Welcome to Better at English! This site is devoted to helping non-native speakers improve their English. In addition to our Real English Conversations podcast, you’ll find short lessons, listening activities, tips, and advice that can help make learning English an enjoyable part of your day. And it’s all FREE! (The site is supported by the modest income generated by the ads.)
My name is Lori Linstruth, and I’m the owner of and principle contributor to Better at English. I fell in love with EFL teaching in 1996, when I tried it as a hobby while living in Indonesia. That led me to complete the RSA CELTA at The British Institute in Jakarta, and later down the line add a B.S. in Education and an M.A. in English from Vaexjoe University in Sweden. All told, I taught EFL off-and-on for about 10 years.
I started Better at English in 2006 when I was working in Sweden as a corporate language instructor, mainly for my students’ and my own entertainment. In 2007 I quit teaching and moved to the Netherlands, where I now spend most of my time working behind the scenes in the music business. That’s right, the music business. It’s truly never too late to venture out of your comfort zone and try your hand at something completely different!
You might wonder why I still run Better at English even though I’m not actively teaching EFL. It’s simple: everything to do with learning and psychology is fascinating to me, and working on B@E when I can lets me do something productive with my interests and TEFL background. But truth be told, my years of experience frustration teaching English to adults in the workplace were also a factor. Most of my students wanted to improve their informal conversational English. But authentic conversation is where conventional TEFL materials tend to disappoint.
In my experience, most mass-market English teaching materials suck when it comes to providing examples of authentic, informal, everyday conversations; the dialogs are contrived, stilted and usually boring. My best guess is that they reflect the English that textbook writers WISH were spoken instead of the English native speakers actually use when left to their own devices in the real world. B@E is my reaction to that frustration. My Real English Conversations podcast aims to provide examples of authentic conversations for learners (and teachers) of English who are looking for entertaining, authentic alternatives to conventional TEFL materials. And best of all, they come with full transcripts and language notes — all for free. I try to highlight idioms, slang, phrasal verbs and informal colloquial English, with occasional forays into specialist vocabulary that I find interesting.
I hope you’ll enjoy your visit to Better at English and that you’ll find the materials here useful. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, I would love to hear from you!
Best wishes for your continued English language learning,