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Improve Your English Speaking and English Pronunciation Skills:

The first rule of speaking English is to speak clearly, concisely and use simple vocabulary. KISS - keep it short and simple. Remember you probably won't just speak to native speakers. There are roughly 380 million native speakers, but as many as a billion people speak it as a second language. So it's a good idea to avoid idioms and slang (I always say learn it, but don't use it). It might sound clever to say "You're barking up the wrong tree," but if you misuse it or if the other person doesn't understand you, you'll only look silly when you try to explain what you meant to say, or what it actually means. There's also a saying in English "Have you swallowed a dictionary?" It is applicable to anyone who uses long, complicated words when a shorter word will do. Short sentences are just as good (if not better) than long explanations. The value in what you have to say is what you say, not how clever you look or sound when you say it.

English speaking tips


Get over any fear you might have of making mistakes. You will make mistakes. Be patient with yourself. Learning any language can be frustrating, but frustration won't help you, so let it go. Grasp every opportunity you have to speak with people in English. Talk to friends who are also learning English. Go out together for coffee and only speak English to each other! Read short stories out loud and try to see, say and hear the words to reinforce your memory. Record yourself and play it back later, how does it sound? Find native English speaking friends:You might not be able to find any friendly native speakers where you live, butYou can find English speaking people on the Internet! If you can't find anyone who'll actually help you, don't worry, you'll still be able to figure out if they can understand you. Look for people with the same interests as you. It's no good asking everyone you meet to help you with your English, rather develop natural friendships based on your hobbies etc. Eventually you will make friends and they will be much more likely to give you correction / guidance. Join an English club or conversation group. Around the world there are many English speaking clubs, these clubs aren't just for expats but for people interested in the English way of life. They can be friendly and fun. For a list of English clubs click here. Check magazines as well as your phone book, your local newspaper and your local university. Or if there isn't one in your area - start one! Place an advertisement in your newspaper for people interested in starting a group or go to Meetup. Visit an Irish/English/Australian theme pub or British food shop, you can usually find one in the larger cities. Often, the waiters and waitresses come from Englishspeaking countries, the menu is often in English too! Once your English is good enough, go shopping in some tourist areas. You'll find lots of shop assistants speak very good English. If you can travel to an English speaking country, do it. There are several internet based voice chat programmes out there: iVisit | Pal Talk | MSN Web Messenger | Yahoo! Messenger | Google Talk | Skype and lots more.

Singing
Try singing along to English songs. With friends or in the privacy of your own bathroom. Lots of the major games consoles have karaoke games nowadays, like Sing Star on the Playstation.

!On the internet :- You can speak to me on iVisit (see the forum calendar for times and
dates) - you can also listen to or chat with other learners and native speakers there. There are no more excuses.

!On the network:- Use the pronunciation pages to improve your understanding. !On this site:- You can find some karaoke resources and ideas on the learn English through songs
page.

!On the Network: You can find the words to some popular songs on the English magazine.
Pronunciation skills
Don't get too hung up on trying to sound like a native speaker. Would you start learning the piano in an attempt to sound like Mozart? Probably not. Accents don't matter, as long as people can understand you, but pronunciation is important.

Learn the phonetic alphabet.


List words that have the same sound add to the lists as you learn more words. For example words that rhyme with me:Work on one problem sound at a time. Read slowly concentrating on the pronunciation of particular words. Record yourself, keep the tape and record yourself later, have you improved? Don't be shy - ask a friend to listen to the tape too. Don't worry about sounding like a native, it is more important to speak clearly and pleasantly than it is to sound like the Queen of England. The most important thing to think about is can people understand you? If you have a problem being understood then find someone who speaks English clearly and try to copy the way they speak. Pay particular attention to speed and diction.

