Learned Words | Archive

Archive

All blog posts published on Learned Words in order from most recent to oldest

Resources › Tools I use to write and teach
Everyone changes the tools they use, in any job. Writing and teaching is no different - the tools and software I used to use 5 years ago, I'm not using today. Read more ›

News › Migrating the website to Jekyll
Learned Words has had many problems on a standalone WordPress installation, with its media library consistently going missing. That's one of the reasons I am moving the site to Jekyll. Read more ›

Writing prompts › Conversations based on photos
Dialogue writing can be difficult for many people. That's why it's a good idea to practice - these photos will help. Read more ›

Word games › 3 word games for vocabulary building and practice
Word games, quizzes, puzzles and crosswords are a good way to work on vocabulary. Read more ›

Patreon › Teaching and language learning resources on Patreon
Helpful resources for language teachers and students, writers and translators now available on Patreon Read more ›

Language learning › Interact to learn a language faster
Don’t just listen, interact! Read more ›

Learning tips › Learning Japanese without a teacher
You can learn Japanese alone Read more ›

Conversation prompts › How did you choose ... ?
Being able to ask open questions is a skill you need to develop even in your native language. 'How' questions require much more than just a yes or no! Read more ›

Resources › Resources for English teachers and students
A collection of prompts, events, competitions, tools, books, tutorials and more - all for writers Read more ›

Learning tips › How to learn new words and remember them
Learning new words to add to your vocabulary doesn't have to always involve flash cards (although spaced repetition is always good!) Here are some other tricks you can use to learn more words. Read more ›

Resources › Resources for writers
A collection of prompts, events, competitions, tools, books, tutorials and more - all for writers Read more ›

Writing › Telling stories
Storytelling is a skill that can help you in your career, especially if you go into marketing or sales. You want to convey and spark emotions in your listeners. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Gaming conversations
A lesson plan Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Basic questions for beginners
A lesson plan Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Talking about dreams and ideas
Talking about the future, what you wish would happen, and what you are working towards can get quite complicated. We should talk more about it - talking about our dreams is motivating! Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Interview someone
Find out something new about a family member, friend or classmate. Try to keep the interview in your target language where possible. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › We are all experts
One of the things humans love to do is to offer advice. We are all experts at something, even if sometimes our faith in our expertise is questionable! Read more ›

Translation › An unconventional approach to translation
Tips and tricks to translate faster and better Read more ›

Writing prompts › Write about a dream
Storytelling to learn a language Read more ›

Translation › Mistakes in a translation - cool! Mostly
When mistakes are deadly Read more ›

Teacher tips › Prepare for conversation classes
There are many reasons why you need to prepare to teach conversation classes. It turns out that conversation classes are more demanding to teach. Plus it’s harder to keep students engaged and happy. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Memorable moments
A successful interview lesson plan ideal to get students who are new to each other talking. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Moving overseas
A lesson plan based on the questions my students have asked me Read more ›

Writing › Read to write
Prolific readers are good writers Read more ›

Resources › Switching from Evernote to OneNote
In recent months (or years), it has felt like the Evernote interface and apps have stalled. I document the switch to hopefully make it less painful for you. Read more ›

Writing › Writing isn’t just for writers
Successful people, happy people, entrepreneurs and creatives write every day. Here's why it helps. Read more ›

Learning tips › Daily language learning hacks
Learn a language faster and more consistently Read more ›

Writing › Simplified language is not stupid
Being understandable is a good thing, even if your academic supervisors criticise you for it. Read more ›

Learning tips › When you get stuck while learning a language
Have you found yourself stuck with boring textbooks? Audio courses? Apps? What things turn you off language learning? Read more ›

Teaching › Written homework is important for conversation classes
Homework is not just for textbook classes. Drilling new vocabulary and grammar, and writing help conversation skills enormously. Read more ›

Learning tips › How to be an independent learner
Have you ever sat through a class, been bored out of your mind, and not remembered anything that was covered? Here's how to kick your learning into high gear. Read more ›

Vocabulary › Australian animals word search puzzle
This was my first word search puzzle and a hit with every class I have given it to, either as a race within the class or as homework. Read more ›

Learning tips › Motivation and language learning
'I want a raise, and to get it I need to improve my English.'' You get all fired up and motivated at the start of your plans, but then your motivation vanishes. Read more ›

Vocabulary › 30 travel idioms
Even beginners are faced with idioms if they travel to an English speaking country for a holiday. That’s why it’s important to include idioms in all levels of language courses. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › 50 travel conversation prompts
The most requested topics in a conversation class with my older students is travel. Making the second or third lesson in a course about travel helps the students feel more comfortable with each other and improves speaking confidence. Read more ›

