Written texts: A thing of the past?
The advent of digital technologies and the rise of the internet have altered the way we read and write considerably over the past few decades, but it has also increased access to written texts and made them easier to produce, share and publish. And we are not just talking about posting on social media either. The rising popularity of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) and CLIL, or the use of English in the workplace means both students and professionals are increasingly exposed to written English. So despite the general perception that we are witnessing the demise of these skills, they very much remain a central part of how we study, how we work and how we interact. Consequently, assessing these skills is as important as ever for us as language teaching professionals.
Whether you’ll be spending the summer at the beach or simply lazing around on the grass at home, why not take the time to practice your English and enjoy some great books in the language? We’ve put together a list of the top 20 books for learning English during the summertime, a mix of comedy and drama, horror and history, sci-fi and romance, plus a whole lot more. You’ll find something for young and old alike, and, with our graded and active readers, something to suit you perfectly, no matter what your level of English.
Top 20 books for learning English during the summertime
1.- The Beach (Alex Garland) – One night, while travelling in Thailand, Richard is given a map with directions to a mysterious beach, part of a beautiful lagoon hidden far off the beaten track. He sets off in search of this paradise, meeting other travellers along the way. Not long after finding the beach, however, the hard reality behind the idyll soon becomes apparent. Find out what happens with our graded reader. Continue reading
Many students shy away from writing in English as they feel it is either difficult or boring. At the same time, it can be tempting for the teacher to tackle the skill by setting simple compositions with little structure or purpose. However, writing is not only a necessary language skill, especially for students hoping to use English in their work or studies, but also a great way to improve their level overall, and it need not be boring. We look at 7 tips for teaching writing in the EFL classroom.
Tips for teaching writing in the EFL classroom:
1. Know the aim of text and the target reader
Perhaps the two most important things to bear in mind when teaching writing (and when writing oneself) are the aim of the text and the target reader, as these will dictate the type of language used and the organisation of the text itself. Writing an informal email to a friend to let them know your news requires a very different approach to writing a report for your boss about the progress of a project you’re running. Equally, it would be just as odd to give titles to the sections of a letter of complaint – My Shock on Discovering the Item Didn’t Work, How This Has Inconvenienced Me, Here’s What I Want You to Do About It! – as it would to open a love letter with ‘To whom it may concern…’ Continue reading
While most learners want to focus on improving their spoken English, the other skills should not be ignored if you want to become a fluent all-round user of the language. Today we look at some of the many benefits of reading in English and offer some ideas to help you become a better reader yourself.
The benefits of reading in English
First and foremost, reading is one of the best ways to increase vocabulary and to consolidate your understanding of grammar. Not only will you come across many new words and phrases in context, you’ll also see grammatical structures laid out on the page that you may have heard in conversation but not quite yet worked out. With repeated exposure to the same vocabulary and language patterns, you’ll find they begin to make their way into your spoken English as well. In this way, reading helps speed up the normal language learning process that sees passive comprehension become active knowledge. In short, provided you’re also practicing conversation, the more you read, the more quickly your spoken English will improve. Continue reading
When it comes to learning a language, you can only do so much in class. At some point, we all need to look beyond the classroom walls if we’re to put our abilities to the test and hone those hard-earned skills. Luckily, the age we live in has no shortage of options for the motivated learner.
Here are 10 ways to improve your English outside of class: