May 17th 2018

Tips for Non-Native English Speaking Students

tips and tools

Writing in English can be a challenge, especially if you’re a non-native speaker. Writing academic essays in English is even more challenging, and many non-native English speakers struggle with this in college every day. It takes a lot of skill in language, syntax and grammar to effectively express your ideas, and this intimidates many non-native speakers to write in English. The language barrier seems like a hard wall to break through, but the truth is that any language can be learned, and good academic English writing can be accomplished in no time.

We have come up with a number of useful tips and resources to help non-native English-speaking students improve their English writing skills.

Read as Much as You Can
If you’re a non-native English speaker, you need to read everything you can get your hands on. Read books, magazines, blog posts, newspapers and anything else that you think you’d find interesting. Reading is the easiest and fastest way to learn a new language. Why?

  • It expands your vocabulary – The ideal way to learn new words is to see them being used in sentences. If you want to learn English specifically in your field of interest, you might want to stick to reading material that uses terms from your field. For instance, literature majors may want to read books with “bolder” English words, while business students may want to read articles that have business-related terms.
  • It helps you infer meaning through context – Forget about carrying a dictionary with you everywhere. Reading lets you practice contextual learning, which is when you read, word and infer its meaning based on how it was used. Plus, the more you encounter the word, you’ll naturally memorize it and come to know its meaning.
  • It gives you an idea of what different styles of writing are like – There isn’t just one sole type of writing. Sure, college almost always requires students to write using technical terms, but if you have creative writing classes (or maybe your professor just wants you to write in your own style), technical writing just isn’t a one-size-fits-all case.

Practice Your Writing
Reading would be useless if you didn’t put what you had learned into practice. Whenever you can, write — you could even create a personal blog where you narrate your daily experiences just so you can get the feel of writing. Let your native English-speaking friends read your work so that they can give you feedback. There’s no better critic than someone who knows and uses the English language on a day-to-day basis.

You could also practice copying because it helps you study each word as you write it down, understanding how it functions when placed alongside other words.

Use a Paper Writing Service
At some point (or at all points), every college student will become overloaded with writing college papers. It helps to be well-versed in terms of the English language — if you’re equipped with a high vocabulary and comprehension, then producing high-quality college essays can be a piece of cake. But, when there are too many papers to turn in, it can be difficult to write multiple technical essays and term papers of excellent quality, especially if you’re having trouble writing in English.

Paper writing services, such as College-Paper, can help you produce impressive and professional essays that your professors will admire. You simply need to provide the instructions for your writing assignment, pay a student-friendly fee, and wait for your paper to be finished. With your paper out of your hands, you can focus on other assignments while you continue to hone your English-speaking skills.

Make Use of an Online Grammar Checker like Ginger Software
You might have a brilliant idea for your paper, and you already know how you’re going to construct your essay. The only problem is, you aren’t a hundred percent confident in your grammar and spelling. This is a common problem faced by many, if not all, students, but there’s a quick student hack that can help you write the most kick-ass essay.

Online grammar checker tools are designed to correct your writing as you write. If you’re confused with the difference between “they’re” and “their”, or “its” and “it’s”, these online grammar checkers edit your text and highlight mistakes as you go along. Ginger Software is a handy tool for non-native English speakers, which lets students write on a clean and user-friendly interface. Mistakes are highlighted and suggestions are given for improvement.

Don’t be ashamed of using an online grammar checker — even the pros use it!

Study Both American and British English Writing
Although you aren’t obliged to learn both American and British English, it does help to familiarize yourself with some of the terms that may be different in both kinds of English. Knowing how they differ can help you write a consistent all-American or all-British essay, which for some classes really does matter. In spelling, for example, Americans write labor while Brits write labor. In a similar way, Americans use the term vacation to describe a getaway, while Brits would call it a holiday.

