Tag Archives: English Coach

WHY YOU STILL DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY AND HOW YOU CAN OVERCOME THIS ISSUE

After years and years of studying English as a subject at school, you expect at the end to speak English fluently, right?

Unfortunately, many ESL students still don’t speak this language confidently. I remember that I was talking with a teacher and I asked him if after high school the students would be able to speak fluently, and he told me that the program wasn’t designed in that way, the purpose of teaching a second language at school was to help to the students to have a general knowledge of a foreign language.

Many people spend money attending to classes, but the problem is that the teacher is so busy with many students, teaching grammar, grading exams, preparing classes and he barely has time to help the students to get fluency.

Another problem is that in a classroom, the students are not able to practice their speaking skills; they usually learn grammar rules and how to translate into their native languages.

After we identified some of the common problems, let’s analyze how you can overcome these obstacles.

 

How to overcome common obstacles to improve your English skills

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My advice would be that you also need to learn English outside the classroom, learn how to teach English to yourself, enjoy the learning process doing what you like.

The traditional way of teaching English is out-of-date; we can use technology to learn a second language. Schools have been using the same methods to teach for decades, but as you know we live in a digital age, and new generations learn in a new interactive way.

Grammar books make me fall asleep; I learn languages by downloading apps like Duolingo on my phone, reading books on my tablet using digital dictionaries.

The best way to learn how to use grammar in a real conversation is watching movies and TV shows, pay attention to the way that the actors speak and learn phrases and general slang.

Another way to learn how to build your own sentences is reading comics, there are some apps that you can download and enjoy reading your favorite comics in English; and if you read a book, make sure that has a lot of dialogues, and pick up phrases that you can use in a real conversation.

Do you like to listen to music in English? Download some apps to learn the song’s lyrics.

If you are not able to practice your speaking skills at school, get a friend to practice with.

You can use these websites:

http://www.language-exchanges.org/

http://www.italki.com/

You can practice by Skype, Google Hangouts, Oovoo, etc.

If you still think that you need some direction, get an English tutor to help you to improve your skills, he’ll provide you with the right tools and guide you need.

These are just some useful tips, there are more methods for learning by yourself, if you know some of them, please comment below.

TALK TO YOURSELF IN ENGLISH

When people outside of an English speaking country are learning English, it is kind of difficult for them to practice regularly; that’s the reason why I’d like to share some techniques to improve your speaking skills talking to yourself.

 

Why to talk to yourself

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People who learn languages know this method way too much, they usually talk to themselves every day, the purpose is to help you to speak confidently when you have an opportunity to talk to an English speaker.

When you try this approach, you learn by yourself to use the vocabulary that you’ve learned; you can prepare some topics beforehand for future conversations as well, and at the same time you are working on your pronunciation.

One of my students from China who uses this method mentioned: “Since the last month I do it every day. I’ve been doing it already for a month. It’s becoming easier and easier for me to talk. I don’t have to struggle looking for words or sentences to express myself now.”

 

How to talk to yourself

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There are different techniques that you can try, one of my favorites is to record my soliloquies or monologues. I love learning languages and I love to practice this way because I can play back my records and see how good it is my pronunciation.

Another technique is to talk to yourself in front of a mirror; I think this helps because you can work on your body language too, as you know every culture has its own body language, and you will have the sensation that you are talking to someone else.

And the last one, but not least, talk to yourself whenever you have some free time, it doesn’t matter where you are or if you have your Smartphone to record your voice.

 

What to talk about

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There’s an endless list of topics that you can use, I’d like to mention some of them:

–  You could talk about your daily routine, what you did during the day.

–  Think how you could describe people and places, just look around and you’ll find some material to talk about.

–  Express your emotions and feelings, imagine that you are talking to a close friend.

– Imagine how you would give directions to get at some place.

–  Talk about the future, what you’re going to do next week, plan your events using English.

– If there’s a topic that is not easy for you because you don’t know how to express yourself, try to practice looking for the right expressions and take your time in order to become familiar with the information.

 

As you can see there are a lot of topics, you can talk to yourself using monologues or playing roles, you can imagine that you’re talking to someone else; please ,use topics for a real conversation, so when you have one you’ll be ready to talk about it.

