some time and is generally achieved through a combination of practice and study. The TOEIC test does not test business knowledge, and you are not required to know specialized business and technical vocabulary beyond what is used in everyday work activities.

Before taking the TOEIC test, there are several things you can do to prepare for the test and improve your English proficiency:

a. Become familiar with the test format and know how to mark your answers on the answer sheet. You can then focus your attention on the test questions themselves. Carefully review the test directions and the sample questions on pages 8–13 and the sample answer sheet and sample Background Questionnaire on pages 15–18.

b. Immerse yourself in the language as frequently as possible and in as many ways as possible if it has been some time since you have had contact with English. Reading, watching TV and videos, listening to recordings, taking an English course, and speaking with friends and colleagues are some of the ways to practice English.

c. Web Resource Guide The official TOEIC website has many resources you may find helpful to familiarize yourself with the test:
• test preparation material
• scoring information
• frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

More than Asking Questions

We would usually think that tips for the job interview would only be intended for interviewees but there are also important reminders for those who are the ones asking questions, we call them interviewers. For applicants, they are the tickets to an employed you.

As an interviewer should you roast interviewees to sweat because of nervousness? Should you be very intimidating to put the applicant to the biggest test of his or her life? Should you ask fiery questions that would fry him or her in his own oil? These and more would be answered.

• Before you conduct the interview, be sure to take note of the questions you are going to ask your applicant. This would help you remember questions you need to raise.

• Take note of the objectives you have, associate them with the questions you will be asking the applicant.

• Have in mind a place that would have an atmosphere for a conversation. See to it that the place has no elements that could interrupt the interview.

• Never intimidate the interviewee. You want to know the person, do not put him on the hot seat where he would become so unnaturally intimidated.

• Let the interviewee speak, you have to be attentive so that you would be able to get important messages.

• Use questions that would hit the motives of the applicant.

• Give the interviewees the chance to ask questions.

With these, you would be able to get what you really want to know from the interviewee. The most important thing is that you would not have regrets by hiring the wrong person.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Job Interviews and How to Win Them

Why do people go to school? We all know that the primary reason is basic education for personal growth and development. This reason is still the top most even these days. In these practical days, going to school is more of a preparation for the future. A future that is envisioned to be something of progress is what parents want for their children. Getting a college degree and land a stable job is what they dream of.

After years in college or university, one will then face the challenging real world. To find a job or to quit the next level is a question for future-seekers. Finding a job especially the one you want is not that easy these days. Competition is so stiff and qualifications are demanding. Both unemployment and underemployment are social problems greatly affecting a country. Every year, the employment world welcomes many hopeful young people to have jobs. In response to this, localities launch job fairs almost annually with the aim of helping job seekers find the job for them. Thousands try, many get hired and others go home- still jobless.

Job fairs are good venues for fresh graduates to find their first job. For those who wish to change their current job, job fairs offer many options to choose from and try out. There are a huge number of applicants from everywhere. How could one win the heart of his or her target company? Some say that a job fair is just a drop-your-resume and try-your-luck thing. No it is not. Be proactive and come to think of it: you could introduce your self to 20-more companies in just a couple of hours.

Did you know that there is a huge chance to win a job? Yes, that is by making it big in a job interview.

The ability to make it bigger than hundreds of those other job seekers is the responsibility of every aspirant. Considering some really a couple of useful tips like as follows would help them out a lot. In a job interview when you try your luck at jobs fair, remember these few of reminders.

Applicants prepare the most detailed resume since employers would base their judgment over those pages of paper. An impressive resume is not actually the first means to make an employer be interested to your application. He or she will only be looking forward to read your resume if you look impressive from the very start, it will make good impressions will come your way. Dress up and act as a professional you must not come in the thickest make-up or the flashiest clothes. Come on time, wear your skin and flaunt what you have. Answer questions sincerely and remember to relax while answering. Pay attention to the interviewer and flaunt your assets.

Job Fairs may lead you to your first or last job. Job interviews are your keys to the doors of opportunities.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Breathers before the interview

You could not cut off the wings of those butterflies in your stomach. You could not tame that mouse running in your chest. Being nervous before an interview is of course very normal. Though you are a well-experienced person when it comes to conversing with people, you would not avoid the fact that you still feel the shivers of your nerves.

What must be done? You have to be very determined in doing things that would make you feel relaxed before being interviewed. These matters a lot for the way you answer in the interview would be affected if you are too much nervous.
The following are the things you could do in order for you to ease those monsters in your chest:

• Images for your ease
Imagine a picture of peace or serenity. This would really give you the peace of mind and the atmosphere to think and be relaxed. You have to try this method out. A couple of minutes for this would give a huge benefit.

• Breath and smile
Breathe deeply like you exhale the pessimism within you. Do it for several times until you feel relieved from your nervousness.

• Carry a sweet memory
Choose a picture you like that would remind you of an inspiration. You could paste it in a notebook. Stare at it and recall beautiful memories. This would definitely help you get inspired for the interview.

• Oath of esteem
Remind yourself by being in silence, telling your self that you are the best for the job, you could answer the questions and you could be hired. Being positive move mountains and it could build muscles of hope.

These three activities before the interview would definitely ease your emotional burden. You are but human and it is natural to feel those rushing shivers within but hey! This is a once in a lifetime chance and you could not afford to miss, could you?