With these tips and tools, you can become an expert in all aspects of the English language, from spelling to grammar, and from vocabulary to tenses. You’ll finally get to write the most impressive essays — you might even write an award-winning piece, for all you know!

All it takes is discipline, patience and determination and you will be well on your way to writing flawlessly in English.

About the Author
Nancy Spektor writes about digital marketing and advertising strategies. She strives for learning and improving every day. Her favorite things to do are reading books, cooking and playing with her dog, Bok Choy.

Leave a comment

May 14th 2018

Guidance to Improve Your Knowledge of English

how-to-improve-your-english-skillsGuest post written by Ellie Singh on May 5, 2018 

I want to talk about how to build a system of independent study of English (or any other) language, using modern and not very technology. A system where all elements are connected and support each other. But before deciding to learn, let’s focus the reasons why language learning is postponed indefinitely.

Lack of resources
Many believe that a teacher or a course is an integral part of learning. But it takes time and money, which is always lacking. As a result, English is transferred to better times, which never come. In my opinion, the number of opportunities for the initial study of the language is now so great that one can start today without leaving home. Hundreds of applications, sites for learning languages, electronic translators, movies, lectures and commercials in English, so this is a huge and very affordable arsenal. Teacher you need later, when moving to more complex levels.

Lack of purpose
Another reason for shifting the study to later is the lack of the goal of learning and the way to maintain the achieved level. Many believe that if the language is taught without the perspectives of constant use, then it is useless. I think that there is a very simple way to keep up the level of English as long as you please – it’s reading.

If you constantly read, then you lose only the conversational skills, but at the same time you are increasingly understanding the structure of the language and increasing your vocabulary. The active reader restores conversational skills very quickly. Reading in English has never been easier than it is now, and this is the first component of the plan that I want to talk about.

Interval learning of words
There are many systems of the interval learning into which you load your words and drive them around. Over time, the system itself removes everything that you have learned and leaves what you do not yet know. It is important to download words manually, providing them with comments and notes. If you just start learning, each of the systems will offer ready-made sets of the most popular words. Words can and should be sorted by folders. You can write out not only words, but also phrases.

All systems are equipped with applications, you can use them while traveling on the metro, in line to a dentist and so on, without eating away from your normal day. It is very important not only to remember the words mentally, but also to tell them in a whisper. You will also need headphones, because these applications speak each word, which allows you to debug your pronunciation according to the pattern.

After you have typed the vocabulary, you need to start somehow combining words with each other. And here I will disappoint you. To study the grammar, nothing new has been invented-one will have to learn the rules and do exercises in the usual textbook. But there is also good news: the tutorials have changed – they are perfectly composed, easy to use, do not let you get bored, contain exercises and answers to them. I can advise here this series:

  • Elementary level tutorial for beginners.
  • Intermediate level textbook for continuing.

I usually mark important and interesting places with the marker, and note the absolutely new information for me with bright stickers, so that it would be easier to find these places and repeat them. Usually my textbook looks like this:

Perception of speech
With that abundance of content in any language of the world, even with subtitles, it’s even inconvenient to talk about speech recognition training. Do not think that you can learn the language only by watching movies and TV shows in English. More precisely, it is possible, but for people with a propensity for languages. If you have not yet learned English and are interested in this review, then I very much doubt that you treat them. Most likely, you will need the entire proposed arsenal.

Conversational skills
You can travel and try to talk at least on tourist topics, you can visit language courses in English-speaking countries, find accomplices for talking on Skype. But it is obvious that the conversation is the only thing that you cannot do on your own, alone. Everything else is in your power. This allowed us and our teacher not to waste time at the elementary level and memorizing words, and immediately proceed to the complex issues that interested us. In general, do not delay. Learning a language is too long a process to wait for a convenient moment.

About the Author 
Ellie Singh is a prominent English Lecturer in the Nation Institute. Furthermore, she provides student assistance at Essay Writing Services UK for their academic voyages.

