Tag Archive: English Speaking Practice

Tara’s ESL VLOG: American Pronunciation – Part 3 – Consonant Sounds


Today’s video is the third installment of a series of videos about pronunciation that I am making for my students and YouTube viewers. In the first video we went over the Alphabet and the names of the letters that you are familiar with. The second video discussed the vowels and the use of the Color Vowel Chart. This video will focus on the Consonants, and the sounds they make. The most important part of today’s’ lesson is to remember that the “names” of the letters, ARE NOT the sounds they make. Today, we will practice the sounds. If you study the sounds of English then you will be able to improve your fluency by mastering STRESS and LINKING – 2 important components to sounding like a native speaker, and being understood by native speakers. So, let’s get started, and take a look at how to produce the consonant sounds of the English language.


Tara’s ESL Blog: Speaking English With Confidence


Today’s blog is about CONFIDENCE, which is such an important topic when it comes to learning a foreign language. I would say that almost all of my students came to me looking for help with confidence in speaking English. They want to be able to speak without pauses, express themselves clearly, and be able to talk about a variety of topics. In my classes, we work on all of these areas — learning new vocabulary, discussing important issues and daily activities, practicing pronunciation — but how do you LEARN to be more confident? Well, after having studied three languages, I discovered that even though many people think that vocabulary and grammar are the essentials to confident speaking, there are other changes you must make in order to BUILD the confidence you need and want to have. So, what should you do?

To start, STOP being scared of making mistakes. Mistakes while speaking in English are the best way to learn new things because they help you REMEMBER key vocabulary in the future. The mistake leaves an IMPRESSION on your mind and for that reason is easier to retrieve from your memory in the future. As a student of foreign languages, it is impossible to avoid making mistakes here and there, so the sooner you become COMFORTABLE with it, the better you will feel and communicate.


Tara’s ESL Blog: Learning English with Books – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Chapter 1

Tara’s Lessons for ESL Students: Learning English with Books


Many of my students and I enjoy using different types of fictional and non-fictional texts during our classes. One of my favorites (and one of my students’ favorites as well) is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by the beloved British author Roald Dahl.  Although considered a children’s book, it is a story that is fun for young and old readers and appeals to people from all over the world.

There are so many reasons why this novel is great for students of English! First of all, the vocabulary used in this book is interesting and very useful in everyday life. The new words and idiomatic phrases you learn are repeated throughout the story, and will STAY in your mind because you are reminded of them from start to finish. Also, there is lots of SPOKEN English used in this book, so you get an idea for how native speakers really talk to each other, and then hopefully go out and use it! Finally, this novel allows ESL students to have fun while accomplishing the goal of reading a complete book in English!

In today’s blog we will take a look at a typical lesson for this novel. I hope you enjoy it!


Read more, Learn more, Speak more

When I was attending university, working towards my degree in Spanish and Italian, I had to read a lot of books. Stories such as Don Quixote by Cervantes and Como Agua Para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, filled my head with new phrases, exquisite vocabulary and a strong sense for Latin culture. What I did not realize while I was reading – and writing! Oh, the multitude of essays that I had to write! – was that my speaking was going to improve as well.