Learning tips › Dealing with language learning burnout
Do you want to throw the towel in on your language learning journey and just give up? If you said yes, you may be burned out. Read more ›

Learning tips › How to massively improve speaking confidence in conversation classes
What’s the one thing most students are afraid of? Making mistakes and looking silly in front of the other students. Here's how to get past that. Read more ›

Teaching › Choosing conversation topics
When choosing conversation topics, it’s most important that you pick topics the students like and want to talk about. If they aren’t interested in the topics, they’ll stop coming to class, or just stop talking. No teacher wants that! Read more ›

Teaching › Starting a new conversation class
If you are anything like me, as both a teacher and a student, starting a new conversation class is terribly scary. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Illness and treatments
Most of us have been ill. We’ve all done things to ‘fix’ our illness, even if it’s just the common cold. Unfortunately, this also happens when you are traveling, on holiday or for work. Read more ›

Learning tips › Use it or lose it
If you've ever taken a break, you know how quickly you lose your language skills. Read more ›

Vocabulary › Words about cars
If you like cars, are going on a rally while travelling, or simply want to broaden your vocabulary, I hope you enjoy this word search puzzle. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Talking about the past
Two two main tenses used in conversation are past and future. And, I think it's likely that the past tense is used the most often. Here are some more conversations prompts to practice it. Read more ›

Vocabulary › Words rhyming with ‘ale’
How many different words can you discover that rhyme with 'ale'? Read more ›

Listening › Bite-sized podcasts for English fluency
Podcasts are an excellent and enjoyable way to increase your listening fluency and pick up new words, in context. Read more ›

Group project › What if you won a medieval village?
A multi-lesson group conversation activity that is based on the real world. It engages students' creativity, critical thinking and planning skills, and gets them using language naturally, as a by-product of doing the activity - best for putting skills into practice! Read more ›

Vocabulary › Professions crossword
Word games, quizzes, puzzles and crosswords are a good way to work on vocabulary. Read more ›

Learning tips › Can you learn a language fast with language hacks?
We all have huge language goals and feel too time-poor to chase after them. But you can slot in language learning and make progress with some of these useful language hacks. Read more ›

Vocabulary › Food and ingredients crossword
Word games, quizzes, puzzles and crosswords are a good way to work on vocabulary. Read more ›

Vocabulary › 15 Idioms from around the world
Idioms are a great way to increase enthusiasm and interest in learning a language. Read more ›

Word games › Word brainstorms for vocabulary building
Word games and brainstorms, quizzes, puzzles and crosswords are a good way to work on vocabulary. Read more ›

Listening › Learn English with free ESL podcasts
Podcasts are an excellent and enjoyable way to increase your listening fluency and pick up new words, in context. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Natural pests
Trips to aquariums and zoos are popular with school-age kids and adults. They are also fantastic for tourists to practice their language skills. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Moving house
Most people have moved house at least once, and things almost never go completely smoothly. Therefore it’s a great conversation topic for ESL and EFL classes of all levels and ages. Read more ›

Learning tips › The two things you need to learn languages easily
These two things are essential when you wan to learn languages easily. Read more ›

Vocabulary › Words ending with -ill
Word games, quizzes, puzzles and crosswords are a good way to work on vocabulary. Read more ›

Teaching › A traveling teachers toolkit
Language teaching when you have no home base to store books, and tools for audio-visual activities can be difficult. Here are the tools I use. Read more ›

Conversation prompts › Solving tricky problems
A speaking or writing exercise to propose solutions to tricky problems. This uses both modal verbs (could, should, would), and conditional sentences, so is better for intermediate classes and above. Read more ›

Vocabulary › Words for basic office supplies
This is a beginner vocabulary exercise that is very popular with my adult business English students. Read more ›

Vocabulary › Spelling checkers for language learners
When learning a new language, it can be tempting to rely on the automatic spelling checkers to correct your words. That may not be such a good idea with this poem! Read more ›

Vocabulary › Learning dialog tags
While few of these dialogue tags are used in spoken language, you'll find them in any fiction book you read. How many do you know? Read more ›

Vocabulary › 20 Cooking and food idioms
Even beginners are faced with idioms if they travel to an English speaking country for a holiday. That’s why it’s important to include idioms in all levels of language courses. Read more ›

Writing prompts › Complaints
Everyone has something to complain about. Sometimes something will annoy you enough to write a letter or email. Read more ›

Teaching and learning › Bite-sized language prompts for students and teachers
I hold multiple classes for students learning English as a foreign language, so I need to come up with topics that both interest the students, yet focus on specific (small) aspects of grammar. Read more ›