Tag Archives: accuracy

Fluent, confident English

fluency confidence intonation range of vocabulary grammar pronunciation listening skills How do people learn to speak English fluently and with confidence? Continuum or triangle? Each learner is unique. Some see the list above as a continuum. Fluency is unachievable without confidence, but truly fluent speakers have good intonation, a range of vocabulary suited to their life needs […]

Tuesday and Thursday

  Sometimes the simplest words cause problems. The days of the week are absolutely essential. How can we plan our activities or make appointments without knowing how to name those days? Monday, Friday and Sunday rarely cause problems. Saturday needs a little practice. Wednesday looks more difficult than it sounds: “Wensday”. But Tuesday and Thursday make […]

Applying grammar when speaking

So. You think you understand the most basic rules of English grammar. You feel confident when you’re speaking. You never allow fear to silence you. Somehow, however, you find it impossible to combine those two strengths: knowledge of grammar; and confidence. You are perfectly capable of talking about the past, the future, your hopes and […]

English for Spanish speakers

Spanish speakers often have difficulty pronouncing English. In fact, it’s your pronunciation errors that identify you as Spanish. They are so typical of Spaniards. Let’s look at seven classic mistakes. When speaking castellano, consonants are very soft, almost silent. In English, you’ll need to emphasise the consonants to ensure that listeners can hear them. The letters […]

Perfect your English in the garden by the sea

The Victorians called Penarth “the garden by the sea”. With the mildest climate in Wales, this part of the Welsh coast is a gem, a jewel. It seems that little has changed since the fabulous mansions of Millionaires’ Row first appeared, housing ship-owners in luxury. Fortunes were made in Cardiff, at one time the busiest […]

Grammar is good

What is the purpose of language? Communication. If we do not follow accepted practice when using a foreign language, will native speakers understand us? Probably not. So, your approach to learning English needs to be multi-pronged. (1)  Learn like a baby. Listen, 24/7. (2)  Learn like an educated native speaker who enjoys reading. Read, for […]

Music and Languages

It is often said that music and languages have common features. Perhaps the most obvious is the need for practice. When learning an instrument, it can take years to acquire the subtle movements of hand or mouth needed to express a certain tone or emotion. Any musician will tell you that practising is still just as important […]