Who Are You Talking To?

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When you speak English, one of the things you must think about is relationships. Who are you talking to? How well do you know them? What is the situation?

It is useful, especially in business situations, to be formal. In most native-English speaking cultures, business relationships start formal then become more informal as the relationship develops.

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Sequence Options to Sound Natural



When you are giving a list of options for others to choose from or explaining options to people, try to sequence the options so you sound natural.

An example of this could be transport options.

You can get the train, the bus or walk to my house.

This is OK but you can show that while walking might not be popular it is possible.
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Audio Diaries Give You Speaking Practice

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The other day I was teaching an upper-intermediate student who had difficulties presenting her ideas about a process. She said she finds writing much easier than speaking.
“You should start an audio diary,” I suggested.

“What do you mean?” she asked.
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How to Test Your Progress

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There are so many different standardised tests available to test your English skills: the Cambridge certificates, TOEIC, TOEFL, IELTS, BULATS and, here in Japan, the Eiken/STEP test.

For a lot of people, these tests are pointless. If you need the certificate to get a job or a college place, go for it. If not, read on.

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