Tag Archives: english conversation

How well can you introduce yourself?

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The first step in having a good conversation in English starts with introducing yourself.   It is very important to do this well.  The person you are talking to will determine whether or not you are able to have a conversation in English.  Make a good first impression by reviewing the points below.

  1. Greet the person you are speaking with and say your name.
    • Hi, I’m Jennifer Hoeger.  it’s nice to meet you.
  2. Where are you from?  Why are you where you are?
    • I’m from Laguna Niguel, a town about 1 hour south of Los Angeles.   I’m here on business.
  3. Where do you work / what do you do?
    • I’m a teacher.  I have been teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) for about 12 years now.

TIPS:

* If you have a job that is hard to talk about, you can say what industry you work in.  For example:

  • I work in the IT industry.
  • I’m an engineer.  I work in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • I work in sales.

* When telling about where you are from, you can talk about how close you live to a major city. For example:

  • I live about one hour outside of Tokyo.
  • I live in a smaller city  about three hours from Shanghai.
  • I live right outside of Seoul.
  • I live in a suburb of Boston.

Now it is your turn!

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Is Learning English your New Year’s resolution?

New-Year_s-Wishes

It is the beginning of the new year and many people like to make New Year’s resolutions. So, what is a New Year’s resolution?  It is a promise we make to ourselves to improve something in our lives.   Here are ten of the most common resolutions:

  1. lose weight
  2. quit smoking
  3. get out of debt and save money
  4. get in shape
  5. eat healthy food
  6. drink less alcohol
  7. volunteer
  8. get a better job
  9. spend more time with family
  10. learn a new language

So, what are your new Year’s resolutions?  If improving your English is one of them, here are 3 tips to help get you started:

  • STUDY ENGLISH EVERY DAY.  Whether you study for one hour or ten minutes, make learning English part of your everyday life.
  • LEARN AT LEAST ONE NEW WORD A DAY. Sign up for a ‘word of the day email’ and try to use that new word throughout the day in speaking and/or in writing.
  • WRITE DOWN NEW EXPRESSIONS YOU HEAR. Keep a list of these new expressions on your smart phone (if you have an iPhone you can use the ‘notes’ app). Learn the meaning of these expressions and ask your English teacher or English-speaking friend how to use these expressions in conversation.  Lastly, start using them:)
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A Sky Full of Stars

Music can be a fun way to learn English.  Today I would like to share with you the song, “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay.  Watch the video below.  While listening to the song, see how much of the song you can understand.   

Link to the Youtube Video of ‘Sky Full of Stars’

Now that you have watched the video, Here are the lyrics (words) to the song.  Listen to the video again while reading the lyrics below:

(Be)cause you’re a sky, cause you’re a sky full of stars
I’m going to give you my heart
(Be)cause you’re a sky, cause you’re a sky full of stars
And (be)cause you light up the path

I don’t care, go on and tear me apart
I don’t care if you do
(Be)cause in a sky, cause in a sky full of stars
I think I saw you

(Be)cause you’re a sky, cause you’re a sky full of stars
I want to die in your arms, arms
(Be)cause you get lighter the more it gets dark
I’m going to give you my heart

And I don’t care, go on and tear me apart
I don’t care if you do
(Be)cause in a sky, cause in a sky full of stars
I think I see you

Because you’re a sky, you’re a sky full of stars
Such a heavenly view
Such a heavenly view

Expressions:
Try and rewrite the expressions below using your own words. 

  • I’m going to give you my heart.
  • You light up the path.
  • I don’t care.   Tear me apart.
  • I want to die in your arms.
  • Such a heavenly view

Discussion:

  1. Who do you think this song is written for?
  2. If the song is written for a wife or girlfriend, do you think they are still a couple?  Why?
  3. Does he want to continue a relationship with this person?  
  4. Do you think the video fits the song?  Why?
  5. Where do you think the video was made?   Why?

Further Study:

This song was written by Chris Martin while he and his wife, the famous actress, Gwyneth Paltrow were having marital problems.   There were rumors that they were both cheating.  They are now separated and no longer living together.   Do you think think this song is written about Gwyneth Paltrow or possibly another woman? How do you think Gwyneth Paltrow may feel about this song?

Vocabulary:

1. When you cheat on someone you _________________________.
2. To spread rumors means to ______________________________.
3. Marital is the advective form of the word ___________________.
4. When you are separated from your husband or wife it means ____________________.   

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SHARKS!

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Did you know the movie, “Jaws” was released in theaters almost forty years ago!  In honor of the great film, here is a great photo and short article about the interesting creature.   

STAKING OUT  THE GREAT WHITE SHARK

After reading the article, here are some activities you can try:

1.  Describe the picture.  What is happening?  What verb would you use to describe what the shark is doing?   

2. The article discusses the need to “repair the animal’s reputation”.  What does the author mean by this statement?

3.  Muller says that waiting for a shark to appear is an “intense experience”.  What do you think he means?

4. Muller has a book ‘coming out’ in 2015.  What does this mean?

Interesting Vocabulary:

  • premiere (noun)
  • diligently (adverb)
  • capture (verb)
  • decoy (noun) 
  • prey (noun)

See if you can use these words in sentences.   

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