This article is for students who study English as a Second Language (ESOL) who dream about perfecting their language skills and becoming genuinely bilingual.

You will have to be very intentional about how you learn when you learn and even where you learn. To truly achieve the highest level of language proficiency. Your English language development and your learning environment will have to be finely tweaked. This takes preparation, an understanding of academic language teaching strategies and a language training plan that you stick to until you reach your goal.

Of course, you may just want to be able to communicate in English and not be too concerned about achieving full proficiency. In which case is focusing on improving your basic skills in the ESL classroom is suitable. Speaking with the language teacher of tutor will help you come up with a plan of action to succeed. Remember the English teacher is there to help you to learn English through at home or online English courses. Any certified teacher will know that you will need more than ESL classes and coursework to achieve your goal quickly.

Studying is the key to fluency
Finding new way to learn English will keep it fresh in your mind. Photo Source: Unsplash

Your Teacher should be able to help you with the content area that you should focus on in your own time to support your progress. Even a short language assessment with a language tutor will give you the insight into where your weaknesses are. A with lesson plans to complete in your own time you should be able to become fluent. But as mentioned a prerequisite is that you dedicate yourself to your personal development.

No matter what your target is for your new language, continuing to practice and improve your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills on a regular basis will be instrumental to you reaching your goal.  Let’s take a look at some tools and ideas that can help you on the journey.

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The Top Frequent Errors To Avoid In English

When you are learning anything in life, you are likely to make mistakes. This is because trial and error are part of the process to get better at anything. Without mistakes to teach us what we are doing wrong or what we can do better we tend to remain stagnant. Having a realistic attitude when you are studying is essential. For example, when you are learning a language, you are going to make a lot of mistakes it is part of the process.

When you were learning to speak your first language you made many mistakes. You have to be willing to make mistakes and take risks with your communication. This is the only way that you will get better, and you consciously focus on having an excellent attitude to mistakes as shame and embarrassment will only limit you and your progress.

Reasons Why ESOL Students Make Errors

  • Allowing our emotions to get in the way: nerves, shames, or fear.
  • Wanting to be perfect so never speaking out loud
  • We mix the target language with another foreign language
  • Vocabulary issues
  • Misunderstanding pronunciation
  • Lack of practice or lack of interest
  • Lack of knowledge of Irregular verb
  • Grammar Mistakes.
  • Writing Mistakes
  • Bad teacher
  • Bad study habits

The Top Frequent Errors To Avoid In English

  1. Your and you're –
    1. You’re mean You are
    2. Your is the possessive determiner (a type of Pronoun)
  2. They're, Their and There -
    1. They’re with an apostrophe is a contraction of they are
    2. Their is a possessive determiner (a kind of Pronoun)
    3. There is an adverb and refers to a place or position
  3. To, Two and Too -
    1. To is a proposition to express motion
    2. Two is the number 2
    3. Too is an adverb that means also
  4. Forgetting to add an -s to the end of the word
  5. Omitting the article, g. a, anthe

There are so many errors that can be regularly made but once made mistakes are easily overcome.

Our Rating Of The Most Unusual Words In English

While it can be challenging for the teacher to help English learners to overcome academic challenges. English language learners with limited English will struggle the most. While following a lesson plan and language instruction can help to lay a foundational knowledge of English and grammar and vocabulary. It is a practice that will help you to succeed and improve your fluency in English. Your speaking skills and listening skills are a primary requirement for this and your reading skills, writing skills are also fundamental.

Find reputable teachers for your ESOL courses here.

How to speak English like a local? Study!
We can make so many mistakes in English and there are many reasons why. Photo Source: Unsplash

Weird, odd and Unusual are often not words that are used to describe the English language. But there are so many oddities about the English language that we could fill a book. Studying the weird and fun side of English can be precisely what you need to get through a study session when you are feeling a bit worn out. So welcome to the wacky world of English words and phrases.

  1. Up and Downs: This expression, typically from the United Kingdom, simply means having a bit of a hard time but there are also some good times. “It has its ups and downs
  2. Gobsmacked: In British slang, gob means "mouth". Typically if you ‘smack’ your mouth, as in hold your hand up to your mouth, it means you are shocked. This term means that you are shocked. E.g. “I am Gobsmacked”
  3. Waffling: In English slang again to waff also means to "chatter". Therefore when someone says to stop waffling, they are asking you to stop chatting aimlessly. “Stop waffling and get to the ”
  4. Bits and Bobs: refers to a mix of unspecific items, often small items but you can have bits and bobs in your garage. E.g. “take a look at this there are all sorts of bits and bobs ”
  5. Kick the bucket: this means to die. E.g. “She has kicked the bucket at the young age of ”
  6. It’s raining cats and dogs: this means the rain is very heavy. “Its raining cats and dogs ”
  7. Skeleton in the Cupboard: This means to have a secret, the cupboard is also used again when we say someone has come out of the closet. Which means they are ready to reveal who they really are. E.g. “It looks like someone has a skeleton in their closet/”
  8. Taking the mickey: To make fun of someone  E. g. “are you taking the mickey?
  9. Skin of your teeth: Means that you have barely managed to do what you set out to do. E.g. “you did it by the skin of your ”
  10. Mad as a hatter: This means someone is crazy e. g. “he is mad as a hatter.”

