Learn American English Online Blog
February 28, 2013
Red Level students take a test today. It’s in two parts:
Good luck! Tomorrow you’ll begin the Yellow Level. You can print out the checklist for the lessons here.
The word of the day is "aim."
February 27, 2013
Red Level students review today for a TEST tomorrow!
Orange Level students practice listening and writing with the Orange Level dictation.
The word of the day is "left."
Here’s a new video that shows some of the differences between the present tense and the present continuous tense:
While teaching a class last weekend, I realized how many of my students still have problems with this, so here you go.
February 26, 2013
Students working in the Red Level will learn about using the verb "go" with another verb. Some teachers advise their students not to use "go" in this manner, but it’s very common in conversation, so you should know about it. All you have to do for this lesson is watch the video.
Orange Level students can practice listening and reading in the Orange Level Reading Room.
The word of the day is "basic."
February 25, 2013
Orange Level students study punctuation today.
The word of the day is "strict."
There are two new pronunciation exercises that focus on blended consonants. A blended consonant has two or more consonant sounds together. Many of my students have trouble with the "st" sound and the "str" sound.
February 24, 2013
If you are working in the Red Level, today you’ll learn how to use "(be) used to" in front of a noun or a gerund. This is the way to describe things that a person learns to live with:
Notice the difference between today’s lesson and yesterday’s lesson on "used to." It’s good to study these two lessons at the same time.
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Orange Level students study appositives today. An appositive is a word or a phrase that renames a noun:
The word of the day is "pan." I know this is kind of a simple word, but the key to understanding English is learning how to use the small words as well as the big ones.
February 23, 2013
You can talk about past activities in your life by using "used to."
Learn more about using "used to" in Red Level Lesson Twenty-three. Tomorrow’s lesson will be on the use of (be) used to, which is not the same.
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Orange Level students study the subjunctive mood today. This might be a little confusing. I don’t recommend this lesson for people who are learning English for the first time.
The word of the day is "paper."
February 22, 2013
This is one of those days when Red Level and Orange Level students can probably stand to benefit from looking at each other’s lessons.
Trying to talk about math in another language is a real challenge for students, that’s why I created a lesson for multiplication and division for the Red Level.
Following yesterday’s lesson on question words is a lesson on using questions words with "have to." Some students need extra help with "have to" whether it comes up in a sentence or a question.
The word of the day is "foot." It looks like many areas of the midwest are going to get about a foot of snow today. Where I live, we’ll probably get about half a foot.
February 21, 2013
Orange Level students study question words. This lesson might also be helpful for beginning level students.
The word of the day is "yard."
Right now my yard is covered with snow.
Spring is just a month away!
February 20, 2013
Reflexive pronouns are used to refer back to the subject in a sentence:
The word "himself" is a reflexive pronoun. It refers back to the subject, "he." Learn more in today’s lesson for the Red Level.
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Embedded questions are contained within a sentence or a question:
The last part of that, "what your name is," is the embedded question. Learn more in today’s lesson for the Orange Level.
The word of the day is "offer."
February 19, 2013
If you are studying in the Red Level, today you’ll learn about possessive pronouns in Red Level Lesson Nineteen.
If you are studying in the Orange Level, you’ll learn about tag questions, some teachers refer to them as attached questions.
The word of the day is "note."
February 18, 2013
Red Level students work on gerunds today. A gerund is an "ing" word that functions like a noun in a sentence and describes an activity:
1. Fishing is fun. / 2. I like to go fishing. / 3. I’m not fishing today.
In which of these sentences is "fishing" a gerund? If you guessed the first two, you’re correct. The third sentence uses the verb "fish" in the present continuous tense. Many students confuse the verb form with the gerund form.
Orange Level students study the differences between the words "still" and "anymore."
The word of the day is "electric."
There’s a new Word of the Day quiz for February. Click here to take a look at it.
Happy Presidents’ Day! You can learn more about U.S. Presidents on this page.
February 17, 2013
Two very important lessons in the Red Level are on infinitives and gerunds. Today you’ll study infinitives. Tomorrow you’ll study gerunds.
An infinitive functions like a noun in a sentence:
Can you find the infinitives in the sentences above?
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If you are an Orange Level student, the lesson for today is on the words "either" and "neither." There are two ways to pronounce these words. This lesson includes a video and a quiz. The quiz requires a knowledge of today’s and yesterday’s lessons.
The word of the day is "wreck."
February 16, 2013
Here’s a new video for students who need to learn the difference between the pronouns "it" and "they."
After you watch the video, try this exercise.
Today Red Level students study expressions of time.
Orange Level students study the differences between the words "so" and "too."
The word of the day is "fun." Thanks to Srinivas for the suggestion!
February 15, 2013
Red Level students study conjunctions today in Lesson Fifteen. These are coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, yet, and so. Conjunctions join together words, phrases, and clauses.
Orange Level students study the use of "wish" when describing something that a person doesn’t have at present:
I wish I had more time to work on my website.
Why is the verb "have" in the past tense in the sentence above? Find out by clicking here.
The word of the day is "guilt."
February 14, 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day! The word of the day is "love."
What do you know about Valentine’s Day?
Do you know the difference between the words "it" and "there"? I created this exercise for the students that I teach at night. They found it to be very helpful. You can print it out or write the answers in your notebook. The answers to the exercise are here. (If you have problems with PDF files, you can find also find the exercise here.)
Red Level students study adjectives today.
February 13, 2013
There’s a new Listening Lab exercise (#34) for pronouns and verbs that appear at the end of a sentence.
The word "like" is used for many different purposes. Most importantly, we choose "like" when describing something that we believe to be good, but there are other reasons why you might here someone use it:
Click here to learn more about using "like."
