Showing posts from 2012

Off to the USA

My husband and I will be traveling to the US for three months, to take care of some business while we visit friends and family. In that time, I won't be giving English lessons in Prague! When I return, I'll be posting new information about what I can offer in 2013.

Till then, have a wonderful fall and holiday season!

Fall 2012 is full!

This fall has been a very busy time indeed. I have a full tutoring schedule with students ranging from Grade 6 to Grade 12. I enjoy switching gears as I go from TOEFL prep to EAL (English as an Alternate Language) assignments.

In January 2013, I'll be posting the classes available for the first half of the year. Thank you for reading this blog, and best of luck in your development of skills in American English!

Korean students keep learning!

Many of my American English language students in Prague are from Korea.

They go to school where all the instruction is in English, such as Prague British School, Riverside School and the International School of Prague. It seems so strange, in a way, that my students have no real need to learn Czech, even though they live in the capital of the Czech Republic.

Their classmates are from Azerbaijan, France, Iran, Russia, Ghana, Canada, the USA, Brazil, Germany, China, Slovakia, Japan, Denmark, Ukraine, Hungary, Czech Republic and many other countries. Their lingua franca (common language) is English.

I especially enjoy working with Korean students for three important reasons:
they are, for the most part, diligent students who really want to improve their English skills;they will do the homework I give them, even during their summer holidays;their mothers offer me delicious drinks and snacks!
This summer, all my students have kept up their tutoring sessions whenever they are in Prague. The Ko…


May 1 has been celebrated around the world for centuries. Here's a good overview from wikipedia:

For people living in Prague, like me, May 1 is a public holiday. The banks and post offices are closed, and my students have a day off. Happy May Day!

Enlarging your vocabulary in English

There are dozens of very good books with lists of English vocabulary words that appear in tests such as TOEFL and SAT. The problem is, really, that there are too many books and too many words!

In my 27-year career of teaching English, I have observed that simply memorizing lists of words and definitions is the least effective way to enlarge your vocabulary. I can recommend two much better methods of adding new words to your active vocabulary ("active" in the sense that you use the words in daily conversation, rather than just memorizing the words for a test and then forgetting them right away!).
Here are the two methods:
1. dictionary-sentence in context-image.
2. analysis through word construction: prefixes, roots and suffixes.
1. dictionary-sentence in context-image.This is a labor-intensive way to learn selected words that you must know. For example, if you are a medical student and must learn the organs and glands of the human body, this way of learning will be very useful t…

writing a 5-paragraph essay

One simple method for organizing an essay is the 5-paragraph essay format. Here is an outline. Remember, a paragraph in a student essay is usually 3-5 sentences.

PARAGRAPH ONE: Intro sentence (grabber). Can be a question or a controversial statement. Example: "the Internet is harmful, and should be banned." The next 1-3 sentences can be examples that support the statement: "Intenet sites can be misleading, a waste of time or dangerous." "Young people can be fooled by cybercriminals, agreeing to meet them and then being kidnapped." Thesis sentence (last sentence): "The Internet should be banned because people can get wrong information there, people can waste hours of valuable time surfing the net, and predators can find innocent young people who will fall for their traps." (The thesis is the point you want to prove or disprove).

PARAGRAPH TWO: "People often get completely wrong information on the Internet." The next 1-3 sentneces give e…

Grammar--who needs it?

Most people associate English lessons with grammar: verb tenses, prepositions, articles, and so on. I know that it's completely necessary to learn grammar, if you want to speak, read and write a language. But it's so tedious and boring to memorize grammer rules, and it's not the most effective way to learn grammar.

You can memorize rules and pass a test, but that's not at all the same thing as understanding why a rule exists and how it functions. I once taught 8th-grade English in Florida, and was surprised that my students did not know the parts of speech (there are 8 of them: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, pronoun, interjection and conjunction). So I told them that no one could pass my class without passing a simple test on parts of speech.

I found  that most students could list the 8 parts, and provide a simple definition (example: a verb describes an action or state of being), but almost none of them could identify the part of speech of a word used in…

New year, new classes

Happy New Year! I am excited to offer new classes in Academic English, both Advanced and Intermediate, in 2012.

The Advanced classes include preparation for standardized tests, such as TOEFL, SAT and GRE. The Intermediate classes focus on grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing.
Prices are indicated in the box to the left. Let me know if you, or your friend, is interested in working with me in Academic English.