Advanced English skills: Your head start

If you decide to study or do your homework in the airport lobby, in the doctor’s waiting room or during your train ride to work, our English exercises and reading materials are at your fingertips In today’s world, learning English online proves to be one of the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective ways to study … Read more

UK vs US English: quite vs quite

Quite true, Richard Richard Branson explains it very well in his book Like a Virgin – Secrets they won’t teach you at business school when explaining a potential misunderstanding with an American music industry executive: “It came down to our differing interpretation of the word ‘quite’. In British usage, if someone says, ‘I think you … Read more

Bake, sing and learn!

Bake, sing and play We hope you are enjoying the holiday season! While you are baking cookies with your kids, you can sing some traditional English songs and rhymes. Rhythm and repetition in songs helps children learn new words faster. “Pat-a-cake” is one of the oldest rhymes in the English language. In place of the … Read more

Classroom diaries: an unusual spelling quiz

  Class profile A mix of bilingual/trilingual young learners, some of whom are “traditional” EFL students, while others have been exposed to English-speaking environments through school, family, etc. Age range: 7 to 11. Goals Review unit vocabulary and challenge two learners who are using more advanced resources. Conduct group activities notwithstanding age differences. How we … Read more

Multilingual is the new homogeneous!

Teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Geneva, Switzerland Switzerland distinguishes itself from many countries with its four national languages (French, German, Italian, and Romanche), and dare I say, tongue-in-cheek, an unofficial fifth one (!!) if we add English to the equation. Nearly two-thirds are speakers of German, and the remaining third is split … Read more

f or ph for fffffffffff?

En anglais uniquement: We had some wonderful “Eureka” moments last week with 8 to 11 year old EFL (English as a foreign language) students while reviewing letters and vocabulary with a spelling game. The word dolphin came up – quite a tricky word for French speakers. On the one hand, the ph is maintained, but the French … Read more

The hands of time

The pointers of a clock or watch are called “hands”: the second hand, the minute hand and the hour hand. Note that there is no final “s” to “second, minute, hour”. In French, hands turn into needles → les aiguilles d’une montre ou d’une horloge. L’aiguille des secondes, des minutes et des heures. The French … Read more

Close vs close – Can you say these homographs?

(In English only) Homographs Homographs are words with the same spelling but with different meanings AND pronunciation. This term has Greek roots: homo means the same, while graph means writing. Many of you probably learned read (present tense-bare infinitive) and read (past tense form) early on in your English way to success. Close vs Close … Read more

I miss you

Girl already missing friends as her train pulls out the station

I miss you, or do you miss me? Get ready for some brain juggling on the verb to miss! Can you spot the difference in sentence construction between: Tu me manques and I miss you? Miss and manquer: a question of personal pronouns Indeed, in English “I” does the missing, while in French, “you” are … Read more