Thursday, 28 May 2009

And the phone rings – The Phone Interview

There is one way of job interview that is practiced by most companies before the actual interview and that is phone interview. Well, if you are about to experience such, do not panic down to your bone marrows. This is something you could handle and it is somehow a polish for you for an actual interview.

The following are the things you have to have in mind so that you would be able to pass a telephone interview when you are able to do the following well:

• As you wait for the interviewee’s call, place your resume near you for guidance.
• Bring a paper and pencil for you to take notes
• Be sure to turn off call waiting options or whatever features that may disturb you while taking the call.
• Make sure that there is silence for it may disturb your conversation if there are children crying and other forms of noise.
• No stereo, no TV please.
• Beware of eating or drinking anything while on an interview. You could take a sip of water when the interview is that long.
• Speak clearly and smile while you answer.
• Address the interviewee politely.
• Listen well and do not interrupt the interviewee.
• Answer briefly but straight to the point.
• Say thank you and appreciate compliments.

Though you do not see the person on the other line, you have to act as if you are talking face-to-face. It is good to be relaxed while taking the call. It would be sensed by the interviewee, whether you are sincere or you are too pressured.

When the phone rings, take a deep breath, lift the receiver and say to yourself that you are indeed going to make it for that job.

With the reminders above, you would definitely be able to make it well for the phone interview.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Using the Active Voice for Stronger Writing

One of the most frequently-heard pieces of advice for writers is to use the active voice instead of the passive voice. What does this mean? In this article we show you how to identify the passive voice, how to change it to the active voice, and when you should leave things in the passive voice.

Quick Tip 1

Getaway and Get Away

"Getaway" is a noun. When you escape, you make your getaway. A location can also be a getaway.

"Get away" is a verb and a modifier. To get away from something or someone is to move away or to escape.

Example: If the robbers get away from the police, they will make their getaway.

Example: Get away from the dog! He bites!

Example: We hope to get away to the cabin this summer. It is our summer getaway.

Quick Tip 2

Who's and Whose

"Who's" means "who is." The apostrophe is there because it is a contraction. The apostrophe does not indicate possession.

Example: Who is there? Who's there?

"Whose" means "belonging to whom." It indicates possession without using an apostrophe.

Example: Whose suitcase is this?

Don't let the apostrophe confuse you. You cannot use "who's" to ask who something belongs to.

Common error: Who's suitcase is this? - Incorrect!

Introduction to English Grammar

English grammar is a huge subject, and one that often stumps both native and non-native speakers alike. In this in-depth guide we look at the vast field of English grammar and pick out some points to help you avoid common pitfalls in your writing.

Quick Tip 1

Lay and Lie

To lay is to put something down. Lay down your pen. The verb must act on another object.

To lie is to recline. Lie down on the couch. I will lie in bed until noon.

The past tense of "lay" is "laid." After the test I laid down my pen.

Unfortunately, the past tense of "lie" is "lay," which can cause confusion.
Yesterday I lay on the couch all afternoon.

Quick Tip 2

Then and Than

"Then" always indicates a relationship in time. Something happened, and then something else happened after that. When you use "if" with "then" to show a cause-and-effect relationship, the effect still comes after the cause. For example, "If you help me, then I will be grateful."

"Than" is used for comparisons. Brazil is bigger than Portugal. Mice are smaller than cats. Chess is more complex than checkers. Even when talking about time, use "than" for comparisons. Autumn is later than summer.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

How To Write a Cover Letter

A cover letter is very useful for us if looking for apply a new job. Here are tips how to write a cover letter :

1. Keep to only one page

a. The cover letter should not be longer than one page, otherwise the interviewer will lose interest.

b. Maximum five paragraphs only.

c. Use simple words.

2. Address the letter to the Human Resource Manager by name, if possible, followed by company name and address

a. Do not write Dear Sir/Madam, Gentlemen, Sirs, Mr President, or To Whom It May Concern.

b. If you do not know, find out beforehand. Do not spell the person’s name wrongly.

3. Layout

a. The Opening
Include your full name, address, date, employer’s designation and company address, correct salutation and subject.

b. Introduction
Indicate position applied for, branch/state position available (if applicable), source and date of job information. Briefly mention your qualifications.

c. Sales Pitch
Highlight to what extent you match the job requirements. Summarize your education, experience, capabilities and skills. Mention your interest in the company and the reason you are applying for that particular position.

d. Request for further action
Write that you look forward to receive their call for an interview. State your availability to attend interviews. End by thanking the person for his/her time and consideration.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Tips To Learn English

Do you have any plan to pursue your further education abroad? Will you need English for your career or your education? If so, you may wish to investigate your options for learning, or improving, your English skills.

The TOEFL Test: TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) is a test used by many colleges, universities, government agencies and exchange and scholarship programs in the US, UK and Canada as a means of evaluating the language skills of a person whose first language is not English.

You can find TOEFL study guides easily online with other recommended resources listed. You may be able to access some of the sample tests and prepare with personal study. Or you may look for a class with an instructor to help you prepare for the test.

ESL Classes: ESL classes are a common means for students to learn English with group of classmates. These can be in the form of an evening class with various individuals attending or may be part of a college program during the day.

The course length and the topics covered will differ from country to country and school to school. Some summer programs are geared for international students to gain a basic grasp of the language before starting studies in English taught classes of the college or university.