 

How long you need to talk

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Well, it doesn’t  matter, you can talk  10 minutes or 1 hour, just use the time you have available. The point is to practice daily in order that you can improve, after a while you’ll master this method and you’ll see how your English speaking skills improve.

 

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HOW TO LEARN ENGLISH FASTER

People around the world are crazy for English and they spend a lot time and money and don’t see good results, that’s why I decided to write about it. I’m going to share some tips that have helped me a lot to learn languages.

 

Motivation

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What is the main reason why you want to learn English? Would you like to travel to an English speaking country? Would you like to get a better job? Would you like to watch your favorites TV Shows or movies without subtitles?

Please, take into account why you’d like to learn English faster, because this reason will keep you going when you feel frustrated or tired.

Get rid of your negative thoughts, instead, picture yourself speaking the language confidently and fluently.

 

Goals

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Now, you need to set a goal, a realistic goal; for example, think about what you ‘d like to achieve in 30 days and write it down in a journal or paste it on your mirror, so you can remember it and work on that. Would you like to master some tenses? Would you like to improve your pronunciation? Would you like to improve your listening or speaking skills?

 

Full immersion

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What do native English speakers do everyday?  Do they read the news, listen to music, watch TV and write? Well, I recommend that you create the same routine.

If you’re a beginner, take a free course online in order to have a good foundation in the language.

Download some apps to listen to the radio or some podcasts, and start your day doing that.

Do you like to listen to music in English? Then, learn the lyrics by heart.

Do you like to read the news or books? Read some digital newspaper or get some books.

Do you like American TV shows or movies? Then, watch them without subtitles, but if you are a beginner, wait until you have a basic knowledge of the language to turn off the subtitles.

 

Learn and practice everyday

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If you’d like to learn faster, you gotta have a daily routine doing the activities I described above and dedicate all the time you have available.

To get a good proficiency in English, you just have to dedicate 600 hours.

You gotta know that if you learn regularly, you have to make an extra effort to speak too; social networks are very useful to know English speakers, try to meet people who only speak English and chat with them regularly, if you do that, you’ll be working on your writing skills as well.

Get a language exchange partner, I talked about this topic in a former article you can check it here.

 

Invest in your future

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Just think for a moment what you’d be able to do if you could speak English fluently; your future is very important, if you’d like to practice regularly with a tutor to see quicker results, why don’t you try English conversational lessons through Skype? I’ll share my methods to learn languages in a fast way with you. Your education is very important, and if you learn how to speak English fluently, you’ll get many opportunities.

Good luck with your English learning process!

HOW TO THINK IN ENGLISH

ESL students would like to speak English like they do in their native language in an easy way, but they still struggle trying to think in English, they get frustrated, because they are always translating from their native language into English, and when they try to speak, they can’t think completely in this second language; but I got good news, I’m going to explain to you how you can learn to think in English.

 

Create a bubble

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If you don’t live in an English speaking society you have to create your own bubble or environment where you listen, watch and speak English every day, that’s why you need to do everything in English.

I would say that at the beginning it isn’t easy, but it becomes a habit if you persist and don’t give up.

If you usually listen to the radio, get an app and listening on your Smartphone or other device.

Do you like to read the news? Read some digital newspapers.

Do you enjoy watching American TV Shows? Watch them in English and without subtitles.

The more spend time learning English, the more it’ll become familiar for you and thinking in English won’t be complicated.

 

How to stop thinking in your native language

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First things first, to think in English is a decision that you can make, it’s not about confidence, it’s about motivation. I’d say that it’s easier than speaking, because if you make a mistake you won’t feel embarrassed, but it requires a lot of motivation, because there’s no one there  pushing you to speak and think in English.

To start this journey, you gotta have a good foundation of basic grammar in order that you can build your own sentences, and if you already created your own bubble, the process will be faster because you’ll be learning every day.

In early stages, it’s quite common to use more your native language; you’ll probably be translating instead of thinking fluently. But the point is to use English in your thoughts, not only on your conversations.

