Idioms! Perhaps they are one of the most colourful aspects of language to teach, conjuring up amusing imagery or teaching our students about culture. I had a lot of fun with them in my advanced classes, though found I had to guard against overuse! But a question here for teachers is: which ones to teach? One tends to come across many a student of English who knows the expression “It’s raining cats and dogs,” but I am racking my brains to think of a single time in my life I have heard that idiom in natural conversation.
Summer is here and school is out, so if you’re looking for a way to practice everything you’ve learned in class, why not head overseas to an English-speaking country to practice with the locals? Here are 7 English-speaking countries to practise English in this summer:
From the bright lights of bustling New York to the famous drives and boulevards of LA, from the majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon to the Northern Lights across Alaska, the USA offers more than a lifetime’s worth of variety for the visitor. Many of its sights are familiar the world over: the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Lincoln Memorial, the Hollywood Sign. So is American English, in all its rich diversity, so if you’re looking to study or improve your language skills this summer, the USA gives you no end of choice. And wherever you go, you’re bound to be given a hearty American welcome and made to feel at home. Continue reading
One of the most enjoyable aspects of learning a language is getting to know its idioms and expressions. Indeed, it’s an area of language where the culture of the speakers can really make itself known. With English spoken in so many places around the world, it’s no surprise that the language has a wealth of entertaining sayings and slang, some funny, some rude, some clever and some bizarre. We’ve picked out 21 unusual English expressions from around the world to give you just a taste of this variety.
It has often been said that the UK and the USA are ‘two nations separated by a common language’. It’s certainly true that sharing English often disguises the cultural differences between the two societies, but what about actual differences between British and American English? Although there are very few differences, aside from differences in pronunciation, that would leave a Brit and an American in a state of mutual unintelligibility, there are significant differences between British and American English that are worth being aware of. Here we look at some of them.