Unit 1 - Lesson 4 - The English alphabet (Aa,Bb,Cc...) + Names Learn It


Learn your alphabet (requires Real Player Basic )

The alphabet
AaBbCcDdEeFfGgHh IiJjKkLlMmNnOoPp QqRrSsTtUuVvWwXx YyZ z

Vowels
AEIOU

Consonants
BCDFGHJK LMNPQRST VWXYZ

The Rhyming Alphabet


The following letters rhyme with each other

sound sound e sound sound ysound


ABFIOQRZ HCLYU JDMW KEN GS PX T V

The Phonetic Alphabet


When spelling (especiallyover the phone) use the phonetic alphabet to avoid confusion. A Alpha B Bravo C Charlie D Delta E Echo F Foxtrot G Golf H Hotel I India J Juliet K Kilo L Lima M Mike N November O Oscar P Papa Q Quebec R Romeo S Sierra T Tango U Uniform V Victor W Whisky X X-Ray

Y Yankee Z Zulu

Names
First Name/Christian Name Middle Name or (Middle Initial) Last Name/Surname Elizabeth Mary M Windsor John Wesley W Sinclair

Naturally speaking
When two letters appear next to each other we say "double __" Follow the dialogue. o What's your full name please. My first name is Sonja and my last name Pascalli o Sorry , what was your last name again? Pascalli. o I'm sorry I don't understand. Could you repeat that more slowly please. Pasc-all-i. o How do you write that? Could you spell it please? P-a-s-c-a-double l-i o And your first name please? Sonja o Pardon? Sonja - S-o-n-j-a. o And what is your telephone number please? 2-3-8-7-1-8 o Thank you. You're welcome.

Checking understanding - What to say


"My name is Mr. Bean." "............................"

"?"

"My name

is ????." "My name is Mr. Bean." "I'm sorry I didn't hear that. Could you speak a little louder please?" "I'm sorry, I don't understand." "Could you repeat your name please?" Could you

spell that please?

"I said, my name is Mr. Bean!"


"My name is Mr. Bean, your name is -------- and mine is Mr. Bean." "My name is Mr. Bean." "B-e-a-n."

Capitalisation
When spelling a word for someone it is sometimes necessary to let the person know when letters need to be written in CAPITALS and when they need to be written small. "How do you spell UNESCO please?" "Capital U-N-E-S-C-O." "How do you spell T-Online please?" "Capital T dash capital O small n-l-i-n-e." "How do you spell 1&1 Profi please?" "1 ampersand 1 capital P small r-o-f-i."

Improve your listening skills, writing skills, reading skills, spelling and punctuation!
You will need a pen and some paper. The files are large, so be patient.

Instructions:Choose your level Elementary or Intermediate. Play the .mp3 files (they are large so be patient). Listen to the first file - Just Listen. I will speak, quite quickly, in a natural voice. Listen to second file - listen and write. I will speak more slowly. Listen to the first file again - Check and correct. Check what you have written. You will find the text at the bottom of each dictation page. There will be a new dictation each month.

Learning Styles
This chart will help you determine your learning style; read the word in the left column and then find the answer that most fits you in the three columns to the right. Your answers may fall into all three columns, but one column will likely contain the most answers. The dominant column indicates your primary learning style. Knowing what kind of learner you are can help you to develop a learning strategy. When you Visual Auditory Kinesthetic & Tactile Spell Do you try to see the word? Do you sound out the word or use a phonetic approach? Do you write the word down to find if it feels right? Talk Do you do so sparingly but dislike listening for too long? Do you favour words such as see, picture , and imagine? Do you enjoy listening but are impatient to talk? Do you use words such as hear,

tune , and think? Do you gesture and use expressive movements? Do you use words such as feel, touch , and hold? Concentrate Do you become distracted by untidiness or movement? Do you become distracted by sounds or noises? Do you become distracted by activity around you? Meet someone again Do you forget names but remember faces or remember where you met? Do you forget faces but remember names or remember what you talked about? Do you remember best what you did together? Contact people on business Do you prefer direct, facetoface, personal meetings? Do you prefer the telephone? Do you talk with them while walking or participating in an activity? Read Do you like descriptive Do you enjoy dialog Do you prefer action scenes or pause to imagine the actions? and conversation or hear the characters talk? stories or are not a keen reader? Do something new at work Do you like to see demonstrations, diagrams, slides, or posters? Do you prefer verbal instructions or talking about it with someone else? Do you prefer to jump right in and try it? Put something together

