Boosting your confidence as an English learner

I’m currently working on creating more visibility for my courses, part of the work involves determining the biggest needs of my clients. This, of course, leads me to think about those needs. So what are they?

Apart from the most obvious question of learning or perfecting English, one very big concern that I hear about from 80% of my learners is a lack of confidence. Many of us are much more aware of our weaknesses than of our strengths. So, someone learning English is often very aware of what they don’t know. However, as important as it is to know where we need to improve, it is also imperative to know what we know! There is always going to be a world of things we don’t know, but there is also going to be more and more of what we do know. Learners should zone in on their strengths.

One way I like to emphasize this in my lessons is by frequently reviewing points we’ve already looked at: by going over what we know we gain confidence and solidify those skills. We reinforce our knowledge and gradually add to it.

This process also reminds me of something I read in a book once: one character asked another to make a list of everything good in her life, everything she was thankful for. This helped her overcome difficulties she was experiencing. Similarly, you, as a learner, can keep a list of everything you can do in your second language. Then, add to the list. Be sure to jot down the date, and keep adding what you can do. Refer back to this list every once in a while, remind yourself what you can do, not just what you have left to learn!

Entrepreneurs do something similar: Every time you fail, you learn something from it. So we should always ask ourselves: what did I learn from this particular failure? Just because you fail in something, doesn’t mean you fail in life.

In languages it’s the same- some words/concepts stick better than others, but that doesn’t mean that the stubborn ones will never stick, they just take a little more time. In the end, you probably won’t even notice when you stop making those mistakes because you’ll be focused on the next ones. Remember to acknowledge what you’ve learned: we have to celebrate our wins, no one is going to do it for us.

So here is what I’m celebrating this week: I no longer feel nervous to speak to some over the phone in French. It took me many years to overcome my fear of communicating over the phone in my third language, and I think it’s worth celebrating! Don’t you?

What knowledge do you want to celebrate this week? For example, did you learn a new word, expression, or did you successfully use a new tense? Let us know!

*Thank you to Guille Álvarez for his photo from Unsplash.

Arrivals

I’m finally back! And it’s been an interesting month. Moving is always trying. Not only did we have to organise boxes, suitcases, and animals, but also: furnishing the new apartment, discovering where to buy nutritious food, getting to know the area, and so much more!

Here is a little about our trip in a nutshell:

  • I got a gum infection 2 days before leaving France, and on the weekend, no less, so I couldn’t find a doctor or dentist for help! I spent the airplane ride in pain as well as subsequent days and nights, until I found a lovely dentist in Montréal who treated it and gave me painkillers!
  • We spent 5 hours waiting for my husband’s work permit to be delivered by the authorities. I did manage, however, to get permission to find our 3 pets (who were carelessly left on the side in the baggage claim area, without food or water or care!). Poor things, they were covered in pee, scared to death, and thirsty!
  • Our little boy (5) was so stressed about not seeing daddy that he wouldn’t let me take my eyes off of the escalator while he tried to rest on the hard bench, covered with my big scarf.
  • We arrived so late that I told my friend to just go home with our stuff, which meant that we slept on an improvised bed of clothes and towels in our totally empty apartment!
  • The following day was dedicated to me finding dental care and my husband and son buying us inflatable mattresses and all the basics!

Suffice it to say: it was quite the adventure.

Although it wasn’t the ideal way to travel, I’m always inclined to try to look on the bright side. Our kid took the plane ride pretty well, my husband got his work permit without any issues, the pets arrived safely, I was able to get the medical attention I needed… So even though I’d rather not repeat the fiasco, it’s all good!

Do you have any wild travel stories to tell us about? Why not practice your English skills by posting your own story, however simple! I’ll correct it for you and send you my feedback within a week. 🙂 Too shy to make it public? Send it by email!

