Don’t let grammar be a big problem

Grammar: don’t let it be a big problem
Lower intermediate to advanced level (B1-C1) 

Learning English outside the UK, the US, Australia etc can often be about learning ‘grammar’. This makes people think you need to know ‘rules’ before you can speak or write. However, in my experience, a heavy focus on a grammar problem can stop people learning and communicating. Continue reading

FCE writing tips

Cambridge First (FCE) writing tips
Upper intermediate level (B2)

Many people will be taking the Cambridge First exam this summer. To get ready you will probably need to write a lot of essays. An important tip is to keep a list of your most common FCE writing mistakes and check this list before you write. Continue reading

Writing: Keeping essays simple and clear

Writing: keeping it simple and clear
Intermediate to advanced level (B1-C2)

Have you ever read a piece of writing and then asked yourself ‘What did that mean?’? I certainly have. I’m not talking about short emails from friends but rather longer, more complicated essays or reports. Continue reading

Speaking and writing: Giving a presentation

Speaking and writing: giving a presentation
Intermediate to higher level (B1-C1) 

Have you ever listened to a presentation and thought: ‘Why are they just reading what’s on the slide?’? Not only can this quickly send the listener to sleep but it’s also a waste of a great opportunity. Here are some tips for giving a presentation: Continue reading

, ; : . ” ? Punctuation: who needs it?

Grammar: punctuation
Intermediate level (B2)

Commas, colons, full stops … It’s probably true to say that less punctuation is used today than in the past but this doesn’t mean punctuation isn’t needed. Punctuation is really important when it can change the meaning of a sentence. I found this example in Wikipedia: Continue reading

Writing: Organisation is key

Writing: organising 
Intermediate to higher level (B1-C1)

What is most important when you write? Is it grammar or vocabulary? In my opinion it is the organisation of sentences and paragraphs. Without a logical organisation, a piece of writing is often very difficult to read and understand.  Continue reading