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Grow your English Skills with Articles, Guides, and Resource Posts from ESOL Advantage:

English Skills

Pronunciation: Can and Can’t

Pronunciation: Can and Can’t

Pronunciation: Can and Can't - This video lesson will help you recognize the difference between can and can't in American English conversation. Remember that can is usually a structure word:  It is often unstressed in a sentence, with a reduced vowel sound. On the...

American Humor Part 3 – Riddles

American Humor Part 3 – Riddles

Understanding American Humor - Part 3: Riddles - Understanding what people think is funny—and why—is a challenge for anyone who tries to learn a new language or appreciate a new culture. The topics covered in these articles will help you to join in the fun with your...

Where Could English Tutoring Take You?

Where Could English Tutoring Take You?

Where Could English Tutoring Take You? - You have goals for your life: places you want to go, things you want to experience, people you hope to meet. Maybe you are looking to start a new career or to advance in the work you are doing now. Maybe you just want more from...

American Humor Part 2 – Knock-Knock Jokes

American Humor Part 2 – Knock-Knock Jokes

Understanding American Humor - Part 2: Knock-Knock Jokes - Understanding what people think is funny—and why—is difficult in any language. The goal of this short series of articles is to help you recognize American humor, and maybe even join in the fun! Part 1 of the...

Understanding American Humor – Part 1

Understanding American Humor – Part 1

Understanding American Humor - Part 1: Puns - Understanding what people think is funny—and why—is difficult in any language. In fact, one sure sign that you are developing fluency in your second language is when you realize you are able to appreciate its humor and...

English Pronunciation and The Magic of Vowels

English Pronunciation and The Magic of Vowels

English Pronunciation and The Magic of Vowels: Every language learner knows the uncomfortable feeling: You just started a friendly conversation with a neighbor, coworker, or some other native speaker when their warm smile is suddenly replaced by an empty look of...

4 Steps to Confident Conversations

4 Steps to Confident Conversations

4 Steps to Confident Conversations - It happens quickly: At a small gathering of people, you suddenly find yourself face-to-face with someone you've never met. You smile awkwardly for a moment, wondering if you should try to start a conversation or simply move on....

Polite English: 3 Common Mistakes When Saying Please

Polite English: 3 Common Mistakes When Saying Please

Polite English: 3 Common Mistakes When Saying Please - Everyone recognizes the importance of being polite, whether it's in your first or second language. This is the reason that two of the first English expressions people learn are "please" and "thank you." In...

How to Make an Apology That Builds Trust

How to Make an Apology That Builds Trust

How to Make an Apology that Builds Trust -  Regardless of where you live or what language you speak, we all make mistakes in life. Some people are true experts in repeatedly doing the wrong thing! And while this ability to make mistakes seems to come naturally, the...

5 Ways to Feel Confident in Your Spoken English

5 Ways to Feel Confident in Your Spoken English

5 Ways to Feel Confident in Your Spoken English -  How can you build confidence in your spoken English ability? Every language learner dreams of becoming a fluent conversationalist: someone who easily understands everything that people say, who gives the perfect...

Grammar Guides

Participial Adjectives: Grammar Guide

Participial Adjectives: Grammar Guide

Participial Adjectives: Grammar Guide -  This video lesson offers rules and examples for understanding participial adjectives and using them to create great English sentences.When working with participial adjectives, remember the rule: Use Present Participle (-ing)...

4 Apostrophe Rules: Grammar Guide

4 Apostrophe Rules: Grammar Guide

4 Apostrophe Rules: Grammar Guide -  Apostrophes may be small, but they have a big impact on grammar! Correct usage of the apostrophe shows your reader that you care about the details.  They may seem easy, but there are plenty of places where any of us can have a...

Understanding Clauses and Phrases: Grammar Guide

Understanding Clauses and Phrases: Grammar Guide

Understanding Clauses and Phrases -  Developing advanced language skills requires understanding the structures and rules that are working inside sentences to create meaning. Language learners need to know the jobs that words can do both individually and when they join...

3 Rules for English Phrasal Verbs: Grammar Guide

3 Rules for English Phrasal Verbs: Grammar Guide

3 Useful Rules for English Phrasal Verbs -  Look at the following sentences:  “We need to find out when this happened, and why.”  “If you don’t have a solution to the problem, why bring it up?”  “She makes up little stories to entertain the kids.”  The verbs find out,...

5 Rules for Using A and The in Sentences: Grammar Guide

5 Rules for Using A and The in Sentences: Grammar Guide

Using A and The in Sentences: Grammar Guide -  Even for people who are quite fluent in English, using A and The can still be confusing. This guide will help you use them correctly! A/An and The have the grammar name 'articles.' These three words belong to a larger...

Conditional Sentences: Grammar Guide

Conditional Sentences: Grammar Guide

Conditional Sentences: Grammar Guide -  Conditional sentences are all about expressing possibilities. They include a main clause that offers the central content, and also a dependent clause that limits that content with a condition. For example: If you spend time...

Their, There, or They’re: Grammar Guide

Their, There, or They’re: Grammar Guide

Grammar Guide for Their, There, and They're -  The story is told about a local fast-food restaurant that wanted to share an exciting addition to the menu.  On the large reader board in front of the restaurant, an enterprising employee posted in big letters: THEIR...