Since the standards of passing a course, or the course material itself, will vary drastically, some students may feel that the language skills gained upon completing the course does not equip them to handle school work or social interactions adequately.

Some schools offer students and alternative of home-stay programs for students. Home-stay programs benefit the student by placing them for several weeks or months with a host family that speaks English. The student is then able to immerse him or herself in the culture and social speaking of the English country they are living in. There are also online ESL programs that may be suitable for distance education, especially if programs are not readily available in your area.

Private Tutors: Another popular method of learning English is with private tutors. The materials and methods used by ESL tutors will vary greatly and it is important to establish what material will be used and to feel comfortable with the tutor. Asking friends or other students for references can be helpful in finding a good tutor.

A combination of these English learning methods will be effective as well. You can take a summer course while staying with a home-stay host family and then arranging for private tutoring during the school year. Making an effort to use your new language skills regularly in social situations will improve your progress regardless of the program or course you are using.

About the Author:

George Williams maintains many translator websites, including Free Translator, French Translator ,and Japanese Translator.

Article Source:

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Direct and Reported Speech

You can answer the question "What did he/she say?" in two ways:

* by repeating the words spoken (direct speech)
* by reporting the words spoken (indirect or reported speech).

A. Direct Speech

Direct speech repeats, or quotes, the exact words spoken. When we use direct speech in writing, we place the words spoken between inverted commas ("....") and there is no change in these words. We may be reporting something that's being said NOW (for example a telephone conversation), or telling someone later about a previous conversation


She says "What time will you be office?"
She said "What time will you be office?"
and I said "I don't know! "
"There's a fly in my soup!" screamed Simone.
John said, "There's a buffalo outside the window."

B. Reported Speech

Reported speech is usually used to talk about the past, so we normally change the tense of the words spoken. We use reporting verbs like 'say', 'tell', 'ask', and we may use the word 'that' to introduce the reported words. Inverted commas are not used.

She said, "I saw him." She said that she had seen him.

1. 'That' may be omitted:
She told him that she was sad.
She told him she was sad.

2. 'Say' and 'tell':
Use 'say' when there is no indirect object:
He said that he was tired.

Always use 'tell' when you say who was being spoken to (i.e. with an indirect object):
He told me that he was tired.
'Talk' and 'speak' are used:
- to describe the action of communicating:
He talked to us.
She was speaking on the telephone.
- with 'about' to refer to what was said:
He talked (to us) about his parents.

source :

Sunday, 15 March 2009

To Get

TO GET + direct object = to obtain, to receive, to buy:

To obtain

* She got her driving license last week.
* They got permission to live in Switzerland.

To receive

* I got a letter from my friend in Nigeria.
* He gets £1,000 a year from his father.

To buy

* She got a new coat from Zappaloni in Rome.
* We got a new television for the sitting room.

TO GET + place expression = reach, arrive at a place:

* We got to London around 6 p.m.
* What time will we get there?
* When did you get back from New York?

TO GET + adjective = to become, show a change of state:

* It's getting hotter.
* By the time they reached the house they were getting hungry.
* I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.
* My mother's getting old and needs looking after.
* It gets dark very early in the winter.
* Don't touch the stove until is gets cool.

TO GET + preposition / adverb is used in many phrasal verbs. Here are some of the most common ones:

Phrasal Verb ===> Meaning

1. get at ===> try to express

2. get away with ===> escape punishment for a crime or bad action

3. get by ===> manage (financially)

4. get down ===> descend; depress

5. get off ===> leave a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane)

6. get on ===> enter/sit on a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane); have a relationship with someone;manage

7. get out of ===> avoid doing something, especially a duty

8. get over ===> recover (from an illness, a surprise)

9. get through ===> use or finish the supply of something

10.get up ===> leave your bed

11.get up to ===> do - usually something bad

a. He got on his bicycle and rode down the street.
b. He gets up at 6.00 a.m. every morning.
c. She got out of the washing-up every day, even when it was her turn.
d. We got off the train just before the bomb exploded.
e. We've got through all the sugar - can you buy some more?
f. The children are very quiet - I wonder what they're getting up to.

Source :

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

8 Resume Writing Tips

1. Know Your Objective
a. What job do you want? What are the skills and requirements necessary for this job?
b. Keep them in your mind as you write your resume so that the interviewer reading it will see that you are the person they are looking for.

2. Compile all your information
a. List down your personal particulars, education history, extra-curricular activities including positions held, employment history, seminars attended, achievements, etc.
b. Ensure the dates are correct. Leave out hobbies/interests, parent’s occupation etc.
c. Sort information under specific headings – Education, Work Experience, Achievements, Skills, Activities.

3. Start with your Name and Contact details
a. Write your full name, postal address, house and mobile numbers, email address.
b. Leave out your marital status, sex, race, parent’s name and occupation, birth details, etc.

4. Write your Employment details
a. Starting with your most recent work, list down all the jobs you have had, company names, dates of employment, position titles.
b. Using bullet points, write the job description, nature of work and responsibilities held for each position
c. Use key words: responsible for, coordinating, prepared, managed, monitored, presented, accomplished, achieved, analyzed, delegated, etc .
d. Highlight your achievements/job responsibilities.

5. List Education details
a. Lead with your highest education level to the lowest, include grades like CGPA.
b. State courses or papers studied, e.g. Psychology, Contract Law, Multimedia.
c. List activities like societies/clubs, position held and accomplishments if they are relevant to the job you are applying to. Otherwise, leave them out.

6. Include your Skills
List down your computer skills, language skills (and different dialects) including proficiency in reading and writing, and soft skills (public speaking, presentation, etc).

7. Reference
a. Not totally essential but if you need to mention references, choose people who know you personally and can give a good impression of you to the potential employer.
b. Remember to give your reference’s contact details.
c. Make sure you inform your referees that they may receive calls from your interviewers so that they can prepare. Send them copies of your resume so that they know who you are and what you did.

8. Miscellaneous
a. Be short and concise
- Resumes are usually read in only 30 seconds or less, so you have to be brief and go straight to the point.
- Resumes should be a maximum of two pages long. Use Size 12 fonts (Times New Roman or Garamond font) for easy read. Use three pages only if you have extensive professional experience.
- Use italic or bold fonts only to indicate important information or section breaks.
- Use a good printer, no stray marks, splotches, uneven or blurred letters.
- Use high quality A4 paper, white only. Do not use flashy colours like pink or red.

b. Be honest
Do not inflate your resume. Make sure you can back up what you claim. Do not cheat/lie.

c. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes
- Make sure your resume is free from spelling or grammar mistakes.
- Ask someone reliable to check it for you.
- Do not depend on your word processor’s Spell Check function.
- Most importantly, proof read until your resume is perfect.

d. Use Power Verbs
Action words add “oomph” to your writing and enables you to describe clearly.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Drafting a Killer Resume

A good job hunter knows that a good resume is the key to an interview invite and ultimately, to employment. Aside from a summary of your abilities, work experience and education, a resume should reveal your unique selling points to entice a potential employer to BUY you.

The secret to an irresistible resume is to address the specific need of a specific job. A tailored resume has infinitely more impact than a one-size-fits-all. To write such a resume, first organize information under specific headings such as education, work experience, achievements, skills and activities. When everything is on paper, decide on the proper format to play up your outstanding qualities that fit the job’s requirements.

Here are several types of resume for your reference.

1. Chronological resume

- Recommended for candidates with solid working experience and a progressive job history in a specific field or history, and who would want to continue along this similar career path.

- Most employers prefer this style as it is based on facts, and easily digestible.

- Very conventional, emphasizing on itemized employment history.

- Important to present career milestones in reverse chronological order, starting with current position and moving backwards. Each position contains a description of relevant responsibilities and accomplishments.

2. Functional Resume
- Suitable for fresh graduates and job hoppers hoping for a career change.

- Helps to cover seemingly disconnected experiences by displaying transferable skills and related achievements.

- Organize work history into sections that highlight skills and accomplishments deemed most appropriate for the position applied for. Always include the company name in bulleted description of your accomplishments. Do not miss out at least a brief chronological listing of your work experience.

3. Combination Resume
- This format tries to merge the best features of the chronological and functional type resumes by incorporating both a chronological work history and a skills and achievements section. Top focus is on skills and accomplishments, followed by work experience.

- Though some employers will find this format long, repetitious and confusing, this type of resume can be good to someone with good editing skills.

4. Electronic Resume
- Adopted by many people to send resumes to electronic resume banks and make on-line job applications through

- The resume is sent by email or can be viewed on the Internet. Specially formatted for scanning and searching by optical scanning systems.

- Fast becoming an increasingly popular and acceptable form of job application as it is fast, effective and convenient.

- Comes in different file formats but most common are plain text, rich text and hypertext.

Source : www.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

7 Jobs Interview Guidelines

These 7 tips have been carefully summarized based on feedback that we receive from employers.

1. Read the job description and company profile carefully so that you are aware of the job details when an employer calls you about your application. If the job advertisement does not contain enough information, ask the employer for more details.

2. Remember to write down the name & contact number of the recruiter in case you need to call back later.

3. Prepare for the interview by finding out more about the company, the job and the industry.

4. Be punctual for your interview. Bring your resume, transcripts, certificates and relevant documents to the interview.

5. IMPORTANT: If you cannot attend the confirmed interview for whatever reason, you must contact the employer at least one day beforehand to let them know.

Keeping a good interview attendance record will help to ensure opportunities for interview in the future, as employers have the right to share their "No show" and late cancellation records.

6. Send the employer a Thank You email after the interview.

7. Follow up with the employer on the status of the interview after two or three days. This shows your interest for the job and may increase your chances of success.

Source :

Monday, 23 February 2009

8 Tips for Taking Multiple-Choice on TOEIC Test

Effective test-taking strategies are especially important with multiple-choice questions found on language tests such as TOEIC. These types of questions often include clues that may help you identify the correct answer. You may be able to improve your performance on such tests by considering the following tips :

1. Read the direction carefully
The directions usually indicate that some alternatives may be partly correct or correct statements in themselves, but not when joined to the stem. The directions may say : "choose the most correct answers" or "mark the one best answer."Sometimes you may be asked to "mark all correct answers".

2. As you read the stem of each multiple-choice question anticipate the answer before looking at the options. If the answer you anticipated is among the options, it is likely to be the correct one.

