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Why does my teacher make me use an English-English Dictionary?

Using a monolingual dictionary can be hard work, especially if you have to carry it all the way to class yourself! There are lots of good reasons why your teacher might want to train you in using an English-English dictionary, however, so if any of the reasons below are true for you or for your class it is probably worth listening to your teacher and putting in the extra effort.

Good reasons to use an English-English dictionary in class

1. Stop translating

The most important reason to start using a dictionary that only has English in it is the same reason teachers insist you use only English in the classroom. If you can switch off the L1 part of your brain in class it will eventually become possible to think in English and so speed up your comprehension and production of the language. Using a monolingual dictionary not only means you are reading in English and avoiding your own language, but that you can also copy the definition down into your notebook and so increase your use of English outside class as well.

2. Double practice

Many students are worried that when they look for one difficult English word in the dictionary they will just find it explained with another difficult word they also don't know. This will rarely happen with the right dictionary and if this happens all the time you should probably be using an easier one such as an Elementary Learners' Dictionary. If this still happens occasionally even when you have the right dictionary, that means that the word you don't know in the definition is also very useful and you are therefore getting double practice of English by learning that one too.

3. Grading

As mentioned above, English-English dictionaries are available in many different levels. By using an Intermediate Learners' Dictionary, for example, you will know that any words which you read in a text that do not appear in the dictionary are not important enough to learn at this stage of your English studies and so can be ignored. If there are many words in the article you are reading that are not in the dictionary for your level, that is also a good sign that the text is too difficult and you should reading a graded text instead. Bilingual dictionaries are not often graded this way.

4. Words that don't translate

Another problem students have if that they understand the English definition but still can't think what that word is in their own language, and so they go to a bilingual dictionary to check. Usually, though, this means that the translations given are not really the same thing as the English word. This is particularly true with personality words, where seemingly the same word in different languages might have very different positive and negative meanings. This is another case in which stopping translation helps- in this case to really learn what the English word means.

5. Learn English grammar words

Students also sometimes complain that words like "noun" and "adverb" in the English-English dictionary make the definitions difficult to understand, but these are words you will also need in order to be able to study English without using your own language. A dictionary is a very good place to learn grammar words from because the same words are repeated many times. Copying these words down (or short versions like "n" or "adv") when you learn new vocabulary can help you learn the vocabulary better and learn the grammar words at the same time. Knowing these words in English will also help you discuss the language with people who do not speak your language, for example if you study abroad.

6. More information

A good English-English dictionary for foreign language learners includes lots of extra information for study that most bilingual dictionaries leave out, such as the most used words in the English language, more definitions for each word, common confusions and mistakes, and the phonemic script for pronunciation

7. Checking with the teacher

If the teacher does not speak your language very well, the only way they can check if you have the right meaning of the word you are looking up is if the definition is in English.

8. Tying in with the textbook

Some textbooks have exercises that need monolingual dictionaries.

9. Learn to explain language in English

The way that a dictionary explains a word in simple language is very similar to what you will need to do if you can't think of a word in English and have to explain what you mean in other ways. Reading those kinds of explanations will make it easier for you to make explanations yourself such as "I can't think of the word, but it is a kind of...".

10. Cut down on dictionary use

Because using an English-English dictionary takes more time than using a bilingual one, especially an electronic one, this can stop students using dictionaries too often when they should be listening to the teacher or guessing words from context.

11. Quality control

By using a good English-English dictionary for learners recommended by your teacher, you can avoid the problems that some bilingual dictionaries (especially electronic ones) have such as lots of useless or out of date words no one uses and a lack definitions for each word.
Written by Alex Case.
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How to learn new vocabulary effectively

1. If you come across a potentially useful new word or phrase in a text, use a dictionary to look it up. Pay particular attention to the example sentences given and any information given about collocations.

2. If a word or phrase seems speccailised, obscure or recondite, you should not necessarily try to remember it- often you can guess its meaningfrom the context anyway. Make your own choices about new words or phrases are "useful" or not.

3. Hightlight useful new words so that they stand out whenever you flip through the book. Flip through the units you have covered so far at least once a week- you could do this on the bus, on your way to or from class, for example.This helps you to assimilate the words so that eventually you can incorporate them into your active vocabulary, and use them in yor writing and conversation.

4. Writing new words on your notebook will help you to memorise new words, particularly their meaning. If you put words in categories, rather than making a chronological list, it will be easier to find them again later. New words can be stored under topic headings: Free time, Sport, Music, Literature, ect. Or you may prefer to build up a "personal dictionary" where each fresh page lists words beginning with A, B, C and so on.

5. Use a loose-leaf "personal organiser" or filofax as your vocabulary notebook. New pages can be inserted when you run out of space in each category. Or use a notebook computer.

