Are You Left-Brained or Right-Brained?

Which side of your brain do you tend to think with?

The Human Brain!

The Human Brain!

Although no one is completely left-brained or right-brained, you probably favour one side over the other. Schools have traditionally favoured left-brained students but it is thought, with online learning becoming more and more popular, that is changing.

Take a look at some of the general differences between the left and the right brain hemispheres.

Left/Right Brain Characteristics.

Left/Right Brain Characteristics.

In most online learning environments a right-brained learner may have a distinct advantage over a left-brained learner. Left brained-learners like structure and schedules that are normally not commonplace in the online learning environment. Right-brained learners, on the other hand, love the flexibility that online learning presents. They love colour, images and the ability to learn English in their own time.

You may be able to spot if your teacher is more left-brained or right-brained. Take a look at the following.

Left-Brained / Right-Brained Teachers

Left-Brained / Right-Brained Teachers.

So are you more of a lefty or a righty? Have a look at the video below. It shows a dancer turning around on the spot. If you see her spinning in a clockwise direction then it is said you are using more of the right side of your brain. If you see her spinning anti-clockwise then you are supposed to be using more of the left side (please note that this is not a scientific way to determine if you are left/right brain dominant. It does, however, raise some interesting questions about vision).

Look carefully and focus. Can you change the direction in which she is turning?

Restaurants 2

English Skill: Ordering from the Bar

Situation: You and some colleagues/friends are enjoying an evening out at a local bar/restaurant. You are all having a look at the drinks menu in order to see what is available and to decide what you will have to drink. Take a look at the related phrases you could use to discuss what’s on the menu and to speak with the waiter when he arrives to take your order.

Restaurants 2

Any questions? 🙂

Mr TESOL.

Restaurants 1

English Skill: Selecting a Starter

Situation: You and a friend are dining out at a nice little restaurant downtown, have ordered your drinks and are now deciding what to have as an appetiser. Sometimes deciding what to have from the vast array on offer on the menu can seem like mission impossible – everything just sounds so nice! Take a look at various phrases that you may want to make use of next time you find yourself in a similar situation.

Eating Out Selecting a Starter

When was the last time you dined out and had to use English? What did you have as your starter?

Mr TESOL.

Conversations 3

English Skill: Starting a Discussion

Here are a couple of situations for you. Do either of them sound a little familiar?

  1. You are out doing a bit of shopping and you see an old colleague/friend. You decide to approach him/her and start a discussion with the intention of finding out what they are doing these days, how their family is, etc.
  1. You need to speak with a work colleague who is full of the joys of spring having just returned from holiday. It’s time to start a discussion with him/her and explain what it is you need/want from him/her.

Although starting a discussion should be a piece of cake, doing so can often be more difficult than first anticipated. You don’t want to come across super awkward or sound unnaturally weird and you certainly don’t want to be a pain, so here are some common phrases you may want to employ next time you have the opportunity to practise a bit of conversation starting English!

Starting a Discussion

Starting a Discussion

What phrases have you used to start a discussion recently? Do you think you will use any of the expressions above?

Presentations 1

English Skill: Describing Visuals During a Presentation 

 Do you ever have to give presentations in English as part of your job or in front of friends and family? As part of my teaching career I have given many presentations in English and I know how nerve-racking it can sometimes be – and English is my native tongue!

Visual aids that you often encounter in (Powerpoint) presentations, such as pie charts, graphs, bar graphs, bullet points, boxes, etc. can often be challenging for non-native English speakers to refer to and you may be tempted to just talk about them without properly referencing them or using the correct language, or worse still – just ignore them! In order for your audience to easily follow your presentation and to allow you yourself to come across more professionally, here are some common English phrases that can be used to help describe various visual aids during a presentation.

Describing visual aids

Describing visual aids

  • Do you give presentations in English? What to you find most challenging?

Mr TESOL.

English Grammar 1/3

English Grammar

Hi there folks!

There are a series of English grammar PDFs on the Internet that are freely available to everyone, but they can be quite difficult to locate. Over the next three blogs I will be uploading them ten at a time.

I hope you find them useful.

Happy Holidays!

Mr TESOL.

Buying / Selling & Note Taking

When you are selling your products over the telephone or dealing with sales calls, you usually need to write down any information given to you.

In the following exercise match the correct situations (1-9) with the expressions (A-I) used in the pictures.

SITUATIONS

1. A customer phones you with an order which you’d like in a letter too. What do           you ask?

2. What do you say when you’re ready to take the information?

3. You’d like some details by fax. What do you ask?

4. When you’ve finished, you want to check that it’s correct. What do you say?

5. The caller gives you his/her address but you don’t know how to write it. What do      you ask?

6. You’ve been given some information and want to write down the details now.           What do you ask?

7. A company has asked you to send a document. Ask who it should go to.

8. Someone wants to dictate something to you but you haven’t got anything to             write with. What do you say?

9. You’ve asked for information about English courses and would like to know             more in writing. What do you ask the secretary

 

EXPRESSIONS

A

                                   A

B

                                 B

C

                                 C

D

                                 D

E

                               E

F

                               F

G

                               G

H

                              H

I

                                I

 

 

Motivate Your English Learning With Current Events!

