Say What? Edition 2: The Foreign Language Edition

I used to speak four foreign languages at a high intermediate level. Now I can still hold my own in Spanish, but that’s about it. I went to a French conversation group a few weeks ago to attempt speaking French for the first time in about three years and was mortified that I could barely … Continue reading Say What? Edition 2: The Foreign Language Edition

Say What? Edition 1: Obscure Language Rules, Difficult Pronunciation, and a Collision of Language and Graphic Design

I’m way ahead of the curve in my understanding of some language rules. I took a trip down memory lane last month when this incredibly complex language rule no one knows! became a national obsession for a few days. But I knew it! I was teaching it to my English language learners in Russia 14 … Continue reading Say What? Edition 1: Obscure Language Rules, Difficult Pronunciation, and a Collision of Language and Graphic Design

Sympathy for English Language Learners

A while back I was reviewing some comments my editor had made on an e-learning script I wrote at my full time job. The phrase in question was building block skills and whether to hyphenate. Without a hyphen, the phrase could be interpreted as someone was building block skills, whatever those might be, but in reality, … Continue reading Sympathy for English Language Learners

Apples to Oranges: The Syntax of Comparative Sentences

I taught standardized test preparation classes for many years and while a lot of what I taught had no applicability in real life (did you really calculate the probability of pulling one red sock and one blue sock from your sock drawer this morning?), the grammar absolutely did and I tried to impress that on … Continue reading Apples to Oranges: The Syntax of Comparative Sentences