Best English Blog Awards 2013

Learning to Speak 'Merican

Best English Blog Awards 2013 Nominee

Blog name: Learning to speak 'Merican

Blog's date of creation: April 9th, 2009

Where are you located in the world: Philadelphia, USA

Vote for This Blog!

1. What do you think makes your blog special?

It's about pragmatics and sociolinguistics which is pretty unusual for a teacher's blog. Also, although I live in the USA now, I'm actually British, so I've got an unusual perspective on differences in linguistic politeness between the two varieties. 

I like exploring the human and cultural side of language learning and the impressions we give when we do and say certain things

2. What is the most useful resource/page/section on your blog?

I think the front page is a good place to start because it shows a range of content that readers might like to explore. Also linguistic politeness lies at the heart of many of the posts so that's a good topic to investigate.

3. How do you make lessons fun and engaging for your students?

I'm very keen on video. Aside from being a lot of fun it allows us to step outside the classroom and show language in context which is very helpful. Meanings change depending on who is talking to who and where, and it's actually very hard to demonstrate that without using video.

4. What are your top three suggestions for English learners?

1. Maximise your exposure to English. 

2. Read – books, comics, websites, everything you can 

3. Watch – videos, movies, TV, everything you can. 

My suggestions are all related, of course. But the point is to make progress in English, you've really got to take as much English in as you can. 

Luckily it's never been easier because there are so many great materials for practising around these days. 

When it comes to choosing what to watch and read, choose whatever tickles your fancy because you're much more likely to do it if you're having fun. And don't worry about switching subtitles on if you need them – just keep enjoying those English videos and movies.

5. Could you share some wisdom? What is the most common mistake you see English teachers make?

Well, all students are different and there's no one correct way to teach a language so I think the best advice I could give teachers would be to listen to your students and be flexible. Keep looking for ways to collect feedback and adapt your classes accordingly.

Vote for This Blog!

After voting you will get a free gift:

a booklet with educational stories  in simple English.

Return to the main page of the competition.