I’m not sure whether this is the right place to post this (and I hope that this doesn’t go against any rules)….
I’m an English teacher, language learner (French, Italian, Mandarin), and a generally curious person.
I was always really frustrated with traditional ‘listening resources’ for language learning, and thought I would like something more interesting if I was learning English.
So I’ve just started a podcast for English learners - it’s now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and lots of other podcast channels.
The idea is that it’s ‘English Learning for Curious Minds’ - we take a different topic every week and produce a short explainer podcast, complete with transcript & key vocabulary. I’m posting here in case it might be of interest to people - so far students from 110 countries have listened to it, and feedback has been pretty positive.
I’d love to know what people thought!
You can find it here if you are interested: www.leonardoenglish.com/how-to-listen
Kirill participated in, and finished, his first half marathon on September 15, 2019. Kirill is a full time lawyer, father, husband and more! And yet, he managed to squeeze running into his hectic schedule. Read more about the race here. Kirill is pictured above with his family. (You can see the images on your laptop, if not on your phone!)
Let me know of recent wins in your life, big or small, that you’re proud of! Write to me here, [email protected] Send pictures!
Did you know that in English we don’t eat coffee? We drink coffee. We have coffee. We imbibe coffee. We sip coffee. But we don’t eat it. Eating involves mastication, involves chewing.
What about ice cream? We don’t eat ice cream, either. We don’t chew it. However, we don’t simply swallow ice cream, either, as if it were a liquid! We have ice cream. We don’t eat ice cream. We don’t imbibe ice cream. We don’t sip ice cream. We just have ice cream. That’s it!
When speaking of consuming any solid food, semi-solid food, soft food or liquid, the safest, and always correct, verb to use is “to have”.
Recently, I had eggs cooked in butter with sliced tomatoes and hot peppers. I also had milk with two tablespoons of Nescafe Clasico stirred in. What did you have recently for one of your meals?
Did you see any new vocabulary? Read the above short text on Readlang! To Eat, To Drink, or To Have That is the Question
Readlang is a great tool for vocabulary expansion and review. Check out this series of short tutorials and get started! Getting Started with Readlang
Video Download Helper is a Firefox extension that allows me to download and save, offline, most of the videos I want to save for further study offline. You;ll know you’re in the right place because of the easily recognizable yellow, red and blue ball logo.
Outliers is a series of true stories and observations. I listened to the audiobook and you can, too.
Grant Cardone interviews Joe DeSena. Enjoy the conversation. If desired, adjust the speed to 0.75 by clicking on the settings button on the right side of the video toolbar.
Listening Comprehension Challenge
Secrets of Success in 8 Words, 3 Minutes What was this person saying and what made understanding them so challenging? What could this person have done to make it easier for his audience to understand him? How can you make your English easier for your audience to understand?
Gems from Class
interested vs interesting
Both interested and interesting are adjectives.
interested says something about how the subject feels
For example: I am interested in travel.
In this sentence, “I” is the subject. This sentence talks about how “I” feel.
interesting says something about the power of the subject to make other people feel a certain way.
For example: Travel is interesting.
In this sentence, “Travel” is the subject. This sentence talks about the fact that “travel” has the power of making people feel a certain way.
For more practice and to subconsciously learn the rules, do some online exercises. Here is a link. Repeat the exercise many times until you get 100% correct repeatedly.
Pronunciation & Intonation
met SOUNDS LIKE set, bet debt, jet, let, net, pet
met is the simple past affirmative form of the verb “to meet”
meet SOUNDS LIKE meat, seat, neat, feet, feat, Crete
meet is one of the simple present affirmative forms of the verb “to meet”
the other simple present affirmative form of the verb “to meet” is meets
Tip: When reading and writing, use your voice! When you use your voice, you’ll be less likely to write “met” when you mean “meet”. You’ll be less likely to write one word, when you really mean another one.
Here is the question:
What is your BIGGEST problem with English?
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Anybody have tried these two exercises before?
Exercise #1: Mirror
Learning Pinyin will help lay the foundation for pronunciation. Chinese Pinyin consists of initial consonants (b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, g, k, h, j, q, x, z, c, s, r, zh, ch, sh) and finals or compound vowels (a, o, e, i, u etc). How can we make sure that we are pronouncing them accurately? Watch ourself in the mirror! When we try to imitate the pronunciation of the written Pinyin, check our mouth’s appearance, along with our lip and tongue positions as we make the sounds.
Here is an example of what to look for in the mirror:
For initial consonants: n, m
● When you pronounce the “n” sound, your lip needs to be kept slightly open, exposing your bottom teeth.
● While you pronounce the “m” sound, you need to keep your lips closed. Check your lips in the mirror to make sure your pronunciation is correct.
Finals: a, o, e
● When we pronounce the “a” sound, open our mouth wide, put our tongue in a centered position and slightly raise the middle of the tongue blade (just behind the tip).
● When we pronounce the “o” sound, push our lips forward into a small circle, with our tongue at the bottom of our mouth, leaving a hollow space just above it.
● To produce the vowel “e” sound, first pronounce “o”, and then change the shape of our mouth from rounded to unrounded. At the same time, spread our lips apart, as if we were smiling.
Maybe we can do this in the privacy of home, so that we don’t have to feel silly in front of others!
Exercise #2: Paper
Prepare some small and thin papers in a plate, and pronounce “b” and “p” initial consonants toward the plate. Of course, make sure our mouth is close to the plate, as the following image shows. If we pronounce “p” correctly, small papers will be blown away. On the contrary, the papers will be kept stable if we pronounce “b” correctly towards the plate. It’s as simple as that! A good way to imitate and distinguish aspirated consonants and unaspirated consonants is an exercise that I call “paper game”.
Hope I’m not violating any rules here. I’ve created an Android app for Chinese pronunciation practice. All user interactions are voice-based, therefore it can be used while driving or cycling or just at home.
Here is the link to Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rnk.handsfree.chinese.handsfreechinesemandarintonesandsounds
For a limited time (one week, starting from tomorrow) I’m offering a 50% discount.