Tag Archives: listening

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 […]

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 […]

Help! I don’t understand.

You arrive at the airport, your well-practised English packed into your brain as carefully as the contents of your suitcase. You have an extensive vocabulary. You read English every day. You email colleagues all over the world in international English. You’re confident that you’ve finally mastered all the verb tenses in English. You know your […]

Improve Your Intonation

Gareth Bale may be the most famous Welshman in the world right now. His football skills are undeniable and Wales is rightly proud of him. In general, however, the Welsh have been known for their oratory, their persuasive speaking, together with literary and musical skills. It’s no accident that teachers have been one of the country’s greatest exports. Perhaps you think of […]

Who’s calling, please?

Who answers the phone in your office? Who talks to the English-speaking customers? Was your answer “the same person”? Good. That’s how it should be. I hope you value their contribution to your company. Using the phone, without the visual clues of body language, facial expression or context, is one of the hardest things to do […]

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 […]