Advanced listening tip for students of Business English

If you are an upper-intermediate to advanced student of business English, you should definitely listen to the Manager Tools podcast over at www.manager-tools.com. This cast is aimed at native speakers of English, so they don’t provide transcriptions or vocabulary lists, but if you are at all interested in management, productivity or business etiquette, you should […]

Real English conversations: Do men prefer real or fake?

Transcript Lori here, welcoming you to another edition of Real English Conversations at Better at English dot com, the website that focuses on real English for real people. I will warn you right away: the topic of today‚Äôs conversation could be considered somewhat provocative: silicone breast implants. So you should listen further only if you […]

Real English Conversations: skill or luck?

Michael and Lori discuss the game (sport?) Rock Paper Scissors, and debate whether it involves skill or luck.

English book recommendations from Better at English readers

Thanks to everyone who’s responded to my question about your favorite books in English. Reading books in English about topics that interest you is a wonderful way to improve your English and have fun at the same time. Your suggestions are listed below. There is no deadline for making suggestions, so if there is an […]

Readers’ recommendations: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Matteo wrote in to recommend Dracula by Bram Stoker. I guess it’s the best book I’ve read in English. It displays different writing styles in a very unique narrative structure, built by assembling diary entries, paper articles, letters and more. Everything is written in an old but most fascinating manner and the story is so […]

Crime novels and detective stories for learning English

B@E listener Christiane enjoys reading detective novels in English, and recommended the following authors: Elisabeth George Colin Dexter Ian Rankin

Harry Potter – enjoyable and fun reading for learning English

The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling are a favorite with learners of English. For instance, B@E listener Christiane wrote in to say: I have read a lot of books in English already, but I have to admit: it was the whole Harry Potter series I liked best! The witch-and-wizard-vocabulary is quite easy to learn […]

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

Alfredo, a listener from Miami Florida, called in to recommend Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx,a short (64-page) romantic story with an unusual twist, set in the mountains of Wyoming. I read the reviews on Amazon and ordered it myself; thanks for the tip, Alfredo!

Thrillers and comedy – a nice combination!

Paul wrote in to suggest the following: Thrillers written by Richard North Patterson, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and Jonathan Kellerman. He finds that the tension in these books holds his interest and keeps him reading until the end; he freely admitted that sometimes he skips the long descriptive passages (e.g., the descriptions of weapons in […]

Better at English readers’ book recommendations

Thanks to everyone who’s responded to my question about your favorite books in English. Reading books in English about topics that interest you is a wonderful way to improve your knowledge about English vocabulary and grammar and have fun at the same time. Your suggestions are listed below. There is no deadline for making suggestions, […]

Making presentations in English: video resources for teachers and advanced learners of English

Many of my students tell me that they want to learn how to make presentations in English. Additionally, many teachers of English are required to teach presentation techniques (or at least require their students to make presentations) during their courses. I think that of the best ways to help yourself become a better presenter is […]

Grammar mistakes that make you look like a dork: its vs. it’s

Some grammar mistakes are surprisingly frequent even among educated native speakers of English. When it comes to written English, a lot of these mistakes involve words or phrases that sound the same but are spelled differently…One of the most notorious of these grammatical pet peeves is when people write the wrong form of its/it’s. That’s what I will try to help you with today. This may be a bit difficult to follow if you are just listening, so I suggest you go to the website and have a look at the transcript…