Thursday, 18 July 2013

How Eye Contact Works

Most of us know that use of eye contact can be important, and that the "rules" are different from culture to culture.

"Eye contact can signal love, hate, intelligence, creepiness, persuasion, sarcasm—and sometimes lies."

So, how does eye contact work?

Read more at:

Monday, 15 July 2013

Culture: How to Shake Hands Correctly in the American Business World

In many cultures, people shake hands when meeting and greeting. However, the way people shake hands varies enormously not only from one culture to another but also within cultures.

Here's an excellent article about how to shake hands in the business world in the USA:

Do you shake hands in your culture? Is the way you shake hands different to the US business style?

With thanks to SalFalko ( for the image.

Awesomely Untranslatable Words From Around The World

It's interesting to consider the relationship between language and culture. This article lists twenty words for which there is no equivalent in English. Do you know of any untranslatable words or concepts in your first language?

20 awesomely untranslatable words from around the world (via Matador Network)

Photo: laogooli There are at least 250,000 words in the English language. However, to think that English – or any language – could hold enough expression to convey the entirety of the human experience is as arrogant of an assumption as it is naive…

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Learning a foreign language: five most common mistakes

Do you think that only highly intelligent and talented people can succeed in learning foreign languages? Wrong!

You simply need to know how to learn in the right way. Read this extremely helpful article to get yourself on the right track.

"Here are the five most common mistakes language learners make – and how to correct them..."

Are you making some of these mistakes?

Spend five to ten minutes writing about how you plan to change!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Which are the best online dictionaries for learners of English?

Here's a link to another blog which you may find helpful if you're not sure which online dictionaries to use:

I would add that I like because the definitions are clear and easy to understand, you can click to hear the pronunciation of the words and because examples of the usage of the words are given, including use in idioms.

As always, feel free to ask questions or add comments here!

Which topics do you think are most difficult to talk about?

Do you find it easy to talk about computers? How about clothes? Or pets?

Everyone has different interests so we may not find all topics equally easy to talk about. That's one reason why IELTS candidates need to expose themselves to a wide range of material by a variety of different people when reading and listening. A few times per week, when listening and reading in English, you should deliberately choose topics outside your usual range of interests and speakers/writers with whom you might not agree or even find appealing!

Then again, some topics - such as "love" - might be considered difficult by most people. Here are some interesting definitions of love to reflect on:

What Is Love? Famous Definitions from 200 Years of Literary History

by Maria Popova

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only with what you are expecting to give — which is everything.”

See more definitions here:

Which definition do you like most?

What is your own definition of love?