5ive Useful Idioms

Time Flies: Joe is having so much fun on his date with Melissa. They spend the whole day talking, and walking around. He looks at his watch and sees that they spend over five hours on their first date! Time flies when you’re having fun indeed. We say “time flies” when we don’t feel that we spent too much time doing something. Weigh one’s options: Allison just graduated college. Now she has free time to do whatever she wants. She’s thinking about traveling around the world, starting postgraduate studies or finding a job! She’s going to weigh her options before she makes a decision. We say “weigh one’s options” when we think about many options carefully before making a decision. Climb the ladder: Gregory started working at the restaurant when he was 16. He started as a dishwasher. Now at the age of 26, he was made to be the manager of the store. In the past 10 years, Gregory climbed the ladder in his restaurant from dishwasher all the way to the top! We say “climb the ladder” when we talk about someone getting promoted within the company, and advance in their career. Make ends meet: With the breakout of this coronavirus (COVID-19), a lot of Americans are now out of their jobs. They’re not getting paid. Unemployment programs are being flooded with applications. Americans are now in stress of trying to make ends meet. We say “make ends meet” when we are able to to pay our bills and rent and everyday food. Tough call: Lisa is an executive of a company. She’s been working for them for 20 years. Her pay is 120 thousand dollars a year. She is now offered a new job in another company with the same position with an increase of pay. They … Read more

What Does Language Testing Have to Offer?

This is a summary of a research paper done by Lyle F. Bachman (UCLA) under the name of What Does Language Testing Have to Offer?. It was published in TESOL Quarterly in 1991. The paper tackles aspects of testing language, such as, authenticity and language ability and the relationship between language ability and metacognitive strategies.   This research consists of two parts. The first part is Language Testing in the 1990s. Bachman illustrates briefly the history of language testing during the 90s and demonstrates a couple of theories and issues. In part two; An Interactional Approach to Language Test development, she says that there are two main categories for the purposes of Language testing; Results that can help us infer students language ability and Decisions made to place, employ or certify test takers (Gatekeepers). For example, when we want to measure a test taker’s ability according to a curriculum, we have to make sure that the curriculum is represented in the test tasks. Moreover, when we want to employ someone according to a test’s score, we have to make sure that their test includes some job-related tasks. In that way we can justify the use of the grades.    Then she provides a framework for language ability, and tells us that linguists consider that language ability is of two aspects; Language Knowledge and Cognitive Process. First, Language Knowledge is of; Organizational knowledge that determines how tests are organized and Pragmatic Knowledge that determines how utterances and sentences, intentions and contexts are related to form meaning. The second aspect of language ability is Strategic Competence; and that is represented in a table of three sections: Assessment, Goal-setting and Planning.    After that, Bachman mentions that there are some points in which to consider to characterise the testing Method. Importantly, to know … Read more

6 Grammar Points Explained Simply!

Present perfect continuous Use the Present Perfect Continuous when you’re interested in the activity. Affirmative: S + have / has + been + v-ing + O/C : I have been going to a pottery class. Negative: S + have / has + not + been + v-ing + O / C : I have not been going to a pottery class. Question: Wh-word + have / has + S + been + v-ing + O / C? : Where have you been going to?                Have / Has + S + been + v-ing + O / C? : Have you been going to a pottery class? Present perfect Use the present perfect when you’re interested in the result. Affirmative: S + have / has + Past Participle (v3) + O /C : I have made 8 vases. Negative: S + have / has + not + Past Participle (v3) + O / C : I have not made 8 vases. Questions: Have / has + S + PP (v3) + O / C? : Have you made 8 vases?                  Wh-word + have / has + S + PP (v3) + O / C? : What have you made? Reported Questions Generally the order becomes Subject + Verb  The question turns into a statement. Use a “.” instead of “?” The verb tense changes the same way it changes in reported statements.  Simple Present: “Is your father a doctor?”  Simple Past: He asked me if my father was a doctor.  Note the use of if / whether when reporting Yes / No questions  With direct questions with “WH-words”, we do not use helping verbs: do, does, did  Simple past: “ Where did you go?” Past Perfect: He asked me where I had gone. Simple past  (action verbs)  Use: finished … Read more

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5 Tips how to maintain your English after EC

Here are our priceless five pieces of advice to keep improving your English after you graduate from EC. We asked our teachers for their insight and here is what we agreed on! Other than the usual advice you hear, PRACTICE! But you’re confused on how and where, specially that you live in a country where most people don’t speak everyday English! here are more tailored and specific tips!   Watch in English We advise you to get in the habit of watching your favorite movies and shows in English, if possible. If your show is in another language, or your native language, turn on English subtitles. You may not like watching TV, well you can listen also in English! A lot of podcasts and news outlets have programs designed for you to listen while you are doing your work, or while you commute! Find what you are interested in, and start watching / listening in English. Vocabulary Journal You will never stop learning new phrases, words or idioms. Keep small journal next to you and write down everything new you hear. Explain it, put in a little anecdote, give it synonyms. And don’t forget to revisit it every once in while from cover to cover. It’s always helpful and way better than looking up things in online dictionaries. Keep in Touch You’ve met so many people here at EC. Follow them on social media, and exchange WhatsApp numbers. Keep in touch and keep up the conversations with them. It will be a great way all of you can keep improving and practicing your English. If your teacher is willing, ask them to chat with them every now and then to catch up. Travel! The best way to practice your English is a face-to-face conversations. Travel and stay in Hostels and … Read more