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speak English fluently Take these 10 tips on how to learn English faster as your starting point and you’ll master this wonderful language in no time! 1. Read everything you can get your hands on Classic literature, paperbacks, newspapers, websites, emails, your social media feed, cereal boxes: if it’s in English, read it. Why? Well, this content will be full of juicy new vocabulary, as well as a fair amount you already know. This helps you improve quickly, as re-exposure to learned vocabulary gives you new examples in context, therefore reinforcing those words in your mind. On the other hand, learning new words and expressions is essential to building your vocabulary arsenal, particularly in a language like English with so many words! However, don’t just read and move on – next, you’ve got to… 2. Actively take note of new vocabulary This tip is a classic one for good reason: it works! When learning, we often enjoy a new word of phrase so much that forgetting it seems impossible. But trust us, not everything sticks the first time. To fight this, get into the habit of carrying around a funky notebook or using a tool like Evernote. Whenever you hear or read a new word or expression, write it down in context: that is, in a sentence and with its meaning noted. This saves you time as you won’t return to that word and ask yourself: “What did that word/expression mean again?” 3. Talk with real live humans What is a language for if not to communicate? Sure, we humans have become experts at communicating without opening our mouths – thanks Whatsapp! – but when push comes to shove, it’s true that speaking a language helps it stick in your head far better than only reading or writing it. Just think of how many times you’ve heard people say that they “understand, but can’t speak English.” A lot of would-be English speakers have turned talking into a huge insurmountable barrier that only serves to psyche them out. Don’t be like that. Seek out native speakers for an informal language exchange, enroll in a course, or take classes online. 4. Subscribe to podcasts or Youtube channels (in English) Like humor? Politics? Blogging? Cooking? With topics covering every interest imaginable, there’s an English-speaking podcast or Youtube channel out there for you. Subscribe to a few and listen while driving or watch during the commute to school or work. At first, you might find the native accents difficult, but stick with it and you’ll soon start to understand what you hear (as well as learning lots of new vocab from a native speaker!) 5. Go abroad If there’s a better way to learn English than being immersed in it while living and studying in an English-speaking country, we’d love to know! It’s no secret that English is the most widely-spoken language in the world, and with a long list of countries to choose between, you can select your ideal learning environment based on hemisphere, weather, or favorite city. Think Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Canada, and South Africa to name a few! 6. Use your friends Have friends who post online in English? Don’t gloss over them in your newsfeed: scan the items they share and commit to exploring one or two each day. They might be news or magazine articles, videos, talks, blog posts, songs, or anything else: if it’s in English and the topic interests you, it’s going to be helpful! 7. Ask a lot of questions Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also propelled the language learner to fluency! As you learn English, you’ll soon collect a mountain of questions. Don’t sit on your doubts – be curious and resolve them! If you’re enrolled in a course, ask your teacher (it’s what they’re there for, after all). But if you’re learning alone, don’t worry: find answers in blogs or language websites, ask other learners, or read through forums. You’ll be happy you did! 8. Take a lead from the stars Mix up your learning by picking a native English-speaking actor or singer you like. Now, head online, find a bunch of interviews they’ve given – and watch them! Watch once for gist, then again, taking time to note down interesting expressions and words you hear. The slang, stories, humor, and anecdotes that come out of these interview are sure to give you plenty to work with! 9. Start with what you really need Your English studies are likely to go far more quickly if you constantly remind yourself of your motives for learning. Are you going on a study exchange? Then, focus on vocabulary related to your studies. Have an overseas conference? Brush up on conversation starters to use with the other participants. Going on a gap year? Looks like travel and tourism vocabulary will be your guide. If you simply launch into learning English hoping to magically learn anything and everything at once, you’re likely to end up confused and burned out. Which brings us to… 10. Don’t kick yourself while you’re down When you start to feel like you’re not making ground – which happens to all learners at some point – don’t say, “I don’t speak English, ” or “I’ll never get this.” In fact, ban those phrases from your vocabulary! They only blur your understanding of the progress you’re making and convince you that your dreams of speaking English well are impossible. Instead, say “I’m learning English and making improvements everyday, ” “It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it, ” “I’m so much better that I was six months ago, ” and other phrases to remind yourself of the big picture.
Four basic steps to a better vocabulary While there are not any magic shortcuts to learning words, the larger your vocabulary becomes, the easier it will be to connect a new word with words you already know, and thus remember its meaning. So your learning speed, or pace, should increase as your vocabulary grows. There are four basic steps to building your vocabulary: 1. Be Aware of Words Many people are surprised when they are told they have small vocabularies. “But I read all the time!” they protest. This shows that reading alone may not be enough to make you learn new words. When we read a novel, for instance, there is usually a strong urge to get on with the story and skip over unfamiliar or perhaps vaguely known words. But while it is obvious when a word is totally unknown to you, you have to be especially aware of words that seem familiar to you but whose precise meanings you may not really know. Instead of avoiding these words, you will need to take a closer look at them. First, try to guess at a word's meaning from its context—that is, the sense of the passage in which it appears; second, if you have a dictionary on hand, look up the word's meaning immediately. This may slow down your reading somewhat, but your improved understanding of each new word will eventually speed your learning of other words, making reading easier. Make a daily practice of noting words of interest to you for further study whenever you are reading, listening to the radio, talking to friends, or watching television. 2. Read When you have become more aware of words, reading is the next important step to increasing your knowledge of words, because that is how you will find most of the words you should be learning. It is also the best way to check on words you have already learned. When you come across a word you have recently studied, and you understand it, that proves you have learned its meaning. What should you read? Whatever interests you—whatever makes you want to read. If you like sports, read the sports page of the newspapers; read magazines like Sports Illustrated; read books about your favorite athletes. If you are interested in interior decorating, read a magazine like House Beautiful—read it, don't just look at the photographs. Often people with very low vocabularies don't enjoy reading at all. It's more of a chore for them than a pleasure because they don't understand many of the words. If this is the way you feel about reading, try reading easier things. Newspapers are usually easier than magazines; a magazine like Reader's Digest is easier to read than The Atlantic Monthly. There is no point in trying to read something you simply are not able to understand or are not interested in. The important idea is to find things to read you can enjoy, and to read as often and as much as possible with the idea of learning new words always in mind. 3. Use a Dictionary Most people know how to use a dictionary to look up a word's meaning. Here are some pointers on how to do this as a part of a vocabulary-building program: Have your own dictionary: Keep it where you usually do your reading at home. You are more likely to use it if you do not have to get it from another room. At work, there may be a good dictionary available for your use. At home, most people do not have a big, unabridged dictionary; however, one of the smaller collegiate dictionaries would be fine to start with. Circle the words you look up: After you have done this for a while, your eye will naturally move to the words you have circled whenever you flip through the dictionary. This will give you a quick form of review. Read the entire entry for the word you look up: Remember, words can have more than one meaning, and the meaning you need for the word you are looking up may not be the first one given in your dictionary. Even if it is, the other meanings of the word will help you understand the different ways the word is used. Also, the word's history, usually given near the beginning of the entry, can often give a fascinating picture of the way the word has developed its current meaning. This will add to the pleasure of learning the word as well as help you remember it. 4. Study and Review Regularly Once you have begun looking up words and you know which ones to study, vocabulary building is simply a matter of reviewing the words regularly until you fix them in your memory. This is best done by setting aside a specific amount of time each day for vocabulary study. During that time you can look up new words you have noted during the day and review old words you are in the process of learning. Set a goal for the number of words you would like to learn and by what date, and arrange your schedule accordingly. Fifteen minutes a day will bring better results than half an hour once a week or so. However, if half an hour a week is all the time you have to spare, start with that. You may find more time later on, and you will be moving in the right direction. In order to review words effectively, all the information on a word should be kept in one place—in a notebook, for example, or on an index card. Index cards are convenient because the words can be placed in alphabetical order, which makes them easy to find when reviewing; and the cards can be carried around with you, so you can study them anywhere. You should try to be systematic about studying, so that you are sure to review each word at least once every couple of weeks. Do not throw cards away, though; you can get a great feeling of accomplishment by looking at the growing stack of words you have learned and by occasionally glancing at an old card and thinking, “Once I actually didn't know the meaning of this word!”
Building vocabulary is a powerful way to enhance your life and career Learning how to build a better vocabulary can be a pleasurable and profitable investment of both your time and effort. At least fifteen minutes a day of concentrated study on a regular basis can bring about a rapid improvement in your vocabulary skills, which in turn can increase your ability to communicate by writing, conversing, or making speeches. Acquiring a large vocabulary can benefit you in school, at work, and socially. It will enable you to understand others' ideas better and to have the satisfaction of getting your thoughts and ideas across more effectively. Of course, you already know thousands of words, and you will continue to learn more whether you work at it or not. The fact is that many of the words you know were probably learned simply by coming across them often enough in your reading, in conversation, and even while watching television. But increasing the pace of your learning requires a consistent, dedicated approach. If you learned only one new word a day for the next three years, you would have over a thousand new words in your vocabulary. However, if you decided right now to learn ten new words a day, in one year you would have added over three thousand to what you already know, and probably have established a lifetime habit of learning and self-improvement.
English Speaking Classes For Ladies English speaking difficulty #1 – Listening Remember that when you’re having a conversation, you’re only talking about 50% the time – the other 50% is spent listening to the other person speak. If you don’t understand what the other person is saying, it’s difficult to reply. Here are two simple solutions to this problem: First, practice some listening EVERY DAY. All you need is 10-15 minutes per day to develop your listening skills. You can get free English podcasts on websites like ESLpod.com and listen to them while driving, taking public transportation, exercising, or doing housework. Next, memorize these phrases that you can use in conversation when you don’t understand something: I beg your pardon? I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Could you repeat that, please? Could you say that again, please? English Speaking Difficulty #2 – Vocabulary Sometimes when you’re speaking English, you have a sentence in mind, but you’re missing two or three important vocabulary words – and then it becomes difficult to say what you’re thinking. The solution? Learn more vocabulary words! But there’s a good way and a not-so-good way to learn new words. The not-so-good way is to read lists of words and definitions and try to memorize them. A good way is to learn words in “families.” For example, imagine you’re in an airport. Do you know the words for everything you see? (luggage, check-in desk, travel agency, flight attendant, boarding pass) If not, look for the words you don’t know in a dictionary. Now think about what kind of conversations you might have in an airport. How would you ask for help if you can’t find the gate? What would you say if you missed your flight? How about going through immigration? Create conversations and write them down in your vocabulary notebook. This will help you learn useful words that are all related to each other, so the next time you’re in an airport, you won’t have problems with missing vocabulary. English Speaking Difficulty #3 – Pronunciation English words can be difficult to pronounce – and when speaking English, you have to consider not only the pronunciation of the individual words, but also the connection between the words in the sentence. There’s also the “rhythm” and intonation of the sentence to consider – and sometimes your mouth gets confused! There are two things that can help you improve your English pronunciation. One way is to take a pronunciation course. Another way to improve your pronunciation is to keep practicing your listening. The more you listen to English, the more your pronunciation will naturally get closer and closer to native pronunciation. A good way to practice is to get an audio sample with transcript. Listen to one or two sentences (while reading the transcript), then pause the audio and try to repeat the sentences exactly as the person said them. Practicing pronunciation like this will help you improve very fast. English Speaking Difficulty #4 – Confidence If you feel nervous and are afraid of making a mistake while speaking English, then your problem is confidence. There are three things that can help increase your confidence: First, don’t worry too much about grammar! Just do your best to communicate, and you’ll often be successful even if you do make a small grammar mistake. Also, remember that the grammar of spoken English is often more “flexible” than the grammar of written English. Second, keep a positive attitude. Think of yourself as an English speaker (because you are!) and focus on celebrating what you know, not being frustrated about what you don’t know. Third, practice speaking English as much as possible in low-pressure situations. Here are two examples of low-pressure situations: Talk to yourself! It might feel ridiculous, but it really helps! Talk to your teacher and your friends in English class. If you make a mistake, they can correct you. It’s extremely important to practice in low-pressure situations as much as possible to build your confidence so that you will be comfortable speaking English in a more “high-pressure” situation (like a teleconference, presentation, or job interview).
Keys to a Creative Language Classroom 1. Resist Running Like Clockwork Routines can be useful. They are a sequence of habits that keep you on track and prevent complications. Not every day has to be a completely unique language learning experience. A little routine never hurt anyone, but zero creativity can. Throwing in some spontaneity every now and then increases the level of default alertness that your students operate at. Routines are comfortable, sometimes too comfortable, letting students sit back and “turn off.” Mixing things up requires them to pay more attention and listen carefully. The mental stimulation and social gratification that results from being creative literally enhances brain cells and memory, leading to more “Eureka!” moments. One way to keep students on their toes is to throw a wrench into their normal routine. Do something completely different. For example, by getting students up and about: Take students on a walk around the school or the block, asking them to write down all of the words that they see. If along the way they notice any objects for which they do not know the term, have them sketch a picture of it. Meet in a lobby or park and review the identified words. Play a game of Pictionary where one student sketches the objects that he or she saw and fellow students have the chance to guess the correct term (i.e. a fire hydrant, traffic light or gate). This activity works well as a “wrench” because it is not something that you can do every day. Other examples include interactive art projects, which we’ll discuss later, and games that get them moving, like charades or Jeopardy. The purpose of these activities is to surprise students and give them something unexpected that they don’t do regularly. We want to keep them on their toes and remind them to stay alert, because in your classroom anything can happen. 2 2. Invert the Routine You don’t have to completely change the routine to mix things up, you just have to change how the routine looks from the outside. If you run the same three-mile loop every day, pretty soon your body will get used to it and it will become easy. Give yourself a new three-mile loop and all of a sudden you’ll be challenged again. The same is true with our students’ brains. We want to keep them from getting too comfortable. Let’s take a look at some tricks to help clarify: Do the opposite. Take something familiar and do it differently. For example, if you always teach from the front of the class, try teaching from the back; if your students always sit in rows, try putting them in a circle. Switch up the order. Do daily activities in a different order. If you usually give a homework assignment at the end of class, for example, give it at the beginning instead. Change roles. Let students do the work. For example, if you usually read out the class schedule every morning, have one of your students do it one day. Those are a few simple ideas, but I’m sure you can come up with many more. These twists require little to no preparation, and are subtle enough to keep students from getting overly excited or distracted. What do these examples have in common? They pull students out of their daily habits. We are disorienting them slightly in order to give them a new perspective and keep them alert. 3. Give Students the Power As teachers our best source of inspiration is our students themselves. It’s okay to ask them for their ideas and opinions when designing a curriculum. Students are used to being told what to do and just going with the flow. Pull them back out of passive mode by giving them the power. Let them have a stake in the class by helping plan the curriculum for the next day or week. Here are some ways to do so: Let students choose. Describe two assignments then ask something like “Sarah, which exercise would you like to do first?” Giving them the chance to choose will instantly wake them back up. Involve students in scheduling. Present interchangeable topics that you plan to teach the following week. Write the days of the week on the board then ask students which topics they’d like to learn on which day. Have them explain their logic. Write the topics down next to the corresponding day and ta-da, you have a student-made schedule. Regularly ask for feedback. Ask students if they have a favorite language exercise or assignment. If so, then conduct it more frequently. Oftentimes what they want and what they need are the same thing. They’ll be the first to know if they’re losing interest or not understanding something. Creativity is generally linked to poetry or painting, but it can be much subtler. Just by giving students the agency to freely design their own schedule, you have encouraged them to use their creative muscles. Thank them for their help afterwards and it’s a triple whammy: You’ve engaged them, praised them and made them more invested in the week ahead. They planned it after all. 4. Relax the Rules Imagine a class of students who are all at the same level and who are all equally proactive. It’s hard to envision, right? As far as I know, it doesn’t exist. There are generally a few students who lead the way and the rest follow suit. Yup, creativity can also help solve this challenge. Deemphasizing the rules levels the playing field because exercises become more dependent on interpretation and individual experience. Try distributing the power with these activities: Vary the assignment by group. Split the class up and give each group or pair a slightly different set of rules for the “same” assignment. For example, have them create their own advertisements but give each group a different product to sell or audience to focus on. Groups will not be able to depend on the examples they see around them. They will be forced to look to their own understanding and creativity. Leave room for interpretation. The following week, split the class up again. Students will remember your tricky directions from last week so they’ll be ready for the twist. Don’t give it to them directly. Go around and explain the assignment to each group, giving them all the same directions. For example: Pick an object in the room and write a 300-word excerpt based on it. Notice how these directions are purposefully vague and limited, allowing for the students to fill in the blanks themselves. Each group will finish with something slightly different, maybe a poem about fellow students or a story about their new shoes. Invoke the senses. Association exercises are great for encouraging personal creativity. Play a sound to the class. It could be nature sounds, city sounds or something else, which can all be found on YouTube. Ask students to explain what they feel when they hear it, or to write a story to accompany the sounds. Another exercise involves students choosing a smell, noise or feeling that brings back a strong memory for them. They can write about it and then share it. All of these assignments encourage creativity by preventing students from becoming followers or looking to one another for assistance. It requires them to interpret instructions for themselves, trust their own perceptions or draw on personal experience. This is creativity in itself. 5. Embrace the Arts Perhaps the most straightforward form of creativity is art, which can include stories, plays, music, poems, mime and dance. These activities diversify coursework, require extremely proactive participation and establish a positive classroom environment. Art is cathartic, letting students express themselves in a safe environment while having fun and learning. Here are some artistic exercises that do just that: React to abstract art. Have students react to abstract art, like Picasso, or poems. Ask open-ended questions like, “What do you see here?, ” “What is happening?” and “What do you think is going to happen next?” Encourage them to use the present progressive. As students will interpret the art differently, you can use the ensuing class discussion to teach or revisit a lesson on politely disagreeing. Write a poem. Show students a photograph or painting. Ask them to write a short poem to accompany the artwork. Describe music. Play a song to the class. Try an instrumental movie theme, like “Jurassic Park, ” “Star Wars” or “Hook” (I’m clearly a John Williams fan). Teach vocabulary by asking students to identify what instruments they hear. Make a list on the board. You can also ask, “What instruments make this song sound sorrowful or upbeat?, ” “What is your favorite part and why?, ” “How does the song make you feel?” and “What do you associate with it?” Remind students that there is no right or wrong. Through engaging with the pieces, they’re learning new vocabulary and learning how to express or defend their opinions. Art has a visceral effect on students that you will be able to observe. They will be more lively and talkative. For this reason, it’s nice to save this assignment for after lunch or the end of the day when their energy starts to fade. Because it is thought-provoking and emotional, artwork inspires further creativity. It will make students forget that they’re learning a language, but will encourage them to use the language so that they can engage with the art. Enjoy stimulating your class’s creative side and putting these five tricks to work. Chances are your students will remember them for a long time to come, meaning that they’ll also remember the vocabulary and grammar that went along with it. Once the creative juices start flowing, they will find their way into the rest of your curriculum, resulting in a more engaged, positive and effective class.
Your English Level You can determine your level of English on a scale from 1 (Beginner) to 9 (Very advanced). Check the table below to see which level you have, or take a 20 minute English level test which will help you determine your English level with accuracy. Level LSE Class Level Description CEF level* 9 Very Advanced I speak and understand English completely fluently. C2 8 Advanced I speak and understand very well but sometimes have problems with unfamiliar situations and vocabulary. C2 7 Pre-advanced I speak and understand well but still make mistakes and fail to make myself understood occasionally. C1 6 Upper Intermediate I speak and understand well but still make mistakes and fail to make myself understood occasionally. B2 5 Intermediate I can speak and understand reasonably well and can use basic tenses but have problems with more complex grammar and vocabulary. B1 4 Low Intermediate I can make simple sentences and can understand the main points of a conversation but need much more vocabulary. B1 3 Pre-Intermediate I can communicate simply and understand in familiar situations but only with some difficulty. A2 2 Elementary I can say and understand a few things in English. A1/2 1 Beginner I do not speak any English. *CEF - The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages Necessary Levels of English General English: Course Level Intensive general English Level 2 - 8 General English 30+ Level 3 - 6 Individual English Tuition Level 1- 9 Skype English Lessons Level 1 - 9 Business English: Course Level Business and Professional English 30+ Level 4 - 8 Business English 20-30 Level 4 - 8 Business and Professional English 30+ Level 4 - 8 Legal English: Course Level Legal English 30+ Level 6 - 8 Legal English 20-30 Level 5 - 8 TOLES exam preparation Level 5 - 8 Professional English: Course Level Medical English Level 5 - 8 English for Human Resource Professionals Level 5 - 8 Effective Lecturing Skills Level 6 - 8 Communication Skills for Bankers Level 5 - 8 Academic English: Course Level English for University Level 4 - 7 Exam preparation: Course Level IELTS preparation course Level 4 - 7 Cambridge Advanced Certificate (CAE) Level 7 - 8 Cambridge First Certificate in English (FCE) Level 5 - 6 Cambridge BEC Higher Level 7 - 8 Cambridge BEC Vantage Level 5 - 6 Voice training: Course Level Voice training and Accent modification Level 5 - 9 Corporate English training: Course Level Corporate English training Level 1 - 9
IELTS IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication. IELTS is required for entry to university in the UK and other countries. Who is it for? IELTS is recognised by universities and employers in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. It is also recognised by professional bodies, immigration authorities and other government agencies. More than 2 million people a year take the test. What is the IELTS test like? You can choose between the Academic or General Training versions of the test. All candidates do the same Listening and Speaking sections. The test has four sections: Listening - 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes Speaking - interview, 15 minutes Reading - different for Academic or General Training - 3 sections, 40 questions, 60 minutes Writing - different for Academic or General Training - 2 pieces of writing, 60 minutes This site also contains vocabulary tests, including practice tests for the academic wordlist, as well as grammar tests that are relevant to IELTS. Level and scores Multi-level. You get a score between 1 and 9. Half scores such as 6.5 are possible. Universities often demand an IELTS score of 6 or 7. They may also demand a minimum score in each of the 4 sections. Please click here to see an explanation of IELTS Band Scores. You can use the IELTS Band Score Calculator on this site to convert your reading and listening raw scores. Click here to see a comparison of IELTS scores with other exams. Click here to see our IELTS Exam Tips and IELTS articles. Where do I take the test? IELTS tests are administered at accredited Test Centres throughout the world - there are currently more than 500 Centres, in over 120 countries. Click here to find a test centre. When can I take the test? Arrange with your closest test centre. There are frequent dates, usually on Thursdays or Saturdays. How much does it cost to take IELTS? Fees are set by test centres and vary from country to country. Expect to pay around £160 GBP, €210 Euros or $230 USD. What materials do I need? You can download practice tests in pdf format from our partners at IELTS-Practice-Tests.com
Importance of English in the Business World Success in business is often hinged on one single important word – communication; and most of it happens in English. The world is flat; the economic migrations of the past decades have become permanent expat communities. Asians, especially, continue to migrate to the United States or to Europe for jobs and live there permanently. Even for those involved in business from their native countries, if they want to sell to a larger market, need to understand the trends and the cultures of those markets. This is often best done through the common currency that is English. Love it or hate it, we simply can’t ignore it. Big businesses call the shots, so if in Germany you do as the Germans do, in the common world market, learn English. In order to get ahead in your chosen field you need to make yourself completely understood by the people you work with. There will be emails; there will be telephone conversations, and they are costly! Knowing good English helps you to make your point faster. If you have a website that the whole world can see, you had better have content that is meaningful and accurate and does not embarrass you or harm your business. Even within Indian companies, especially large corporations, the number of employees is too huge for personal, one-on-one communication. Hence the intranet is the notice board and all communications are made through it. Imagine a secretary who didn’t know grammar and punctuation sent out a company wide email – “meeting cancelled because of indisposed”. Because of whom? Because of indisposed? Is indisposed the name of a person? Another Indian might scoff and laugh at the very poor grammar, or might even get the gist of it, but what about the impression you make on, say, foreign collaborators who receive the same email? And even if we ignore the impression we make, what about the issues that arise from miscommunication? People just don’t know what you mean. Written communication is as important as verbal. Engineers typically are nonchalant about their lack of language skills, saying that they understand their core subjects and that’s enough. I would say that it is not enough to understand the concepts through insight or genius, you need to communicate that you know. Think interviews and group discussions for job-seekers! You cannot do this without proficiency in a language. And what about presentations? You might have the most brilliant idea in the world, but if you do not know how to get it across, you are lost. I have seen scores of presentations made by students who are too stumped or lazy to formulate simple, brief and attractive sentences in English, which are the backbone of any good presentations. What they do is to simply type into Google, move into relevant or sometimes irrelevant sites, copy a large section of content and simply paste it into their power point slides, without a thought as to how readable or attractive it might be. A little education here (either training through company intranets, or an on-line course, or some self motivated self-education) can go a long way. The employee will not only use better grammar and vocabulary, but will also use logical chunking and sizing of the content, so he only puts as much on a slide as is easy to read and understand. One point per slide, with an example if it is there – this is a good rule. Anything more is actually taking away from your content.
Basic English Vocabulary 1. In order to Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.” 2. In other words Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.” 3. To put it another way Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.” 4. That is to say Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.” 5. To that end Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.” Image shows a woman writing by a tree.Adding additional information to support a point Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument. Here are some cleverer ways of doing this. 6. Moreover Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…” 7. Furthermore Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…” 8. What’s more Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.” 9. Likewise Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.” 10. Similarly Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.” 11. Another key thing to remember Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.” 12. As well as Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.” 13. Not only… but also Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.” 14. Coupled with Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…” 15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly… Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z. 16. Not to mention/to say nothing of Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.” Image shows a pen resting on a notebook.Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting. 17. However Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.” 18. On the other hand Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.” 19. Having said that Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.” 20. By contrast/in comparison Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.” 21. Then again Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.” 22. That said Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.” 23. Yet Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.” Image shows a black fountain pen with a flower next to it.Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so. 24. Despite this Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.” 25. With this in mind Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.” 26. Provided that Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.” 27. In view of/in light of Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…” 28. Nonetheless Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.” 29. Nevertheless Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.” 30. Notwithstanding Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.” Image shows a young woman sitting in a window writing and chewing the top of her pen. Giving examples Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing. 31. For instance Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…” 32. To give an illustration Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…” Image shows a red notebook.Signifying importance When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such. 33. Significantly Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.” 34. Notably Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.” 35. Importantly Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.” Image shows a blue fountain pen.Summarising You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you. 36. In conclusion Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.” 37. Above all Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…” 38. Persuasive Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.” 39. Compelling Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.” 40. All things considered Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”
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