Calvin Vocabulary

How I Learn Vocabulary

On eating eggs and learning new words “How do you like them eggs? Soft boiled? Omelet? Scrambled? Poached? Sunny Side up? Over easy? Benedict?” To the bemusement (or embarrassment?) of my family, for years I would dread being asked how I wanted my eggs cooked at the Waffle House. Tired of gambling with my eggs, […]

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Burning Bridge

English Idioms 3

This is the third practice page for the English Idioms course I am teaching at the Université Saint-Louis (Marie Haps). These exercises are designed to complement and practice the material learned in Units 19 and following (with some material from units 1–18 for practice purposes) of the course and should be fine for anyone with […]

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Asteric

English Idioms 2

I am currently (Fall 2020) teaching a Bachelor 2 course on English Idioms at the Université Saint-Louis (Marie Haps). These exercises are designed to complement and practice the material learned in Units 11–15 (with a few ones from Units 1–10) of the course and should be fine for anyone with a B1 English level. The […]

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Old Radio

Listening to English Online

(This is a revised version of an older post) At some point when you learn English (or any other language), it is important to listen to “real English,” not just to small pieces or excerpts from language textbooks and manuals, even if you do not understand everything. There are many easy ways today to listen […]

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How to Improve your English

How do you keep on learning a language during the lockdown? How do you improve your English when you can’t go to classes, conversation tables, private lessons? More generally, how do you get your language skills up by yourself? Though some of this information might be useful for a beginner, the point here is to […]

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You Tube

Two Tips to Learn a Language with YouTube

The use of YouTube to teach or learn a language is pretty much a given today. Yet, speaking with colleagues and students, I realized that not all of them were aware that there are some features available that are really useful for language education. Here are two of them: Subtitles (or closed captions) and the […]

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Books 2018

Best Reads of 2018

After a survey of my best readings of 2016 and 2017, time has come for the 2018 edition. Once again, I had meant for this to come out in a timely manner in January. Maybe next year. After a less than lackluster literary 2017, 2018 proved to be a richer crop: more diverse and with […]

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EPF Sound Bank Small

Learning a Language? Improve Your Pronunciation with the International Phonetic Alphabet

You’ve done it (or you had no choice). You’ve decided to learn another language! But then, quickly, the frustration builds up. Reading and writing is going along ok, but the speaking … the pronunciation. The bane of many language learners: how to actually speak that language without making a complete fool of yourself. Two quite […]

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Old computers

Hardware and Software Tools of the Trade 2018

After several years, time has come for an update of my 2015 Tools of the trade post. These are the hardware and software tools I work with in 2018. Computers and other hardware I’m still a Mac person (an old 2009 IMac and a 2010 MacBook Pro 13 inches, still reliable, albeit a bit slow). […]

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How to pronounce the “th” without sticking your tongue out

“ze mozer of ziz boyz iz tirti-tri” A standard problem of English pronunciation: the English “th.” With a little help and practice, it actually is not that hard to master. (Note: For the first more technical article on “th” see my How I Teach the English “th” page.) Three Ways to Pronounce the “th” Contrary […]

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