Reading English newspapers can be a rewarding and motivating experience and makes a nice change from course books as a way to learn and practise English. The advantages of reading newspapers can be numerous and diverse.

English Newspapers

Newspapers are far more up-to-date than course books. It can take months and often years for a course book to reach publication, whereas a newspaper reports on current events, international events, new technological events and the ever-changing world/society on a regular basis. The content in newspapers is always new and attractive and is a great source of motivation!

Newspapers provide a marvellous opportunity to read different kinds of genres. It is not uncommon to find excellent examples of advertisements, stories, narratives and reports in most newspapers which are, or course, written in authentic English. Newspapers offer you the chance to experience modern English in use, with articles full of collocations and idioms all put together in well-constructed texts.

Newspapers are a wealth of information. By reading English newspapers you become immersed in the culture of the newspaper’s country of origin, as well as the cultures of other countries being featured in the newspaper. This allows you to better understand the people of, say, Great Britain and can help you obtain information on such things as behaviour and life trends. It also allows you to broaden your knowledge on a wide range of subjects including the economy, health, education, technology, politics and entertainment (to name but a few). This up-to-date reading on numerous topics can be a very rewarding experience!

Finally, reading newspapers is a social behaviour and allows you to experience human communication in society as it happens. As your familiarity with the English language broadens and your ability to understand articles improves, so your social responsibility and critical thinking should improve too. With improvements like that there should be every reason for you to pick up an English newspaper today and start reading it!

Click here to read some English newspapers.

Meeting People at Conferences

Learn and practice English.

A company called Froogle, is organising a conference in London. During the break, all the people attending the conference have the chance to meet up to get to know each other. Take a look at the conversation below the photograph and see if you can find the six deliberate mistakes. Post your answers in the comments below.

A group of business people at business conference.

A group of business people at business conference.

  • Paco: Hello Alison! I’m so pleased to see you again.
  • Alison: Hi Paco. I didn’t know you were attending this conference. How are you?
  • Paco: Thanks, fine. And you?
  • Alison: I’m OK. Is Jose, here too?
  • Paco: No, he can’t make it this time.
  • Alison: Never mind. Ah look, here’s Ali. Hi there. Do you both know each other? Paco – this is Ali Akram. He’s from Casablanca.
  • Paco: Hello. Pleased to meet you.
  • Ali: I’m please to meet you too. Have you been to here long?
  • Paco: No. I’ve only been here for about an hour. What about you?
  • Ali: I came early today morning…. and this is Fatima. She works with me in Casablanca. I’m sorry what you did say your name was?
  • Paco: I’m Paco, from Madrid. Pleased to meet you. Paul, is speaking next. Have you had a chance to meet him yet?
  • Fatima: No, not yet. I have heard a lot about him.
  • Paco: Well, can I introduce you to him? I can see him just over there.
  • Paco: Er….Paul. Can I introduce you to Fatima?
  • Paul: Hello Fatima. How are you? I think I saw you give a presentation a couple of years ago. Please to actually meet you. Do you like something to drink?
  • Fatima: Thank You. A tomato juice please.

 

Saying goodbye at conferences

Most of us will have to attend a business conference at some time in our lives and for some it is a regular occurrence.

Conferences are a great opportunity to meet business associates and make new contacts. Knowing how to greet people and say goodbye in a correct and appropriate way is important but often difficult to do for many non-native English speakers.

Work Conferences

Work Conferences

Have a look at the dialogue between some business associates below. They have just attended a conference and now it is time to leave.

Can you spot the six errors in the dialogue? I have started you off by underlining the first error.

Dialogue

  • I’m afraid it gets late. I really must to go.
  • – OK. It was a great conference wasn’t it?
  • – Fantastic. Especially John’s speech.
  • – Yes. Don’t forget to email me the transcript.
  • – I won’t. Take care Sarah. It was good to see you. Bye.
  • – Yes it was good to see you too. Say hello to Simon for me. Tell him I will call him.
  • – Of course. He will be pleased to hear from you. See you then and goodbye, Lisa.
  • – Goodbye, Pete. Have a good travel. It was great to meet you.
  • – Bye all!
  • – So Sarah, when you leave?
  • – Well not for a while as yet…my flight is at eight o’ clock.
  • – Well please to visit us here again one day. John! Hi.
  • – I would like to say…Thanks everything. It was a fantastic speech.
  • – Thank you. You are too kind. Will you be in New York next month?
  • – Yes. I am really looking forward to it.
  • – Great.I’ll send you the schedule next week. See you then. All the best!
  • – Thank you. See you soon. Take care. Bye.

Post your answers in the comments below.

Mr TESOL.