Why You Should Love English

Learning a new language can be an exhilarating experience. While you certainly have many reasons for wanting to learn English, it is likely that as you expand upon your knowledge of the language, you’ll develop your own personal love for it.

Many ESL learners boast that learning English has set them on a path for success and, as a result, they are afforded several different experiences that would have otherwise been impossible. We are convinced that improving your English skills now will help you to develop a strong love and respect for the language.

Education

English is a prevailing instrument that many people use to advance themselves in various areas of life. English remains one of the most popular languages spoken around the world and can certainly benefit a person’s educational goals. Learning English will give you the marketability necessary to attract the best schools.  There are many higher educational courses offered around the world (not just in English speaking countries) with English being the main language used.  N

Profession

Being bilingual is rapidly becoming a preference for various companies and people who speak more than one language. You will certainly love the doors that peaking English will open for you and the people around you will respect the time and effort you’ve put in to master this amazing skill.

Communication

You should love English because this language is a gateway to all sorts of different cultures. Speaking English will allow you to read some of the most important historical documents, understand significant literature, and learn about the development within English speaking nations.

Entertainment

You will be able to take part in the entertainment of English speaking nations. Music, film, magazines, and technology are all a big part of English culture. Knowing English will help you to comprehend what millions of people already know and love.

While you already speak a language that is familiar to you and you love, it is important that you embrace all English has to offer for you. Knowing English will open several paths to you and enhance you financially, educationally, artistically, and in your career. Native English speakers are generally accepting and excited for new people learning the language that so many have come to love. Many take pride in being able to speak a language that, for years, has connected people of varying backgrounds and cultures.

Completing an ESL program will help you to develop a love for English than many second language speakers already feel. Being able to do the work on our own time with a comprehensive curriculum and a supportive faculty will allow you to develop this love in your own time. You will have a great support system that will work with you on your own time in order to intensify your passion and thirst for knowledge.

This unique learning environment does not seek to replace the love of your native language, but rather open you up to an adoration for language learning that was unforeseen. Contact me today and get started broadening your horizons.

Rules for Natural English Speaking

While speaking English may seem easy from afar, it is will be important for you to incorporate a strong set of rules in order to be a successful and natural sounding English speaker.

Whether you are traveling to Britain, America, or any other English speaking country, you will want to prepare yourself to mesh with citizens of that nation. Pay close attention to the following set of rules in order to help yourself gain comfort and speak the best English you can!

  1. Don’t focus on grammar! —We know—grammar is important! Your teachers and tutors have likely been beating this into your head for years. While learning grammar is key when you want to pass tests, this isn’t usually the case in normal conversation. Truth be told, more foreign English speaker are aware of English grammar principles than native speakers! So, don’t sweat the small stuff. Worry more about what you’ll say to make new friends, get around town, and communicate with people around you.
  1. Educate yourself on key phrases. —As previously mentioned, you’ll have basic needs that will have to be met whenever you arrive in an English speaking country. You’ll need to have food and shelter. If you don’t know how to say anything else, you must be able to communicate well enough to meet those needs. As you go on through your studies, seek to memorize key phrases like “I would like to order a hamburger” or “I will be staying in the hotel for two nights.” Memorizing phrases like these will help you to be more confident in your ability to fend for yourself and make your transition to English speaking stress free.
  1. Use appropriate tools. —In the age of the internet, there is so much information available at the click of a button. Unfortunately, not all of this information will be helpful to you. As you choose the appropriate online course that will prepare you for your latest ventures, keep this in mind. Seek to learn from people who are native English speakers and can give you supplemental material that will beneficial for you.

Sounding and feeling like a native English speaker is no easy feat. It takes time, patience, and tons of practice. But, when you get the hang of it, you will surprise yourself, your closest friends and family, and even native English speakers you come into contact with.

