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Understanding English Accents

education gateway understanding english accents

Understanding English Accents

education gateway understanding english accentsIntroduction

This blog is all about understanding English accents. Did you know that English is one of the most common languages in the world? The language spoken by most countries is English and it has the second largest number of speakers in the world. (Mandarin has the most speakers!)

Therefore, it is easy to see how understanding different accents can be very difficult as there are so many English accents, not only from the UK, America and Australia, but from all over the world!

Most native English speakers speak very quickly and use expressions and slang so you may have problems understanding them. Here are some tips, which may help you understand the English language better quicker and have more fun practicing!

 

10 Hints and Tips in Understanding English Accents!

  • Ask people to slow down.

Many people might not realise that you don’t understand and will continue to speak at their usual fast speed. Most people won’t mind at all if you ask them to speak slower and it will be much easier to understand them!

 

  • Expose yourself to many different accents.

If you listen to more “real” English, your ear will soon adapt to hearing different accents.

 

  • Watch English TV and films.

If you do not understand everything to begin with, put on English subtitles. Just remember to switch them off occasionally and see if you understand without them!

 

  • Listen to the radio.

You may not understand everything in the beginning but you will improve quickly if you listen regularly. You could start by listening to podcasts made for English language students if local radio is too difficult.

 

  • Listen to English at least an hour a day.

The more you listen, the easier it will be!

 

  • Go out and socialise.

By going out and meeting people, you will hear a wide range of different accents (especially in London!). Even if you cannot join in the conversation at first, just listening to people will help!

 

  • Join an English language school.

Join a school like Education Gateway. You will meet likeminded people with many different accents and everyone is in the “same boat” as you (in the same situation so they understand how you feel).

 

  • Do some travelling.

Travel to different areas in the UK (and around the world) where people have different English accents and try to listen and speak to them.

 

  • Don’t worry if you can’t understand everything.

Often, even native English speakers cannot understand someone if their accent is very different! However, the more you listen to and speak English to people with different accents, the easier it will become to understand them!

 

  • Relax and talk a bit slower.

The same as point 1, slow down yourself! Talk a bit slower than you are used to. Breathe before you start to speak and remember, the more you practice, the easier it gets!

 Understanding English Accents.

Some General Rules

East-Asian languages use tone to differentiate between words, whereas tone in English is used for stress and emphasis. As if that is not enough, English sounds different almost any place you go. American English is different than English in Australia. While British English can have up to 17 different accents!

To help you navigate this sticky web of so many different sounds, we have created this little guide that might help your English sound a bit more … English.

Without getting into the specifics of the many different dialects in the United Kingdom, here are some general rules that will help you understand and imitate British English:

  • The ‘r’ at the ends of words is often omitted. The vowel before the last ‘r’ is often made longer and the ‘r’ is dropped. British English also doesn’t exhibit any rolling of the ‘r’ sound.

mother sounds like ‘muthuh’

father sounds like ‘fathah’

daughter sounds like ‘dot-tuh’

 

  • Some words with a are not pronounced with the short a like in ‘cat’ or ‘tan’. Instead, these words adopt the broad-a like in ‘father’ or ‘auto’.

bath sounds like ‘bah-th’

can’t rhymes with ‘want’ as opposed to ‘pant’

dance sounds more like ‘fonts’ as opposed to ‘rants’

 

  • ‘u’ in British English sounds more like the ew in ‘you’ than a ‘u’ in ‘stupid’.

scoop sounds more like ‘scewp’

stupid becomes ‘stew-pid’

duty becomes ‘dew-ty’

 

  • ay becomes closer to ie.

day becomes die

buy becomes boy

stay becomes sty

 

  • ‘t’ can sometimes be omitted.

better becomes ‘beh’ uh’

wet becomes ‘weh’

potter becomes ‘po’ uh’

And there are a lot more! Remember that it is a matter of practice! Your Teacher at Education Gateway can tell you everything about it. As Education Gateway only utilises Native American and English Teachers, feel free to ask different teachers!

Understanding English Accents.

About Education Gateway

Education Gateway is located next to Chiang Mai University in Thailand’s north; our modern school specialises in corporate English training for the service-provider industry, preparation programs for students to study abroad, as well as general English courses for better communication and Learning Management Systems (LMS).

At Education Gateway, we focus on helping you attain proficiency in any English-language environment. Our new, well-equipped classrooms are designed for up to eight students per room. The small size of the groups in spacious classrooms allows teachers and trainers to provide individualised instruction and ensures that students progress satisfactorily.

We also offer in- house training in the meeting rooms at your hotel. Our teachers and trainers are flexible, so we can arrange a specific training for your staff outside the office hours. We offer customised English training for various industries including hospitality, travel and airlines, medical, automotive and manufacturing. Our program is equally suitable for company employees working in general management, secretarial/clerical, customer service, human resources or sales capacities. Both in- house training at your own facilities as well as private training in our classrooms is available.

Understanding English Accents

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English Study Tips

education gateway english study tips

English Study Tips

education gateway english study tipsIntroduction

Students often ask us what they can do to improve their English quickly. Try these English Study Tips in this article. You will be surprised just how quickly your English improves. First some hints, tips and tricks on pronunciation, spelling and vocabulary.

 

Pronunciation

  • Learn the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and the sounds of English by using the chart in your progress form. It will help you with pronunciation when you don’t have a teacher to ask.
  • Put your hand on your throat to feel the difference between a voiced sound, such as /b/, and an unvoiced sound, /p/.
  • Record yourself on your smartphone or tablet to hear what you sound like, so you know what areas of pronunciation and intonation you need to work on.

 

Spelling

  • Make a list of any words that your teacher has corrected on your written work or that you were not sure of and checked in a dictionary or spell checker. Remember to look at this list regularly.
  • Download a word game like Scrabble or Boggle to your mobile phone or tablet (or play an online game on your computer).

 

Vocabulary

  • Choose 5 words you want to memorise, and put them into a context by creating a story. This is particularly useful for words which are unconnected.
  • Label objects with stickers and write the name of the object. You can start by adding a label to all your stationary.
  • Play word games such as Scrabble and Boggle. Online crosswords and riddles can also help you learn new vocabulary.

 

English Study Tips

  • Study regularly – it’s better to spend 30 minutes every day than 2 hours once a week!
  • Listen to the radio and watch some English TV every day (ask your teacher to recommend useful English programmes).
  • Read newspapers and magazines – The result is that you will learn lots of new vocabulary and common expressions.
  • Speak English outside the classroom as much as possible. If you live with friends who speak the same language as you, try and make ‘an arrangement’ to speak English only (for example, every day between 5pm and 7pm). Every little bit of practicing speaking will help.
  • Buy a good dictionary (ask your teacher for advice).
  • Keep a diary so you can write a little English every day. This will help you practice all the tenses in writing – you can do this slowly and use your grammar books and dictionaries to help.
  • Start a vocabulary notebook and write down all the new words you learn each day. If you see an interesting word or expression, show it to your teacher who will be happy to explain and your classmates will enjoy learning something new too.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand something or need help with English pronunciation.
  • Find English language exercises and games online. (Education Gateway)
  • Book a course at Education Gateway. Learn English in a structured way and practice speaking with other English language students.
  • Read our weekly blog, which includes study tips and interesting aspects of the English language. Plus a ‘fun with English’ section every week!
  • Read our weekly newsletter, which includes a useful English study tip from a teacher every month.

 

About Education Gateway

Education Gateway is located next to Chiang Mai University in Thailand’s north; our modern school specialises in corporate English training for the service-provider industry, preparation programs for students to study abroad.

At Education Gateway, we focus on helping you attain proficiency in any English-language environment. Our new, well-equipped classrooms are designed for up to eight students per room. The small size of the groups in spacious classrooms allows teachers and trainers to provide individualised instruction and ensure that students progress satisfactorily. We also offer in-house training in the meeting rooms at your hotel. Our teachers and trainers are flexible, so we can arrange a specific training for your staff outside the office hours.

We offer customised English training for various industries including hospitality, travel, airlines, medical, automotive and manufacturing. Our program is equally suitable for company employees working in general management, secretarial/clerical, customer service, human resources or sales capacities. Both in-house training at your own facilities as well as private training in our classrooms is available.

English Study Tips

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English Idioms

education gateway english idioms

English Idioms

education gateway english idioms english idiom

Introduction – What is an Idiom?

This blogpost is all about English Idioms. An idiom is a phrase that has a meaning, which is different from the meanings of each individual word in it. For example, if someone says to you “I’m pulling your leg”, you might think it is strange because you would definitely be able to feel if someone was holding your leg and pulling it! This idiom actually means that they are teasing you or playing a joke on you. English Idioms.

Take a look at the following example:

Kevin: “I just heard that there’s a problem with the company’s computers and we won’t be paid until next week!”

Steve: “Oh no! I won’t be able to pay my rent on time! What am I going to do?”

Kevin: “Haha I’m just pulling your leg! The computers are working fine. You’ve been paid already.”

 

There are hundreds of common idioms in the English language which we use every day. In fact, most English people do not even realise they are using them! As the meanings are usually completely different to the meanings of the actual words, it can be very difficult to learn them – you need to learn them in the same way you learn new vocabulary.

Below you will find 10 popular English idioms which people use very often. You can read their meanings, origins and example sentences, which will show you how to use them in the future. Try to use them in sentences when you are speaking English with your friends or in your English language classes – We are sure you will impress people! Have fun with English Idioms!

Common English Idioms

Though the English language seems to have an unending list of vocabulary words to learn, there are some words and phrases, which are more useful than others. Idioms, for example, are used quite commonly in native-speakers’ conversations, but they can be tricky as their meaning cannot be deduced from the words alone.

As you already noticed on the cover of this eBook, two potatoes on a couch are pictured. The idiom is “Being a couch potato”. It means that you are a lazy person at that moment. Memorising a few popular ones can help any English student communicate more naturally. And for sure, you will have more fun with English Idioms!

English Idiom Number 1: Between a rock and a hard place.

Meaning

To be in a very difficult situation and to have to make a hard decision between two things that are equally unpleasant.

English Idioms.

Origin

This phrase originated in America and was first printed in 1921. In Arizona at that time, there was a big problem with the mining companies. The miners went on strike and asked for better pay and working conditions but the miners had a very difficult decision to make – they could either stay in Arizona and continue to work in the mines in bad conditions with low pay (the mines they worked in were the ‘rock’) or move to a new city where they would need to find a new home and a new job (this was the ‘hard place’). So they really were between a rock and a hard place!

 
Examples

“Someone drove into my car yesterday and now I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place – I can either drive around with a big dent in my car or pay lots of money to have it repaired.”

“I don’t know what to do – if I go to the party I won’t be able to do my homework and my teacher will be really angry tomorrow but if I stay at home and do my homework I’m going to miss a great party! I hate being between a rock and a hard place!”

English Idiom Number 2: A leopard can’t change its spots.

Meaning

A person cannot change who they are (their character), no matter how hard they try.

 

Origin

This idiom comes from the Old Testament (Jer. 13:23). The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah tries to persuade an evil shepherdess to become good but when he realises that it is impossible to convince her, he says: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?”

