Archive for June, 2015

Five of the Most Irritating Words in the American English Language

It seems we Americans say quite a few quick, handy words to express good and bad situations. We’ve all heard them much too often. I’m particularly tired of five words.

When we say “awesome,” we should be responding to something that commands respect and reverence: The universe is awesome. God is awesome. Saying “awesome” is a lazy, convenient word just to say great or wonderful: Everything that is great is awesome: “You brought home pizza. -Awesome!” “Justin Bieber is so awesome!” He is?

Let’s face a fact here, “awesome” is probably the most used word in American English. A few decades ago, I remember hearing: “Groovy”, “Cool”, “Far out!”, “Dig it!” I miss those expressions! So, it might be time to consider other words, such as: astonishing, overwhelming, wonderful, superb, magnificent, impressive, incredible and even, dreadful.

When a person is fed up and angry with what someone says, it’s “Whatever!” I usually hear this word spoken when I have said something that is irritating to another person. It means, “I don’t care what you said!” The word is the verbal equivalent to scraping nails across a blackboard; it’s probably the rudest thing you can say in polite conversation. Saying “Okay” or even, “Fine!” are more polite interjections.

“Hey dude?”, “Dude!” “Whatup, dude?” We hear this all the time when a male teen gets the attention of another male teen. It’s such a common way to get another guy’s attention that it seems every guy’s name is “Dude.” Some guys even call their girlfriends “Dude.” Shouldn’t they be “Dudettes?” When I was young, I said, “Hey, man!” “Man” used to be a more popular word and still is to a degree. I was so hung up on it I even said it when I talked with my mom. “I’m not ‘man,'” she replied.

“I totally agree with you that ‘totally’ is an overused word.” “Totally” means completely, exactly or absolutely. Do you understand these three meanings? -Totally!

“S’up?” is the abbreviated macho form of “What’s up?” that tough guys ask themselves. You can still say the long version: “What’s happening?” or “What’s going on?”

Overused words are not just rampant in conversation; the way we communicate on the Internet, particularly through Twitter or Facebook is by cutting words down to abbreviations or initials: LOL and OMG, among many others. I’m not used to a lot of jam-packed digital dialogue, especially on Twitter.

Awesome, whatever, dude, totally, s’up? I think if we could dust off our old thesauri, we could find other words to replace those I’ve collected. There are many others. Some are not so nice. Otherwise, we will continue using words that will forever be boring to hear.

Grammar and Language Learning: Do We Need to Study Grammar?

Now we get to talk about everybody’s favorite (not) subject: grammar! For many a would-be language learner, grammar has been the one thing that has absolutely paralyzed them. Do you remember your high school days when you were forced to take Spanish, French, or German? I remember taking three years of Spanish in high school. And guess what? After three years, I couldn’t say a thing in Spanish, and I certainly couldn’t understand it if someone else spoke it.

So what was the problem?

The problem is that we focused only on grammar. If you’ve had a similar experience, then there’s no need to fear. You don’t have to spend endless hours pouring over conjugation tables, lists of irregular verbs, or the like. I’m going to show you a better way.

Grammar isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For example, when you speak English, do you think in your head “Okay, now I’m using a plural noun, so I have to make sure the verb agrees with that. Oh, and I’m using the subjunctive mood, so I must use ‘were’ instead of ‘was,’ etc, etc.” NO! You just speak naturally and fluently without thinking about it too much.

So what’s the use of grammar? Let’s break it down:

It can help you to learn a language quicker. This way, you can actually learn a second language faster than you did your first language. It does this by giving you hints on how to use words, what order they should be learned in, etc. For example, I could listen to a lot of Spanish and eventually figure out that the adjective must agree with the noun, or I could read a 5 second explanation.

Here’s what you don’t want to do:

Memorize a big conjugation chart. If a language has a lot of conjugations, you don’t want to spend hours memorizing it, do you? Unless you like suffering, right? Instead, find an example sentence that uses said conjugation, understand the meaning of the sentence, not necessarily how to conjugate the verb/noun, etc., and then add that to your Spaced Repetition Software, such as Anki. There, painless, wasn’t it? Seek to understand meaning, not “I have to drop the ‘s’, change the ‘y’ to ‘I’, and add ‘oasdjfsdkhfkls.'” That’s just too painful.

Eventually you will pick up the how by seeing enough examples. Also, learning from example sentences will help you to learn the exceptions, which every language has in one form or another.

The most important take away from all this is: input! If you receive lots of input from the language, eventually you’ll be able to output it correctly.

Top Reasons Why Students Should Study Cambridge English in the UK

Why study abroad? Many students may question paying more to study at one of the top UK English language schools or schools that specifically teach Cambridge English. However, the benefit may not be something that students can measure by the pound. For many students, studying English abroad can be a great cultural experience that they may experience just once. This is why in between English language courses and study group sessions, students leave for site-seeing, exploring the city and spend time practicing their English by speaking with locals.

The UK has been in existence for roughly 65,000 years and is considered the birthplace of the English language.

This may be all the more reason why it is best to pick a school that may be small enough to get individual attention and still big enough for students to have plenty to do on the weekends, when they aren’t in class. It is also an opportunity for students to literally make friends from all over the world.

Best accredited schools in England and plenty of room for career advancement

Did you know that many London schools have received accreditation through the British Council and you can find a full listing of accredited schools on the British Council website? Did you know that it might be easier to obtain a visa by attending an accredited school? Many schools are also inspected by independent inspectors and institutions. This simply ensures that you are receiving quality education, no matter how much you are paying.

It may be difficult to obtain a place at a school teaching English language courses because of a limited number of enrolment places and too many students waiting for the opportunity to study at a school. Does studying at a UK school help you in your career choice? It may, as many businesses are looking for students who can speak English clearly and have a good understanding of the language.

Think independently and gain the support you need to be successful

Did you know that gaining a British Education is very valuable in the UK and other parts of the world? People value former students who have UK English learning backgrounds. However, they also value people who have taken the IELTS, scored well on the test and can draw their own conclusions from the data.

Because the English language test only measures a person’s ability to speak and write English, it isn’t a test that a student can clearly memorise. Instead, a test of this nature measures how well a student may be able to improvise and also make data correlations to determine word meanings, gain information and use provided information to draw conclusions from provided results. This is why you should spend the money and savour the experience of studying Cambridge English abroad, especially if you live thousands of miles away.

Are you considering learning Cambridge English at a school that isn’t too big, but still gives you that hometown feel? Isn’t it nice to study somewhere where you can concentrate on culture every day? Crest Schools offers English language courses designed for all levels and are accredited by the British Council. This is why students should choose to study at Crest Schools.