Whatever your reasons for joining an English speaking environment, adhering to these three rules will help you to speak English naturally and fluently. With sessions with SkypEnglish4U, we will capitalize on these steps and include them in your everyday lesson plans. Each student is different and has different reasons for learning English.  We will work together to make sure those goals are being achieved with your practice on Skype.

Joining an online ESL course will get you on the fast track to being comfortable with your English skills. Join today and take advantage of this affordable experience!

Online vs. Classroom Education

The future is here!  You can be sitting in your living room in Japan and have a private English lesson with a teacher in New York.

If you’ve been a part of recent educational traditions in any capacity, you likely know how the process usually goes. There’s one teacher, somewhere between 15-30 students, classes seem to drag on with only a break or two (if that!). Education systems have run this way for centuries, and few will say that this is an unsuccessful model.  Nevertheless, nobody can deny the impact that technology has had on all walks of life—especially education!  While students in a classroom with only one teacher have to compete for her time, attention, and useful feedback, the internet offers students the opportunity to have a one-on-one relationship with teachers and get the attention they deserve.

How is online education relevant to older generations?

This inquiry is a very good one because it isn’t always easy to incorporate values and traditions from the past in order to demonstrate that older folks can still benefit from it.  Many older folks are put off because they think the costs are higher.  However, this sort of individualized education is worth every penny.  Students are paying for their educations rather than giving their locals schools money to be bored or listen to classmates talk and/or be disruptive.

Will I miss the face to face interaction of a classroom?

It is a lot to get used to, admittedly.  However, lessons occurring on video chat transpire immediately and easily mimic what many have experienced in the classroom.  When speaking only to the teacher, students will not be able to easily get off track.  Both the teacher and the student will be able to focus on the material at hand and clarify any information that might be difficult to grasp immediately.

We are living in a mobile world

Working in an online setting gives students the opportunity to have constant access to their work from various locations.  Gone are the days of textbooks and your dog eating your homework.  In today’s world, you can’t possibly leave assignments behind because they’ll all be online 24/7.  Students, who often have to take on multiple responsibilities throughout their busy lives, find online course to be a breath of fresh air.  They are not bound by space or time limitations and are happier people for it!

Online vs. Physical Classrooms

The debate regarding online vs. physical classrooms will probably still be going on for quite some time.  However, many educational programs are adding on online components to meet the needs of their student population.  More and more people are finding online classes to be agreeable and less time consuming.  Students want the easy access that they experience in various other avenues of their life.  Student appreciate being able to stay up-to-date with their classes and receiving text, emails, and video chats when their work is not up to par.

There is a place for all people in the realm of online education.  If you are skeptical about online education, contact SkypEnglish4U and we’ll answer any questions you may have.

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Improve Your English Skills and Land a New Career

One of the greatest benefits of learning English is being able to obtain the career of your dreams in an English speaking nation.

If you are bilingual, you are much more likely to be compensated for your skills and employers will definitely want to talk with you.  However, interviewing for a job is about much more than being able to have a simple conversation. It is an art.  You must be able to use the language effectively while using demonstrating interview preparedness.

It is important that you participate in an online English course that will help you to effectively act out interview scenarios.   When it comes time for you to find your dream job, you’ll know what to do and not do.  Practicing these skills will help you to stand out in comparison to your peers.

Many people make the bold mistake of rushing their interview preparation.  They wait until the final days before an interview to practice interview strategies.   This usually leads to dissatisfaction and an unfortunate rejection from prospective employers.

Be sure to begin your practice as soon as you learn that you’ve been asked to interview with a company.  You should always practice speaking in English about yourself and your job qualifications.

Main Points to Prepare

  • Your current career
  • Your educational background
  • Any relevant and/or interesting experiences you’ve had that will benefit the company you’ve applied to

It will be very beneficial for you to perform a quick internet search on frequently asked interview questions.  Working with SkypEnglish4U with these questions will simulate the real situation.  We will work on strategies that will help you to ace your interview and discuss your progress.

Other than working on your English skills, you should take the time to learn some interesting information about the company you are interviewing with.  While this may not seem very important, you must keep in mind that your company is looking for a good fit.  They want somebody that cares about their interests and goals.  If you do not meet those standards, it is very likely that the company will overlook your efforts and seek out an individual who knows more about what the company stands for.

Use the internet to your advantage! Go to the company website and read the available information.  Be prepared to tell interviewers how you, specifically, will be able to move the company forward and help them to achieve their goals.  Employers will recognize and appreciate this extra effort on your part and will take this into consideration when deciding who they should make an offer to.

Whatever career path you decide to go down, one fact remains the same: you’ve got to be prepared to speak your very best English and nail those interview questions! Work with your online English teacher to practice interview strategies so that you can prove to future employers that you are ready to help them go to the next level.

TOEFL Practice Sessions On Skype

The TOEFL exam (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a very popular English proficiency exam taken by people from around the world.

Most of the TOEFL students I have worked with have needed the test for their university application.  Others have had to show a potential employer an official test score to prove what their English level is. The TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test) is done fully on a computer and measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. If you are planning to study abroad, it is important to check with the school and find out which exam you need because different programs have different requirements. The TOEFL exam has 4 parts – listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

SkypEnglish4U TOEFL sessions

There are endless resources online for TOEFL, books, pdfs and all sorts of things that you can pay for to help you prepare for this exam. Every student learns differently, some are more book oriented, while others need a more hands on approach. Regardless of which type you are, you need to practice what you will do during the actual exam. No E-Book can correct your essay or give you feedback on your speaking. Some students only prepare for the exam and don’t focus on improving their general English. If you are taking the exam to get into a University in the USA, you are going to need English once you get there, so if you just focus on TOEFL practice questions, that isn’t really going to help you in the long run.

During my sessions with TOEFL students, we focus on the speaking part of the exam and some people also want to work on their writing skills. Any and all speaking that you do before the exam will help you, so general conversation and small talk are also part of preparing for the big day.

TOEFL Speaking

There are 6 different parts to the TOEFL speaking exam, some of which integrate reading and listening as well. I focus on the first 2 sections and will go through actual exam questions with students while using the time regulations from the exam – 15 seconds to prepare, 45 seconds to answer. It is not a lot of time and many students find it difficult to answer in such a short time. The more you do it, the easier it gets. We will go over many different possible exam questions and make sure that you are comfortable with the question format and the time limits.

Doing the speaking practice out loud is a very important part of preparing for the exam. On the test day, you will be sitting in front of a computer and when it tells you to start, you have to start. Some students find speaking to a computer more difficult than speaking with a person and others have the opposite opinion. Regardless of your stance on this, you are going to have to speak- so it is a good idea to practice it with someone who can give you feedback.

TOEFL Writing

If TOEFL writing is something that you are interested in practicing, I will send you the topic before our session and you write the essay on your own time and then we review it together using Google Documents (if you can not access this in your country, there are other ways to do it).

Using this ‘reviewing/editing together’ process, you will really see quick results. Doing it this way is an active learning process as opposed to if you just send your document to someone and they correct it. Then YOU are not a part of the reviewing process. It is much better to be actively involved and be able to ask questions and discuss the changes we are making.

Writing is an active process. You are using your knowledge to create something. Many students don’t practice writing essays enough because they think since they can read well and understand most things, that then they can write a proper essay. Another common mistake that students make is to not practice writing with the time you are allowed during the test. I suggest that students start to practice writing with no time limit and once they start to feel comfortable with the essay format, start to keep track of the time.

Be Prepared

The TOEFL Ibt is the lovely product of technology, so there is no way to know what type of questions you are going to be asked. You can thank the programmers behind the scene for the algorithm they have developed. You need to be ready to speak about anything and everything (not just the practice questions from a TOEFL prep book).