We might include the relatively new term 'Cheeky Nandos' in this list; it represents an exciting and unusual dining experience.

The English language is full of fun nuggets like this, whenever you feel that you are losing the energy to keep studying. Take a read of the hundreds of weird, usual and funny English Idioms and phrases.

How about super long words? Yes that’s right English has some very long words, but thankfully you don’t have to learn them because hardly anyone can read them let alone say them.

  • To be against the separation of the church and the state is Antidisestablishmentarianism.
  • A type of lung disease is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
  • Something that has no value is Floccinaucinihilipilification (don’t worry there are shorters words to say the same thing)
  • A place in Wales in the UK is known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch thankfully abbreviated to Llanfair PG
  • Before 2007 Golf Halt station was known by its full name of Gorsafawddacha'idraigodanheddogleddollônpenrhynareurdraethceredigion

It is a safe bet that these long words are for fun despite being real words they are not at all useful. Anything that needs to be said can be said with more helpful vocabulary.  However, if you keep these words in your phone, you can use them as a talking point in the pub or ask locals to read it and make fun of their poor English skills. This will earn you a few laughs and be a fun cross cultural exchange for everyone.

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Complex Pronunciation Rules In English

English is spoken so far and widely, and it has become the unofficial global language. A diverse number of people learn English as their first foreign language every year. Because English is being chosen as such a popular option for second language development. More and more Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) courses are taken every year by English speaking people who want to become a teacher.

For teachers who work in language education, your language learning success is their pride. They want you to master English. Let’s have a look at some Complex English rules and how to overcome it.

  • Squirrel: This is a cute animal that you can find in the parks and trees in England. While the animal is cute the pronunciation is not, and understandably it could make ESL students nervous. I honestly don’t know how someone might think this should be said but the correct way to say the word is ScK-Rew-Al If you sound out the alphabet as you go over the letters you will get a close idea of how to say the word. E.g. The Squirrel is eating a nut. The SQ combination can also be found in Square (shape), and the SQ is said in the same way.
  • Hierarchy: This word, which is rather simple to pronounce, but difficult to read it is another matter altogether. It can be broken down into Hi-Rar-Key. This is not such a common word but still useful. E.g. The Hierarchy of the organisation in linear. The HI is used in the word High (distance), and the HI is said the same way.

A Few Other Words That Are Easily Confused In Pronunciation And Writing Are

  1. Accept (receive) and Except (exclude)
  2. Advice (recommendation) and Advise (Instruct)
  3. All right (good enough) and Alright (not an English word)
  4. Effect (result or achieve) and Affect (Disturb)
  5. Every Day (each day) and Everyday (daily)
  6. Lose (Misplace) and Loose (baggy)

A fun exercise to practice your pronunciation are tongue twisters. They use words that start with a single letter and create a short poem that you should practice reading quickly.

English can become a real second language for a learner
Improve your English in English speaking countries. Photo Source: Unsplash

Bettys Butter Tongue Twister

Betty Botter had some butter - But, she said, this butter’s bitter - If I bake this bitter butter - it would make my batter bitter - But a bit of better butter– that would make my batter better - So she bought a bit of butter - better than her bitter butter -, and she baked it in her batter - and the batter was not bitter - So it was better Betty Botter - bought a bit of better butter.

English Abbreviations To Learn To Speak Like An English Local

Have you ever heard of the FBI or the CIA or do you know what ESOL stands for? Well, these are all English abbreviations, and they are very useful and are heavily used in the English language. To make sure that you understand what LOL means when your new English speaking friend texts you. Read on!

The Two Kinds Of Abbreviations: Acronyms And Initialisms

Acronyms are when the shortened word or phrase is read as if it were a new word. An example of this is NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) as you can see the first letter of each word is taken, Capitalized and used to create a new and much easier word. NASA and National Aeronautics and Space Administration mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably. But why would you choose to say National Aeronautics and Space Administration when NASA is easier and faster to say.

Initialisms are when the shortened texts are spelt out. An example of this is the USA or US, this abbreviation is not read as a word but spelled out. It is said the U.S.A, in this case, the pronunciation of the word as you would the alphabet or if you prefer the letters are spelt out. The United States of America is used interchangeably with the USA, and they both have the same meaning. The even shorter version of this is the U.S which stands for the United States Which you spell out in the same way.

English Abbreviations For Everyday Life


  • UK (United Kingdom)
  • EU (European Union)


  • M (Meters)
  • KG (Kilogram)

General Life

  • RSVP is used on invitations to asking for the person to inform if they will attend or not.

Social Media Messaging

  • LOL = Laughing Out Loud
  • BRB = Be Right Back

English Abbreviations In A Professional Context

  • CV means curriculum vitae, this is your resume that you use to apply for jobs
  • ASAP is indicating As Soon As Possible
  • FYI means For Your Information

There are real challenges when learning English, but the real Secret to learning English and the most accurate challenge of the language is that you never stop learning it. I hope this article helped you to see that you are not alone in your language learning struggles and ongoing learning.


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