How to learn ENGLISH through the BBC



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I am not usually in the situation of promoting competitors, but I feel that this one has to be looked at for those students who really don’t have anything else much to help them except the internet or the radio.

Also there is a common phrase around the world that someone speaks ‘BBC English’, and I would like to propose to the world community of English language learners that this is in fact THE English to try to master!

Anyway the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been around since 1943 and has been not only connecting to the world in English since then, but has been actively promoting English to international learning for over 60 years…you can’t ignore that.

But let’s have a look at what they do actually offer:

  1. BBC Website that offers simple quick information on how to start a conversation in almost anywhere!

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NEXT TOP 15 English SLANG you should start using now to sound like a real BRIT!



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A while ago I gave you the first 20 slang phrases from English that are worth looking at, now let’s check out another 20. There are even more too I will tell you about later!

  1. Quid – pound

That shirt cost me 20 quid.

  1. Loo – toilet

Excuse me, can you tell me where the loo is, please.

  1. Nicked – stolen

Hey I have just had my mobile phone nicked.

  1. Nutter – crazy person

Be careful around that person he is known to be a nutter.

  1. Gobsmacked – Amazed

When he won the competition I was really gobsmacked.

  1. Chap – Male or friend

He is a really nice chap.

  1. Bob’s Your Uncle – There you go!

When you finish the job, then bob’s your uncle you are done!

  1. Don’t give a monkeys aunt – don’t care

Honestly, I don’t give a…

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‘How Many Words Do I Need To Know?’

english expressions

th (1)Ever hear the expression, ‘quality over quantity‘?

Quality over quantity means that you prefer something of value or importance rather than just the number. For example, would you rather have 12 horribly made chocolate bars or one really delicious chocolate bar? Probably the really good, high-quality chocolate bar. Well, it’s the same thing with the English language!

Everybody wants to learn as many words as they can when they start learning English. And I get a lot of questions from students asking, ‘how many words do I need to know before I’m fluent?’ Well… there is no set number you need to reach. And I know how hard it is for some of you to hear that – I was one of them.

But, instead of focusing on the number of words you need to know, focus on the quality of the words you’re learning. For example, the…

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Why should we USE POETRY in the ESL classroom?



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Often when I think about introducing a poem into the ESL class setting with a view to perhaps learning new vocabulary etc, I find myself a little afraid of how the students will respond because poems may look short and simple, but often are very complex.   But to my amazement often the students love it because:

  1. Sometimes it has some fun rhyming words

ESL students learn through many kinds of ways, and every way is as unique as the student themselves. Often rhyming can really help them with their pronunciation and it can be fun too.

  1. Their diction can be improved

Sometimes there is alliteration and that helps the students have fun repeating and pronouncing some of those difficult consonants. E.g. for Arabic it is always ‘b’ and ‘p’…

  1. Often there is a simple message

Even if you have to tell the students what the simple…

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What is the BEST CLASSROOM environment for ENGLISH LANGUAGE learners?



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If you have traveled around the world, weather you are a student or a teacher, you will have been in a variety of classroom environments. Some are very different to others and some are more useful for creating language learner than others.

To learn a language you need the classroom to have these important features:

  1. A well-qualified teacher

This may seem a no brainer, but in fact there are many poor teachers teaching out there who may either be suffering from lack of interest in the subject to lack of professional development. All in all the end result will manifest itself in the students themselves. So a well-qualified and experienced teacher is the most important first step to a great environment.


  1. A teacher who instills confidence in the students

The teacher again, may know their subject well, but they also have to be supportive and…

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If you are a student or an ESL teacher, take a look at this checklist (or even print it off!) and see how you measure up or how you think your teacher measures up….



Always/Usually/ Sometimes/Never

1 Respect yourself
2 Respect your colleagues
3 Respect your students
4 Respects opinion of others (both students and colleagues)
5 Accept colleagues as equals
6 Accept the diversity of the students and teachers
7 Be prepared to carry out your responsibilities
8 Give constructive feedback
9 Be a life time learner
10 Be encouraging to students and staff
11 Be imaginative and creative with students
12 Be accountable for all you say and do
13 Know that there is no one else like you
14 Show compassion to your students and colleagues
15 Be a team player
16 Reach for high quality performance
17 Understand that nothing…

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Ten Common Mistakes ESL Teachers Make in the Classroom (And How to Fix Them)

So, You Think You Can Teach ESL?

Nobody is perfect. That’s the truth. It’s the same for doctors, lawyers, parents, students, and teachers. Nobody likes making mistakes. Big or small, mistakes can kill self-esteem, loom over our heads like some grim reaper created out of our own idiocy. In a classroom, teachers often make mistakes early on in their careers; veteran teachers make mistakes, too.


What mistakes do ESL teachers make?

ESL teachers tend to frequently make mistakes throughout their first year. The inadequate training of some programs, lack of preparation, and general inexperience all contribute to these mistakes. They’re fairly common, so don’t feel bad. I made numerous mistakes my first year teaching, and I still make mistakes from time to time.

Here are ten common mistakes ESL teachers make (taken from both BusyTeacher, and ABCfrog).


1.Too much “Teacher Talk Time” – This is a very common mistake teachers make. The teacher might…

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GOOD Language Centre vs BAD Language Centre – 9 questions to ask!


good bad centre

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This is an interesting topic and of course being a Language Centre founder myself, it is something that is constantly on my mind. But let me tell you what I think is what matters when you are looking for a good Language Centre, whether you are a teacher or a student.

  1. Are all the teaching staff qualified teachers?

This is an obvious point, but there are a few language centers who are far more interested in a white face an a native English accent to ever consider whether the person can teach or not. This is critical for both new students and new staff. If the Centre cares about the students, they will care that their teachers are the best they can get.

  1. Can you see that the teachers are motivated?

This is hard to tell initially when you are just registering or you are simply…

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Addressing Frequent Failure in ESL Classrooms

So, You Think You Can Teach ESL?


How do you deal with ESL students who frequently fail to improve?

Failure often leaves students (and teachers) with a sad and puzzling feeling. Formative and summative assessments are excellent tools to help track student progress. They also may reflect on the overall effectiveness of the teacher’s methods.

What went wrong? I thought I understood this! If you only paid more attention in class, then you would have received a higher grade.

These and other thoughts  may ring in students’ heads as they see that low score (or for teachers, when they write that score). In ESL classrooms, failure might happen on a grammar or vocabulary exam. It may also happen while students are asked to speak (i.e. a role play, speech, or general answer). ESL students are heavily dependent on guided practice while in a classroom setting. Countries such as China, South Korea, and Japan have a low percentage…

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