Which side of your brain do you tend to think with?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
When was the last time you dined out and had to use English? What did you have as your starter?
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
Do you give presentations in English? What to you find most challenging?
Have you ever been in the difficult situation of having (or trying to have) a conversation with someone who, for whatever reason, just does not want to contribute to the conversation? Perhaps he/she is a little bit shy or maybe they are not confident enough in their use of English, but either way it doesn’t make things any easier and those quiet times when the conversation dries up can be awkward! Well, next time you find yourself in a similar situation, why not try to help things out by incorporating a few useful English phrases? The phrases below are common English phrases that native English speakers often use to help keep a conversation flowing. The phrases don’t need to be used just in awkward situations and are equally suitable to help along a nice discussion with someone such as a friend.
Common phrases to help keep a conversation flowing.
Have you ever been involved in a conversation that included some uneasy silences? What did you do?
What other phrases might you use to keep a conversation flowing with someone? Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
– 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!