Monthly Archives: July 2009

Songs to Learn English

Everyone likes to sing regardless of age or voice quality. 😛 Anyway, songs could be used to learn English too. The song that you’re going to learn now is called “Annie’s Song” by the late John Denver. The teacher in the video sings the song and tells you about rhythm and stress. Ignore his voice 🙂 He also tells you that the song arouses your 5 senses. The video clip for the actual song is at the bottom of the teacher’s video clip. Enjoy!

Tongue-twisters

Have you had problems with pronouncing letters in the alphabet? Well, a tongue-twister could help you. It’s fun, it’s funny, and most importantly, it helps you learn to pronounce. Watch, listen and follow:

Punctuation Marks

Many students ignore the correct usage of punctuation marks; some even believe that these marks should not be taught as it is a waste of time. Watch this video, and hopefully you’ll then see how significant a punctuation lesson is especially in writing.

English Jokes #2: Final Words

Here’s another joke. As with #1, listen first then listen to the explanation. Enjoy!

English Joke #1: Dying man

How many of you have ever thought that jokes could be used to learn English? Never? Well, see this. Listen to the joke, then see how statements and phrases are explained to help you understand the joke better. :))

Sentence Diagramming

Have you ever thought that English sentences could be represented in a diagram? This video clip shows you how it is done. Basically you begin with a base sentence that consists of a subject and a verb. From here, new words are added to bring new meaning. Watch how the instructor expands a basic sentence using a sentence diagram. It helps in learning relationships of words.

The Semicolon

Here’s something on the semicolon, one of the punctuation marks. The semicolon is hardly used by students as they’re probably ignorant of its usage. For this video clip, you need to be familiar with dependent clauses (subordinate clause) and independent clauses (main clause).

Japanese Mom Learns English

In this video clip, a woman Linda Furiya reads to us an excerpt from her book entitled “Bento Box Heartland’ in which she described how her mother struggled to learn English in order to overcome her difficulties communicating with society. She took up classes and passed the English test. Listen…

American or British Accent

My international students sometimes ask their teachers whether they should speak a particular English accent. Well, this video clip tells all. Notice how he pronounces the word “ask” – he’s British, yet he pronounces it the American way 🙂

"healthy" or "healthful"

When I was teaching at a local international college, we had a vice principal who was so critical of our grammar and punctuation just because he graduated from abroad. Consequently, this was one of the reasons he became our enemy #1. 😀 Anyways, one day, he pointed out that we should not use the word “healthy” but “healthful” to describe diet. We argued and said that “healthy” has been acceptable – every one uses it. He retaliated and said how could diet be healthy? He added that only humans or animals can be healthy, so we should say “healthful diet“. Was our vice principal correct?

I referred to the Cambridge dictionary and discovered that he was partially not… 🙂

The word “healthy” has various meanings. One of them means “good for your health“. Therefore, it is correct to say:

  • You must eat a healthy diet = a diet which is good for your health

The word “healthful” means helping to produce good health. Therefore, it is correct to say:

  • You must eat a healthful diet. = a diet that helps you produce good health

Both are adjectives, and both are correct. The ONLY difference is that “healthy” is used in British English, while “healthful” is used in American English. No wonder people give up on learning English 😛