 

Examples

“I don’t think Tom will ever order pasta instead of a pizza. A leopard can’t change its spots you know.” The waiter tried to be friendly to his customers but a leopard can’t change its spots and he was still very rude. Jane: “I’m going to book a table in a Chinese restaurant tonight for me and Peter. He’s never had Chinese before!” Sue: “Oh Jane, a leopard can’t change its spots. Peter has never eaten Chinese food before and he’s not going to start now!”

English Idiom Number 3: Let the cat out of the bag.

Meaning

Revealing a secret or a surprise, usually by accident.

 

Origin

Many years ago, merchants often sold live piglets to customers. After putting a piglet in a bag so the customer could transport it easily, dishonest merchants sometimes swapped the piglet for a cat when the customer looked away. The buyer often didn’t discover the trick until they got home and really let the cat out of the bag, revealing the merchant’s secret!

 

Examples

“It’s a secret. Try not to let the cat out of the bag.”

“I was really looking forward to seeing the film, until Jack let the cat out of the bag and told me the ending!”

“We were going to have a surprise birthday for dad, but my silly brother let the cat out of the bag the day before.”

“Well the cat’s out of the bag now. Everyone knows Amy will be given the lead role in the play.”

English Idiom Number 4: Get up on the wrong side of the bed.

Meaning

To be in a bad mood – to be grumpy or unpleasant from the moment you wake up for no obvious reason.

 

Origin

In Roman times it was considered bad luck to get out of bed on the left side. Therefore, if you got out of bed on the ‘wrong’ side (the left side), it was thought that you would have a very bad day.

 

Examples

“Why are you in such a bad mood today? Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?”

“I feel terrible. I definitely got up on the wrong side of the bed today. Actually, maybe it was all the wine I drank last night!”

“You’re annoying everyone at the moment. You’re not going to have any friends left if you keep getting up on the wrong side of the bed!”

 

English Idiom Number 5: Not my cup of tea.

Meaning

If something is not your cup of tea, you do not like it or you are not interested in it.

 

Origin

The positive version of this expression, “it’s my cup of tea”, has been in use since the late 1800s when the British started using the phrase “my cup of tea” to describe something they liked. (We all know that the British love their tea!) In the 1920s, the word ‘not’ was added to the phrase to describe something that they didn’t like.

 

Examples

“Some people love playing cricket, but it’s not my cup of tea.”

“I know that horror films are not your cup of tea, but you should definitely see this one – it’s amazing!”

Peter: “Did you listen to the CD I gave you?” Kevin: “Yes, I listened to it twice but it’s not really my cup of tea.”

English Idiom Number 6: A piece of cake.

Meaning

Something, which is very easy to do.

 

Origin

It is thought that this idiom originated in the 1870s when it was tradition to give cakes as prizes in competitions. In some parts of the USA at this time, slaves would participate in ‘cake walks’ where couples would perform a dance mocking the mannerisms of their masters. The most graceful couple would receive a cake as a prize. From this, the expression ‘a piece of cake’ started being used to describe something that was easy to achieve.

 

Examples

“I’m sure the test next week will be a piece of cake for me. I’ve been studying for weeks!”

“The football match today was a piece of cake! All the best players in the other team had injuries so we scored 6 goals!”

Jane: “Thank you so much for changing my tyre. I had no idea how to do it!” Pete: “No problem. When you’ve been a mechanic for 30 years, changing a tire is a piece of cake!”

English Idiom Number 7: Under the weather.

Meaning

Feeling ill/unwell.

 

Origin

This idiom has nautical (sailing) origins. Sailors and passengers aboard ships often became seasick during storms and bad weather, when the boat would rock back and forth. Anyone who felt seasick would be sent below the deck to the bottom of the ship where the rocking was less noticeable. In other words, they were sent under the deck and away from the weather, which is how the phrase ‘under the weather’ was created. It is now used when people feel unwell for any reason, not just from seasickness.

 

Examples

“Hi John, it’s Simon. Sorry but I can’t come to work today – I’m a bit under the weather.”

“I’ve been feeling a little under the weather today. I had to wait outside in the rain for 2 hours last night and I think I may have caught a cold.”

Carley: “Are you coming to the party tonight?” Robyn: “I don’t think I should. I’ve been feeling under the weather all week.”

English Idiom Number 8: Play it by ear.

Meaning

To decide what to do in a situation as it develops, instead of planning ahead or keeping to previously arranged plans.

English Idioms.

Origin

This idiom is related to music. When musicians try to play a song from memory or try to reproduce something they have heard without using music sheets, they need to use their ears to check if what they are playing is correct – in other words, they “play it by ear”. Nowadays, this phrase is used when you are in any situation and you need to improvise.

 

Examples

“My brother is coming to visit this weekend so I’m not sure I’ll be able to meet you on Saturday. Can we play it by ear?”

“I don’t have time to prepare for my meeting tomorrow. I’m just going to have to play it by ear and see what happens.”

Sue: “I’m really bored. When can we leave?” Jen: “Let’s play it by ear – I think they’re going to do the birthday cake soon so the party might get better.”

English Idiom Number 9: Bite the bullet.

Meaning

Make yourself do something difficult or unpleasant that you have been avoiding doing.

 

Origin

This idiom is believed to have originated during the American Civil War. When wounded soldiers needed to be operated on and there were no painkillers available, army doctors often gave the patients a bullet to bite on to focus their attention on the biting instead of the painful operation. Patients could either choose to die or ‘bite the bullet’ and face the extremely painful operation!

 

Examples

“I can’t believe I haven’t found a new job yet. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and sell my car so I can pay my rent!”

“My teacher knew I cheated so I had to bite the bullet and admit it.”

