Learn English with Dianna
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    Learn English

    I’ve been teaching now for 16 years and would love to share some of my expertise, as well as my passion for the English language. Here you’ll find articles and advice on many different aspects of learning English. I’ll also post links to great resources.

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      FREE online IELTS resources – recommended!

      16th March, 2014

      Attractive Woman with Her Books

      Feeling frustrated with your exam preparation? Don’t know where to start?

      I teach a lot of students preparing for exams and some of them get stuck in test-test-test mode, rather than doing tasks and activities that actually help them improve. They lose time searching for exam materials and feel like they’re getting nowhere! There are a lot of online resources out there in cyberspace, but it can be a challenge to sort out the good from the bad. And the free ones from those that that cost an arm and a leg!

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        My ‘get up and go’ got up and went!

        13th January, 2014

        th (1)“Get up and go” is an idiom or slang for motivation. And we all know that motivation to learn anything comes and goes! Life is busy – sometimes we have other priorities, we don’t know where to start, or we procrastinate as we just don’t feel like pushing ourselves. These ups and downs are part of a natural cycle, but they can become a problem if we stay unmotivated for too long as they get in the way of achieving our goals.  How motivated are you at the moment? (more…)

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          How can I guess new vocabulary from context?

          4th January, 2014

          wonderingThere are more words in English than we can ever use or remember. Even in our own language, when we read, we often meet words we don’t know. Look back at a text you have read recently.

          • Quickly underline two words you don’t know then stop.
          • How could you discover the meaning of those new words?

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            Nursing your English (and your patients) to better health

            10th December, 2013

            thI’ve taught a lot of non-native speaker nurses in my time, and they all possessed an admirable level of medical knowledge and English. What some of them really needed were all those everyday, practical phrases that nurses use in their daily interaction with patients. (more…)

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              How can I improve my speaking?

              3rd December, 2013

              frog no ideaFor me, the key to improving this skill is to focus on meaning first and accuracy second. Communication is a two-way process. Make sure your message is clear to your listener, and this includes meaning and pronunciation. People will generally forgive you for (more…)

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                How can I become a more independent learner?

                4th November, 2013

                cat mirrorLearning anything is a process and generally, the more effort you put into it, the faster you make progress.  Sometimes when we study, we are so focussed on our future goals that we forget to take time to reflect (or look back) on what we’ve learnt and to see how far we’ve come. (more…)

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                  Why should I care about all those dead people?

                  5th October, 2013

                  2

                  Sample FCE / CAE article: – for analysis of style

                  Why should I care about all those dead people?

                  Think back to when you were at school…. Do you remember sitting in class, listening to your teacher drone on and on about some boring dead author? I do!  I loved reading, but I hated learning about classic writers because the teachers failed to make them seem relevant in any way. (more…)

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                    How to pronounce: -ed endings (on regular verbs)

                    27th September, 2013

                    pron53English pronunciation can be tricky for learners. One area that many speakers have difficulty with is how to pronounce -ed endings on regular verbs, like missed, cleaned, helped…   Students often over-pronounce the -ed ending as an extra syllable…. they say”  I miss-ed my girlfriend; I clean-ed my room; my friend help-ed me with my homework.  What you should say is….

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                      IELTS Writing – Tourism essay task

                      26th September, 2013

                      Developing your linking and range of vocabulary 1

                      Task:   

                      The costs of international travel are decreasing and tourism is growing. What are the advantages and disadvantages of increasing tourism activity in different countries?

                      What do you think? (more…)

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                        Felt vs fell

                        24th September, 2013

                        fall in loveWhy can’t I say “At the end of the movie, she felt in love with him…”?

                        I must have heard students misuse this word hundreds of times. These two words look and sound similar and often get mixed up by learners when they speak.  But fell and felt come from different base verbs….

                         

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