Learn American English Online Blog
April 30, 2014
Students who are moving on to the Purple Level from the Green Level should print out the Purple Level checklist. I recommend that students print out this list and keep it next to the computer. This makes it easier to keep track of progress while working through the lessons.
When something gets smaller, it might shrivel. This is your word of the day.
April 29, 2014
Today Green Level students take Test #2.
Pronunciation exercises: words that start with the letters q, r, s, and t.
The word of the day is "steep."
April 28, 2014
Green Level students take Test #1 today.
For students who want to practice pronunciation, the words chosen for today begin with the letters m, n, o, and p.
The word of the day is "plenty."
April 27, 2014
If you’ve been stuyding the passive voice in the Green Level this month, you can start to review for the tests that will be given this week.
Pronunciation exercises for today include words that begin with the letters j, k, and l.
The word of the day is "scrap."
April 26, 2014
The word of the day is "legible."
Green Level students should go to the reading section and practice reading skills today. After you listen to your teacher read each page, you can practice reading and record your voice.
April 25, 2014
Green Level students practice listening skills with these dictation exercises. Listen and write in your notebook what you hear.
Pronunciation exercises focus on words that begin with the letters d, e, and f.
The word of the day is "apology."
April 23, 2014
When asking about the name of something or the word that’s used to identify an object, you can use "be" and "called" together:
Learn more in Green Level Lesson Twenty-three.
For students who have problems with the "y" sound, it’s useful to compare it to the "j" sound.
The word of the day is "wise."
April 22, 2014
Happy Earth Day!
Green Level students study "be made" today. When talking about manufacturing or the production of food, you can use "be" + "made."
The word of the day is "vague."
I’ve changed a few of the chat rooms, and I continue to look around for new chat software. There’s been a lot of bad behavior in the chats. This is extremely annoying. Is it that hard to be respectful towards other people? Really.
April 21, 2014
Green Level students study "be used" today. This is a very popular form of the passive voice that is used to describe what people do with objects for some purpose:
Learn more by clicking here.
Pronunciation exercises for today compare sh and th sounds. Notice that there are two types of "th" sounds. One is voiced and the other is unvoiced.
The word of the day is "understand."
April 20, 2014
The word of the day is "teach."
April 19, 2014
The word of the day is "study."
The n and m pages for the pronunciation section have been updated, and I added recorders to those pages if you want to listen to yourself practice.
April 18, 2014
There’s a new reading exercise for the Green Level Reading Room: We lost our power last night. How many verbs in the story are in the passive voice?
There’s also a new reading exercise for the Blue Level Reading Room: Kimberly has a pet rabbit.
The word of the day is "review." This is something that I always encourage my students to do as they learn English.
The Green Level lesson for today is a review of the passive voice. There’s also a quiz that goes along with it.
Pronunciation exercises for today compare s and z sounds.
April 16, 2014
The lesson for the day in the Green Level is on causative verbs. These are verbs (get, have, and make) that have an effect that’s similar to the passive voice.
Neither sentence indicates who did the work. Learn more in Green Level Lesson Sixteen.
Pronunciation lessons today contrast d and t consonant sounds.
The word of the day is "penalize."
If you haven’t seen the Word of the Day quiz for April yet, it’s right here.
April 15, 2014
Today Green Level students study gerunds that are passive.
The word of the day is "outcome." An outcome is a result.
Google Glass goes on sale today on a limited basis. I wonder what will be the outcome of this new technology?
April 14, 2014
When infinitives are passive, they look like this:
to be + past participle
It’s very common in English for infinitives to be made passive. Here are some examples:
Learn more in Green Level Lesson Fourteen.
The featured pronunciation lessons for today are on the consonants /f/ and /v/. Both of these sounds are made by putting your top front teeth on top of your lower lip. The f sound is unvoiced and the v sound is voiced.
The word of the day is "novel."
April 13, 2014
This week pronunciation exercises will focus on consonant sounds. These are sounds made with your tongue, lips, teeth, and mouth all working together. These exercises will be paired as voiced and unvoiced sounds. A voiced sound uses the vocal chords; an unvoiced sound does not use vocal chords. The first set of consonant sounds are /b/ and /p/.
Green Level Lesson Thirteen shows examples of the past perfect tense in the passive voice.
The word of the day is "model."
April 12, 2014
If you are working in the Green Level, your lesson for today is on the present perfect tense in the passive voice.
The word of the day is "loaf."
April 11, 2014
Green Level students study the past continuous tense in the passive voice for today’s lesson.
Have you been practicing the pronunciation exercises listed on the home page? Do the exercises help you? If you have any ideas for improving the Pronunciation section of the website, let me know.
