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Past Tense Regular Verbs Here’s a funny thing about English – all regular past tense verbs end in –ed: walked, talked, showered, continued, approved… but none of them are actually pronounced ‘ed’! There are three types of sounds that regular past tense verbs make: ‘t’, ‘d’, and ‘id’. Here is a link to a video giving a short explanation of regular past tense verbs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M7xIwAqy9I The ‘t’ sound endings are the most common. One way to determine if the word will sound like ‘t’ is to look at the base verb. If it ends in p, k, s, ch, sh, f, x, or h, it will probably sound like ‘t’. Look at the following list of regular past tense verbs that end in –ed but sound like ‘t’: asked, baked, brushed, cooked, cracked, crashed, danced, dressed, dropped, escaped, finished, fixed, guessed, helped, hoped, hiked, joked, jumped, knocked, kissed, laughed, locked, looked, missed, mixed, packed, passed, picked, pressed, pushed, pronounced, relaxed, slipped,... read more

This post is all about the “th” sound in English. I noticed that my Brazilian students had difficulties with “th” sounds, so I did some research. The first video below gives a good explanation of the two types of “th” – voiced and voiceless. The second link is to a webpage with some excellent tongue twister to practice the sounds. For additional English practice, look up unfamiliar vocabulary and try to make sense of the tongue twisters as a whole! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag4qoNzEH4w tutorial on "th" sounds http://evaeaston.com/th-practice.html riddles and tongue twisters The two types of ‘th’ sounds are the voiced and voiceless. The voiced ‘th’ is the more common of the two because it includes most articles and pronouns. Some examples are: the, that, these, them, they etc. One way of determining if a ‘th’ word is voiced is to say it out loud and put your fingers lightly on your throat. Does your throat vibrate? If it does, it’s a voiced ‘th’... read more

Reading and learning about grammar is so boring! It is about as much fun as reading the telephone directory (who even uses those anymore?). However, grammar is the building blocks of language and so important, especially as an adult ELL (English Language Learner), to learn so that you can successfully cultivate the language which leads to relationships which are the building blocks of life. I personally like to know the rules of what I'm learning, and to know why I am learning something. When you drill something that you have trouble with, whether its a certain pronunciation, or remember when to use which tense, you will be able to rely on that repetition and knowledge of the rules when you're sure that you've forgotten. One of the advantages of modern technology in regards to ESL is the abundance of information and games on the internet. One site that I've really enjoyed and utilized is eslgamesworld.com. They have a ton of interactive games and printable games. Give it a... read more

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