Reading is the easiest way to take in English. Listening is a much harder skill and one that has to be developed as you study the language. There are lots of speech features that arise when native English speakers speak English. These speech features, such as elision, simplification, intonation, stress, and rhythm, and the way in which speakers may miss out sounds or whole words, are important to understand if you are to be able to listen to and fully understand spoken English. These Britlish Library lessons will help you to develop you listening skills.
Learn about the history of our use of electricity as well as some very useful vocabulary including amber, atom, attract, battery, charge, conductor, current, electricity, electron, flow, frog, generator, Leyden, magnet, negative, neutral, neutron, positive, potential, proton, repel, scrap, shell, shock, spark, and static.
However you prefer to travel, be it by car, by plane, by bike, or simply walking, transport of some form is part of your life. If you don't know the vocabulary to use when travelling or deciding on which transport to use, you're going nowhere. This lesson will teach you much of the language you need to know to talk about transport. The lesson looks at canoes, boats, walking, horse riding, horses and carts, trains, planes, cars, lorries, bicycles, motorcycles, sailing ships, and more, gives you plenty of exercises to help you learn, remember, and use the new vocabulary you have learned.
The language in this lesson is very important and yet it is never covered in any English textbooks or English classrooms. It is the language of the toilet and it is language that you need to learn if you are ever to call yourself proficient. It's not surprising that students never learn this language and that teachers never teach it as almost everyone in Britain is too shy to talk about it. This lesson breaks boundaries and is not afraid to teach you this most important subset of the English language. If you are easily offended by such language, you should still do this lesson.
Political correctness or PC is a term used to describe language designed not to cause offence to members of a particular group in society. The term is usually used to imply that the language is unwarranted and unnecessary. Political correctness extends beyond language to government policies and measures which are supposed to be more inclusive towards those traditionally discriminated against. This lesson will introduce you to some of the thinking behind political correctness as well as to some of the language that is now deemed to be politically correct.
In today’s virus-ravaged world, it is important to learn the language you need to speak about viruses and illness. This lesson will give you all the information you need. It’s based on a video English lesson I made in 2011 when I came down with flu. I thought I should revisit it during the Great Lockdown of 2020. After watching the videos, do the quiz to practice what you have learnt.
A quick look at how not all English from Britain sounds the same and how it can be quite confusing for students. There are 100s of regional accents and many distinct dialects in Britain. Many English people have difficulty understanding some of the more unusual varieties of English found in the British Isles, so it's no surprise that students of English are completely confounded when they first encounter such English. This lesson will introduce you to the wonderful world of the English heard in Yorkshire, a region of North East England, and a part of the country in which I spent some of my formative years.
Lost or dropped syllables are an important feature of British English pronunciation. Every word has at least one syllable, and many have more. Some words lose a syllable when speaking in order to make it easier to keep the underlying rhythm of English. This lesson explains in detail what syllables are and shows you which words lose syllables when speaking. The exercises in the interactive quiz give you some practice in hearing the dropped syllables and will help you to practice dropping the syllables yourself to sound more natural and fluent.
Whether you are English, Chinese, Polynesian, Russian, or any other nationality, you share the same anatomy as me. This anatomy, in terms of our vocal tract, limits the sounds that we can easily say in a sentence. Of the two types of sounds in English, consonants and vowels, we cannot easily say two vowel sounds one after the other. Linking sounds bridge the gap between such difficult-to-say combinations of sounds. There are three linking sounds in English: the linking W, the linking J, and the linking R. This lesson will help you to see and hear how linking sounds work and how they can help you to improve not only your accent but also your listening skills.
Ellipsis is the missing out of words or sounds. When writing, it is shown by the ellipsis sign of three dots … When speaking, we just don’t hear certain words in a sentence. It’s not that the words are not present, just that they are obvious and need not be spoken. Ellipsis can cause considerable problems for students of English who are used to saying every word in a sentence. Knowing how ellipsis works is one of the ways you can improve your listening skills. Don’t worry! Ellipsis and near ellipsis are not essential things to learn how to do. You will still be understood by all listeners if you don’t use ellipsis. However, you need to know how and why it happens if you want to fully understand native English speakers. We’re a lazy bunch, us English speakers, and anything we can do to get the message across with the minimal amount of effort we will do.
The pronoun, it, can be used for what is sometimes called the empty pronoun, or the dummy subject, because it does not to stand for anything in particular. Ellipsis or near ellipsis is a feature of English pronunciation that we see with many pronouns at the beginning of sentences, and particularly when we use the empty pronoun. Ellipsis is when the empty pronoun disappears completely, while near-ellipsis is when we are left with a little of the empty pronoun. Of course, we don’t have to leave out any of the sounds and can say the sentence in its entirety. We will still be understood, but it may not sound quite as natural as a native speaker. By learning about ellipsis and near ellipsis, you will also be priming your ear to better hear what native English speakers are saying. We will do some exercises to see if you can hear and identify this speech feature when listening to normal, fast-spoken English speech.
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