Difficult words to throw into casual conversations

Today I have another language related post. When you’re learning to speak English as a second language, the most difficult thing to do, is to play around with the language. Where in your native tongue you have the ability to use and even come up with a plethora of words, in a foreign language getting…

Favorite words ?!

My blog description reads: “I am an English teacher trainer with a passion for beauty, fashion, dance, music, reading, languages…” Languages, you may wonder? Apart from the fact that I am an English teacher, language and linguistic oddities have always been a passion of mine, but as of late I have not been writing much…

Dunglish at its best

These past couple of weeks my students have been taking exams and that means that I had to do a bunch of grading. Grading can be quite a tedious task, but not when you find the creative solutions an linguistic oddities I encountered during this round. Many of my students are not good at English….

Website: Letters of Note

A few days ago I came across this really nice blog called Letters of Note. This blog has regular posts with letters of famous authors, politicians and the like. Some sent to family members, others to newspapers, publishers, friends and partners. Now, if you like languages like I do, then I’m sure you will enjoy…

Dialectblog.com: On language variation

Just the other day I found one of the coolest blogs on the web: dialectblog.com. Of course you do have to like English language variation for this, but I think it’s pretty neat. Not only does it list American, British and Irish accents and their features, but the author also delves into language variation phenomenon,…

Must watch: Fry’s Planet Word

It’s finally here! Stephen Fry’s documentary on language. I saw him tweet about it numerous times and when I went to see him in June, he had just gotten back from a trip that would be used for this documentary. So, I knew this would be coming soon. It is a 5-part documentary in which…

The difference between do you have, have, have you got

I came across this blog post a few days ago. Dipping into the email bag, we have a months-old note from Andy: I was wondering whether you’ve done anything on your language blog regarding the uses of the phrases “have you got”, “do you have” and “have you”. I get the impression that “do you…

Learnt a new word: receptacle

Just by looking around you, you can sometimes learn new words. I came across this word when using the bathroom at the St. Andrews golf course I visited during the study trip and found it striking. A notice had been posted on the stall door asking ladies to put their waste in the ‘receptacle’. I…

The English Passive: the mystery of ‘there are’

For some reason making passive sentences in English is something many Dutch people have trouble dealing with. It’s the one grammar function that takes up most of my time in class when I try to explain it and it’s the one construction my students get wrong the most. However, passives in English need not be…

Interesting article: Bilinguals see the world in a different way

I found this article on a Dutch website. So for the Dutchies amongst you, you can read the article here. Science Daily reports that the way we see the world is linked to the language we speak. The report comes from research done amongst monolingual and bilingual Japanese speakers. Apparently Japanese has very specific words…

Noam Chomsky in Comic Form

I’m not big on comics. I don’t think I’ve read one since I was a kid, but this one had me smiling: The Complete Adventures of Noam Chomsky. Of course this is only funny if you’re a language nerd like myself, but I find it highly entertaining. Too bad, the series are now discontinued. You…

Learning Dutch Part 2: Adjectives

A tricky thing about learning how to speak Dutch are the adjectives. I already talked about a few other tricky things in Dutch in an earlier post. Make sure you read that post BEFORE reading this one, as this post builds upon things told in my post on the basics of Dutch. At the end…

Dutch for Beginners Part 1 – Introduction

As most of you probably know, I’m a Dutch girl, who teaches English at a college in The Netherlands. However, when I was a student, studying to obtain my MA degree in English, I worked as a teacher of Dutch as a Second Language at a language institute in The Hague. Here, I mainly taught…

Tips for Non-native speakers of English

It has happened to all of us who use English as a foreign language: you are having a conversation with someone in English and suddenly there is this one word that you just don’t know. Or, for some reason or other you just have this black out and you can’t even think of what it…