3. Always read each question completely.
Continue reading even if you find your anticipated answer among the options. There may be a better option farther down the list.

4. Learn how to quickly eliminate options that are highly implausible.
Many questions have only two plausible options, accompanied by "throwaway" options for filler. You should work at spotting these implausible options so that yu can quickly discard them and narrow your task.

5. Be aware that information relevant to one question is sometimes given away in another test item.

6. On items that have "all of the above" as an option, if you know that just two of the options are correct, you should choose "all of the above". If you are confident that one of the options is incorrect, you should eliminate this option and "all of the above" and choose from remaining options.

7. Options that represent broad, sweeping generalizations tend to be incorrect. You should be vigilant for words such as always, never, necessarily, only, must, completely, totally, and so forth that create these improbable assertions.

8. In contrast, options that represent carefully qualified statement tend to be correct. Words such as often, sometimes, perhaps, may and generally tend to show up in these well-qualified statements.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

7 Tips for CVs/Resumes

When you apply for a job, you are usually asked to send a CV or resume. This is a history of your education and work experience. Here are 7 tips for CVs and resumes in English:

Tip 1:

Use design that demands attention Employers don't have time to read through each of your job descriptions to know if you have the skills they need. The design of your CV must do it for them. Your CV should be concise, well-organised and relevant. It should emphasise the most important and relevant points about your experience, skills and education.

Tip 2: Use 'power words'

To control the image that an employer has of you, use power words that match the position you want. Certain words are used frequently by recruiters in their job descriptions. You should study recruiters' advertisements and job descriptions and use these words in your CV and covering letter.

Tip 3: A number is worth 1,000 words

Numbers are alive and powerful. They create images in our minds. General statements are easy to ignore. Be specific!
Use numbers when describing your duties and achievements.

Tip 4: Put important information first

List important information at the beginning of your job descriptions. Put statements in your CV in order of importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job.

Tip 5: Sell benefits, not skills

Holiday companies don't sell holidays. They sell relaxation, adventure, sun, sea and sand (the benefits of a holiday).
You should not sell your skills (many other people have the same skills). You should sell the benefits of your skills.
When you write your skills and past duties, you can explain their benefits to the employer.

Tip 6: Solve the employer's (hidden) needs Employers want people who can solve problems, not create them! Your CV and cover letter should show how you can solve the employer's problems and needs.

Tip 7: Target the job

You will have more success if you adjust your CV and cover letter for the specific skills an employer is seeking. This means that you would write one CV for one particular job and a different, modified, CV for another job.

Source :

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

7 Ways to Improve YOUR English without even Trying! for people who speak English as a second language

Learning a second language can be a very stressful and arduous task if you let it. Somehow, the words you learn in the books don't seem to apply very well to real life situations. Those small and seemingly un-important elements the show a person to be in command of not only the language, but the culture of the people who speak it cannot be adequately expressed by words on paper.

So, how do you learn these little secrets of mastering the ability to articulate yourself in another language?

Here are 5 proven techniques that will help you improve your English without even trying, if you are learning to speak English as a second language. Do they really work? Yes. I've tried them myself as I've had opportunity to live somewhere where English wasn't the primary language. I found it to be a fun, exciting, and painless way to learn both the language and the culture. The culture is simply learning the way the natives express their own words. The genuine accent, facial expressions, hand gestures, sighs, moans, groans, laughter, smirks, and other things that go along with everyday conversation.

Regardless of how extensive or not your vocabulary is, if you master the ability to "sound" like you know the language and can speak it, people will be more than generous to assist you.

1. Watch Movies!

Watching movies is always a fun thing to do. In order to get the most out of your movie watching experience, if your vocabulary is limited, watch a movie in English that you are very familiar with in your own language so you always know what's going on. Try not to translate as you go because you lose blocks of conversation this way. Instead, watch the picture and listen. Hear all the words, but determine what's going on by the pictures you see and the words you're hearing that you already know. Believe it or not, other words will sink in too, and so will the accent and everything else that went with what you saw and heard.

As your vocabulary grows, expand your movie selections to other movies you'd like to see but are only available in English. Try to be able to see the film more than once if possible.

According to the location and type of film you intend to view, you will be able to experience different accents, and other cultural expressions of the English language. Pick and choose the things that you think will suit you best. If it doesn't work out, pick and try something else! Have fun with yourself and your efforts.

2. Watch Soap Operas

The place where extreme expression and limited vocabulary meet! This is such a fascinating way to learn a foreign language. Every accessory that goes with the expression of a word is demonstrated on a soap opera. "Outrage" expressed with a word, facial expression or two, and perhaps even a subsequent face slap, all of that being understandable in any language. "Love", another universal subject, or violence, good versus evil can all be discerned quickly and easily on a soap opera. Plus, soap operas are naturally designed to allow anyone just tuning in to pick up the story quickly. The characters are easily loveable and deliciously "hate-able" so you turn to it again and again to see what's going on, and not only improve your English each time, but reinforce what you've already learned.

3. Read the Comics/Funny Papers

Very non-stressful! Pictures with words, or words with pictures, however you want to look at it, it's a great way to learn! For each thought presented there are words that match a picture, and vice versa. It doesn't matter if you read comic books, or the comics in the Sunday newspaper, read whatever will make you laugh and cause you to enjoy learning at the same time.