Do you look at the directions and the picture? Do you ignore the directions and figure it out as you go along? Need help with a computer application Do you seek out pictures or diagrams? Do you call the help desk, ask a neighbour, or growl at the computer? Do you keep trying to do it or try it on another computer? Adapted from Colin Rose(1987). Accelerated Learning.

Learn English - Strategic Learning


What strategy do you have for learning English?
Begin with the past

What is your previous experience with successful learning? Do you like to read? solve problems? memorize? recite? interpret? speak to groups? know how to summarize? ask questions about what you studied? review? have access to information from a variety of sources? like quiet or study groups? need several brief study sessions, or one longer one?
What are your study habits? How did they evolve? Which worked best? worst? How did you communicate what you learned best? Through a written test, a term paper, an interview? Proceed to the present

How interested are you in learning English? How much time do you want to spend learning English? What competes for your attention?
Are the circumstances right for success? What can you control, and what is outside your control? Can you change these conditions for success? What affects your dedication to learning English? Do you have a learning plan? Does your plan consider your past experience and learning style? Consider the process What is your main aim for learning English? Do you know any other second languages? What English do you know already? What kinds of resources and information will help you? Will you only rely on one source (for example, a textbook) for information?

Will you need to look for additional sources? As you study, do you ask yourself whether you understand? Should you go more quickly or more slowly? If you don't understand, do you ask why? Do you stop and summarize? Do you stop and evaluate? Do you just need time to think it over and return later? Do you need to discuss it with other "learners" in order to process the information? Do you need to find an authority, such as a teacher, a librarian, or a subject-matter expert? Build in review

What did you do right? What could you do better? Did your plan coincide with how you work with your strengths and weaknesses?
Did you choose the right conditions? Did you follow through; were you disciplined with yourself? Did you succeed? Did you celebrate your success?

Improve Your Written English


Write frequently, in a wide range of formal and informal situations. Get the most out of your dictionary by understanding how to use it correctly . You can use a good English dictionary to find words, for meaning, for pronunciation, to check your spelling and to understand explanations. Copy out short passages of English text from newspapers, magazines or books. Try dictation exercises. You can do this online or get friends to read out text for you to write and then check your writing - concentrate on spelling and punctuation. There are many forums on the net, find one about your interests or hobbies. Observe the niceties of forum use , and apologise if you think you have made any mistakes. Use a blog to create a diary about your life. Write it in English and if you have a thick skin, ask for feedback. Remember blogs are not private, so do not write anything there which you do not want the whole world to read. I recommend http://www.blogger.com , it is free and very easy to use. Be careful about using abbreviations when writing on forums and in chatrooms, they are fun and quick, but can cause bad habits to form. If you are using a computer, use an English spell checker (but don't rely on it). There are spell checkers built in for Google and Firefox browsers. Check what you've written. Even better, get someone else to proofread what you've written. Check for spelling, capitalisation and punctuation. Try to find English speaking pen friends and write to them or, use a messenger service like MSN, Yahoo, Google or find a chatroom. If you can't get in touch with native speakers then contact other learners:You can find ePals on the Internet!

!On the Network :- Use the Learn English Network Forum pages to practise your writing. ! Note - If you are going to use forums and chat services, it's as well to brush up on the niceties otherwise known as Netiquette.

Improve Your English Vocabulary


Use self-study vocabulary books, these should include a good dictionary, and a thesaurus. Expose yourself to as much English as possible by reading, watching the TV, films or the news and listening to the radio or music. Read an English magazine. If you can afford it take out a subscription to a magazine or newspaper. Do online exercises. Keep a note of how you did and go back in a few weeks to see how you have improved. Use stick it notes and label things around your home.

