English Idioms: Can you use them?

So, you come out of your English class full of confidence and ready to speak! There’s just one problem. These native speakers still seem to be speaking some other kind of language! Is it because they’re speaking too fast? Well, that’s part of the problem. But it’s also because they’re using special phrases and expressions known as ‘idioms’.

Idioms are created by speakers over time, as a quick way of explaining something in just a few words. Because they’re created over time, they keep changing! It is estimated that there are at least twenty-five thousand idioms in the English language, but don’t worry – you just need to know a few of the most common ones. Continue reading English Idioms: Can you use them?

How did you learn English? An Interview with our EEC Staff

Meet Sahar!

She has worked at EEC for almost one year now as our hard-working, assistant director. She uses both English and Arabic at work, juggling tasks such as liaising with teachers, staff members and, of course, our students. Basically, she’s part of the family here. We decided to find out more about her, and how she came to learn English. What better way to do this than a one-to-one interview? Continue reading How did you learn English? An Interview with our EEC Staff

Arabic speakers learning English: The most common mistakes

What are some of the most common errors made by Arabic speaking learners of English? Well, as English teachers, we get to teach lots of different nationalities, and each one has unique strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Spanish struggle with pronunciation but can’t stop talking, the Koreans are great at grammar but shy as mice when speaking up in class, the Brazilians have no problems speaking but have trouble constructing sentences on paper. So what about Arabic speakers? Well, over here at EEC we’ve compiled a list of the most common errors, which Arab students see as a challenge. Can you guess what some of them are? Continue reading Arabic speakers learning English: The most common mistakes

Eight essential tips to learning the REAL British English!

If there’s one thing I hear from my students a lot, it’s that they often understand American English more easily than British English. After all, most movies come from Hollywood, popular celebrities like Beyonce, Justin Bieber and Angelina Jolie are all American or Canadian, and much of our ‘pop culture’ (modern popular culture) comes from the U.S. However, many of my students desperately want to understand British English better, and they’re always asking for tips. So, how can it be done? Continue reading Eight essential tips to learning the REAL British English!

How to write a great introduction for IELTS Writing Task 2

How important is it to create a good first impression when meeting friends for the first time?

The opinion formed in those first few seconds sets the tone for the rest of the relationship, and it is exactly the same with the relationship between you and your reader, or in this case your IELTS examiner! Have you ever picked up a book, looked at the cover, read the first two or three sentences and put it straight back down? How long did it take you to decide that you didn’t want the book? Just a few seconds! If your introduction is vague, off-point, incoherent and full of errors, your examiner will already start to form an opinion of your essay – and it won’t be good! Even if the rest of your essay shines out as an example of magnificent writing and clear thought, your introduction will not, unfortunately, be forgotten. Continue reading How to write a great introduction for IELTS Writing Task 2

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