Learn American English Online Blog
January 31, 2012
Today we finish the Blue Level with Test #2.
There’s still some time for you to finish any of the lessons you missed before we begin the Red Level tomorrow.
The Word of the Day is "nod."
January 30, 2012
Have you tried any of the dictation exercises yet? I often do these exercises with my students in class. It helps them to develop listening and writing skills.
The Word of the Day was a request from a student in Brazil: unfortunately.
January 28, 2012
Students who are new to English should practice reading and listening as much as possible. That’s why I created these reading and listening exercises. As you go through each level, these exercises match the level that you are working on.
Upon request, here’s a new video for "kind of."
January 27, 2012
If you received yesterday’s email, then you know that today I have scheduled the first of two tests. Click here for Test #1. It isn’t that difficult, but if you make a lot of mistakes with it, then you know you should probably go back to those lessons in the Blue Level that will help you understand your mistakes.
There’s a new Think in English exercise for the subject of skating.
There’s a new lesson in the Blue Level for "would like." Remember that "would like" is very similar to the verb "want," but it’s more polite. If you see any mistakes, let me know.
January 26, 2012
Today you should complete the Blue Level Review.
Here’s a new video for the verb "want." This will also help you practice present tense statements, negatives, and questions.
The word of the day is "handle."
January 25, 2012
Lesson Twenty-five is a new lesson for the Blue Level. Click here to learn about the verb "want." You can also move ahead to the Purple Level and look at additional examples for how this verb is used.
Tomorrow you will start the Blue Level Review.
January 24, 2012
Today’s lesson on "have to" is in two parts. The first part is a basic introduction. We use "have to" when something is necessary or important to do. I have to go to work today. The second part shows you how to make questions with "have to. This gets a little confusing, but if you complete both lessons you’ll have a better understanding of how to use "have to."
January 23, 2012
The lesson for today is for the modal verb "can." We use this verb in front of the main verb to indicate that something is possible or someone has the ability to do something:
Have you been going to the dictation section for this level? A student emailed me yesterday and reminded me that the dictation section is very helpful for students who need to work on their listening and writing skills. Almost every level has a dictation section. The one in the Blue Level is the easiest.
The word of the day is "immediately." I chose this word for today because some students have difficulty pronouncing it.
Happy Chinese New Year to my students who celebrate it. It’s the Year of the Dragon.
January 22, 2012
In Blue Level Lesson Twenty-two, I provide you with some necessary vocabulary and ways of talking about addition and subtraction. I realize that most of my students don’t need help with the process of adding and subtracting; however, the vocabulary associated with this might be new to some of you. If you have children in school in the United States and they’re taking math, you should probably watch the video that’s included with the lesson.
January 21, 2012
The word of the day is "interest." If you go to that page, you’ll hear the way that I pronounce the word. Most Americans pronounce "interest" with two syllables, not three.
Today’s lesson is on numbers. There are a few videos included.
I noticed that over half of the people who took Blue Level Test #2 missed question #14:
How much money is she saving? (correct!)
How much money does she saving? (incorrect!)
Do you know why? If not, you should take a look at this video or go back to Blue Level Lessons Seven (for the present tense), Eight, and Nine (for the present continuous tense).
January 20, 2012
There’s a new reading exercise for the Blue Level Reading Room. Because the weather here today is so cold, the subject seems appropriate.
The lesson for today is on the days of the week.
The word of the day is "trick."
Here’s yet another new video on the word "get."
January 19, 2012
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn about a very important part of speech: nouns. A noun is a word that serves as a subject or an object in a sentence or question. A noun can be a person, a place, a thing, an idea, or an emotion. Do you see the nouns in this sentence?:
Dana told many of her friends how much her shoes cost.
You’ll also learn about the differences between count and noncount nouns. It’s necessary to understand the differences between them because it determines your choice of words when speaking or writing.
Have you seen the new video on the verb "get" yet? This explains how to use "get" with adjectives when "get" means "become":
January 18, 2012
The lesson for today is on months of the year. It’s a useful lesson if you need to practice using "comes after" or "comes before."
The word of the day is "valid."
January 17, 2012
If you have trouble talking about time, day and date, today’s lesson might help you.
There’s a new reading exercise for the Blue Level Reading Room. Click here to take a look at it.
Here’s a new video for the verb "get." This shows you how to use "get" and "to" together when describing travel:
January 16, 2012
Blue Level Lesson Sixteen shows you the verb "be" in the past tense.
The important thing to remember is how the verb changes in the singular form for one man, one woman, or one thing.
The second part of today’s assignment shows you how to use the word "there" with the verb "be" in the past tense. This is also important for you to study.
The word of the day is "weird."
January 15, 2012
Today’s lesson is on possessive pronouns. Some students confuse possessive pronouns with possessive adjectives. Remember that a possessive pronoun can function as a subject or an object in a sentence.
Do you see the possessive pronouns in these sentences? What are they? Are the possessive pronouns singular or plural? If you aren’t sure, I recommend that you complete today’s lesson and then take this quiz. If you feel confident enough to go directly to the quiz, that’s okay!