4. Read Children's books

If you know any little kids between the ages of 5-8, try reading one of their books to them. Usually little kids know their favorite books by heart, so if you stumble a little, they'll be able to help you.

If you enjoy this method of improving your English, and you find yourself to be pretty good at it, then try reading a few Dr. Seuss books. The rhyming will challenge you, but once you master it, your pronunciation of English, and your delivery will have been considerably refined and improved.

5. Take a service job like waiter or waitress; bartender, or sales person.

This type of job can be done if you have a decent vocabulary of verbs, and know how to say "I, we, she, he, they", etc. The only other thing necessary is a working vocabulary of things relevant to your specific tasks and goals.

For example, as a breakfast waitress, you want to be able to ask if they want their eggs, "scrambled or fried", if they want "more coffee", if everything is "alright", do they want "anything else", and the total of their bill in their own language!

If you sell real estate, you'll want to incorporate words like "mortgage, loan, co-sign, 30 year fixed", etc.

If you sell shoes, you need words like "how does that feel", are they "too tight, too loose, to short in the toe, to big", etc.

The longer you work at your job, the more your working vocabulary will improve.

6. Learn these two sentences and you'll be set for life . . . seriously!

"How do you say (blank)", in English (Spanish, French, etc.), and "What is that called?" (Point if you have to, and smile too). Smiling is a universal language. Once I learned how to ask these two questions, I was on my way to being conversant in the language of my choice!

I could use my limited vocabulary to ask the question and then when I got my answer I would repeat it a few times to make sure I was saying it correctly, and "BAM" I had a new vocabulary word. And, because I asked my question to the best of my ability in the native tongue, the natives realized my sincere desire to learn, and helped me!

7. What happens if you make a mistake?

Nothing. The world won't come to an end, and you haven't embarrassed yourself to the point where you can't show your face again. Just apologize if that's what's called for, or laugh at yourself, make the correction, and count it as a learning experience.

Once I was in a restaurant and I wanted to ask the waiter for a "to go" box, however, I was speaking to my kids in English, and trying to think of what I wanted to ask for in Spanish, and I promptly and incorrectly asked him for a "house to go". He looked at me kind of funny, but he was very courteous, and didn't laugh until I laughed.

I've committed other language faux pas as well over the years, all of which have been a learning experience, and if given enough time, will become a humorous story as well.

About The Author

Kim Rogers has lived and worked in the Caribbean, Denmark, and along the Mexican Border. Kim has developed 101 Words that will make You Sound Smarter Right Away! To read more got to

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

14 Tips for Learning Foreign Languages

Depending on the language you want to learn there may be thousands of books, CD's or tools out there (if you're lucky) to help you learn the language. Don't run out and buy anything just yet.

1. First you should do some research.

Research the books, and materials best suited to your needs. How do you do that? Well the easiest way is to go online and visit the largest shopping can also give you a free head start in the language or dialect you want to learn. If you are a student, who is in high school or plans to go to college, (or are already in college) you can ask a teachers' opinion on what books/materials are best suited for learning your foreign language (of choice). Students could also consider taking the foreign language, of interest, as part of their curriculum. that sell books, CD's and multimedia; customers often leave feedback on items they have bought. Read the feedback and quite quickly you should be able to determine what books or materials are best suited to your needs. On the other hand, you may not need to buy anything at all. Some libraries have a foreign language section and they will let you borrow their material for free. In addition, some websites such as

Another very important point to remember when learning some foreign languages is that there are dialects and forms of the language and they vary by country or by region. You should decide which dialect you want to learn to speak. Here is a simple example: a dialect from "country A" may not be understood in country B, C or D even though it is classified as the same language. On the other hand, another dialect spoken in "country E" may be understood by all other countries. What's a common reason that the dialect of "country E" is widely understood (by other countries)? Well it may be widely understood because all or most of the movies, music or entertainment might be produced in that country (country E), therefore the dialect is widely understood in all the other countries. A foreigner wanting to learn the language might be better off learning the dialect of "country E" since it is more widely understood. Another thing to remember is that, in some foreign languages, a huge variation in dialect should not be an issue because learning the standard form of the language should ensure that you are understood by all native speakers.

Ok other tips for learning foreign languages are:

2. Listen to foreign language music and watch foreign language television, even if at first the language all sounds like "one big long word."

By watching the programs, you'll learn new words. Some words have a way of jumping out at you and sticking with you even if you initially have no idea what they mean. With time, you can learn what these words mean by asking a native speaker, asking at school or through self study. If you keep listening to foreign music or watching foreign language television, in time the "one big word" will begin to sound like "smaller word chunks" and eventually you should be able to tell where one word begins and another ends even if you don't understand what the word(s) mean. Later on, you can investigate their meanings.

3. Most people spend their time listening to the sounds of their native language whether it's the news, music or by chatting with friends.

That's how you learned your native language; by listening. Spend less of your time listening to your native language and try to fill as much of your world, as possible, with the sounds of the foreign language you want to learn. You can do this by listenening to language tapes, over and over again in the car. Try to be interactive and actively participate by repeating what you hear on the tape. Repeating the words helps both with pronunciation and memorization. The key is repitition. If you take a bus or taxi, invest in an mp3 player (tip: you can fit more mp3 material on a single CD) and make your own mp3's if possible. If mp3's are out of the question then opt for CD's, computer software or cassettes.