Try to memorize whole sentences, not just individual words. Create or play word games. Scrabble, Crossword Puzzles, Hangman, and Dingbats are all great was to play with words.

Notebooks
Keep a notebook to help you remember what you've learnt. Here's a guide to keeping an English notebook.

Vocabulary webs
Build a vocabulary web to organise your vocabulary about certain subjects. For example your personal life:and then extend it:-

Flash cards
Start a flash cards box. Buy or cut out some cards all the same size. Draw or cut out some pictures. Paste the pictures onto one side of the card and write the correct word on the other side. Put new words in the front of the box. Test yourself using either the pictures, the words or both. If you have forgotten a word bring it to the front of the box.

!On this site:- Use the vocabulary pages to learn new vocabulary thematically and in
context.

!On this site:- You can use my on-line flash cards to practise your vocabulary.
Singing
Try learning the words to English songs, and even sing along with them. With friends or in the privacy of your own bathroom.

!On this site:- You can find some karaoke resources and ideas on the learn English through songs
page.

!On the Network: You can find the words to some popular songs on the English magazine.
Improve Your Reading Skills
Make a habit of reading regularly. Read as many English books, newspapers and magazines as you can get your hands on. Reading should be fun, so make sure the texts you choose are not too too difficult for you. If the book or article you are reading is a chore, then find something easier. Try reading graded books written especially for ESL learners. I've written a guide on how to choose a book here. Find an author you like and read all their books. By doing this you will get used to the style of a particular author and the typical vocabulary and grammar they use. As you read more of his/her books you will find it easier and easier. If you have a local library find out if they stock English books or if they have bilingual editions of English classics. Or ask them to stock English translations of books you are already familiar with. Try reading things more than once. Read something and then read it again a few weeks/months later. You should find your understanding has improved. Try to discuss a book you've enjoyed with other people. You can even discuss books with me on the forum, or there are lots of online book clubs and you can even write reviews on book selling sites. Don't try to read "the classics". Save them for later, start with contemporary short stories. And don't forget, there are loads of excellent comics out there too. I actually started learning German by reading Winnie the Pooh!

!Learning Tip - don't try to understand every word. Try to understand the overall
meaning of a sentence or passage.

!Learning Tip - don't translate - only use a dictionary if a word keeps appearing in a
text and you still don't understand it.

Learning Tip - don't just read a book and then forget about it - try to analyse it. You can use this reading log to help you. On this site:- Use the English Magazine to find some interesting articles, poems and jokes to read. If there's a word you don't understand double click it with your mouse and the definition will pop up. There are no more excuses.

!On this site:- Check out my recommended books. !On this site:- Try some Speed Reading tips to increase your reading speed. !On this site:- Every Monday I run a reading session on iVisit. There are no more excuses.
Improve Your English Listening Skills
Make sure you have the right software to take advantage of what is available on the www. You can download players and find links to online radio stations at real.com , windowsmedia.com and winamp.com . You can try some of the English radio stations I recommend on my broadcasts page. You can subscribe to podcasts and radio stations on iTunes too. Films in English are an excellent language resource. Follow my tips on how to use films to improve your English. If you're not sure what films to watch, look at my recommended films pages. Listening whilst reading is a good idea, there are lots of audio books on the market, I mention some on my recommended books pages, there are also some fun podcasts on the Have Fun with English site and two weekly podcasts on the Interesting Facts site. Keep up to date with current events and watch an English-language news station, such as BBC World. Watch news reports on events you are already aware of. Find out how to switch languages on your TV. If you have digital or satellite TV there are several channels that broadcast in multiple languages. Eurosport is one and Euronews is another, you should be able to set these to the English language.

