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Common Phrases

Student: I realize I should learn by heart a set of template common phrases for everyday situations. So I can build my arguments or story around them, use them. Maybe that way to speed my speech flow.

Teacher: It is a good idea to be comfortable using common phrases.  I would not recommend just memorizing them.   You need to be able to use them on the spot, in any random conversation.      Play around with these useful expressions

I believe that learning phrases is more effective than just single vocabulary words.  So many words can be used differently – especially when dealing with prepositions and everyone’s favorite, phrasal verbs!    Just going over that list (or any other list of common phrases) will make you aware of them and you will notice them when you are watching TV shows or reading articles (everyday!)

on the spot:  immediately



One Direction


British: One Dye-rection

American: One Der-ection

Australian: One Da-rection

Chinese: Wan Da-re-shun

Irish: Wonder-Action

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I don’t know where to start for a job interview

Student: I don’t know where to start for a job interview in America because the system I use is only Russian.

Teacher:  Get comfortable with the terms in English so you can easily explain what you do in English.  This is going to require a lot of reading, both about the system itself  (in this case: 1C: Enterprise 8 )  and then general IT interview questions.

Interviews require a lot of research.   You need to know exactly what they are looking for and explain how you fit their needs.  You also need to know about the company and their practices.  In the IT industry the required skill set may be the same, but how the companies operate vary from one to the next.   You need to find out how they operate and make sure that your answers fit with how they do things.




It takes a long time to learn a language if you only study once a week. With regular practice, even in small amounts, your skills will remain sharp and you will h ave frequent opportunities to improve.

I’ve been saying that for years! … just in different words 😉 I found this quote when I was reading about Voxy (http://voxy.com/proven-approach/)

People often ask me, “How long will it take to improve my English?” I respond with the same answer every time, “That depends on YOU and how much time you are willing to put into it.” I have spent thousands of hours speaking with people on Skype and I have worked with all levels of learners. I have had students who use websites for grammar, listen to podcasts, watch youtube, and even practice with facebook and twitter. And others who think that speaking to a native speaker once a week is going to be the key to their English success, but don’t have time for those other things. Who do you think excels faster?

excel: Be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject

YOU NEED TO PRACTICE EVERYDAY -even just a little tiny bit! Get your brain thinking in English at least once a day.

  • read the English version of your local news
  • make your homepage a site that you like to use to practice your English, so everyday it is IN YOUR FACE
  • need to know something? Google it in English
  • follow blogs (in English) that interest you
  • facebooktwitterpinterestreddit
  • find a site that you like that has daily grammar activities and exercises… give your brain a work-out (just reading isn’t enough)
  • find a radio station (in an English speaking country) you like and stream it online
  • watch TV series and movies
  • write a ‘phrase a day’ on a post-it and stick it where you will see it

HELP ME ADD TO THIS LIST! What do you do to improve your English everyday?

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Gustavo – Brazil


Gustavo, from Brazil, found me on twitter and signed up for lessons to improve his English so that he could get a job in the USA. He is a software developer and is an Android aficionado. We worked together on his CV and interviewing skills and it must have paid off because now he is living in New York City!

aficionado: A person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a particular interest or activity


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Other ways to say ‘SAID’

“He doesn’t see us hiding here”, whispered Jose.

“I LOVE pizza more than anything in the world”, grinned Ray.

Our mother was always scolding us, “Stop teasing your brother!”

“I hate school”, complained the little boy.

“Stop tickling me”, Jennifer laughed.

My father demanded, “Give me those car keys!”

Tony asked, “Why do we have to go home now?”

As I watched the dog chasing his own tail, I thought, “I wonder why he does that?”

“GO TEAM GO”, I yelled from the bleachers.

“Why don’t you give me back my doll”, cried the little girl. “”Because I don’t want to”, replied Henry.

“That dress looks great on you”, I lied.

“Please can we have tacos for dinner”, Allison begged. “Nooo, I hate tacos”, whined her brother.

“I got the highest score”, I bragged. “Good for you!”, exclaimed Kate.

” I hate mornings”, moaned Zack.

“AHH! That is hot!”, shrieked Sarah as she dropped the hot plate.

“I don’t think you should go to that party”, warned Dennis. “Well I want to go and I will go”, argued Fred.