Britlish

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English in Use | Conversations | Listenings | Speaking

English in Use

The Activities categorised as English in Use look at the way we use English in everyday life. The Activities cover the actual use of English and examine grammar, punctuation, and functionality of the language. For any student studying English as a second language or English as a foreign language, English in Use Activities are particularly useful for improving speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. These Activities will help you to develop your confidence in using different types of text such as fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as learning to speak and write about things such as the weather and travel, as well as preparing you for typical situations such as ordering in a restaurant or buying a train ticket.

Conversations

Conversation or dialogue simulations use the latest technology to bring you as close an experience as you can get to an actual English conversation. By imitating real world conversations, you can practice your communication skills on any device and receive instant feedback on your mistakes and your accuracy. The conversation simulators also give you the chance to look at specific areas of English where you might be having problems.

Listenings

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 Activities will help you to develop you listening skills.  

Speaking

It's not easy to teaching speaking skills remotely through a website, however good the site is. To really practice your speaking skills, you need someone to speak to who can correct your mistakes as you go. The Activities here will go some way to helping you to improve your speaking skills by helping you to mirror the speech you hear in the lesson. In this way, you can notice how your speech differs from that in the Activities and, by recording your own speech, you can adjust your pronunciation to more accurately match that in the Activities.

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This Conversation Activation Pack will give you practice in using the following expressions in a natural, realistic way: a bit rich, bail out, bite the hand that feeds you, build bridges, bump into, by any means, call on, come across, come by, come off it, contrite, get out of hand, hear someone out, hook up, jammy, make amends, not have the foggiest, not put something past someone, olive branch, pay off a debt, pilfer, Ponzi scheme, pop in, pull someone’s leg, reflect on, ring a bell, run into, sent down, spot on, sure-fire, time off for good behaviour, to sink something, to what do I owe this pleasure, turn over a new leaf, turn the clock back, weasel, and win someone round.

Something that is a bit rich is considered to be unfair given the circumstances. To rescue someone from financial difficulties is to bail them out. To repay generosity or kindness with ingratitude or injury is to bite the hand that feeds you. To build bridges is to find ways to improve the relationship between people who do not like or trust each other or who disagree about something. To bump into someone is to meet them unexpectedly, often after a considerable absence. It can also be used literally to mean collide with someone. In any possible way is by any means. The expression by any means is often used in the negative. To call on someone is to pay them a visit. To come across someone or something is to find them by chance in an unexpected place or time. To come by is to visit a place often casually. Come off it is an imperative phrase aimed at a person who you consider to be acting in a foolish manner or saying things that are seemingly untrue. To be contrite is to be feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offences. When situations reach a point where they are out of control, we say that they have got out of hand. To hear someone out is to give them the opportunity to tell you their side of something. To meet with someone is to hook up. A very lucky person is known as jammy. Putting things right and helping to mitigate the harm you may have done is making amends. To not have the foggiest idea is an expression which means you do not know anything about what is being talked about. To say of someone that you would not put it past them is to say that you believe that they are capable of doing something especially bad, immoral, selfish... An offering of peace and conciliation is an olive branch. To pay off a debt is to pay back the full amount owed to someone so that you are free of financial obligation. To pilfer is to steal things that belong to others. A Ponzi scheme is a fraud disguised as an investment opportunity, in which initial investors and the perpetrators of the fraud are paid out of funds raised from later investors, and the later investors lose all funds invested. To pop in is to visit someone for a brief period, usually without prior notice. To pull someone's leg is to tease or joke with someone by trying to convince them that something is true when it is not. To reflect on something is to think carefully and deeply about it, especially when such reflection can help you to see how you can improve your performance. When something rings a bell, it makes you remember something you had forgotten about for a long time. Similar to bump into or come across, run into means to meet someone unexpectedly and by chance. To be sent down is to be convicted of a crime and sentenced to a period of time in prison. Something is spot on when it is completely accurate and correct. A sure-fire investment is one which cannot fail to make the investor rich. Anything that is considered to be 100% certain can also be described as sure-fire. Getting time off for good behaviour is when a prisoner is released early from prison because they have behaved well and have not been in any trouble while inside. To sink something is to damage it so badly that it cannot be saved and, in terms of a business, it will be ruined. We say, "To what do I owe this pleasure?", when someone arrives unexpectedly and we are pleased to see them. It can also be used ironically. Someone who has turned over a new leaf  has changed their formerly bad behaviour into more socially acceptable behaviour. The desire to turn the clock back is the desire to go back to an earlier time and prevent something which has had bad consequences from happening. A weasel is a person who is regarded as treacherous or sneaky. To win someone round is to persuade them to see your side of an argument or get them on your side.

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