Are We Losing the Gradable Adverbs of British Understatement? Quite Possibly…

Cosmo Duff Gordon - Titanic - British understatementAn English academic has claimed that many English adverbs are falling out of common usage. The classic understatement of English speakers means our language has always been peppered with phrases such as ‘rather difficult’, ‘quite likely’, ‘awfully expensive’ and ‘terribly sad’. These trademark English expressions are under threat as we are doing away with gradable adverbs. Not only this, many traditional English words are being eroded by an influx of Americanisms. So does this mean the end for gradable adverbs and classic British understatement? Quite possibly… Continue reading

Is Office Jargon Annoying? It’s a No Brainer!

Office jargon is one of the most hated aspects of going to work, a new study has revealed. Business talk or office jargon are those irritating phrases that are used in a business context and regularly crop up during those tedious business meetings. Many people dislike corporate jargon but it continues to be used in many offices. From taking thought showers to touching base and leveraging synergies – let’s employ some blue-sky thinking going forward as we unpack common office jargon… Continue reading

Do the Monster Mash This Halloween!

monster mashHalloween is an exciting holiday occasion and the perfect time to learn some new vocabulary – so why not learn with a classic song! Monster Mash is a fun Halloween-themed pop song by Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt Kickers, recorded in 1962. It contains lots of spooky vocabulary and is a great way to expand your knowledge of idioms – and enjoy some Halloween-flavoured language fun. This is great listening material for the EFL class. Will you do the Monster Mash?     Continue reading

April Fools’ Day Famous Hoaxes

April Fools' DayApril Fools’ Day falls on 1st April every year. This is the day that we traditionally play practical jokes and harmless pranks on each other, while the media reports hoax stories in an attempt to fool the nation. This means you should prepare to fool someone – or get fooled – on Saturday!

This day has been a celebration of pranks since the Roman times with jokes today ranging from simple schemes such as switching the salt with the sugar in the cupboard to elaborate national hoaxes involving major news organisations.

For EFL classes, this can be a great time to discuss April Fools’ Day famous hoaxes and jokes and turn them into a humorous lesson. Continue reading

The English are Dirty and Drink Too Much, Says Spanish Book

Sons and Daughters of Great BritainAccording to a new book published in Spain, Sons and Daughters of Great Britain, English people are sexually unadventurous, borderline alcoholics who are in desperate need of a bath. Author Alberto Letona’s examination of British culture has stirred up some disgruntlement across the UK with some critics calling his book a collection of stereotypes; others are highly amused by his humorous findings. We take a tongue-in-cheek look through Letona’s witty cultural assessment of Great Britain. Continue reading

Spring Forward Fall Back


fall back for autumnWe will all be losing an hour of sleep on Sunday 25th March as we put the clocks forward one hour. That’s right, it’s the start of British summer time! This means lighter afternoons and mornings. The one fly in the ointment is the missed hour of sleep on the Saturday night during the change over. Daylight Saving Time means that most of Europe will ‘spring forward fall back’ as we change our clocks. Just make sure you are not one of those people who put their clocks back one hour by mistake!  Continue reading

Getting Fruity! Fruit and Veg Idioms for TEFL

Fruit and Veg IdiomsFruit and veg idioms are more prevalent in the English language than you might think. If you know your onions, you might even be able to think of a few veggie idioms right now! Food in general is a useful theme in English when you are looking to find that perfect expression to describe a situation in an idiomatic way, in a manner with a bit of flavour.

Read on to explore the world of English fruit and veg idioms – adding in a few fruity phrases to your conversations is as easy as pie and it could even be the icing on the cake of your English language learning!
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Find a Sense of Humour in a Foreign Language

English HumourHumour is part of everyday life, especially in the UK, and just because you are learning a new language doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy a giggle or even a guffaw. It just takes a tad more care. Jokes often have a linguistic component and many jokes are funny because of a clever play on words – this is where joshing in a different language can cause EFL learners to get unstuck! It can take quite an advanced knowledge of a language to create a good, witty, linguistically complex joke. But it is still possible to enjoy humour in a foreign language with only a basic grasp of the grammar and vocabulary. Continue reading