4. Try listening to foreign language tapes at home also.

It's best to use headphones because you get the full effect of a native speaker speaking into your ear. Furthermore, with headphones you hear the nuances of the language alot better. In addition, if you decide to leave the room (or go outside) the headphones will still be on your ears and the speaker will still be talking directly into your ear.

5. Alot of the above methods involve listening materials.

Listening and imitating is the way you learnt your native language as a child and is therefore one of the best ways to become proficient in a new language. But there are other materials you should use to complement your rigorous listening exercises. These could include books, flash cards, computer software. Books are especially important when the language, you want to learn, does not use the English alphabet (Roman alphabet). The written word would help in instances when there are words you have difficulty pronouncing, deciphering or understanding.

6. As mentioned earlier, another aid to learning a foreign language are movies.

Foreign language movies with english subtitles are preferred. If you can turn the subtitles off (as you can on many DVD titles) then you can watch the movie with and without the subtitles to test your knowledge.

7. To learn a foreign language you have to completely immerse yourself in that culture for periods of time (whether through music, movies, television or by visiting a friend who speaks the language).

8. Visiting the country where the foreign language, you want to learn, is spoken is also a very good way to learn the language. Quite logically, the longer your visit the more you will learn. If you surround yourself with others who mainly speak the foreign language then you will be forced to learn and communicate in the foreign language.

9. Some foreign languages use a different alphabet system, different phonetics and the arrangement of the letters do not always follow the A to Z formula. Therefore, by learning their alphabet, phonetics and alphabet order you'll not only improve your pronounciation but also be able to use a dictionary.

10. In time after studying intensively, you'll begin to ask yourself "what is the word for such and such". At this stage a small pocket sized dictionary becomes an essential tool. With a foreign language dictionary, you'll be able to quickly find the word, commit it to memory and satisfy your mind's curiousity.

11. Go over the basics from time to time. Never assume or tell yourself "I already know that so I can skip it." You may be surprised to find that by looking at things from a new perspective you'll gain new insight on something you thought you had already mastered.

12. Take breaks when necessary but don't stay away too long because it's easy to forget what you have learned.

13. Friends who are native speakers of the foreign language are also an essential resource.

Try to be around them especially when they are conversing with others in their native tongue. Even if you don't understand initially you'll be improving your listening skills. One important thing you might come to realize when learning a foreign language is that some words even though they are spelt with a certain letter, that letter may fall silent when spoken in some countries while in other countries it is pronounced. Another important thing to remember is that although a word may be spelt with a letter and that letter has a particular sound in english, in another language that same letter may have a different sound. Those are a few of the reasons why being around native speakers can help improve your foreign language skills by leaps and bounds; not to mention the cultural tips you'll learn which a book, CD, cassette or teacher probably won't cover. Friends are also great resources because they can give insight and help you with the meanings and usuage of words.

14. Don't tell yourself that you are too busy to study or learn your new language. Make the time. Excuses, excuses will get you nowhere.

8 Tips for speaking English fluently!

Here are a few tips and suggestions for you to find input of English around you and improve your English speech:

1. Rent or buy an English movie DVD

Rent or buy an English movie DVD. Put the English subtitles on. Follow the movie.
This has many advantages:
a. You will be able to compare the written words to the correct pronunciations.
b. You will get a feel of how real English sentences are formed when speaking.
c. You will be learning English but it will not be frustrating and boring because you will be watching a movie.

2. Read about any subject that interests you

There are a lot of English magazines available on a lot of different topics. No matter what subject interests you, there must be some magazine that talks about it. There are English magazines about Business, Brides, Guns and Ammo, House Keeping, Stock Market, Sports, Computers, Electronics, Linux, Graphic Designing, Cooking etc.

3. Read Internet forums of subject matter that interests you

Got to Internet forums of the subject matter that interests you. Generally most of the forums are in English language and are a great source of English input.Forums are a great source of information. Also in forums real people talk about real problems. Most of the information typed in forums is written in an informal way. Because of this the forums make a good source for English input. Reading forums exposes you to a lot of phrases of daily use.

4. Read English fiction novels

Read English fiction of your choice. Pick up some thing that interests you. Take it home and read it. Be sure to look up all the new words you come across in the book.

5. Listen to the radio and TV

There are also many different radio stations available now-a-days in the big cities. Some of these radio stations are in English. Listen to them to get a feel of the language.

Besides the radio, you could also listen to the "News In English". It’s available on a wide variety of channels. The news is a good place to get input of the English language because it is spoken in a very clear, easy to understand way.

6. Chat with fluent English speakers

Chat with fluent English speakers real or online. Make friends with interesting English speakers. Become pen-pals with a fluent English speaker.While talking to them look at their lip movement for tips on how to pronounce words correctly.

7. Most effective tip: "Think in English"

One of the most common mistakes that English learners make is, they think in their mother tongue. When they want to say something in English, they think in their mother tongue, translate it to English and then say it in English. The result is a very flawed English sentence. Never do this!

If you want to speak in English fluently you will have to learn to "think" in English. When you are constructing sentences in your mind before saying them, think in English and form them in English in your mind.

