Archive | English Language Skills

These articles are designed to help you improve your English in general, both for the TOEFL, and for other situations that require English.

The Fine Line Between Vocabulary and Grammar

In a recent post, I gave the definitions of several idioms, including the idiom “a fine line.” As I explained, “a fine line” means an unclear boundary between two similar things. This got me thinking about the fine line between grammar and vocabulary. A lot of students wonder whether they should focus more on grammar […]

Continue Reading · 2

The Art of Using Dictionaries and Translators

All too often, dictionaries and translators get an unfair reputation as “cheats” or ineffective tools in English study. A lot of this is because dictionary and translator abuse produces terrible English coursework. As an ESL teacher, I’ve seen this so many times: some student will always try to use a dictionary or automated translator to […]

Continue Reading · 2

5 Types of Redundancies to Avoid

You know the expression “more is less”? Well, this is certainly true when it comes to writing.  The simpler and clearer we write, the easier it is for others to understand what we are trying to say. Redundant phrases distract readers and cause the sentence to lose power and direction. What is redundancy, you might […]

Continue Reading · 2

The Power of Reading Out Loud

Reading out loud gets an unfair reputation. A lot of people see it as something you do when you’re a kid… or something you only do with kids, if you’re reading a story to small children. The truth is, there’s a lot of educational value in reading out loud, even for adult learners.   Read […]

Continue Reading · 0

Learn English with Star Wars

Last week, I took my son to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He loved it, and so did I. My son and I are not alone; people all around the world love Star Wars. If you’re one of Star Wars’ many international fans, you can use your love of this film series to improve […]

Continue Reading · 0