!On this site:- Use the vocabulary pages to listen to simple vocabulary. !On this site:- Use the dictation pages to test your understanding. !On the Network:- Every Wednesday I run a listening session on iVisit. There are no more
excuses.

!On the Network:- Little and often is a good idea, so try my Interesting Facts pages. Every week I
write some interesting facts and there are accompanying sound files for the most interesting facts.

!On the Network:- Use my English magazine Ezine pages to find some interesting articles,
poems or stories to listen to.

!On the Network:- Listen to the poem of the month or joke of the month. !On the Network:- A bit of light-hearted fun on the Have Fun with English page. There are new
videos or listening files every month.

! On the forum:- Join the forum and ask me to read a short piece of text out loud. ! On the web:- Go to some TTS (text to speech) web sites and use their free services. Some of the
results are surprisingly good. I particularly like Acapela TV for their talking fluffy bunnies.

Improve Your English Grammar

Use self-study grammar books. Practice forming meaningful sentences. Make positive statements negative, turn statements into questions, make active statements passive. Turn past tense sentences into present tense sentences etc. etc. Learn the different tenses. Learn by heart a simple example sentence using each tense. Do online exercises. Keep a note of how you did and go back in a few weeks to see how you have improved.

!On this site:- Use the grammar pages to learn new grammar and then test yourself.
Most importantly, try to develop a feeling for English.

How to improve your English skills


My most important piece of advice is: "Do something (anything). If you don't do anything, you won't get anywhere. Make it your hobby, not a chore, but above all have fun!" Don't be in too much of a hurry. You're setting off on a long journey and there'll be delays and frustrations along the way. Sometimes you'll be in the fast lane and other times you'll be stuck in traffic, but there will also be lots of interesting things and interesting people along the way. Take your time to really enjoy the experience. There are many ways to improve your level of English, but only you can find the right way for you. Here are a few tips that might help:-

Improve your Learning Skills


Learning is a skill and it can be improved. Your path to learning effectively is through knowing yourself your capacity to learn processes you have successfully used in the past your interest, and knowledge of what you wish to learn Motivate yourself If you are not motivated to learn English you will become frustrated and give up. Ask yourself the following questions, and be honest:Why do you need to learn/improve English? Where will you need to use English? What skills do you need to learn/improve? (Reading/Writing/Listening/Speaking) How soon do you need to see results? How much time can you afford to devote to learning English. How much money can you afford to devote to learning English. Do you have a plan or learning strategy? Set yourself achievable goals You know how much time you can dedicate to learning English, but a short time each day will produce better, longer-term results than a full day on the weekend and then nothing for two weeks. Joining a short intensive course could produce better results than joining a course that takes place once a week for six months. Here are some goals you could set yourself:Join an English course (and attend regularly). Do your homework. Read a book a month. Learn a new word every day. Visit an English speaking forum every day. Read a news article on the net every day. Do 10 minutes listening practice every day. Watch an English film at least once a month. Follow a soap, comedy or radio or TV drama. A good way to meet your goals is to establish a system of rewards and punishments. Decide on a reward you will give yourself for fulfilling your goals for a month. A bottle of your favourite drink

A meal out / or a nice meal at home A new outfit A manicure or massage Understanding how you learn best may also help you. There are different ways to learn. Find out what kind of learner you are in order to better understand how to learn more effectively..

The visual learner


Do you need to see your teacher during lessons in order to fully understand the content of a lesson? Do you prefer to sit at the front of the classroom to avoid visual obstructions (e.g. people's heads)? Do you think in pictures and learn best from visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated text books, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs? During a lecture or classroom discussion, do you prefer to take detailed notes to absorb the information?

!Learning Tip - you may benefit from taking part in traditional English lessons, but
maybe private lessons would be better.

The auditory learner


Do you learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say? Do you interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances? Does written information have little meaning until you hear it?

!Learning Tip - you may benefit from listening to the radio or listening to text as you
read it. You could try reading text aloud and using a tape recorder to play it back to yourself.