Taking a test is stressful all on it’s own. Taking a test in a foreign language takes it to a whole other level. Put your mind at ease and invest some time in practicing for the exam with me online and feel more comfortable with your level when you walk into the exam.

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Free Interactive English Practice on Twitter

Practice your English for free everyday by using #SE4UChat on Twitter

I’m going to start using a new hashtag on Twitter that encourages student participation.  That means YOU!  I will use the tag #SE4UChat for any interactive tweets.  When you hit reply, make sure to use the same tag and I will always see it and respond.  Hopefully others will as well!

twitter

Using Twitter to Improve English

Twitter is a great place to practice your English.  In this article > English on Twitter, I list popular hashtags used by English teachers and students to communicate on Twitter.  Hashtags are a great way to find exactly what you are looking for.  If you are looking to chat, use #SE4UChat and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Follow people and topics that interest you and read the links they share in English.  This will help you to expand your vocabulary and improve your grammar structure.

Get Interactive

In order to truly improve your English skills (or any language) you have to USE the language.  Produce it.  Construct sentences using the vocabulary and grammar that you have previously learned.  Only reading things isn’t going to get you to the next level, you must get involved with using the language.

Make Mistakes

Making mistakes is all part of the learning process.  Nobody likes to make mistakes, but you just have to try! Reply to one of my tweets and if your sentence isn’t correct, I will correct it and then you will have learned from your mistake.  If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you are ‘doing it right’.  This is a very common mistake for language learners, they don’t try because they are embarrassed and therefore, never progress.

It’s FREE

There is no cost involved when you are practicing on Twitter or other social media platforms.  Take advantage of the tweets I send out and use them to improve your English skills and accomplish your goals.

I hope to see you on Twitter soon!  My user name is SkypEnglish4U and you can also find me by using  #SE4UChat

 

 

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Using English in the World of Information Technology

The world is changing at a very fast pace and the people working behind the scenes in the IT industry all around the world are making this possible.

When I started teaching, I was really surprised at the number of students I had that were software developers, programmers, project managers, etc… all in the bustling IT world.  As time went on, I learned more and more from my students about the industry and what their job responsibilities were.

The beauty of practicing Business English on Skype, is that I don’t have to know everything about YOUR job in order to have a conversation about it.  My responsibility is to get YOU talking about it and strengthen your vocabulary related to your job and general grammar structure.

Why do IT professionals need to know English?

I asked a few of my students to explain why it is important for them…

As a Software Developer you need to know English in order to keep up with cutting edge technologies: English is the “official” language for talks, conferences, summits, blogs, technical articles and documentation.

Nowadays, companies from around the world work together so you also need to know English to attend meetings and understand your colleagues. Finally, if you want to work for the best IT companies you might end up moving abroad to an English speaking country and then…you’d better speak English!   

Alberto Rodríguez de Lema

 

Having good English skills is very helpful for my daily work as an IT professional because most of the IT relevant books are only available in English. In my role as programmer it is also required from most of my customers to write the documentation of the program code in English. Many of my colleagues and customers are located in different countries and the common language for negotiating, chatting, training is also English.

Having English sessions on a regular basis with Jessica helps me a lot to stay fluent and to feel confident for my daily work as an IT professional.

Volker Tontsch

 

Being a software developer means learning something new everyday. Ability to speak English exposes you to the endless source of information and allows you to communicate to and exchange experience with professionals from all over the world.

Pavel Prokopenko

There you have it- The real deal from real life IT dudes.

 

Bustling  (verb) move in an energetic and busy manner
The Real Deal (idiom) The bare truth or facts of a matter.

*practice using these words in the comments section and I will check them and give you feedback*

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5 Ways to Keep Your New Year Resolution of “I Want To Improve My English”

Another year has passed and again we feel that sense of a new beginning.

That’s a good feeling right?  Whether you view it as a chance to start over or a chance to start something new, it’s a START either way.

A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day. (thanks Wikipedia!)