In order to exercise your mind thinking in English, I advise you to keep a journal, maybe you can use your Smartphone or a notebook; I suggest first, to start thinking how to describe daily activities in English, if there is a word or topic difficult for you, write it down and study it, you’re going to learn more vocabulary and next time you try to think in the same topic, it’ll be easier and you can move on thinking in another topic. This helps you to organize your thoughts.

Another suggestion would be to prepare some questions and phrases next time you talk to an English speaker, so when you got the opportunity to practice it won’t be hard to keep a conversation going.

 

Follow through, don’t forget your goal

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If you make an extra effort to think everything you can in English every day, you’ll be surprised with the results, instead of thinking “eu quero”(Portuguese), “yo quiero” (Spanish)or “我想”(Mandarin Chinese) you’ll automatically say to yourself “I want”,  and you won’t even know  where it came from, because you won’t be using your native language.

I think the biggest challenge is to overcome the feeling of frustration, because at the beginning you won’t be able to think in English fully, don’t worry that’s OK, after a while, when you’ve learned more about your target language, it’ll be easier and one day you’ll wake up thinking totally in English, and you’ll be amazed.

Every time you make an effort to think in English it is an active exercise to prepare you for a real conversation, and the thoughts start to flow faster every time.

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TIPS TO READ IN AN EFFICIENT WAY USING TECHNOLOGY

Would you like to read English faster?

Do you get bored easily because you spend a lot of time trying to look up the words that you don’t know?

Would you like to read an entire book in English, but you think it is difficult?

 

Hi, guys! Today, I would like to share with you some useful tips to read in English efficiently. Many ESL students would like to read their favorite bestsellers in English, but they are not motivated to do it because they don’t want to spend a lot of time opening a book and looking up every single word that they don’t understand.

 

Using technology to work on your reading skills

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I love technology and I think it makes our life easier. I don’t usually use physical books; I got thousands of digital books. I prefer digital books because if there is a word that I don’t know I can google it right away in a second without closing and opening books.

When I’m using my laptop to read digital books and I find some interesting phrase or word that I could use, I copy it and paste it in a MS Word document to study it later, and if there is a word that I don’t know I google it right away; as you can see, you save time and energy working in this way.

I prefer to read books in EPUB format, that’s why I downloaded an app (an application) called UB EPUB for Android phones to read my favorite books. I enjoy using this app because it has some characteristics that help me to work on my reading skills in a good way. I’m sure there are more great similar apps available for Apple and Android devices as well, that you can use.

This app allows you to download digital dictionaries and synchronize them, if there is a word that you don’t know just select the word and it’ll show you the meaning right away, if the meaning is not so clear you have more options available like googling the word or searching it on Wikipedia.

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If I was reading a physical book, it’d take me a lot of time looking up the words on dictionary and writing down the words or phrases that I’d like to learn.

When I’m not home and I want to read my favorite book, I just use my phone to read and at the same time I copy and paste in a document the words that I want to add to my vocabulary.

This is the way that works for me, maybe you have your own methods to read efficiently, please feel free to comment below and share them.

Well, guys, that’s all for today; if you liked this article, please share it and subscribe.

LEARN ENGLISH THROUGH MOVIES AND TV SHOWS

 

Are you tired of studying books?

 

Are you bored of the regular English classes?

 

Would you like to learn English in an easy and fun way?

 

Hey, guys, today I’m going to talk about how you can use TV Shows and movies to learn English. I’d like to thank to a good friend of mine from Switzerland who suggested me to write about this topic.

 

Let’s start!

 

Why you should use movie and TV shows to learn English

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The English that people use in the movies or TV is real English, they use trendy phrases and up-to-date slang. If you learn new words and phrases you’ll learn how to use them in their context too.

 

When you are learning English as a second language, you tend to speak in the same way that you speak in your native language, when you learn through movies and TV shows you learn about the way how you should speak and use your body language; as you know in every culture people use a different kind of body language.  To learn a language is not only about pronouncing words correctly, it’s about learning about culture and people.

 

Tips for learning English through movies and TV shows.

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  • I suggest that you choose a movie or TV show, according to your English level.