Ben: “When are you going to break up with Fiona? I know you don’t love her anymore.” Rory: “I know. You’re right. I just don’t want to hurt her feelings.” Ben: “The longer you leave it, the harder it will be. You just need to bite the bullet and tell her!”

 

English Idiom Number 10: Sleep on it.

Meaning

Spending time (usually at least a day) thinking about something carefully before making a decision.

 

Origin

It is not known where this idiom originated from but people often believe that if they do not have the solution to a problem straight away, a good sleep will help. Some people think that the brain continues to solve problems while we are sleeping and when you wake up the solution will just be there! However, others believe that we can make better decisions after sleep as the brain is ‘fresh’.

 

Examples

Mr. Davis: “So Tom, would you like to work here?” Tom: “I’m not sure. Can I sleep on it and let you know tomorrow?”

“She told me she would sleep on it and let me know her decision but it’s been 3 days now and she still hasn’t called!”

Kate: “That’s it, I’ve had enough. I’m resigning!” Lisa: “Kate, you’re really angry at the moment. Why don’t you go home and sleep on it before you make any sudden decisions.”

education gateway english idioms exercise english idiom

Have fun with English!

Can you complete these sentences with the idioms above? (Try to complete them without looking first!) English Idioms.

About Education Gateway

Education Gateway is located next to Chiang Mai University in Thailand’s north; our modern school specialises in corporate English training for the service-provider industry, preparation programs for students (IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC) to study abroad, as well as general English courses for better communication and Learning Management Systems (LMS). At Education Gateway, we focus on helping you attain proficiency in any English-language environment. Our new, well-equipped classrooms are designed for up to eight students per room. The small size of the groups in spacious classrooms allows teachers and trainers to provide individualised instruction and ensure that students progress satisfactorily.

We also offer in- house training in the meeting rooms at your hotel. Our teachers and trainers are flexible, so we can arrange a specific training for your staff outside the office hours. We offer customised English training for various industries including hospitality, travel and airlines, medical, automotive and manufacturing. Our program is equally suitable for company employees working in general management, secretarial/clerical, customer service, human resources or sales capacities. Both in- house training at your own facilities as well as private training in our classrooms is available.

 

English Idioms

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English Reading Skills

education gateway classroom courses english reading skills

English Reading Skills

education gateway classroom courses english reading skillsThis article provides you hints, tips and information to improve your English Reading Skills. Practice every hint and tip provided in this article and we guarantee you that your English Reading Skills will improve by at least 100 percent. Remember that Education offers you quality training in a variety of Classroom Based English Training.

 

First an Introduction

There are a number of skills to master in a new language, and English is no exception. Here is a list of the skills you will need to acquire and develop as you continue learning English:

Listening > Speaking > Reading / Writing

Listening is probably the most important skill you will learn, followed by Speaking. Writing and Reading are not used as frequently – at least at first. However, as you improve your language skills altogether, Reading can become a more important skill and can even help you learn faster.

Using the English words and letters you see every day as practice for your English studying will help you think about English more often; and to learn a language you must practice. Reading skills will help you accomplish this.

And last but not least for this Introduction; Do you know when you are reading, you practice speaking at the same time?

 

Some Hints, Tips and Tricks!

There are a few things that you can do to help your Reading Skills (and, thereby, your English skills as a whole):

 

Understand the way you read (in any language):

In your native tongue, you probably don’t spend the exact same amount of time on each word. You may not even read every word.

The same is true for English – if you are reading in English, don’t spend too much time struggling. Chances are that the longer you take trying to figure something out, the less fluid your reading will be; you are likely to forget what you are reading about if you have to take time to struggle through one or more difficult words.

If there are words you don’t understand, skip them!

As mentioned before, stopping your ‘reading flow’ may not be the best thing you can do. Try to finish your sentence, make a note of a difficult word or words that you want to look up, and continue. This way, you do not interrupt yourself, and you increase your vocabulary skills at the same time.

Look for similarities

In English, there are many different forms to keep track of. For example, consider the English word place (verb):

  • Here are some related verbs: placed, placing, places
  • And here are some related nouns: placeholder, placemat,place (n.), places (n.), etc.

If you don’t know the word placing in English, it helps to know that placing is formed from place + -ing. The same is true for cognates and compound words.

If you can, Pre-view and Re-view

Last but not least, knowing what you will read about beforehand helps make reading easier.

Reviewing what you learned, how you learned it, and how to use this knowledge next time will make you a better reader, a better language learner, and a more capable individual altogether. Remember to have Fun! When you are relaxed and smile a lot, you learn quicker and easier!

 

About Education Gateway

Education Gateway is located next to Chiang Mai University in Thailand’s north; our modern school specializes in corporate English training for the service-provider industry, preparation programs for students to study abroad, as well as general English courses for better communication and Learning Management Systems (LMS). At Education Gateway, we focus on helping you attain proficiency in any English-language environment. Our new, well-equipped classrooms are designed for up to eight students per room. The small size of the groups in spacious classrooms allows teachers and trainers to provide individualized instruction and ensure that students progress satisfactorily. We also offer in- house training in the meeting rooms at your hotel. Our teachers and trainers are flexible, so we can arrange a specific training for your staff outside the office hours.

We offer customised English training for various industries including hospitality, travel and airlines, medical, automotive and manufacturing. Our program is equally suitable for company employees working in general management, secretarial/clerical, customer service, human resources or sales capacities. Both in- house training at your own facilities as well as private training in our classrooms is available.

