English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest material and news from English Banana.com

‘Castles’ in the air

Originally posted on englishglobalcom:

International flights are a great opportunity to see English working as a lingua franca. When you take off from Zurich to Madrid as I did the other day, the safety demonstration and other standard messages that you get over the speakers are not aimed at native speakers, and usually aren’t given by native speakers.

It was interesting to listen to the Spanish-L1 crew member who guided us into Madrid last week. As we were coming in to land, she come over the intercom to tell us about the ‘luggage [ˈkɛːsel] . It took me a while to realize that she was saying ‘carousel’. A few minutes later, as we were taxiing towards the terminal building, the pilot, also Spanish, hoped that we had had a ‘[ˈkʌmfɔtɪbl] flight’.

Presumably the member of the cabin crew who produceed [ˈkɛːsel] for ‘carousel’ was doing her best to approximate to the weak vowels that are characteristic of unstressed syllables in…

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BBC News style guide now globally available

Originally posted on Sentence first:

I do enjoy a good style guide: browsing the alphabetical entries, reading the general advice sections, learning how organisations handle sensitive subjects, and seeing how different publishers treat the same material. What usage fiend doesn’t find this stuff fascinating?

So I was very happy to learn today that the BBC News style guide is now fully and freely available online.  It went public about a year ago but didn’t appear to be accessible outside the UK, except for a PDF which, though generally excellent, dates to March 2003.

The online BBC style guide is searchable and easy to navigate. As well as the usual A–Z it has sections on names, numbers, military, and religion. Its page on grammar, spelling and punctuation offers useful tips on capitalisation, homophones, hyphens, US/UK differences, and timeworn bugbears (“By all means, split the infinitive…”), though it also unhelpfully upholds the dubious that/which

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Wild Wednesdays

Originally posted on Idioma Extra:

Dictation Exercise

Dictation is when someone listens to something that is being said and they write down exactly what that person says. For example, if I say to you “Today is July ninth and the weather is perfect.” you would write down, “Today is July ninth and the weather is perfect.” This was very common for secretaries to do many years ago before computers changed the need for this (though it still happens in court rooms).

This is also happens to be a wonderful listening and writing practice for you while you are learning English. It gets to you to focus and listen closely to what people are saying. It also gets you to focus on your writing/spelling to see if it is correct too.

Check out this website for hundreds of dictation exercises and good luck practicing your listening and writing skills!

Dictation Exercises here!

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All learning resources on EnglishBanana.com are now in the public domain! :)

Let’s compare two English Banana.com worksheets:

This is Worksheet A:

EnglishBanana.com Public Domain

EnglishBanana.com Public Domain

…and this is Worksheet B:


EnglishBanana.com Public Domain

Did you notice the difference? Yes, they are the same worksheet, from the Big Grammar Book. But there is a crucial difference. The first one belongs to the past and the second to now and the future. The removal of the tiny copyright symbol makes a big difference to what you can now do with English Banana.com resources – all 4,000+ pages of them!

Find out more here.




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