Will Music Help You Study?
Will music help me study?If I listen to music, can I concentrate better?I get asked these questions from time to time.More often, I am told by students that it does help them but that is because they want music during our tutoring session.  Strangely, when I offer the kind of music that might actually be helpful, they are not so keen!In my opinion, music rarely helps you study or concentrate – unless you are studying music. I say “my opinion” because the studies are a...
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Appositive: A Positive Tool for Your Writing
Forgive the little play on words, but this blog is about using appositives.
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Your Schedule is Not Your Enemy!
Sometimes students, or anyone really, think that their schedule is their enemy.  They feel like a schedule is a prison or authoritarian dictator.If this is the case for you, then you are doing it wrong!Your schedule is not your enemy.In fact, it can become your friend and a lifesaver in some cases.  Okay, it is rarely literally a lifesaver, but still.When you set up your schedule – and remember it is yours, so unless you are a dictator, it can’t be one - make sure you leave...
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Q of the SQ3R Reading Method
Last week a student asked me about the question part, or Q, of the SQ3R Reading Method (survey, question, read, recite, review) which explains the title of this blog post. There are other reading methods that have a similar breakdown of components with some kind of preview and questioning before you do the close reading and concluding activities. They all work equally well if used correctly and consistently.The primary purpose of questions is to prepare you to engage with the material.  In ...
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Learning Styles – Truth or Myth?
Are learning styles a real thing or are they a myth?That is a good question, and you can get different answers depending on who you ask and how the question is interpreted.You have probably heard of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles.  Some lists include verbal, social, and solitary styles. Others include dozens of learning styles.You might even believe that you are a visual learner or a kinesthetic learner or an auditory learner and so on.  These labels and ideas have b...
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Should You Be Passive?
Should You Be Passive?I am not getting into a philosophical debate here.  I am talking about the passive voice when writing – particularly academic writing.Many style books and courses – including my own, recommend using the active voice.  Some go beyond recommendation, almost dictating the active voice, especially for academic writing.As with almost all English writing rules and conventions, there are lots of exceptions. The passive voice has its uses. You do not need...
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Spice Up Your Writing!
I am sure you have heard the following expression, “Variety is the spice of life.” In this blog, I am talking about using a variety of sentences to spice up your writing. I have made several blogs and videos about using a variety of sentences, so why another one?
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Useful Online Resources That Work
Now that all students have been forced back online for a while due to Covid, I thought it would be a good time to blog about some of the resources I use for tutoring my online students.  I have talked about some of these tools in previous blogs or videos, so you might want to check those out as well.I should note that some of these are very useful for in-person or printed material as well.When tutoring online, I want to talk to my students, see my students, and be able to work together with...
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Happy New Year! ~ New Lessons for Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing
I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. Let’s hope that 2021 brings a lot more favourable memories and experiences.With that in mind, I am producing some new lessons for those who are interested in improving their listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills.These lessons will help ESL, EFL, and other English learners who want to improve one or all of these skills.  The texts I will be using are suitable for young adult and adult learners who have an average understand...
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Short Attention Span – Use It!
I often hear some version of the following question:“How do I study with a short attention span?”Sometimes, it is no longer a question but a statement:“I can’t study because I have a short attention span.”(I can’t study because I have ADD.  I can’t study because I have ADHD.  I can’t study because I have ___________.)This is worrying because it becomes part of a student’s identity.  Once you begin to believe you can’t, yo...
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