I have been teaching English online since 2010, so I’ve been through quite a few of these annual holiday seasons.   Every year, like clockwork, I get messages from many new students after the first of the year.  Is it a coincidence?  I don’t think so!

Popular New Year resolutions are things like losing weight or going to the gym.  New gym memberships skyrocket in the beginning of the year.  Learning a language requires a the same kind of commitment that it takes to go to gym on a regular basis or eat healthier.  They all take dedication and will-power.

The downside of New Year resolutions are that MANY of them don’t last.  We all have good intentions and want to improve ourselves, but we just can’t stick with the time requirements or for some reason or another, we just don’t follow through.

How to keep your New Year resolution of “I want to improve my English”

  1. Be specific with setting your goal.  Don’t just say, “I want to improve my English” and leave it at that.  Start with small goals and go from there.
  2. Find a support team.  People perform much better when they are accountable and responsible for something.  Tell your friends and family about your goal and ask them to check up on your progress and support you along the way.
  3. Recognize that there will be ups and downs.  It’s not all going to be easy, smooth sailing.  There will be days that you hate English and never want to do another grammar exercise again.  That’s fine.  Have a plan for how you will deal with the low points and get motivated again.
  4. Mix things up a bit.  You may get really tired of your Daily Routine.  If that happens, you can simply change it!  Amazing.  What a simple fix.  Message me and I’ll be happy to give you ideas of what you can do to improve your English.  (even if you are not a student, I am happy to help!)
  5. Be disciplined.  Keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable.  Reward yourself when you reach milestones and keep going!

You are the captain of your destiny!  I can go on with inspirational quotes, but I am sure you get the idea.

New Year Resolution English

 

 

 

Like clockwork (idiom) at regular times
Coincidence (noun) a situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected
Skyrocket (verb) to increase quickly to a very high level or amount

*practice using these words in the comments section and I will check them and give you feedback*

Are you moving to an English speaking country? Here are 4 benefits of Online English Courses

Different people want to learn to speak English for different reasons.

Let’s face it: English is the most popular language in the world and a lot of doors have been open for people who have taken the time to thoroughly master this language.

If you’re planning to move abroad to a country where English is the official language, it is imperative to be able to know the language in order to survive. Studying English can be beneficial for both the young and old, and will certainly help you to gain success in a world that may seem totally different to you. Luckily for you, online English courses make it possible for you to study for this influential change in your life without even having to even leave your home. Keep scrolling to learn the four best reason to advance your English skills in an online environment.

  1. Online ESL Courses will help you to gain employment. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to go to an English speaking country like Britain or the United States without at least a conversational knowledge of English. Taking English sessions online will help you to obtain the career of your dreams easily.
  1. Learning ESL online will help you to get along with natural English speakers. You will find that, as in any country, people will expect you to adapt to their native tongue. Failure to do so could lead to frustrating misunderstandings and possible annoyance from English speakers. Being able to speak to citizens of a country will help you to get into their good graces and allow you to network peacefully.
  1. You will gain a better understanding of the rules and regulations in another country. Every country operates in a different way. No two governments and laws are exactly alike. Therefore, it is imperative to be able to read and comprehend important documents pertaining to a different nation’s system of rules. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it is easy enough to get into trouble. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law, so the sooner you get to this part, the better!
  1. You will easily blend in with your new community. Learning English will help you to make new friends and have beautiful social experiences. You will soon be making memories that you won’t soon forget. With your new English skills, you will be able to share pieces of your culture with others and simultaneously receive such information from them. Soon enough, people will be appreciating you for your vast experiences and inviting you to community and social gatherings all the time.

Taking SkypEnglish4U sessions online will give you the time and space to prepare yourself for the next big journey in your life. At your own leisure, you will be able to put in the necessary practice to improve your language skills. Though learning a new language certainly isn’t easy, you will have all of the necessary resources to succeed at your fingertips.

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IELTS Practice Sessions on Skype

I have helped many students successfully achieve the score they needed on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam.  