 

English Reading Skills

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English Speaking Skills

education gateway classroom courses english speaking skills

English Speaking Skills

education gateway classroom courses english speaking skillsThis article provides you hints, tips and information to improve your English Speaking Skills. Practice every hint and tip provided in this article and we guarantee you that your English Speaking Skills will improve by at least 100 percent.

 

First an Introduction

One of the most important skills you will need to develop as you continue to learn English is Speaking.

Other than Listening, Speaking is probably the most important of all the different language skills; speaking serves as a direct means of communicating your thoughts to the outside world. Listening requires recognition of words and structures, but Speaking demands a greater understanding altogether: the speaker also needs to synthesise his or her own ideas and project them outwards. We offer specialised courses for IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC in the four quadrants of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Speaking requires your full concentration, and improvements to your speaking do not happen overnight. But there are a number of things you can do to adopt a more strategic approach to enhance your speaking easily. This is an eBook compiled for you to make Speaking English Easy!

 

Hints and Tips to Learn to Speak English Easy!

Learn the alphabet and the sounds of the letters

Learning the sounds each letter makes is the first thing you should do when beginning to learn a new language. Some of the sounds may be unfamiliar or even nonexistent in your native tongue. But until you adopt the framework of the language you are trying to learn, you may find yourself struggling.

Practice putting sounds together

Begin to understand what letters sound like next to one another. Knowing the basic sounds is important, but not being able to integrate them is like knowing the numbers 0-9 but not being able to form numbers like 10 and above. Some examples you can practice are: ‘ng’, ‘th’, ‘ch’, ‘ph’, ‘ou’, and ‘sh’.

 

First, practice Speaking simple words

Use what you have to build a solid foundation; it is impossible to build on your knowledge of a language without understanding the basics. Use structures you are familiar with (simple ideas to convey complex notions).

 

Next, build your Speaking Skills

When you have a solid foundation (even if it doesn’t feel solid!), there are a number of things you should work on. Work on your vocabulary; try new things with your speech, practice conveying complex notions with small words.

 

Be confident!

Too often in my classes, a brave student will speak up when everyone else is silent. I ask the student to clarify, or tell them I did not hear what they said, and they say ‘never mind.’

  • Just because I can’t hear you does not mean you aren’t correct. It does not mean you shouldn’t try.

You will have to make some mistakes to get better. Speak up, be confident, and learn faster than everyone else.

Read Simple Books

This will sound funny, but when you read simple books, you practice speaking in your head! How easy can life be?

Start addressing every object you see in English

To train your vocabulary, start addressing every object you see in English. So when you walk on the street, you go: “Road, Car, Bike, Motor, House, Window, Fence, Person, Male, Female” and so on, and so on. Do it quick and speedy so you embed the words for later use.

Practice your Speaking Skills with Friends – Make it a Game

Practice with your friends. Listen closely to each other and learn new words together

 

About Education Gateway

Education Gateway is located next to Chiang Mai University in Thailand’s north; our modern school specialises in corporate English training for the service-provider industry, preparation programs for students to study abroad, as well as general English courses for better communication and Learning Management Systems (LMS). At Education Gateway, we focus on helping you attain proficiency in any English-language environment. Our new, well-equipped classrooms are designed for up to eight students per room. The small size of the groups in spacious classrooms allows teachers and trainers to provide individualised instruction and ensure that students progress satisfactorily. We also offer in-house training in the meeting rooms at your hotel. Our teachers and trainers are flexible, so we can arrange a specific training for your staff outside the office hours.

We offer customized English training for various industries including hospitality, travel, airlines, medical, automotive and manufacturing. Our program is equally suitable for company employees working in general management, secretarial/clerical, customer service, human resources or sales capacities. Both in-house training at your own facilities as well as private training in our classrooms is available.

English Speaking Skills

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English Writing Skills

education gateway classroom courses english writing skills

English Writing Skills

education gateway classroom courses english writing skillsThis article provides you hints, tips and information to improve your English Writing Skills. Practice every hint and tip provided in this article and we guarantee you that your English Writing Skills will improve by at least 100 percent.

First an Introduction

There are many reasons why you might need or want to improve your writing skills in English. Perhaps you need to reply to emails at work in English or take an English language exam, for example, TOEIC, TOEFL or IELTS. Or maybe you need to write essays in English for university, write letters to English friends or relatives or you might want to start writing a blog in English!

At times, the English language may seem a bit daunting – there are so many rules defining grammar, agreement, spelling, etc. (not to mention all the exceptions to the rules!). However, we at Education Gateway know and understand how it can feel to write in an unfamiliar language, and we are here to help you through it.

The writing process is very different for every person, especially with a large variety of different writing forms; these can range from email and text messages to formal reports and essay writing. However, we have come up with a simple recipe to make whatever you are writing a little bit smoother. Whatever the reason is that you need to improve your English writing skills, you will need to work hard. Having good writing skills in English is not something, which is easy to achieve.

 

English Writing Skills

English writing is thought to be an essential skill for success in the modern global economy. Many experts would go as far to say that without certain knowledge of English reading skills and English writing skills, a career would be somewhat limited if it involves doing business in English-speaking countries at even a basic level.

Therefore, it is recommended that English writing becomes a necessity for any global businessperson who wishes to advance his or her career in the global marketplace. The good news is that while English reading and English speaking are best learnt in either an online forum or an in- class course, English writing can be taught at a pace consistent with your current writing ability.

One method of learning English writing is to study subjects that you enjoy learning about and writing in the style of your favourite authors of those subjects. By writing and rewriting particular passages, words and sentences that make up the work, you will gradually notice and understand particular themes that are often used in English writing. Of course, the best way to learn English writing is together with a good English speaking and reading programme so all three can work together to form the basis of a solid knowledge of the English language.

