In a two-way conversation – you must also be a good listener!

July 26, 2012

Are you a good listener – in English?


Listening is one of the most difficult parts of learning the English language, we need to be both a good listener and a good talker.  If we are not able to understand people; we cannot comprehend the responses we receive to our questions or requests, follow instructions, listen to announcements at airports and stations, or appreciate TV and radio programs.

What effective ways are there to improve your skills as a listener?

A combination of:

  1. Television viewing.
  2. Listening to speech on the radio.
  3. Listening to songs.

    A good listener, is a good friend

    Can you hear me? Friendships need understanding

  4. Watching films.
  5. Receiving dictation.
  6. Listening to direct or indirect speech.
  7. Improve your vocabulary

1)            Television programmes such as new bulletins, weather forecasts, cartoons with speech, young children’s programmes are useful   because you can also get a sense of the context visually.

2)            Radio programmes are a little more difficult than those of TV, because there are no images to aid your understanding. Again news bulletins and the weather forecasts can be useful, as can interviews and light drama too.

3)            Listening to songs (and singing along too) is a great way to improve your listening abilities. Try to choose slower music with singers whose voices are not drowned out by the music. It is very easy to find the lyrics of most songs on the web at sites such as and many others.

4)            By watching a wide variety of English language films, you will hear different accents, dialects and voices, some of which may be more easily understood than others. It may surprise you to hear that watching the films without sub-titles is preferable, for the purpose of learning to listen.

5)            Receiving dictation is a tried and tested way to improve not only your listening but also you vocabulary too. You could choose to have a good English speaker read or dictate to you, though an alternative method is to try writing the words to a speech or a song as you listen, which is  actually quite good fun.

6)            Try to spend time in places where English is spoken or in the company of English friends or colleagues. Even if you are not directly involved in the conversation, you will recognise words and phrases that are used. Persevere and slowly but surely you will understand more and more English.

7)            The better your vocabulary is the more words will be able to recognise and understand. Set yourself a target to learn a certain number of words everyday. It does not matter how many, as even one new word learnt a day, means that by the end of the week you will know seven new English words. Obviously it is more difficult, but seven new words each day equates to over two-hundred new words of English added to your personal vocabulary knowledge every month.



July 18, 2012

will appear soon

My new friendly book -The Kindle

July 15, 2012

A book is not just a book

I have been an avid book reader ever since I was a child. I enjoy a wide variety of books, such as biographies and travel diaries, although I mostly read fiction books, for example, thrillers, horror stories and dramas. Occasionally I surprise myself and become immersed in a book that normally I would not think of even picking up! This has happened to me more and more since I have spent long periods abroad, where it is not so easy (and economical) to buy English language versions of the type books I prefer. Reading something is far better than reading nothing at all. I can imagine that for people who do not read English, this must be an even greater problem, when they travel.


The Kindle is not just another book


Lately I have found a new best friend, a Kindle from Amazon which is basically an electronic book, perhaps a little bigger than a traditional paperback, though incredibly light and thin. Despite these compact dimensions, it is possible to store up to 3,000 books on the top models and even up to 1,400 on the entry model. How long would it take you to read all those?

Amazon Kindle Book

A free book

Furthermore using the in-built WiFi you can download and be reading a book in less than 60 seconds! There are millions of books, newspapers and magazines available , including over 1 million free books.

Protect your Kindle

As you will no doubt be using your new Kindle much more than you realise, you should think about insuring it against loss and accidental damage. Up to 3 years warranties are available to extend your peace of mind.


Residential Language Visits

May 19, 2011

Would you like to spend time in Britain, studying an English course?

We work with language schools in many parts of the UK and are always happy to help students to make  informed choices to meet with their individual needs.

We can recommend a suitable English course for all ages and levels.

We are able to arrange for students to attend an English course in most parts of the UK, such as London, Oxford and Brighton.

If you are preparing to sit IELTS, PET, First Certificate, TOEFL examinations, or other university entrance requirements, we can guide you with your choice of a suitable English course.

Contact us to find out more about the best English course for you.


Past Perfect test 1

March 21, 2011

This test of past perfect has five positive and negative statements and five questions in the past perfect tense. Can you complete the missing words?

Grazie per aver completato il test al past perfect.

Other tense tests

Jumble Sentence 1

March 12, 2011

Here are some words in a random order. Can you construct a sentence using all the words and punctuations?