Job hunting

Which is the best way to find a job? On our padlet board we can see some of the ideas that came up in class and some interesting articles where you’ll find the language in context.

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We also listed some ideas to succeed at job interviews. Can you think of more?

You can follow the thread on #occeoic on Twitter.



Tips for learning pronunciation

problem-860227_1920It might seem that English pronunciation is difficult to handle. But there are habits that will make it easier for you to pronounce better. Here are a few tips I usually share in class with my students:


  1. Keep your own pronunciation record. I always recommend dedicating a few pages on your notebooks to grouping words according to their pronunciation. This is particularly helpful with vowels and vocalic groups. When you learn a new word which has a “weird” pronunciation, write it down with other words that contain the same sound. It can be useful also when there is a word you always seem to be getting wrong.
  2. Learn the symbols of the IPA (international phonetic alphabet). The IPA is an essential tool for language learners. I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to learn to transcribe or even be familiar with every single sound, but you should be aware of some phonemes, as it will enable to pronounce any word at all by simply looking it up in the dictionary. The interactive phonetic chart below may be of some help to get started:

3. Learn to recognize word stress and sentence stress. Stress is the most important features of the English phonological system. Being aware that some syllables and words will not be heard because they are weak forms, while others will surely stand out because they are strong, will make it a little easier for you to start prediciting certain phrases because of their stress patterns. And you’ll finally get to understand the reason why “the English seem to eat up all the words”.

4. Be patient!

A Question of Motivation

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A new school year has just started. It’s time to get ready for an exciting new journey until summer comes again.

I think the following exercise can be useful for anyone who is starting something new. But obviously, language learners will easily relate to everything that is mentioned.

Have a look at the presentation A question of motivation and go through the questions.

Stop and think for a minute of the opportunities you have available and what you can do to increase your chances of success.

What skills do you want to improve? How do you think you will achieve it? What help do you need?

Feel free to post your comment and share your ideas with other language learners. All you have to is click on the reply icon just above the post.




13 Experts Share ESL Learning Advice -Plus Over 70 Online Resources

I am very pleased to have had the chance to share my advice for learning English on The Spanish Net. I recommend EFL learners to go through the tips and suggestions, which are all very useful. Also, don’t miss the 70 online resources divided into categories.

13 Experts Share ESL Learning Advice (Plus Over 70 Online Resources).

English Fluency Secrets


speech (Photo credit: Tim Morgan)

What  aspects of learning English do you find most discouraging? One of the things that I recall now as being one of the most commented in class is: Am I ever going to sound fluent? As if, no matter how much you learn, you’ll never sound as a native speaker.

Well, here come the good news. Fluency is not about sounding like a native speaker. You may perfectly be a fluent English speaker with an accent.

But identifying the features that make a native speaker sound fluent might be of good help for  better comprehension and developping a natural, fluent speech.

In the website below you will find a few ideas. Interesting read:

The 3 Most Powerful English Fluency Secrets