 

10 Tips to help you improve your English Writing Skills

Write English every day

This is the most important tip to improve your writing skills in English. Start by thinking of a theme, for example, you could start writing a diary of something that happens to you every day, you can write a few lines of a story each day or you could write emails to your friends in English. This might be difficult at first. The more you continue, the easier it will become and you might even end up to enjoy it!

Ask someone to check your writing

If you’re studying at Education Gateway, you could ask our teachers to check your writing for you. Otherwise, why not ask a friend or relative who speaks English? I’m sure they’d be happy to help! You might even be able to do a writing language exchange – find an English person who is learning your language and write letters or emails to each other (you can write in English and they can write in your language). When you send a reply, you can also send their letter back to them with corrections and they can do the same for you!

Improve your vocabulary

Having a wide range of vocabulary is very important when you’re writing in English. An excellent way to improve your vocabulary is to read as much as possible. If you read books, newspapers or magazines in English, you will learn many new words and common English idioms. Remember to write down the new words and expressions you read and their meanings so you can learn them.

Use a dictionary

You might feel that using a dictionary when you write is ‘cheating’ but think again – it is actually a great way to improve your vocabulary and practise using words and phrases that you’ve heard but haven’t used before. Remember to ask someone to check your writing to make sure you have used the vocabulary correctly.

Check your writing carefully

After you have written something in English, you should always read it again, either straight away or the next day. When you do this, you will probably see a few mistakes that you didn’t notice when you were writing it. Remember to check the spelling, grammar and vocabulary – have you used a particular word many times? Can you think of another way to say it?

Write about different topics

If you write about the same thing every day, you could become very bored and you might end up using the same words and phrases over and over again! It is a good idea to find different topics to write about as this will help to widen your vocabulary and will be much more interesting for you. Writing about something you read in a newspaper or watched on TV is a good starting point.

Do your homework

If you have classes at Education Gateway, your teacher probably gives you writing homework to do. It is really important that you do all your homework as your teacher knows your level of English and will be able to give you good advice on which parts of writing you need to improve most (e.g. vocabulary, spelling, grammar). This is extremely important if you are planning to take an English language exam.

Write to your friends

Do you have friends who speak English (e.g. people you have met in your English classes)? If so, you should definitely practise your writing with them! There are many ways to do this – using social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.), sending emails, writing text messages, chatting on Skype etc. The best thing about writing to people who are also learning English is that you can correct each other’s mistakes!

Write a blog

It doesn’t even matter if no one reads it, but writing a blog is a great way to practice writing in English. Set yourself a goal (e.g. upload one blog article a week) and start writing! The great thing about a blog is you can write about absolutely anything and there’s a chance that you might even help or entertain someone who reads it!

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

It’s easy to decide not to do any English writing as you are worried that you will make lots of mistakes. However, the more you write and get your writing corrected, the fewer mistakes you will make!

 

Hints and Tips on writing Articles and Essays

Decide on the Topic

You must know what you want to write about before you write a single word!

 

Choose your Thesis

Your thesis is your central idea, your argument, and the reason you are writing altogether.

It is very important to write down this sentence (1-2 sentences is ok!) before you begin. All you write after this point is built upon this very sentence. To clarify your thesis will only help every sentence that follows.

 

Make an Outline

An outline is probably the greatest tool you can make for yourself. An outline can be your bridge between staring at a blank page and a finished piece; once the outline is finished, writing becomes only crafting sentences around the ideas in your outline.

No matter what you are writing – an email, an essay, or a graduate thesis – making a detailed outline of what you will write will help. You can be as specific as you want:

  • Write the central idea of each paragraph first.
  • Add the other ideas you want to include next.
  • Finally, write a rough copy of what each sentence will belike.

 

Start Writing

Some people might argue that it is easier to start with the first sentence of your first paragraph, but every person is different. Do what feels comfortable.

Use your outline as a map, and start building sentences around the ideas in the outline. Don’t worry too much about making each sentence perfect yet; it’s more important to get all your ideas on paper at this point.

 

Edit / Proofread

After you finish your first draft, it is very important to take a step back and review your work. Examine each sentence; check the grammar, the spelling, and the Subject-Verb agreement.

Take a break and look for any other mistakes with a fresh eye – you can sometimes overlook simple errors if you are reading your own work too much! Good luck!!

 

About Education Gateway

Education Gateway is located next to Chiang Mai University in Thailand’s north; our modern school specializes in corporate English training for the service-provider industry, preparation programs for students to study abroad, as well as general English courses for better communication and Learning Management Systems (LMS). At Education Gateway, we focus on helping you attain proficiency in any English-language environment. Our new, well-equipped classrooms are designed for up to eight students per room. The small size of the groups in spacious classrooms allows teachers and trainers to provide individualized instruction and ensure that students progress satisfactorily. We also offer in-house training in the meeting rooms at your hotel. Our teachers and trainers are flexible, so we can arrange a specific training for your staff outside the office hours.

We offer customized English training for various industries including hospitality, travel, airlines, medical, automotive and manufacturing. Our program is equally suitable for company employees working in general management, secretarial/clerical, customer service, human resources or sales capacities. Both in- house training at your own facilities as well as private training in our classrooms is available.

English Writing Skills

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English Listening Skills

education gateway classroom courses english listening skills

English Listening Skills

First an Introduction

education gateway classroom courses english listening skillsThis article is about English Listening Skills. It helps you learn quicker and develop your English Listening Skills in a more efficient way. When learning a new language, listening often presents the biggest challenge. You can study grammar and learn hundreds of vocab words but if you can’t understand what someone is saying, then it seems that all that work has been for nothing. Listening in English is particularly difficult because English is full of slang and other expressions which may not be in English textbooks. On top of that, people often speak English very fast and with little tonal influence!

