Can you tell the difference between farther and further or especially and specially? Do you know for certain when to use arrive in or arrive at? Which one is American English at the weekend or on the weekend, math or maths? Is it think of, about, in or on?? Do you have problems using and/or pronouncing weigh, weighed and weight? You are pretty certain you know how to use boring and bored, but does it work the same for stressed and stressing? If these questions have raised serious doubts, then this post is for you. 🙂
Click on the picture if you want to go straight to the section
I sometimes have to remind my students I’m not a walking dictionary !! I honestly believe what makes a good teacher is not how many words he knows in the dictionary or whether he knows a given idiomatic expression. I don’t think knowing what “stuck in a rut” means makes you a good or a bad teacher. I firmly believe a good teacher is the one who loves his work and is able to transmit his love for what he does to his students and is able to keep them motivated whenever they want to give up. I have learned that being a good teacher is not teaching to those who want but to those who don’t.
Although initially English is not such a difficult language to learn, it cannot be argued that for some students it is easier than for others. Take for example , a native speaker of Dutch or German and a native speaker of Japanese or Russian. Obviously, German and Russian are closely related to English whereas Japanese or Russian are completely unrelated so I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions in this matter.
Very often students tend to systematically makes mistakes with a given word either in its pronunciation or in the way it collocates with certain prepositions, adjectives …etc and we cannot forget here the issue of false friends which causes so many problems and, trust me, sometimes funny misunderstandings, like in Spanish, the false friend “embarrassed ” and “pregnant”.
To help my students and readers of this blog overcome these difficulties, I have created a new section in this bog called CONFUSING WORDS. I hope it’s helpful!