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The word of the day is "clumsy."
February 12, 2013
Red Level students go to Lesson Twelve to learn how to use "be going to" to make the future tense. This is a very popular way of talking about or asking about the future:
What are you going to do today?
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Orange Level students start learning about conditional sentences. These are sentences that describe something that is based on a condition or the existence of a situation. For example,
If I come home early, I’ll make dinner.
Whether or not I make dinner is dependent on coming home early.
If I don’t come home early, I won’t make dinner.
Notice that both sentences use the word "if." This powerful little word has a big impact on the entire sentence. Learn more here.
The word of the day is "brief."
February 11, 2013
Today and tomorrow, Red Level students will study the future tense. Today’s lesson shows how the modal verb "will" is used with the simple form of a verb:
In each one of the examples above, the main verb is in the simple form. This is a rule when using "will."
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Orange Level Lesson Eleven is for my intermediate and advanced level students. If you studied yesterday’s lesson, then you know how verbs routinely change under certain circumstances. One such situation is when describing what another person says.
"I am thirsty."
Later, two people have a discussion. This could be a few seconds later or days later:
The exact words from his mouth: I am thirsty. The verb "be" is in the present tense (am). However, when describing what the man said, it’s necessary to change the verb from the present tense to the past tense: He said that he was thirsty.
To learn more about reported speech (or indirect speech), click here.
The word of the day is "dip."
February 10, 2013
The word of the day is "faith."
Thanks to everyone who sent in a picture for February. I’m still collecting photos for this month. If you want to be included, please email your photo to . Include your first name and the name of the country that you are from.
Red Level students: a lot / some / any
Orange Level students: the sequence of tenses
February 9, 2013
There’s a new Listening Lab exercise for adverbs. Remember that most adverbs are identified by an "ly" ending.
The word of the day is "trust."
What is your lesson for today? Are you checking the weekly schedule?
I’m getting a lot of questions from students on YouTube and on this website about particular issues related to grammar and vocabulary. If you do a search on either this website or on my YouTube channel, you should be able to find what you are looking for.
February 8, 2013
Do you know the difference between the words "many" and "much"? If not, Red Level Lesson Eight is very helpful.
Students who are studying the formation of sentences and questions this month will learn about adjective clauses today in Orange Level Lesson Eight.
The word of the day is "tug."
There’s a new Listening Lab exercise for superlative adjectives.
February 7, 2013
Red Level Lesson Seven shows you how to use "do" as a main verb. This is a good lesson because many beginning level students aren’t sure when "do" is a main verb or a helping verb. Red Level lessons one through five showed you how "do" is used as a helping verb. If you missed those lessons, you should take a look at them now.
Look at the questions and sentences below:
The last question above uses an adjective clause (that he does) which Orange Level students will learn about tomorrow. Today’s lesson shows how clauses are introduced with the pronoun "that." Notice that it’s often not necessary to use "that" at the beginning of a clause.
The word of the day is "frighten."
Here’s a new Think in English exercise.
February 6, 2013
Students working in the Red Level go to Lesson Six to study object pronouns today.
If you are working in the Orange Level, your lesson for today is on noun clauses.
The word of the day is "harsh."
Here’s a new exercise for the preposition "with."
February 5, 2013
Red Level Lesson Five shows you how to make questions in the present tense with the helping verb "do." There’s a video and an exercise at the end of the lesson. Students have emailed me to say that this really helped them understand how to use "do" when making questions.
Orange Level Lesson Five shows student how to make compound-complex sentences. This lesson is for intermediate to advanced students of English.
The word of the day is "power."
There’s a new video for the preposition "with." Watch it here:
February 4, 2013
Red Level students go to Lesson Four to study commands (imperatives). Two things are very important when studying commands. First, you begin the sentence with a verb. In the sentence below, the verb is "go." Second, the subject is always "you," whether it’s singular or plural.
Go to the fourth lesson in the Red Level. (The subject is "you.")
Orange Level students study complex sentences today. A complex sentence is made up with a dependent clause and an independent clause. If you understand how to make this kind of a sentence properly, your speaking and writing abilities in English will improve. (This last sentence is an example of a complex sentence.)
The word of the day is "blackout."
February 3, 2013
Over the many years that I’ve been an English teacher, I’ve observed that students can really benefit from learning how to use verbs "do" and "did" as helping verbs. Today Red Level students go to Lesson Three.
Compound sentences are formed by two independent clauses joined together by a conjunction or a semi-colon. If you learn how to use the sentences properly, you’ll be able to express yourself in new ways. Orange Level students go to Lesson Three.
It’s the third day of the month. Remember that the number of the lesson follows the day on the calendar.
Have you printed out the checklists for the Red Level and the Orange Level? If not, click on the links, print out the checklists and then keep them by your computer so that you can monitor your daily progress on this website.
The word of the day is "ancient."
February 2, 2013
Red Level students. learn how to use the helping verb "do" to make a main verb negative
Orange Level students study the differences between clauses and phrases.
The word of the day is "version."
There’s a new Think in English exercise. Click here to take a look.
February 1, 2013
It’s the first day of the month which means we all move forward to the next level.
Blue Level students move to the Red Level. This level provides instruction in basic English grammar. The first few lessons are focused on the verb "do" as a helping verb and as a main verb. Here’s Red Level Lesson One.
Purple Level students move on to the Orange Level. This level focuses on the construction of sentences. The first lesson is about simple sentences.
The word of the day looks a little different today because I recorded it in the form of a video. The word of the day is "estimate."
Click here to go to January 2013.
Click here to go to the LAEO Blog Archive.
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