 

–       Kids programs and animated movies: if you just started to learn English, these programs will help you to have a strong foundation because the English they use is really simple and easy to grasp.

 

–       TV Shows about stupid humor like “Friends”, why do we call it stupid humor?

Because if someone makes a stupid mistake, they laugh and explain it to the audience, this kind of TV shows usually last like 20 minutes.

 

–       Action movies are very useful because they explain any hard word. For example, if a catastrophe is going to happen, they explain every detail about it.

 

–       Drama movies and TV shows use big words, because people are intellectual and smart. They won’t explain anything to you because they are sophisticated and if you like this kind of movies you should understand, this is high English.

 

 

–       Dark comedies are good because they play with the language. They use sophisticated English as well.

 

  • When you watch movies and TV shows you are focused on improving your listening skills, so first, I recommend that you watch them without subtitles, because when you use subtitles you are working on your reading skills.

 

  • After you watched it without subtitles, turn on the subtitles and write down the phrases and words that you are going to use in a real conversation and try to imitate the way the actors speak.

 

  • If you don’t understand 100% the subtitles write down what you don’t understand and use a dictionary.

 

  • Do you think that is hard work to be reading subtitles and writing down everything at the same time?

Well, I got another suggestion, you can download the subtitles and study them separate, take your time studying them. After you understand 100% try to watch the movie again.

 

  • There is another technique, you pick up a scene you like and study it, try to write down what they are talking about, later turn on the subtitles to see if you got it right, if you do this you’ll be improving your listening skills. Then, focus on the way they speak and try to imitate them, once you’ve mastered one scene; pick up another one and so on.

 

If you do this regularly, your English will improve a lot.

Well, guys, that was all for today, hope it helps you and if you like this article, please share it and subscribe.

LEARNING ENGLISH THROUGH MUSIC

I always say to my ESL students that we need to enjoy the learning process, and learning through music is a great option.

 

Why to use music to learn English

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Trendy music has up-to date phrases and slang, the target are native speakers, so any expression you learn is usable if you pick up some good stuff, even though if you are busy  you can listen to some music and train your listening skills.

 

Pick up the right kind of music

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I recommend that you choose music that is mainstream, because if you usually speak with native speakers, you’ll have a common ground to talk about. Old music, on the other hand, could be useful; however, it could content some slang that is not useful anymore.

Fast-pace songs could be hard to understand, that’s why it is better to pick up songs that you’ll be able to understand and tell a story.

 

Tips for learning through music

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–          Pick up music you love, what kind of English are you interested to learn? American music has a lot of genres. For example: Hip-hop is not Standard American English, but if you are into the Afro-American culture that’s a good option. FYI pop music is mainstream and you  have available an array of cool songs, but at the end, it’s all up to you, just choose something you enjoy listening to.

 

–          Once you get your songs, download the lyrics and look up the words and phrases that you don’t understand.

 

–          After you studied the vocabulary, listen to the songs and pay attention to the pronunciation.

 

–          When you are familiar with the song, try to learn some verses and the chorus by heart, and use your new vocabulary in a daily conversation.

If you get bored, try to learn another song. The key is never stopping of learning with the music you love.

 

–          After a while, you’ll learn a lot of words and phrases, from time to time make a playlist and play the songs to refresh your memory and remember what you’ve learned.

 

 

Well, guys, that’s all that I wanted to share with  you, my dear readers and if you liked this article please share it and subscribe.

IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH READING SKILLS: READING ALOUD

 

Is it difficult for you to read aloud?

How can you improve your reading skills?

What kind of books should you start reading?

 

Many ESL students struggle with this aspect of the English language, some of them have never read an entire book in English, and if somebody asks them to read aloud an article they don’t feel confident doing it. That’s why I’d like to share with you some good tips.

 

 

Pick up something to read

 

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I recommend that you read something you like and you’ll enjoy reading.

If you are interested in celebrities, self-help, technology, etc. You can start reading books, magazines about that. The key is to make the learning process enjoyable.

Would you like to improve your pronunciation?

Well, in that case you need to choose books or magazines that are also available in audio.

