Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Your Lucky Day

I do so hope you’re having a good day. Day … the time between when the sun comes up and it goes down. It’s a short little word that we use, well ... every day in a variety of collocations. Here are just a few:

all in a day's work: not out of the ordinary
call it a day: finish work
plain as day: obvious
at the end of the day: basically
day in and day out: over and over
bad hair day: not a good day

The Good Student

Maribel gets up bright and early every morning. Day in and day out, she talks herself through her day’s agenda in English while she’s brushing her teeth. She centres herself with a little ESL Yoga before hopping in the shower where she sings her favourite song out loud. Not even a bad hair day can stop Maribel from sticking to her program!

I asked Maribel about how she keeps focused. “It’s all in a day’s work,” she responded. “My English has to be good enough for me to communicate fluently with my clients and suppliers. It’s part of my job to do this training. Since I’ve been doing it consistently for some time, it’s second nature to me now. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not speak in English with my plant for at least a few minutes every day!”

When others call it a day, Maribel gets comfortable in her favourite armchair and reads a few chapters of a good book, taking note of new vocabulary. After supper she watches an episode of her favourite sitcom.

“The secret is as plain as day,” continues Maribel. “At the end of the day it’s all about being consistent.”

Do you have tip you would like to share with others about how to keep to your training program? Please join the ‘Speak English Once and for All’ group on facebook and share your ideas, your questions and wins!

Have the most awesome day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

From Reading to Speaking

I’m guessing you learned to read and write English before you learned to speak it. You likely have few difficulties with written documents, but perhaps you feel unsure about the correct pronunciation. Let me tell you, that’s perfectly normal. And the reason for this is, as my good friend and colleague Judy Thompson says, English is Stupid. Unlike some other languages that sound exactly the way they are written, English has this tendency to sound any way it feels like.

This is due to the history of Modern English. During its early years it did not exist in a standardised, written form. It wasn’t until 1476 (less than 200 before Shakespeare) that the written version of English we know today was galvanised by a London businessman named William Caxton. Unfortunately Caxton perhaps lacked the competences to invent a written language … he was more of a technician than a writer or a poet or a linguist. Changes in pronunciation from the Middle to Modern English periods and the borrowing of spelling patterns from other languages make orthography a challenge for both native and English as a Second Language speakers. Oh boy!

The one tool that can help us navigate this seemingly unmappable ocean is the Thompson Vowel Chart. All sixteen English vowel sounds are here to reference in this handy printout. Remember, each word has a tonic and each tonic has a color (Speak English Once and for All). If you say the tonic right, you will be understood. Get your Thompson Vowel Chart here:

Thanks to Judy for letting me share this with you!

Enjoy and happy learning!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What Knocks Your Socks Off?

I hope this post finds you well. Me personally, I’m doing great. I’m so happy with the response I’m getting from my programs and courses! The feedback I’m getting includes words like ‘motivating,’ ‘effective’ and ‘definitive!’

But I want to do more, so I have a question for you.

What would knock your socks off in a product that showed you the path to fluency? What would you really like to see in your perfect course? Please let me know by clicking this button:

In return for your generous information, I will send you a copy of my very popular e-book, ‘50 Phrasal Verbs for Business.’ Here’s what Government Affairs Executive Simone Warmbrand had to say about it:

“Jennifer, thanks for taking the time to develop such useful material! For non-native English speakers as myself, phrasal verbs used to be a nightmare!”

I hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bear in Mind

If you’ve taken a peek at the list of 1000 Most Common Words included in my book Speak English Once and for All you might be thinking that this seems like a pretty basic list. And you might be wondering why a word like ‘bear’ is on this list. Are native speakers always talking about big, hairy omnivores? Not really … ‘bear’ is a word with multiple meanings and this is why it forms part of that vocabulary that is common to all native speakers regardless of their education, work, hobbies and other personal experiences.

So how do we use ‘bear?’

You can bear (bring) good news. A ferry can bear (carry) passengers. A tree can bear (produce) fruit. Your website probably bears (displays) your company logo. You bear (are called by) your surname. You bear (conduct) yourself with dignity in even the most trying situations. You bear (shoulder) the responsibility for your actions. You might not be able to bear (support) injustice.

And these examples are just a few of the different meanings for bear. Wow! So you can see now why it’s on the list of 80% of what comes out of a native speaker’s mouth. Remember I told you to write sentences for each word on the list? When you’re writing them, take a moment to consult an online dictionary to take a peek at multiple meanings. Write two or three sentences using the same word in different contexts.

Would you like a really convenient way to complete the Daily Training Program? Wouldn’t it be great if you received your homework in digestible doses every morning in your inbox? All you have to do is sign up for your perfect course:

A big bear hug,