January 14, 2012
How’s everything going so far? You started the Blue Level two weeks ago, or you started more recently, and you’re almost halfway through. That’s great! You’re learning basic English in the Blue Level.
The lesson for today is on possessive adjectives. These are words that appear before nouns and they identify who the owner is of something:
Do you know where the possessive adjectives are in the sentences above? Click here to learn more.
New students: Practice your reading in the Blue Level Reading Room.
January 13, 2012
There are many different words that you need to know when making a question in English. Click here for Blue Level Lesson Thirteen. If you are an intermediate or advanced student, this Orange Level lesson has a more complete list of questions words.
Click here for a new Red Level reading exercise.
January 12, 2012
Today’s lesson is on the past tense.
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A new video for the verb "get" explains that you can use "get" when receiving money. In addition to the video, here are some examples:
Here’s the video.
January 11, 2012
Did you receive today’s email? If not, you can sign up here. The email helps you keep in touch with your teacher. Email and access to this website are always free, but some students choose to subscribe (You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.)
The lesson for today is on articles.
Here’s a new video on the word "get." This is different from the one that you saw yesterday.
January 10, 2012
Today’s lesson on articles is important for all students to study. Even advanced level students make mistakes when using "a" or "the." Look at the sentences below:
I have a computer. The computer that I use is an Apple.
The first time I mention the noun, I use "a" because it’s not specific and the word "computer" is a count noun. In the next sentence I use "the" in front of the word "computer" because I’m thinking of a specific computer. There are rules and reasons when choosing an article or not choosing one. Click here to learn more about articles.
The word of the day is "reference."
There’s a new YouTube video for the verb "get." This was made upon request from a student.
January 9, 2012
If you own something or if something is in your possession, you have it. But this word can be used for many different things:
Click here to learn more about the word "have."
January 8, 2012
The lesson for today is on the present continuous tense. It’s in two parts. Here’s the first part. Here’s the second part.
After you finish these lessons, it might help you to watch this video:
It explains some of the differences between the present tense and the present continuous tense.
How are you doing with the lessons in the Blue Level so far? You should follow the schedule if you are a new student; however, if you want to work ahead or complete more than one lesson per day, that’s okay. Just complete the lessons in order.
The word of the day is "nag." I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m nagging you!
January 7, 2012
Today’s lesson is really important. You must understand how to make the present tense in the form of an affirmative statement, a negative statement, and in the form of a question. Go to Lesson Seven in the Blue Level and complete the lesson. I also have several videos on this topic.
Are you using this checklist as you complete the lessons? You can print out this list and indicate when each lesson is completed.
January 6, 2012
The word "there" is important to learn because it’s often confused with "they’re" and "their." All three words sound the same, but they are all used very differently. Click here to go to Lesson Six in the Blue Level to learn how to use "there."
After viewing the lesson, you can take this quiz.
January 5, 2012
Blue Level Lesson Five introduces demonstrative pronouns. These are absolutely necessary words that you have to learn well and remember in which situations they should be used. Included in the lesson is this video:
After the video, take this quiz. Write your answers in your notebook. Have you been writing in your notebook this week?
The word of the day is "drip."
NEW! – Click here for a video that shows you how to make questions in the present tense and the past tense with the verb "cost."
January 4, 2012
Today’s lesson is about nouns and pronouns. It’s important to know that nouns and pronouns function as subjects and objects in sentences and questions. There’s a video that goes along with the lesson:
In addition to completing the daily lessons, you should also read the stories that are in the Blue Level Reading Room. If you want to listen to yourself read each story, you can do that, too.
The word of the day is "knock."
There’s a new Think in English exercise here.
January 3, 2012
When you make a question in the present tense with the verb "be," it looks like this:
It’s also quite common to use prepositional phrases after the verb-subject combination:
Is the teacher in the classroom? / Are the eggs on the shelf?
Do you see the main verb in each of these sentences? What is it? Do you see the subject? What is the subject in each sentence?
Click here for today’s lesson.
January 2, 2012
The second lesson in the Blue Level shows you how to make the verb "be" negative. This is fairly easy for most people, but some students still make mistakes. All you have to do is add "not" to the verb "be." However, there are two different ways to make contractions following the subject (except for "I").
If you understand this already, great! If not write this table in your notebook.
Remember, I want you to get into the habit of writing and taking notes in a notebook. Even if you think you know something well, it’s a good habit to write things down. Writing is better than clicking when you study English online.
January 1, 2012
Happy New Year!
Is it your goal to really learn English this year? If you follow my website every day and take the program step by step, you will learn English. But you really have to work at it. I recommend the following:
You should also go to the chat rooms occasionally and practice communicating with other people, but don’t spend too much time there. It’s easy to waste time in a chat room!
Best of luck to you! If you work hard, you can do anything, but you really have to work hard at it. Don’t let anyone tell you that English is easy or that there is an easy way to learn it. There’s isn’t. English is a difficult language, but once you understand it well, it will open up the world to you in new ways.
Are you ready to begin? The first lesson in the Blue Level is the most important to understand. It’s on the verb "be."
Click here to go to December 2011.