 

Suggestions to improve your reading

-Pick up a topic and start to read aloud the first 2 or 3 paragraphs; mark the words that you don’t understand or you don’t know how to pronounce.

-Keep a dictionary handy or use an online dictionary and look for the words that you don’t understand.

Now you understand 100% of the information. Next we’re going to work on your pronunciation.

Did you mark the words that you don’t know how to pronounce?

-OK, right now, play the audio book or magazine. Please listen carefully, notice how the reader pronounces, stresses and links the words.

 

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-Write down the phonetic pronunciation of the words that you didn’t know how to pronounce.

-Now, play it again, but you are going to focus on the first lines of the paragraph.  Play it over and over and follow the reader until you read at the same pace. If you’d like to know if your reading is good, use your phone or other device to record yourself, so you can see what you need to improve.

After you’ve mastered the reading of the first lines, please keep going with the rest of the information; If you covered the whole article or topic, try to read it aloud, and record yourself one more time, you’ll see how you’ll have improved.

I recommend that you do this exercise everyday for 30 minutes or 1 hour.

After 1 month you’re going to see how your English reading skills will have improved.

That’s all for today, guys, and if you liked this article, please share it and subscribe.

CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH – HOW TO MAKE POLITE REQUESTS

Hello, everybody!

Today, I’d like to talk about how you can improve your English conversation skills making polite requests.

It isn’t nice to give orders in English; if you don’t use polite expressions people will think that you are rude. So, if you’d like to ask something you need to be polite and people will respond in the same way.

I’m going to share with you some expressions that you can use in any situation, but especially in business situations.

 

 Polite requests

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Please …

Could you please…?

Would you …?

Can you …?   It’s not a very polite expression as “could you”; it’s kind of casual.

Would you mind …?  This is a very special expression. For example when someone ask you, “Would you mind opening the window?” what he is really  trying to say is, “Do you have any objection in opening the window?”.  So the answer should be “No, no problem, I’ll open the window”. Please notice that if you use the expression “would you mind”, the verb that you are going to use has to be infinitive.

Examples:  Would you mind turning on the lights?

Would you mind taking this book back for me?

Positive Response
No, not at all.
Of course not.

Negative response:
Yes, I would.

 

 

Now, let’s see how you can use these expressions in real situations.

 

Bank

Could you please sign this form?

Would you fill out this form?

 

Restaurant

Please, bring us some water.

Could you please bring us another bottle of wine?

 

Office

Could you please send them an email?

Would you mind sending them a letter?

 

Hotel

Could you please send me some towels to my room?

Would you send me some towels to my room?

 

Phone

I can barely hear you; could you please speak a little louder?

 

Home

Could you please close the door?

Would you mind turning off the TV?

 

Remember next time when you are making a request to use these polite expressions, and it’ll help you to improve your English conversation skills, and you’ll have pleasant experiences.

 

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TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH WRITING SKILLS

 

Is it difficult for you to write an article in English?

Do you think that your English grammar is not so good?

Would you like to become an excellent English writer?

 

Don’t worry, you came to the right place, I’m going to provide you with some good tips to improve your English writing skills, let’s start!

 

Write, write and write

 

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If you would like to improve your writing skills, you need to write every day.

What should you write about?

Well, it’s all up to you, I recommend that you write about the things that you like and you do.

It could be about the family, friends, work, hobbies, etc

You don’t have to write long articles, to start with, you can write one or two paragraphs of 100 words or more, later you can start writing more paragraphs.

 

Read and learn new vocabulary

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If you want to write great articles, you need to read every day and keep learning new vocabulary.

Pay attention to the way how native speakers write and how you can imitate them. If you put on practice these tips your writing will become sophisticated and professional.

 

How to improve your grammar

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If your grammar skills are still not so good, pick up a grammar book and read it every day, you’ll be amazed by what you learn every day.

 

Edit your writing

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If you type on your computer, you have some advantages, because you can edit your writing using MS word, after you carefully edit your writing ask a friend to check it out.

 

The more you work on your writing skills the more you’ll improve.

 

Well, guys, this was the article for today. If you guys liked it, please share it and subscribe.