The word of the day is "keyboard."
There’s a new Think in English exercise here. Write your answers in your notebook.
April 10, 2014
Students studying the passive voice in the Green Level this month learn about the present continuous tense in the passive voice today.
Updated pronunciation exercises for today are the short u and long u sounds.
The word of the day is "journal."
April 9, 2014
The word of the day is "improve."
If you have been trying to improve your English pronunciation skills, today’s featured exercises are for the short o and the long o. Notice that these exercises are now downloadable for a mobile device. Eventually, you’ll be able to download all of the audio on the website to your phone, tablet, or desktop–but it will take awhile to complete the conversion of the thousands of tracks on here.
Today’s Green Level lesson is on the use of modal verbs to describe past situations.
April 8, 2014
Modal verbs are often used when forming the passive voice. Whenever this happens, the verb "be" remains in the simple form:
Learn more about this in Green Level Lesson Eight.
Pronunciation exercises for today are on the short i and the long i vowel sounds.
The word of the day is "haste."
April 7, 2014
In Green Level Lesson Seven, students learn how to use "be supposed to" when describing obligations and responsibilities.
The pronunciation exercises for today are on the short e and the long e vowel sounds.
The word of the day is "grueling." This is a good word to use if you are exhausted after having completed a difficult task.
April 6, 2014
You can use the verb "get" when forming the passive voice. This is important to understand. Look at the sentences below:
There are people who prefer "be" over "get" when making the passive voice, but you need to be aware that "get" is commonly used. Go to Green Level Lesson Six to learn more.
This week I’ll feature vowel sounds from the Pronunciation section on the home page schedule. You always have access to these lessons, but sometimes students forget that they are there. Today’s vowel sounds are the short a and the long a.
The word of the day is "fret."
There’s a new reading exercise for the Blue Level: My son bought a goldfish.
April 5, 2014
The word of the day is "etymology." This is intended for advanced learners of English, but anyone can listen to it, of course.
Here it is in the form of a video.
Today Green Level students study the future tense in the passive voice.
Another big section of the website that is often overlooked is the proverbs section. Almost all languages have proverbs. These are usually short statements that are well-known and often repeated within a country or a culture. Proverbs reflect common knowledge and the wisdom that has been gained by the generations of people who have come before us. There are hundred of proverbs in English that you really should learn because they are popular. No matter how good your English is, you won’t understand what a person said unless you study and remember the meaning or the reason for a proverb.
April 4, 2014
Green Level students study the past tense, passive voice. The verb "be" indicates the past tense.
In each sentence, the verb "be" (was or were) matches the subject. The main verb (fired, instructed, pushed) is in the form of the past participle.
Do you know what an idiom is? It’s a verb phrase, an expression, or even a single word that is used in every day language, but the idiom is used in very particular ways that confuse someone learning the language for the first time. All languages have idioms of some sort. They’re important to learn when listening to a spoken language. This website has an entire section for idioms that are common in American English.
The word of the day is "drill."
April 3, 2014
The word of the day is "confident." The words "confident" and "confidence" are often followed by a reflexive pronoun. See if you can figure out how to complete the following sentences:
How did you do? The answers can be found by clicking on the "confident" link above.
Green Level students study the present tense in the passive voice today. This is formed with the verb "be" and the past participle form of the main verb:
When studying the passive voice, a useful exercise is to change a sentence to the active voice. The sentences above can be rewritten like this:
As you can see, the verb tense is preserved. These sentences are still in the present tense. Learn more in Green Level Lesson Three.
+ There’s a new quiz for yesterday’s word of the day: begin.
April 2, 2014
There’s a new reading exercise for the Blue Level: It’s baseball season.
The word of the day is "begin." This is a simple yet important word to understand; however, some beginning level learners of English make mistakes with it because it’s an irregular verb:
Lesson Two in the Green Level shows how one of the most common form of the passive voice is used when talking about one’s life.
On the home page, I’ve listed a link to the American Slang section. This is a big part of the website. It includes examples of slang that’s popular in American society. I’ve just scratched the surface as far as slang goes. There are whole books and websites that focus on this one aspect of language. It’s also important to note that some of the slang words and expressions that I’ve highlighted might be popular in British English as well.
April 1, 2014
Yellow Level students who have finished the first three levels of the website (Blue, Red, and Yellow) can move on to the Green Level where they’ll learn how to form the passive voice. It’s necessary, however, to first learn about all the verb tenses in English. That’s why students are encouraged to complete the first three levels.
The Green Level checklist is here. It’s a good idea to print out the checklist and keep it by your computer.
The word of the day is "attitude."
Here’s a new YouTube video:
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