Showing posts from February, 2015

Paraphrasing made easy!

With English being the language of international communication, there are plenty of tests of English for non-native speakers  – IELTS, TOEFL, KET-CPE, to name but a few. Seemingly different, these tests often assess the same skills and abilities. The ability to paraphrase is vital in speaking and writing parts of any test. Why? Because it shows that you actually understand the information you are given and, more importantly, it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of English. Many people struggle with paraphrasing, but it’s not rocket science. In this post, I want to provide very simple paraphrasing techniques. 

Before I do, two words of warning: 
1) Don’t get too obsessed. There are words you don’t have to and even shouldn’t paraphrase, for example, conventional words like chair or passport and specialized vocabulary like genetically-modified food or greenhouse gases.
2) Don’t get too carried away. Don’t forget that your sentence must retain its original meaning!

Here are some par…

10,000 hours of English

Being a teacher of English, I deal with tons of course books on a daily basis. The authors are doing an incredible job at making the course books engaging, so I inevitably draw a lot of inspiration from the materials. Sometimes a single sentence in the book can start a long train of thought. In this post, I want to give you an example of one such train.
Lesson 9A in English File Intermediate (Third Edition) centers around the topic of luck. In this lesson, the students read a text called "A question of luck?" which explains why certain people become extraordinarily successful and what factors contribute to their success. Have a look at the final paragraph of the text:

I don’t know about the specific number – 10,000 hours – but the theory makes a lot of sense for language learning.

When deciding to embark on a wonderful journey of learning English, many students pin their hopes on the teacher (after all, he or she is a qualified professional) and the course book (after all…