Tag Archives: fluency

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 […]

Walk on water: English immersion

Do you sometimes think it would take a miracle to make you fluent in English? Well, come to the land of miracles! On Penarth pier you can walk on water, when the tide is in. We have the second highest tidal range in the world. So if you’re used to the Mediterranean, you’ll have to […]

Float to fluency in English

I remember the old docks in Penarth. Full of mud when the tide was out, empty and deserted. In the 19th century, and for the first half of the last century, those docks were busy with commercial ships. During my childhood, they offered a peaceful refuge where we could eat chips out of newspaper. They were […]

Get your listener’s attention in English

  Fuchsias remind me of successful language learners. As I write this, I’m sitting on a green bench in Penarth, gazing through the brilliant fuchsias and the palm trees to the paved promenade festooned with colourful pennants. But it’s the shining sea that my eyes are fixed on. Dancing in front of it, catching my […]

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 […]

Defend yourself in English

This is a big castle. In fact, it’s the second largest castle in Britain. To reach it, you drive or cycle over Caerphilly Mountain or take a train right through the mountain. As your train leaves Cardiff, it passes through a tunnel and emerges in Caerphilly, giving you a glimpse of one of the most spectacular […]

Is your English blocked?

A barrage is an artificial barrier across a river or estuary, a wall that blocks or restricts the flow of water to prevent flooding. There is a barrage between my home town, Penarth, and the capital of Wales, Cardiff. It separates the waters of two rivers, the Taff and the Ely, from the sea. This […]

Adventures in English

Cormorants are waterbirds. They wait patiently for the right fish to appear. Watch one for long enough and it will dive deep under the surface of the water. Then you’ll have another long wait, but you’ll need to concentrate on a wide area. That bird will surface somewhere else entirely. What’s the secret to their success? Patience? The deep breath they take before […]

Confident and competent

People often ask about the content of my intensive English courses in Wales. The answer is that the materials and activities are unique to each client. A one-to-one schedule allows flexibility but most clients benefit from pronunciation training and confidence coaching. After all, the main purpose of language is speech and oral communication. I have helped many individuals […]