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25th April 2016

Big Eyes

Last week we considered the eye-brow flash and its implications on communication. Well, the theory goes something like this. Between English native speakers, the eye-brow flash is believed to be an indication of the trustworthiness of the speaker. It’s a subliminal message that, if not received, could make the non-recipient feel uncomfortable. Obviously, you can […]

By |December 10th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

The Eyebrow Flash

I bet you’ve been thinking about last week’s blog and the question tags, innit. Well, one of the most interesting features to accompany the body movements reinforcing the intonation patterns is known, very unscientifically, as ‘the eyebrow flash’. This is the automatic movement of the eyebrows used subconsciously to reinforce the main stress and the […]

By |December 3rd, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


I trust you’ve been moving your body to reflect your intonation patterns over the last week, I know I have! Anyway, back to question tags. In recent years, with the growth of ‘Global English’, question tags have proved quite challenging, to the extent that many of them have been replaced by the ubiquitous ‘innit’.

Originally […]

By |November 26th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


I hope you’ve been practising your intonation patterns since last week’s blog. So, this week I’d like to return to the subject of question tags. Depending on which intonation pattern the speaker chooses, we can read a lot into what has been said. “You work at ETC, don’t you?” (Rising intonation, possibly a ‘real question’, […]

By |November 19th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


For the last couple of blogs we’ve been considering question tags and intonation. After last week’s blog one or two people asked about where to begin the rise and the fall, as not all languages have the same conventions. Well, I have a pretty neat trick to help with this, so here’s what you […]

By |November 13th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


Happy Bonfire Night! Lots of fireworks around Charminster this weekend and one or two spent rockets in the back garden this morning! Now, talking of rockets, intonation; wheeeee! There are five intonation ‘tones’ in English, namely, ‘level’, ‘rising’, ‘falling’, ‘rising-falling’ and ‘falling-rising’. To find them, try this trick. Start by saying the nasal sound /m/. […]

By |November 5th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Do, don’t?

Hope you looked up Area 51! They’re living amongst us, aren’t they! Aren’t they? Anyway, back to question tags and those ‘rules’. If the statement has an auxiliary, then use it in the tag: it is straightforward, isn’t it? If it doesn’t have an auxiliary in the statement, use ‘do’: I come from Bournemouth, […]

By |October 29th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Happy 50 Blogs

I hope you liked last week’s poem J. Today we reach another milestone in the life of the ETC International College blog. The fiftieth edition! Goodness me, how time flies. As promised, here are some more tips for developing your spelling. We’ve already considered the LOOK – COVER – WRITE – CHECK technique, and how […]

By |October 15th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Time for a test

Welcome back to the ETC International College, Bournemouth. blog. We’ve already established that the best way to become an excellent speller is to learn to do it visually, so today I’d like to pass on another tip.

Look for words which have the same patterns; the same letter combinations. ‘Test’ yourself on the following group of […]

By |October 8th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Happy Birthday

Welcome back. This ETC International College, Bournemouth blog, has now entered its second year, so Happy Birthday to Us J Yeeah! Now where were we? Oh yes, spelling. Last week we established that the way to become an excellent speller was to learn to spell visually. It’s not what a word sounds like, but what […]

By |October 1st, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments