Today I’m going to share with you a very useful tool that will help you make your reading experience much more enjoyable and definitely easier.
My students know that I always assign some quite lengthy articles as homework, most of which are not exactly graded to a specific level, in other words, texts are not stripped of difficult words, idioms or long sentences. Obviously the task focuses on something that I know students are capable of producing, but even so, the reading task itself can be quite challenging. Continue reading
Just the other day I was talking to a student of mine and she asked if there were a book which I considered essential for students to have. The answer came to me in seconds – Swan Practical English Usage by Michael Swan.
I was surprised that the name of this book crossed my mind so quickly but it’s understandable. Way back then when I started working with translation it was quite common for me to find myself trying to choose the most appropriate word or construction for a specific situation. You’ve probably felt it too, you know.
It goes like this, you’re writing something and then you get stuck trying to decide if you should use, for instance, among or between, or, let’s say, like or as. Have you been there?
Well, the purpose of this book is to help you understand these confusing words and constructions by means of examples and short explanations.
Let’s see how it works?
Considering the examples I mentioned above, imagine you don’t remember the difference in usage for among and between. Checking the book, you’re going to find this entry:
between or among more than two
We usually say that somebody or something is between several clearly separate people or things. We prefer among when somebody or something is in a group, a crowd or a mass of people or things which we do not see separately.
– Our house is between the woods, the river and the village.
His house is hidden among the trees.
– I saw something between the wheels of the car.
You letter is somewhere among all these papers.
Among is normal before a singular (uncountable) noun.
They found an envelope full of money among all the rubbish.
As you can see, the book focus on simple examples, it doesn’t bring exercises or activities, it works as a quick reference instead. Entries are organised in alphabetical order to make it easier for you to look up a term.
I truly believe that students should have this book by their side, and choose it as their best friend forever!
Now the downside, it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s worth the investment.
Would you like to take a look at the book in more detail? So, follow these links.
Last week during a class with a student of mine I noticed that he was using words and expressions we had studied the previous lesson. It was a very nice surprise to me since it usally takes some time for students to experiment with new vocabulary.
As I congratulated him on his progress he mentioned that he’d been using a program called Anki. Have you heard of it? Continue reading