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There is a very effective tool I use to remember new vocabulary from other languages: visualization. So as you will hear me explain in my lesson, I learned the word “ponimat” in Russian and to remember it I imagine a pony sitting on a mat(small carpet). The pony is saying, “I don’t understand”. You can use this especially for words that are harder to remember. These are part of memorization tricks called mnemonics.

This is another trick I developed to remember new vocabulary. You simply try to find words in your own language that sound almost the same as the word or phrase you are trying to remember. One for me was when I was learning Portuguese. When they say, “é verdade”, I tried remembering the pronunciation by associating it with the sounds of the words in English: ever daddy. This can make learning new sounds a lot of fun and I hope you can use it too! English is much easier when you can start to understand the lyrics to a song. You see music has a special quality about it because you can sing it over and over again without getting bored. The same cannot be said about trying to memorize long lists of vocabulary. Oh how boring! If you are a basic to intermediate learner of English, I highly suggest you listen to slower love songs since you will be able to follow the lyrics more easily.


In order to help my English learner Renato from Brazil, who will be studying at an English school in the USA and attending a business meeting, I gave him a few tips.Most if not all English learners are scared that their English isn’t good enough to be understood by native speakers. Most students practice their English with non-native speakers and if they are lucky, they will have a few minutes to talk to their teacher who is perhaps a native speaker of English. Quite often English courses teach textbook English which in fact is not the way English is spoken in native English speaking countries like the USA and Canada. However, there is some good news for non-native speakers visiting the biggest cities in North America: most native speakers are used to speaking with and understanding non-native speakers because the population rate of immigrants is high. Check out some examples:

Of course visiting a big North American city as a tourist is one thing and coming here on business is entirely different. One tip I give in my lesson is about “inside jokes”. These are often jokes that are only understood by people who are from the same country or even state/province or city. This is not something unique to English speaking countries as I also experienced this when living in Brazil and France.