Setting SMART goals

Do you have language goals? You should if you want to improve your English. Research shows that people who set goals are more likely to achieve success. Goals help you identify what you want to achieve, keep you focused on what’s important, save you time, and provide a way to measure your progress – which helps improve your motivation to learn more.

60 strategies to improve your English

This is a hodgepodge (a mixture) of strategies I often share with my students in Japan to encourage them to become more accountable for their own learning. Good language learners are very proactive. Do you use all these strategies? Are they any you think you should use more?

Here’s a listening IDEA…

Have you ever wondered how movie actors become so good at speaking in a dialect that is different from their own, or how they learn to speak English with a foreign accent? Well, apparently, many of them go to the IDEA website – the International Dialects of English Archive. This site is a free online resource, interesting for English language learners.

The ultimate rejoinder list

A few posts ago I wrote about rejoinders and offered some basic ones that you can use to show interest, happiness, sadness, or surprise. Here are some more rejoinders to express agreement, understanding, not understanding, disagreement, apologizing, praising, refusing, accepting, and more!

Responding to negative questions

In English, we usually give short yes/no answers to questions using tag endings. For example, if I ask you, “Do you speak English?” you answer, “Yes, I do.” The I do part of your answer is the tag ending. Always use tag endings when you give short yes/no answers…

9 tips for the camera-shy

Whether you have to make a video recorded presentation, response, interview, or creative project, some courses you take could require you to be on camera. Being in a video is fun for some people, but for others, it is terrifying! It doesn’t have to be, however, and it shouldn’t be. In this post are a few tips to overcome your camera shyness.

Bilingual (English-Japanese) grammar glossary

Here it is – the bilingual grammar glossary (英語文法用語)
! Why do you need to know this? If you are a native Japanese speaker, you have likely learned English in the context of Japanese; you have probably learned all the linguistic terms in Japanese, but not in English. Also, probably when you wrote English exams in school, the directions were all in Japanese. Why is this? I’m not sure, but I’ll bet that it’s probably a result of the “grammar translation method”(文法訳読式教授法) that was traditionally popular in Japan. When you learn another language, however, ideally you should do so through that language!