Living

Being a Good Houseguest: 7 Helpful Tips

Being a Good Houseguest: 7 Helpful Tips

7 Helpful Tips for Being a Good Houseguest - The rules and expectations for what it means to be a good houseguest have a lot of variety from culture to culture.  If you have been invited by an American friend to have an overnight stay, you might be wondering what to...

3 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Cyber Kidnapping

3 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Cyber Kidnapping

3 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Cyber Kidnapping: On December 28, Chinese exchange student Kai Zhuang ran away from his host family out into the cold wilderness of Utah state. He told no one where he was going or the frightening reason why: Zhuang was being threatened...

The History of New Year’s Resolutions

The History of New Year’s Resolutions

The History of New Year’s Resolutions: Each year as the calendar turns from December to January, people around the world take time to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter and the promise of a fresh start. One of the oldest traditions of welcoming the new year is...

4 Fun American Thanksgiving Traditions

4 Fun American Thanksgiving Traditions

4 Fun American Thanksgiving Traditions: Each November, Americans from all kinds of backgrounds celebrate Thanksgiving, a U.S. national holiday centered on friends, family—and lots of food! The modern American Thanksgiving includes a wide variety of traditions, and...

Your First Halloween in the U.S. – 5 Things to Expect

Your First Halloween in the U.S. – 5 Things to Expect

Your First Halloween in the U.S. - 5 Things to Expect: Halloween—there is no denying that this October celebration is an important part of American culture. Although not an 'official' U.S. holiday, Halloween is a fall tradition that many Americans look forward to with...

4 Surprising Things About Parenting in the U.S.

4 Surprising Things About Parenting in the U.S.

4 Surprising Things About Parenting in the U.S. -  Moving to the United States from another country brings changes and challenges of all kinds. Some changes are things people might expect, such as hearing a new language, trying new foods, and discovering new places....

3 Great Ways to Make New Friends in the U.S.

3 Great Ways to Make New Friends in the U.S.

3 Great Ways to Make New Friends in the U.S. - Moving to the U.S. can be both an exciting and a lonely experience. “At home in Japan I had a strong group of friends,” said one woman who recently moved to Seattle, Washington. “We all met in college, and we supported...

Resources

American English Vowel Sounds

American English Vowel Sounds

American English Vowel Sounds: American English has a large number of vowel sounds: around 20 of them! This set of sounds changes in different parts of the United States; some sounds are more popular in the Western U.S. and some are more popular in the Eastern....

Resources for Vocabulary Building

Resources for Vocabulary Building

Resources for Vocabulary Building -  These are some of my resource picks for students who want to focus on building vocabulary. I've used all of them in the classroom with great results. Whether you are beginner or advanced, young or old, there is something here for...

Great ESL Books for Kids (Updated)

Great ESL Books for Kids (Updated)

Great ESL Books for Kids (Updated) -  When it comes to ESL books for kids, the options can be overwhelming! How to choose? Every good English Language Learner book for young people will be grounded in current language research while also holding kids’ interest through...

Pronunciation and Grammar Resources

Pronunciation and Grammar Resources

Pronunciation and Grammar Resources -  Pronunciation and Grammar can be a very useful combination for English Language Learners. Whether you are learning English on your own or you are working with an instructor, you'll find  a few of my top resources for working on...

Vocabulary and Grammar Resources

Vocabulary and Grammar Resources

Pronunciation and Grammar Resources -  Here are a few great resources for focusing on vocabulary and grammar:Grammar Resource:Top Pick: Grammar in Use (American English) by Raymond Murphy (available on Amazon) English Grammar in Use has been a key resource for...

Videos

Pronunciation: Can and Can’t

Pronunciation: Can and Can’t

Pronunciation: Can and Can't - This video lesson will help you recognize the difference between can and can't in American English conversation. Remember that can is usually a structure word:  It is often unstressed in a sentence, with a reduced vowel sound. On the...

Participial Adjectives: Grammar Guide

Participial Adjectives: Grammar Guide

Participial Adjectives: Grammar Guide -  This video lesson offers rules and examples for understanding participial adjectives and using them to create great English sentences.When working with participial adjectives, remember the rule: Use Present Participle (-ing)...

Mailing a Letter: English for Everyday Activities

Mailing a Letter: English for Everyday Activities

Mailing a Letter: English for Everyday Activities Discover important vocabulary and expressions related to the everyday activity of mailing a letter in the United States. Video Transcript Hi, my name's Mark and this is English for Everyday Activities. In today's...

Changing a Light Bulb: English for Everyday Activities

Changing a Light Bulb: English for Everyday Activities

Changing a Light Bulb: English for Everyday Activities Discover important English vocabulary and expressions related to the everyday activity of changing a light bulb.Video Transcript Hi, my name's Mark and this is English for Everyday Activities. How many times has...

More

For more great English resources, take a look at our recommended links. All included links feature free options, though some have for-pay options as well.

Community:

Grammar:

  • British Council LearnEnglish – This site features British English rather than American, but offers useful free lessons on a variety of grammar topics
  • Dave’s ESL Cafe – Free resources for a variety of grammar topics that includes helpful examples and explanations

Pronunciation:

Writing

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