Students take the exam for different reasons.  Many of the students I have worked with needed it as part of their visa application process because they wanted to relocate to Canada or Australia.  The other large percentage of students were taking it as part of the entrance requirement for a university program which would be taught in English.  Some students were asked by international companies to take the exam so the company could see exactly what level of English they had.  Lastly, some students just take it for themselves.  They want a goal to work towards and decide to take an exam to push themselves and for some, force themselves to study because they know that exam is coming up.  

SkypEnglish4U IELTS Sessions

Many students purchase IELTS books and use the endless resources on the internet to help them prepare for the exam.  That is great, and I definitely recommend reading anything you can about the exam, but that method doesn’t include speaking practice.  You can read all about the speaking section, possible question topics and example answers, but that is all passive learning.  If you really want to be ready for the speaking portion of the exam, you need to actually practice speaking.  Speaking by yourself in the mirror is a great way to get comfortable for the speaking section, but the mirror doesn’t make corrections and give you feedback.  

During my IELTS practice sessions on Skype, speaking and writing are the two parts of the exam that are  most efficiently practiced online.  As with all of my sessions, the student decides our path and  what they want to focus on.  For example, some may only want to focus on IELTS speaking part 2, while others want to focus on improving their writing and then fill the remaining time with speaking practice.  Each student is different, so I make sure that they are getting exactly what they need.

IELTS on Skype

IELTS Speaking 

During the speaking portion of the exam, you will have a one-on-one discussion with a certified examiner. The examiner will follow the test format with the 3 different sections, but will adapt their questions based on your answers to be as close to a real-life situation as a test can get.  This is why reading about possible test questions is not enough.  You really have no idea what they may ask.  

During our sessions together we can simulate an exam using actual IELTS questions used in past exams.  Part 1 starts with the general questions and topics.  For part 2, I will time you and give you suggestions on how to use the time wisely.  Finally, we’ll practice the part 3 follow up/conversational questions.  While we go over the different topics, I will make notes in the Skype chat box with vocabulary and grammar corrections and suggestions for you to see as we are speaking and also to review later on.

The speaking section is usually the part that students get the lowest score on because they don’t have experience with actual speaking.  Speaking out loud in English about anything will help you with this exam.  Opening your mouth is the first step.  I have worked with students who have never spoken English before our first session, but studied every IELTS book out there.  On the exam day, that knowledge that you learned from the book is not going to come out of your mouth all by itself.  You must practice using what you have learned.  

IELTS Writing

Whether you are taking the General IELTS or Academic IELTS, both require two different types of writing activities.  If IELTS writing is something that you are interested in practicing, I will send you the topic before our session and you write it on your own time and then we review it together using Google Documents (if you can not access this in your country, there are other ways to do it).  

Over the years, I have really noticed quick improvement from many students from using this ‘reviewing/editing together’ process.  With Google Documents, we both see the edits and changes, so it is an active learning process.  If you just send someone your document and they correct it on their own, YOU are not a part of the reviewing process.  It is much better to be actively involved and be able to discuss the changes and ask questions.

Writing is an active process.  You are using your knowledge to create something.  Many students don’t practice this section of the exam enough.  They think that because they can read well and understand most things, that then they can write well.  Another common mistake that students make is to not practice writing with the time you are allowed during the test.  I suggest that students start to practice writing with no time limit and once they start to feel comfortable with the essay format, start to keep track of the time.    

IELTS is an exam which was designed to test your level of English.  Everything that you read, speak, write or hear in English is going to help you prepare for the IELTS exam.  

Be Prepared

Because the examiner is a human, there is no knowing what questions they are going to ask.  You need to be ready to speak about anything and everything (not just the practice questions from the IELTS prep books).    

Taking a test is stressful all on it’s own.  Taking a test in a foreign language takes it to a whole other level.  Put your mind at ease and invest some time in practicing for the exam with me online and feel more comfortable with your level when you walk into the exam.