8. Get your self some English learning software!

To help you with your English, you could get your self a English learning kit OR English learning software!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

English Grammar Really Does Matter

Whether we are talking about a five year old that is about to start learning to read or whether we are talking about a thirty year old woman who is attempting to write a thesis for her master's degree, we cannot deny the fact that taking time to learn proper English grammar is important.

When we see or hear about English grammar, the immediate reaction of many people I know is to cringe. They are reminded of junior high and high school English class and the way that their English teachers made them to English grammar exercise after exercise. Because English grammar is usually seen in such a negative sense, it is all the more important that people replace those lies with the truth that learning English grammar really is important for anyone who wants to have a proper perspective of the English language.

When we are speaking or hearing English, not too many of us take the time to think about the fact that English grammar is the very thing that allows us to communicate with and understand one another. It is not so much because we use the same words of the English language, but it is because we all put our words together in certain ways to form thoughts and sentences that we can understand each other. This, in short, is the purpose of English grammar.

English grammar is the mechanics of the English langauge that allows for two people who use the same vocabulary to be able to communicate without misunderstanding. Certainly there will always be some level of misunderstaning that happens when two people communicate, but so much of our problems will be lessened if we all take some time to learn English grammar.

Many schools today are moving away from making English grammar a part of the regular curriculum. So while students may learn how to read and write successfully, they will likely never learn the English grammar or the reasons why they are speaking and writing as they are. So if you or someone you know is struggling with any element of the English language, or if you know a child or someone who is attempting to learn English for the first time, then make sure English grammar is included as an important part of the learning process.

Being able to speak, understand and write a language is an important part of being successful no matter what you do in life. And taking the time to learn even the basics of English grammar will go far in helping people communicate even better.

Catalogue: Reference & Education | Language
Title: English Grammar Really Does Matter By: Julee Mitchelsin

Ebook for Free Download : Learning Spoken English in Half the Time

By Lynn Lundquist

LEARNING SPOKEN ENGLISH tells you how to learn to speak English in half the time it would require in even the best grammar-based English training programs. If you live in a country where good English is not regularly spoken, for each hour of study you can learn how to speak in even less than half the time it will take others in your country.

This entirely new language study method for learning spoken English works extremely well. It was first introduced on the website Within two years, it had become the world’s most widely distributed spoken English language course. Today, hundreds of thousands of students around the world are learning fluent spoken English using the Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons from the website.

This book completely explains this new language study method which is called the Feedback Training Method (also known as the Proprioceptive Language Learning Method). You can now learn English—or any other language—faster and with greater fluency using this new method.

This book will help you learn English more quickly if you are already studying in another English program. You may also use the freely down loadable Spoken English Learned Quickly lessons from whether you are a beginner or advanced English student.

We wish you the best of success as you learn to speak fluent English.

The ebook content :


Chapter 1 : Teaching your tongue to speak English

Chapter 2 : Four rules for learning spoken English

Chapter 3 : Grammar and writing in spoken English study

Chapter 4 : Do you need beginning and advanced lesson?

Chapter 5 : Selecting a text

Chapter 6 : Studying the English verb

Chapter 7 : Success in spoken English study

This ebook ca be downloaded in here : Learning English Spoken.pdf

4 Tips How to learn English Pronunciation

Here are 4 tips how to learn pronunciation :

1. Learn the sounds of English

English uses different sounds than other languages. For example, the first sound in the word thin and the first sound in the word away are never spoken in many languages.

So you have to know all the English sounds. You also have to practice your pronunciation — listen to English words and sentences, and try to repeat the English sounds as well as you can.

2. Learn the pronunciation of English words

Reading an English word does not tell you how it is pronounced. This means that, generally, you have to learn the pronunciation of every word that you use.

How can you learn the pronunciation of an English word? You can look it up in a dictionary and read about how it is pronounced. Dictionaries tell you about pronunciation through a special system called " phonetic transcription".

Phonetic transcription is written in a phonetic alphabet. The most popular phonetic alphabet is the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Anti moon has also created the ASCII Phonetic Alphabet, which is suitable for typing on a computer.

3. Choose American or British pronunciation (or both)

Different kinds of English have different pronunciation. For example, the pronunciation (the accent) in British English is different from the pronunciation in American English.

You have a choice between British English and American English, because these are the most important kinds of English in the world. Which one should you choose? Probably the kind that you like the most. Whether you choose British or American pronunciation, people will understand you wherever you go. Of course, you don't have to decide: you can learn to speak both kinds of English.

4. Learn about both American and British pronunciation

Even if you choose to speak one kind of English, you should learn about both kinds. Let's suppose you want to speak pure British English. You don't want to have an American accent at all. Should you pay attention to the American pronunciations in your dictionary? We believe you should.

You may want to speak British English, but you will hear some American English, too. You may go see an American movie, visit the United States, have an American teacher, etc. You may want to speak only British English, but you need to understand both British and American English.

Also, consider what happens if you (a student of British English) hear a new English word from an American? You may learn the American pronunciation of the word. And you may start using that pronunciation in your own speech. So your British English will no longer be pure.

For example, if you hear the word nuke on American TV, it will be pronounced [nu:k]. If, all your life, you have been reading only British phonetic transcriptions, you will not know that many words which have the sound [ju:] in British English, have [u:] in American English. So you will probably learn that nuke is pronounced [nu:k]. But if you learn it like this, you will make your pronunciation "wrong", because a Briton would pronounce the word [nju:k].