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25th April 2016


Welcome back everyone. Today I thought we’d have a complete departure from the grammar and the pronunciation of recent weeks by looking at how we can improve our spelling. When I was a ‘young’ teacher working in Saudi Arabia, over twenty years ago, I was introduced to two guys who would become very important in […]

By |September 24th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


Hi, I hope you liked last week’s blog. Michael Lewis, in his book ‘The English Verb’, uses the term ‘bi-punctual’ to talk about the -ing form, as it has two points, and I’ve found it very helpful. The –ing form can refer to the duration of a period ‘before the point now’, (I was watching […]

By |September 17th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Happy Anniversary

Welcome back everyone. It’s now almost twelve months since I began this blog for ETC International College, in the beautiful town of Bournemouth, on the sunny south coast of England. Way back in blog 6, October 30th last year, I wrote about ‘tense’ and ‘aspect’ and the ‘-ing’ form. I think it’s now time to […]

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

My name is John

Hi everyone! We’ve just had a brilliant Bournemouth Air Show weekend, with a great view of the Red Arrows from the Cliffs near to ETC. Anyway, let’s get back down to earth and continue our journey into English pronunciation land. So far, we’ve passed through the enchanted forest of long and short vowels, tackled the […]

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


The eagle-eyed amongst you will undoubtedly have noticed that we have been ‘blogless’ for a couple of weeks. This is because I have been away on my annual holiday. However, I’m back and eager to pick up where we left off. J

Fricatives! Yes, fricatives! The consonant sounds produced by friction! Let’s begin with the ones […]

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

The voice explodes.

As July glides into August, let’s look at the other plosives. This week the /t/ and the /d/, and the /k/ and the /g/. Once again, we have to be aware of giving, or not giving them a voice. /t/ has no voice as in the word ‘town’, /taʊn/. On the other hand, /d/ has […]

By |August 6th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments


So, as the weather finally becomes more British, let’s begin by looking the consonant sounds which ‘explode’ out of your mouth. These are called ‘plosives’ (for obvious reasons). They are /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, and /g/. It’s useful to remember that three of these sounds are pronounced by using your voice, and some are […]

By |July 30th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

It’s just a little bit hot…

My last two blogs have focused on the vowel sounds of English, so this week, let’s turn our attention to the consonant sounds, (not to be confused with the consonant letters). Out of the 44 sounds which make up English, we’ve established that some are vowel sounds and some are consonant sounds. Of the 20 […]

By |July 23rd, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Before or After?

“If I was in Australia, I would play cricket.”

Last week I asked you to consider this sentence and decide on a context where it could be used to refer to time ‘before the point now’ or time ‘after the point now’. How about this:

When the speaker was young, (s)he was the child of parents who travelled a […]

By |May 24th, 2018|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments

Grammar: Oh dear!

The success of any communication can be judged on the result you get. You can probably communicate most things through facial expression, body language and a few choice grunts!

However, this blog is going to focus on verbal communication in English, the use of words and grammar, which goes alongside the non-verbal, to help you to […]

By |September 26th, 2017|John Kay's Blog|0 Comments