Leave a comment

May 9th 2018

10 English Songs That Make Your Language Learning Easy

It’s no wonder why we see all those silly grammar mistakes in online communication. It’s no wonder why so many college and university students are trying to find out more about as a service that can help with their papers. 

Today, we’ll suggest an interesting method to improve your English vocabulary: music. These songs will convince you that language learning is a continuous process that lasts for a lifetime.

10 English Songs That Make Your Language Learning Easy:

    1. Leonard Cohen – Stories of the Street
This song is perfect for English speakers on an intermediate level. The lyrics are simple, and Leonard Cohen’s pronunciation is very easy to follow. You can understand and feel the vibe of the song even if you don’t read through the lyrics as you listen.

Leonard Cohen was not just a musician. He was a poet. That’s what makes the lyrics of this song educational for a language learner.

I know you’ve heard it’s over now and war must surely come,
The cities they are broke in half and the middle men are gone.

You get the point, right? These lyrics transport you in a different kind of reality than the comfort a modern man is usually used to. They certainly give us something to contemplate over.

    2. Maximo Park – Acrobat
On this track, the verses are spoken. It’s great because it gives rhythm to spoken language, so it definitely improves your pronunciation if you practice it.

Practicing Acrobat is difficult, so be prepared to speak really quickly!

      3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
So you think you understand English? Try listening to Californication without reading the lyrics. Do you understand everything? Probably not.

This song is hard on the ear, even when it comes to native speakers. Not because it’s bad music; but because the lyrics are complex. Beautifully complex. This song made the word Californication popular. It was released in 2000, but it still describes our modern society.

Why is it important for language learning? Well, it teaches you how to give new life to words you thought you knew.

    4. David Guetta ft. Sia – Titanium
This is a very recognizable song, so you probably know some of its lyrics. That’s great; it means you can learn it by playing it several times and without reading the lyrics. You may practice your listening skills this way: just listen for the first few times, and then start singing along.

    5. Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful
We cannot talk about learning English through music without mentioning Lana Del Rey, one of the most popular songwriters at the moment.

These lyrics are powerful! They are faced-paced, so it will take a language learner some time and practice to get them right.

    6. Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars
This song is great for language learning, since it’s mellow and the lyrics are very simple.

Even a beginner learner will understand some of it. For an advanced learner, it’s great for singing along and improving pronunciation. The subtle Irish accent definitely makes it interesting.

    7. Coldplay – Clocks
Speaking of accents, how about some British?

Chris Martin is very pleasant to the ear. His voice is calming, and the music itself is uplifting. It sets you in the perfect mood for getting into the lyrics and thinking about their meaning.

    8. Radiohead – Creep
Don’t listen to this song if you’re depressed; it might take you deeper down. However, you should listen to it if you want some good music with lyrics that show how versatile the English language is. You never thought the word creep could be part of mesmerizing poetry? Think again!

The song is slow, so the lyrics are easy for a language learner to understand.

    9. The Beatles – Across the Universe
According to the research conducted by Pearson, The Beatles are the best band to help you learn English. That’s because the lyrics are catchy and the melodies make them easy to remember.

Across the Universe is also repetitive in some parts, so it’s definitely great for practicing proper pronunciation.

    10. Duran Duran – Save a Prayer
Duran Duran’s vibe is special.  The lyrics are always deep and non-repetitive, so they are a great opportunity for advanced speakers to test their skills.

This song, in particular, is very romantic and meditative. If we had to think of a single word to describe it, epic would be the one.

All above-listed songs are great. We didn’t make this list solely out of personal preferences. We chose the songs on the basis of critical acclaim and great lyrics. You’ll have a good time listening to this music, but you’ll also get a chance to improve your English language skills.

Double win!

Leave a comment

Apr 30th 2018

Easiest language to learn for English speakers

What Are the Easiest Languages for English Speakers to LearnGuest post written by Daria Shatsylo on April 30, 2018 

What Are the Easiest Languages for English Speakers to Learn?

So, we are native English speakers, and this really is a superpower! Whatever app we download, we know that its English version works flawlessly. Wherever we travel, we know that local people can understand us and that we can understand them, though sometimes it might be somewhat difficult.

But the other side of this coin is the stereotype that we have no need and wish to learn foreign languages.
What’s even more unfair, our brothers and sisters in mind from other countries may believe that we disregard their languages and cultures, that we consider ourselves the rulers of this world just because it has to speak our native tongue in order to survive.

I do realize how pretentious that sounds. And I truly don’t like that.
That’s why I’m happy to encourage everyone who wants or has to learn another tongue. Below you’ll find the list of six foreign languages that are both easy and pleasant for an enthusiastic English speaker to master. Good luck!

It’s the second spoken language in the world. You’re going to like its simple but passionate pronunciation, regular orthography, and understandable grammar.

Although I didn’t like the movie Love Actually, that much, Colin Firth’s character is definitely my favorite. He learns Portuguese to stay with a Portuguese girl he loves. And she, in her turn, learns English to stay with him.

But even if that’s not your story, this language will win your heart with its rhythm, grammar, and spelling.

Good news! You already know some Italian words! Pizza, pasta, cappuccino… You’re welcome to continue….

You’ll enjoy the melody of Italian pronunciation. Reading in this language will be an absolute pleasure. And its grammar won’t wreck your brains.

Even better news! You know quite a lot of French words and use them every day. And these are not just the names of traditional French dishes and drinks.

Their French pronunciations and positions in the French sentence differ from those you are used to. But this grammatical challenge is easy for English speakers to overcome.

Let’s add in a pinch of something exotic, though still learnable.

This language uses the Latin alphabet, boasts of simple grammar, and surprises with the abundance of words you already know! At the era of colonization, it borrowed a lot from the Dutch and Portuguese.

This language is widely spoken in South Africa and Namibia, just so you know. But it’s much easier than (if not the easiest of) all Western European languages.

Afrikaans has only three tenses (past, present, and future). Its grammar, structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary are mostly simple for English speakers. And it’s even believed to be the easiest language for us.

Nelson Mandela, one of the most respected political leaders of all times, wisely noted that if we talked to people in a language they understood, that went to their heads, but if we talked in their [native] language, that went to their hearts.
Although Mr. Mandela didn’t mention how fluent we should be in the native language of our interlocutors or listeners, his words are very thought-provoking.

Learning a foreign language is like exploring a whole new universe and finding keys to its secrets. These secrets are concealed in the history, culture, and hearts of people who speak this language every day, declare their best feelings in it, and dream in it.

So, learn another language, and you’re highly likely to understand the whole world and your English so much better.

About the Author
Daria Shatsylo is a content writer and blogger for  Passionate about foreign languages and their speakers, she’s now studying German and Chinese.

Leave a comment

Apr 26th 2018

Write to Influence

write to influnce

Guest post written by Carla D. Bass, Colonel, USAF (Ret) on April 26, 2018 

Influential writing opens doors for promotion, fellowships, internships, scholarships, grants, career broadening opportunities and other competitive assignments, and more.

Write to Influence!
Have you ever read a paragraph and re-read it, unable to ascertain the author’s point? Of course, we all have. For the reader, wading through textual mud is frustrating and counterproductive. For the author, convoluted writing forfeits the opportunity to influence the reader and achieve the desired goal. For both parties, bureaucratic blather wastes valuable time.

Communication is constrained by time and space: the reader’s time (measured in seconds) and physical space allocated for your message. To exemplify the latter, some forms for annual performance reviews allocate as little as 1,000 spaces in which to convey your accomplishments. You must write powerfully to make each word count.

My battle cry is, “Powerful writing changes lives!” It opens doors to opportunity that would otherwise remain closed. You could be the best qualified for a job, promotion, or selective academic opportunity – hands down. But, if the competition is better at telling a story … presenting his/her credentials … you lose.