The Tactile/Kinesthetic learner


Do you learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around you? Do you find it hard to sit still for long periods? Do you become distracted easily? Learning Tip - you may benefit from taking an active part in role plays or drama activities.

Other English Learning Tips


Travel to an English speaking country:England is only a few hours flight away. Specialist holidays are available to improve your English. Take an English speaking tour or activity holiday. Spend your time on things that interest you. If you like cooking then buy an English-language cookbook or find recipes on the net and practise following the recipes. You'll soon know if you have made a mistake! Keep something English on you (book, newspaper or magazine, cd or cassette, set of flashcards) all day and every day, you never know when you might have 5 spare minutes. If you are too tired to actively practice just relax and listen to an English pop song or talk radio station.

English Grammar Adjectives


Adjectives describe or give information about nouns or pronouns. For example:The grey dog barked. (The adjective grey describes the noun "dog".) The good news is that the form of an adjective does not change. It does not matter if the noun being modified is male or female, singular or plural, subject or object.

Some adjectives give us factual information about the noun - age, size colour etc (fact adjectives - can't be argued with). Some adjectives show what somebody thinks about something or somebody - nice, horrid, beautiful etc (opinion adjectives - not everyone may agree). If you are asked questions with which, whose, what kind, or how many, you need an adjective to be able to answer. There are different types of adjectives in the English language: Numeric: six, one hundred and one Quantitative: more, all, some, half, more than enough Qualitative: colour, size, smell etc. Possessive: my, his, their, your Interrogative: which, whose, what Demonstrative: this, that, those, these !Note - The articles a, an, and the and the possessives my, our, your, and their are also adjectives.

Opinion
Adjectives can be used to give your opinion about something good, pretty, right, wrong, funny, light, happy, sad, full, soft, hard etc. For example: He was a silly boy.

Size
Adjectives can be used to describe size. big, small, little, long, tall, short, same as, etc. For example: "The big man." or "The big woman".

Age
Adjectives can be used to describe age. For example: "He was an old man." or "She was an old woman."

Shape
Adjectives can be used to describe shape. round, circular, triangular, rectangular, square, oval, etc. For example: "It was a square box." or "They were square boxes."

Colour
Adjectives can be used to describe colour. blue, red, green, brown, yellow, black, white, etc. For example: "The blue bag." or "The blue bags".

Origin
Adjectives can be used to describe origin. For example:"It was a German flag." or "They were German flags."

Material
Adjectives can be used to describe material. "It was a cotton cushion." or "They were cotton cushions."

Distance
Adjectives can be used to describe distance. l -- o -- n -- g / short long, short, far, around, start, high, low, etc. For example: "She went for a long walk." or "She went for lots of long walks."

Temperature

Adjectives can be used to describe temperature. cold, warm, hot, cool, etc. For example: "The day was hot." or "The days were hot."

Time
Adjectives can be used to describe time. late, early, bed, nap, dinner, lunch, day, morning, night, etc. For example: "She had an early start."

Purpose
Adjectives can be used to describe purpose. (These adjectives often end with "-ing".) For example: "She gave them a sleeping bag." or "She gave them sleeping bags." !Note - In each case the adjective stays the same, whether it is describing a masculine, feminine, singular or plural noun. When using more than one adjective to modify a noun, the adjectives may be separated by a conjunction (and) or by commas (,). For example: "Her hair was long and blonde." or "She had long, blonde hair." More examples:
Adjective Pretty Serious Fast Quiet Example She was a pretty girl. He was a serious boy. It was a fast car. They were quiet children.

!Note - Adjectives that go immediately before the noun are called attributive adjectives. Adjectives can also be used after some verbs. They do not describe the verb, adverbs do that. Adjectives after a verb describe the subject of the verb (usually a noun or pronoun). They are called predicative adjectives. For example: "David looks tired." The subject (in this case David) is being described as tired not the verb to look. There is also the adjective used to, which is explained here.

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