But don’t worry just yet. There are many ways to improve your listening skills, and most of them simply revolve around the idea of practice, practice, practice! The more you actively listen to English; the more and more you will understand.

 

Where to Start? Some Hints and Tips!

Listening plays a huge part in learning any language. The first thing you did as a child was listening – you couldn’t talk, or write or speak, so you listened. Unfortunately as we grow up a lot of us lose the skill of listening, but like most things, it is something you can improve on.

The first thing to do is learn to listen actively. Learning a language is a lot like learning to play a musical instrument. You can listen to music for enjoyment, but if you want to study the music you have to listen more critically. It’s the same with languages; you need to make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that someone is saying but, more importantly, pay attention, and try to understand the complete message behind the words. The more you practice your English Listening Skills, the better you become!

Here are some tips on how to improve your listening skills:

  • Practice as much as possible. Try to listen to something in English at least twice a day.
  • Find a variety of sources you can listen to. This can include some of your favorite movies in English without the subtitles, or it can include that popular English song that you always hear on the radio. Many sites like the BBC also offer interesting lectures and news reports in English that can help expand your topic vocabulary as well. Audio books are also a great way to start listening on a daily basis; you can find these online or through many libraries.
  • Be an active listener. Though you may be used to doing other tasks while listening to someone speak your native language, when learning a new language, all of your attention has to go to the listener. Try your hardest to understand the general idea of the speaker; the details will come after.
  • Do not translate into your native language when listening. Unlike a video online or a recorded listening sample, you cannot press pause when someone is speaking to you in English. The time you spend translating word for word is time lost, and in that moment, you may miss an important idea or point.
  • Don’t be upset if you do not always understand. Listening is very challenging and you will not understand everything, especially when you first begin. Be confident that the more you listen, the more you will understand. Don’t give up, relax!
  • Be proud of yourself! It takes a lot of work to understand someone speaking his or her native language. Take pleasure in your accomplishments and keep striving for more!

 

Listen to Audio Clips

English Listening is usually the slowest skill to improve. For most language learners, listening is their weakest skill. There are two reasons for this:

  • You may be pronouncing a word incorrectly, and therefore you can’t understand the word when it’s pronounced correctly.
  • You are listening for the wrong words and sounds. Natural spoken English is a mixture of stressed & unstressed words, linked words, contracted words, and reduced words. Many words are not fully pronounced.

In the next chapter an activity is described that you can do to improve your listening skills and get used to the sounds of natural spoken English.

 

The English Listening Skills Exercise

If you are a beginner or low intermediate, choose a clip that is about 1-2 minutes; more advanced learners should choose longer clips that are about 3-5 minutes. Read this article about English Listening Skills Make sure you also have the words to the audio clip. You need to be able to check your work! Ask your teacher at Education Gateway for some recommendations, which level and length is good for you!

  1. Listen to the whole audio clip once without looking at the words. Relax. Take a deep breath. Don’t panic.
  2. Listen to the entire clip again. It’s easier to hear and understand what you’re listening to when you’re relaxed and not panicking.
  3. Listen to the clip, but pause the clip every 5 seconds.
    • After you pause the audio, write down a word, phrase or anything you can remember from the clip.
    • When you have finished and listened to the entire clip, read through your notes completely.
    • It’s OK if you don’t understand every word, but can you understand the general theme of what the speaker is saying?
  4. Repeat step 3. Check your work. Correct your work. Add any new words you heard.
  5. Read through your notes completely again. Try to finish the sentences. If you wrote down one or two words, can you figure out the sentence from those words? Use your knowledge of grammar to try to complete the sentences.
  6. Hide your notes. Listen to the clip again, but this time stop after 10 seconds. Again, write down the main words you hear. Check your work compared to what you wrote down in step 5.
  7. Listen to the clip completely one last time while reading your notes.
  8. Compare your notes to the actual words. • What words did you get right? • Did you have trouble hearing certain words? • Are there any words that you should have heard [words that you already know] but did not? Why? Is your pronunciation wrong? Was the word unstressed in the sentence? Was it linked to a word before or after it? Look up any new words that you don’t know.
  9. Listen to the clip while reading the words. Check your pronunciation of words you know but didn’t hear or understand when you were listening.
  10. Now, hide all your notes and the words. Listen one final time to the clip. It should be easier now to understand what the speaker is saying.
  11. Finally, after about a week, come back and listen to the clip again to refresh your memory.

NOTE: Your listening skills will not improve overnight. Like anything in life, it takes a lot of practice! If you practice consistently 3-4 times a week, very soon you will start to see an improvement in your listening skills.

 

About Education Gateway

Education Gateway is located next to Chiang Mai University in Thailand’s north; our modern school specialises in Classroom Education, Online Tutoring and Corporate English training for the service-provider industry, preparation programs for students to study abroad, as well as general English courses for better communication and Learning Management Systems (LMS).

At Education Gateway, we focus on helping you attain proficiency in any English-language environment. Our new, well-equipped classrooms are designed for up to eight students per room. The small size of the groups in spacious classrooms allows teachers and trainers to provide individualised instruction and ensure that students progress satisfactorily. We also offer in-house training in the meeting rooms at your hotel. Our teachers and trainers are flexible, so we can arrange a specific training for your staff outside the office hours.

We offer customised English training for various industries including hospitality, travel, airlines, medical, automotive and manufacturing. Our program is equally suitable for company employees working in general management, secretarial/clerical, customer service, human resources or sales capacities. Both in-house training at your own facilities as well as private training in our classrooms is available.

