Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

ESL Tutoring: "Do" and "Make"- What's the Difference?

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 @ 03:57 PM

In my ESL tutoring lessons in New York and Boston, a lot of students ask me when they should use "to make" and when they should use "to do". This is a common question for English students! In today's article, I will give you a few important tips to remember when you are learning about these two verbs. Check out the tips below then try the video lesson with a quiz at the end.  Please contact me if you have any questions!

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Topics: English Lessons, Vocabulary Workshop, Video Lessons

Verbs in English: Talking About Emotions

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 @ 08:14 AM

Do verbs in English drive you crazy??? They are one of the biggest challenges for many of our English students in Boston and New York. Why are they so challenging? A unique aspect of the English language is phrasal verbs. A phrasal verb is a verb combined with a preposition such as get through, get over or get around. Anyone who is trying to learn English will probably struggle with these. Do you feel confident about your verbs in English? If not, don't worry! In this post, you can learn some new verbs that you can use in casual, everyday conversation when you talk about feelings and emotions. We have a video lesson with 4 questions to test your knowledge. After you watch the video, try the comprehension quiz. Leave a comment below to let us know how you did!

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Topics: English Lessons, Vocabulary Workshop, Video Lessons, Listening Practice

American English Lesson | Verbs for a Summer Travel Adventure

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, Jun 09, 2011 @ 09:12 AM

It's hot outside and you are probably thinking about your summer vacation! So in this American English lesson, you will have a chance to learn some new expressions and verbs that you can use when you travel in the United States this summer! Whether you are planning to fly across the country or to just take a short road trip for a weekend, you will be able to use these verbs when you communicate with the people that you meet on your way. When you travel in the US, it's a great idea to start conversations with local people as much as you can. If you are traveling to a different region in the US like the West or the South, you will hear different variations of American English- that's fantastic! Enjoy the variety and the challenge. So before you take your trip, watch this video and start practicing new verbs then take the quiz to check your understanding!

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Topics: Phrasal Verbs, English Lessons, Video Lessons

American English Pronunciation: Quit, Quiet and Quite

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, May 16, 2011 @ 10:13 AM

Welcome to today's American English pronunciation lesson! Does English pronunciation seem complicated to you? It might be difficult at first, but you can improve your pronunciation as well as your listening skills by learning with videos prepared by native English teachers like the one that we have today. In this video, I will talk about three words that look similar but are very different in meaning, they are "quit", "quiet" and "quite". Do you know how to pronounce each of these words correctly? Can you tell the difference between the words when you hear a native English speaker using them? If not, practice your American English pronunciation with this video. At the end of the video, don't forget to practice your pronunciation skills with our tongue twisters. Enjoy!

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Topics: English Pronunciation, English Lessons, Video Lessons

English Pronunciation Lesson: Silent Letters Part 3

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Sat, May 14, 2011 @ 03:30 PM

Today we have an English pronunciation lesson. This is our third lesson in the silent letters series. What's the difference in pronunciation between "hair", "heir" and "air"? How about "hour" and "our"? The best way to really understand English pronunciation is to practice as much as possible with native speakers. You can start by watching this video! After you have practiced your pronunciation skills using video lessons, it's a good idea to join an English meetup or another activity where you will get to practice in a casual environment. Another suggestion is to work with an English tutor once per week and practice with a meetup group twice per week. Enjoy the video!

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Topics: English Pronunciation, English Lessons, Video Lessons

Common English Mistakes: Video Lesson

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, May 12, 2011 @ 08:52 AM

There are some common English mistakes that many people make when they are learning English. Some of the mistakes are common for native English speakers too! In today's video, I will talk about some of the common mistakes and help you to understand them so that you will be able to use them correctly in your daily English conversations. Please watch the video first, then take the quiz to see how much you learned! Good luck and enjoy!

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Topics: English Lessons, Vocabulary Workshop, Video Lessons

Pronunciation English Lesson: Silent Letters Part 2

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, May 05, 2011 @ 09:11 AM

Today we have a pronunciation English lesson on silent letters.  Unlike other languages, in English we don't always pronounce words in the same way that we spell them. For example, did you know that "climb" and "crime" end with the same sound? Do you know any other words which have a silent letter "B"? I can think of 3 others- "crumb" "dumb" and "comb". How do you remember which letters are silent in different words? First, you need to listen to English as much as possible. Try to create an English-only environment at home. Second, you need to speak as much as possible using the correct pronunciation. Third, in order to be sure that you are using the correct pronunciation, it might help to work with a qualified English tutor. Watch this video on silent letters to get started!

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Topics: English Pronunciation, English Lessons, Video Lessons

Idioms in English: Food Expressions

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Wed, May 04, 2011 @ 08:42 AM

Today we are going to talk about idioms in English.

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Topics: English Lessons, Video Lessons, English Idioms

English Vocabulary Lesson: 6 Expressions in 3 Minutes

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, May 02, 2011 @ 07:59 AM

Welcome to today's English vocabulary lesson. In this video lesson, you will learn 6 common English expressions in 3 minutes. In English, we use expressions like "fall for" "cut down on" and "live up to" in our daily conversations often. You probably didn't study these expressions in your home country and now that you are here in the United States and you are hearing these expressions, perhaps you don't know how to use them or what they mean. It's time to learn to speak English like a native speaker. Take 3 minutes to watch this video and add 6 new English expressions to your English vocabulary. Do you have 3 minutes? Let's get started!

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Topics: Phrasal Verbs, English Lessons, Vocabulary Workshop, Video Lessons

Confusing Words in English: Top 12 Video Quiz

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 @ 12:41 PM

Welcome to our vocabulary workshop on confusing words in English! Today we would like to help you with 12 vocabulary words that can be confusing for native speakers as well as English language learners. Do you know the difference between advice and advise? plane and plain? led and lead? If not, this video quiz is for you!

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Topics: English Lessons, Vocabulary Workshop, Video Lessons

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