Powerful writing is also the lifeblood of private business, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies. It is essential for building public support for an issue, attracting talented job applicants, and marketing. Want to justify additional resources or, conversely, preclude cuts to existing budgets? A well-crafted, hard-hitting message often tips the scale in your favor.

Writing to influence entails a two-pronged approach, visualized as an inverted triangle. First, think strategically, think of the big picture to make your case. Second, hone your text to make each word count and every second of the reader’s time play to your advantage. By applying both approaches, the author achieves hard-hitting, focused, and compelling products. This article addresses strategies to make the case:

Number 1. Determine your goal – What’s the point?
What do these two scenarios have in common? First, you stand before the glowering judge, who demands to know, “You did what?!” Second, your stressed boss, peeks at you from behind the desk and tersely exclaims, “I’m busy! What do you want?” Each requires a concise, logical, fact-based response. For an author, the corresponding questions are, “Why are you knocking on the audience’s door? What do you want to convey?” Capture this in a single paragraph and use it as a north star to vector the development of your product.

Number 2. Chart the course – Lead the reader.
Poof … You are now a tour guide! Whether composing fact or fiction, the author must lead the audience to that desired conclusion. Begin with an outline that keeps the story on track, benefiting the author and the audience. Identify major points of the story-line, ensuring the message has a beginning, a middle, and the all-important end. Then, augment the outline with hard-hitting facts as the message comes into focus. Use signposts to guide the reader. I’m referring to words such as first, second, and third. These tell the reader, “OK, we’re moving to a different point. Please change gears.” Signposts are effective tools, especially when conveying a lengthy or complex message.

Number 3. Think around the corner – Address readers’ reactions.
As you write, examine your message from the reader’s perspective. What questions or concerns might your “destination” paragraph prompt? If you were the recipient, what would you like to know? Develop your outline and subsequent text to address that information. Then, review your draft. Does it emphasize the proper points? Does the text flow logically, provide a solid argument, and answer the questions you so astutely anticipated? If your reader must advocate your case to higher authorities (e.g., an agent approaching a publisher), have you provided sufficient ammunition?

Number 4. Game on! – Hook that reader!
Craft the opening lines to grab the reader’s attention. By the way, the conclusion is equally critical as it influences the reader’s final … and often lasting … impression of your work. Think in terms of the opening and closing arguments in court or, if you prefer, the appetizer and dessert of a fabulous, gourmet meal. Bottom line … leverage the opening and closing to your advantage.

Number 5. Make that story pop! – Add detail to quantify.
Just as spices add a nuanced flavor to that gourmet meal, detail adds depth, dimension, and context to the story. They equip the reader with a mental yardstick to better grasp your message. Include solid facts and quantify to make your case. Describe how big, what duration, amount of hours invested, number of participants, how many, what percentage, etc. Here is an opening hook that quantifies the context. Does this encourage you to read further? For the first time in the five years that the report has been produced…

Number 6. Close the garden gates Don’t lose the reader.
Remember your role as tour guide; you must lead the reader directly to the conclusion without detour. Secure the gates. How? Avoid items that divert the reader’s attention from your message. Examples include: Strange wording (e.g., professional jargon) and poorly defined terms; errors in punctuation, spelling, and capitalization; partially made points that prompt questions, “How many? How long? Who signed? What happened as a result?”; gibberish that causes the reader to respond, “Huh?” Exemplifying the latter, consider this bullet from a resume: Consistently been proactively engaged with the corporation and delivering reusable methodologies, embraced philosophies, and insight into the culture of his project. Yep, lost the reader!

About the Author
Carla D Bass, Colonel, USAF (Retired), authored the award-winning book, “Write to Influence!” During her 30-year career, she taught professional writing to thousands of people and now offers engaging workshops tailored for students from high school through graduate school and people already in the workforce.