English Listening Skills

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Why Study English at Education Gateway

why study english at education gateway

Why Study English at Education Gateway

why study english at education gatewayWhy Study English at Education Gateway? “This is Your Class”

While we offer a number of classes at Education Gateway, there is a unifying thread that weaves into each and every course we host:

 

What do you want to Study?

If you want to study Speaking and Conversation in British English, then we have a class for you. If you want to learn to speak in an American dialect, with a focus on slang or everyday speech so that you can understand everyone in a foreign country, then we have a class for you. If you are interested in studying grammar, perhaps in preparing specifically for an exam (TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC, etc.), we have teachers just waiting to work with you. Even if you want a class like Language Differences in Hollywood Movies, Music, and Art – we can create your class together.

 

What we Believe

Here at Education Gateway, we believe in the power of you. If you have an idea of what you want… And you are able to relate this idea to us, then why shouldn’t you get what you want? We want you to excel in what you do and what you know you want, and we serve you as the leaders that help you get there. Our teachers are diverse and highly skilled, and are more than happy to teach what you truly want to learn.

 

You, please do Ask!

There is something I ask my students at the beginning of every single class – sometimes it is during the first class, sometimes afterwards. I ask them to explain to me why they are taking this course. What do they want to learn? Is the class for an exam, for travel, for business? At the end of the day, I can offer a range of material and information to my students. In a number of different fields. But until you as the student are able to tell me what you want to learn, I am only waiting to find out how to make the classroom your own.

You signed up for this class – the class is yours. This is the reason to why Study English at Education Gateway!

PS: If you are looking for more reasons to study English, please have a look here!

Why Study English at Education Gateway

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Learning Strategies

learning strategies

Learning Strategies

education gateway learning strategiesLearning happens every day: you learn of a current event on the news; you learn a new word in a foreign language; you learn that the market is closed on Sundays. Some learning requires more focus and attention (for example, certain English grammatical structures). In these instances, a plan for learning becomes beneficial. Here are some learning strategies that you can apply to a large span of daily learning activities:

General Strategies 

  1. Repetition – You rarely learn something the first time you are told; repetition is crucial to almost any learning.
  2. Practice – There are specific times the brain needs reinforcement; if you practice at the following intervals, learning and memory can be drastically enhanced:
    • (1 min, 10 min, 1 hour, 5 hours, 1 day, 2 days, 4 days, 8 days, etc.)
  3. Patterns – Find and employ patterns in learning (apply a rule, follow it).
  4. Teach – If you can teach it to someone else, you have a good understanding of the subject.

Personal/Mental Strategies 

  1. Motivation – Make learning intrinsic/personal to you. Do it to be the best you can, do it for competition with yourself or with others – do it for yourself, because of yourself.
  2. Prepare – Pretend that you have to give a presentation, a recital, a report on the material itself.
  3. Goal-Setting – Work to achieve something in increments; setting and accomplishing small goals is an excellent way to break down a large or seemingly-impossible task into more manageable steps.

A Varied Approach 

  1. Learning-Styles – Know your preferred learning style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). Transform the subject material to a style of your choice.
  2. Variety – Mix up the means for instruction/teaching style.
    • If you are practicing foreign vocabulary, translate to the foreign language; translate from the foreign language; translate from listening; practice speaking; write down from listening; prepare a writing sample; etc.
  3. Media – Mix up the media. Consider games, music, movies, etc. This keeps your learning sharp and well-rounded as well as keeping you interested.

Just a few Hints, Tips and Tricks from Education Gateway to make your learning fun, to keep you motivated and to have you make the most of your Learnings with Education Gateway!

Learning Strategies

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How To Train Your Vocabulary

how to train your vocabulary

How To Train Your Vocabulary

how to train your vocabularyWe receive a lot of questions about “How To Train Your Vocabulary” We have compiled a short list with hints tips and tricks to make training your vocabulary as quick and funny as possible. Follow our easy steps, make them a habit. The more you train with these hints tips and tricks, the quicker you will learn. Here we go: 

 

Read more!

The more you read, the more vocabulary you will pick up. Though it may seem hard at first, understanding the context of vocabulary words is almost as important as understanding the meaning itself.

 

Look up unknown words.

Independent learning is crucial in mastering vocabulary words in a new language. When reading or watching TV, write down words you don’t know and add them to your vocabulary list! This way, you can make sure you are learning words that are actually used in daily life.

 

Use memory tricks.

There are many tricks you can use to better your memory for difficult vocabulary words. Memorise multiple words by rhyming them or make an acronym out of your associated vocabulary words. Find out what works best for you- visual, auditory, etc, and use it!

 

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Repetition is key for training your vocabulary. You may study 100 words in one evening, but if you don’t practice over and over again, then you will not remember those words.

 

Use your vocabulary in the context of conversations.

Use what you learn! Impress yourself and others with the new range of vocabulary that you now have. Express yourself and make your speech more complex.

 

Expose yourself!

Listen to music in the language you are studying, watch native TV programs, go on websites. Any raw language material you can find will help you immerse yourself in the language.

 

Play word games.

You may think you are not learning when you play a game like Scrabble or Taboo, but such games are actually great ways to improve your vocabulary.

 

Take vocabulary quizzes regularly.

Test yourself whenever you have a chance, setting a personal challenge is a good way to make vocabulary practice a habit. Create a system using flashcards or an online tool to help you practice. You can also ask a friend to quiz you!

 

Take pride in your knowledge!

Know the subtle differences between similar meaning words and use them to make your speech richer!

Just a few hints, tips and tricks for your convenience. We are sure you will get the most out of it! Do you have any questions? Contact Us Online, give us a call or visit our Office. You are welcome anytime!

 

How To Train Your Vocabulary