6. When writing new words in your notebook, write an example of each word in a sentence, as well as a definition. If it is a difficult word to pronounce, make a note of its pronunciation too. Leave a line space between each entry in case you want to add more information at a later date.
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Some Tips for Learning English Effectively

Learning any new language takes a lot of dedication, practice and time. But all of that pays off when you are able to express yourself in an exciting new way. Learning English has limitless advantages. Job markets increase, grades go up and new friends are made.

You will benefit greatly from learning English simply because so many people speak the English language. New horizons and opportunities will expand before your eyes. Use the following tips to help you in your language learning process.

· Have desire –Want to learn a new language. Learning English requires a lot of study and dedication. Only true desire will keep you motivated.

· Know your motive –Why do you want to learn English? Is it to help you in school, your business or something else? Identify your reason and remember it when you are having a hard time.

· Set goals –Set goals for yourself whether it be learning twenty words a week or giving a presentation in English at work next month. Goals will keep you motivated.

· Study a little each day –Studying formally for at least 30–60 minutes a day will help you retain what you learn. At the beginning of each study session, review what you learned in the lesson before.

· Make a set study schedule –Set aside a specific time for study each day. That way you are less likely to skip your lessons.

· Study out loud –Pronounce the words out loud to yourself as you study. You will remember them more easily and you will be able to practice your pronunciation at the same time.

· Use different learning methods –Language can be learned through different activities such as speaking, reading, writing, and associating pictures with words. Find out which method works best for you and use a variety of other methods for practice.

· Practice speaking –Practice the language you have learned as much as possible.

· Don't be afraid –Never be afraid to try speaking to other people even if you don’t know everything. They will appreciate your efforts.

· Surround Yourself –Surround yourself with English. Read it, listen to it, watch it and speak it with others.

· Listen to native speakers –Pay careful attention to native speakers using English. Observe the way they pronounce the words and how they use them.

· Pronunciation is key –Imitate native English sounds as closely as you can. The more closely you pronounce words like native speakers, the better you will be understood.

· Use good resources –Use dictionaries, workbooks, software and any other resource that will allow you to practice and expand your language.

· Use what you know –Even if you know relatively little English, you should use what you know. You will be surprised at how much you can communicate with a few words or phrases.

· Speed it up –Get used to listening to the language at normal speed. It will seem fast at first, but the more you know, the more it will sound normal.

· Don't get stuck –If you don’t know a certain word, work your way around it. Use different words and actions to explain it, but don’t give up.

· Have fun! –Learning a new language is fun and exciting. Recognize your progress and use your language for ultimate enjoyment.

These tips will help you on your way to English fluency. Enjoy your study and remember to use the language you have learned in as many circumstances as possible. Full immersion in the language is the fastest way to learn and learn well.
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Unit 1: Home Life


1. Reading
- Guessing meaning from context
- Passage comprehension
2. Speaking
- Asking and answering about household chores and family life
3. Listening
- Deciding on True or False statements
- Listening for specific information
4. Writing
- Writing about family rules
5. Language Focus
- Pronunciation: the pronunciation of the ending "s"
- Grammar: Tense revision



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Some Useful Tips for Learning New Words

It is important to increase your vocabulary in English. Every day you should learn 10 new words.

Vocabulary means not only different words but also different forms of these words - the Adjective, Noun, Verb and Adverb forms.

It is also a good idea to try to increase the words you know in particular topic areas so that you can discuss a range of topics. Organisation of vocabulary is important too.When learning new vocabulary a student of English needs to be aware of the several aspects of Vocabulary.

Vocabulary consists of:
1. Word Forms - the Adjective, Noun, Verb and Adverb forms. Words change their form depending on their function in a sentence.

2. Pronunciation/Stress - in a word with several syllables, which syllable carries the main stress? Stress conveys meaning.

3. Register - some words are more formal and more appropriate than others. One must choose the most appropriate word for the context.

4. Word choice - synonyms (words with similar meaning), opposites, paraphrase (describing something using a few words). Use a variety of vocabulary choices.

5. Organisation - organise your word lists meaningfully; and develop strategies for remembering new words. This will help you consolidate and extend your vocabulary.

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Slang and Idioms about Money

dough, moolah- money (non-countable.) I won a lot of dough at the casino. Look at all of this moolah!

greenback, buck- American dollar (countable.) Look at how many greenbacks you have in your wallet! Could you loan me a buck for the subway?

megabucks- a lot of money. I would love to be like Bill Gates. He has megabucks.

(work for) peanuts- almost no money, very little money. John should quit his job because he is working for peanuts and he can't afford his rent.

max out (a credit card)- spend up to the limit of a credit card. Susie bought so many clothes she maxed out her credit card.

bullet stretch money- be careful to make money one has last longer. Tony and Teri had to really stretch their money in order to pay all of their bills. They ate a lot of cheap food last month.

flip a coin- make a decision by tossing a coin in the air and calling heads or tails. (heads = side of coin with picture of a person's face, tails = opposite side of coin.) Let's decide who will start the game by flipping a coin.

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