Glossary

moving (to move) – déménager

trying (something is trying, as in, difficult) – éprouvant 

furnishing – ameublement 

nutritious – sain

getting to know (get to know) – apprendre à connaître

gum (body part) – la gencive 

the airplane ride – trajet en avion 

subsequent – suivant

treated – traité (une maladie)

painkiller(s) – antidouleur

delivered (given) – donné 

to get permission – avoir la permission

carelessly – de manière négligente 

on the side – sur le coté 

baggage claim area – retrait des bagages (à l’aéroport)

scared – effrayé 

thirsty – avoir soif

take my eyes off – quitter des yeux

scarf – écharpe 

improvised – improvisé

clothes – vêtements 

towel(s) – serviette éponge

suffice it to say – je me contenterai de dire que

quite – assez (assez cher; assez froid; assez bon, etc.)

although – même si

inclined – avoir tendance à faire (qqch)

look on the bright side – voir le bon coté des choses 

issues – problèmes

safely – en sécurité 

able – capable

get – obtenir

however simply – aussi simple que ce soit

feedback – remarques 

within – dans

shy – timide 

Virtual Museums

woman at artwork gallery
Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

Over the past few years, visiting any kind of museum has become difficult; they’ve all been intermittently closed. Even when they’re open, many people feel a bit nervous about going on a visit, particularly if they have loved ones with fragile health. Thank goodness, then, for technology. Today, anyone with a computer, or a tablet and an internet connection can go on a virtual tour. You might be thinking: but it’s not the same! I absolutely agree. However, many museums have really found their feet in their virtual worlds and have reinvented how we might go about a visit.

Here are just a few examples of how technological innovation is changing our approach to the modern museum tour.

The British Museum

The Museum of the World (https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/) is just plain cool. When you enter the museum, you are confronted with a timeline. You use this to travel through time, up and down, using your mouse, or the arrows displayed on the screen. As you travel, you will notice different coloured points, which represent the objects that have been found from each period. Each colour represents a different geographical region. What’s interesting about this, is that you can compare what was happening, or what was produced in different geographical areas around the world at roughly the same period.

When once you click on a point, you can learn more, with a high resolution image, and information about the object, which you can read or listen to. Honestly, it’s pretty awesome. There is also a legend on the right hand side from which you can choose the topic you’re most interested in, for example, art and design.

This is really something you can do on a rainy day, or in the evening by yourself or with your kids. I’ve never seen world history presented in a linear fashion like this, and it’s definitely worth taking a few minutes out of your day to see if it’s something that floats your boat.

If, on the other hand, you are interested in a more traditional online visit, you can simply navigate to the British Museum’s collection (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection) and browse to your heart’s content.

The MET

Do you like art? History? Art history? On the MET’s website, you’ll find videos, their whole collection, learning resources, and all sorts of things for kids and adults alike. They even have a site dedicated specially to kids, with videos, stories, and lot’s more.

It’s really interesting to just explore the site and get lost in all the different things that are offered.

Google Arts & Culture

Perhaps you would like to find everything in one place. Then hit up Google Arts & Culture. There you will find the online collections of all the major world museums; it’s stunning and impressive that we can see all this without ever leaving our home. Of course, you can’t beat going there in person, but few of us are able to travel so widely, even without a Pandemic raging. So, why not check it out?

Conclusion

four paintings on wall
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Granted, this is a rather short list, but it’s already more than enough to occupy eons of your time over the next few weeks. So have a go! And don’t forget to let us know if you have found any online collections we should know about!

Shopping for a home

Apprenez de l'anglais : l'immobilier. Parler de l'immobilier en anglais. Cours d'anglais avec Klaudyna : des cours ludiques pour adultes et enfants !

Il est temps pour notre famille de chercher un nouveau « chez nous ». Alors, je me suis dit que ce serait un bon sujet de blog car tout le monde passe par là ! La tâche n’est jamais facile, mais elle est rendu encore plus délicate si on ne la fait pas dans une langue que l’on maîtrise, ou même dans notre langue maternelle, car on peut très bien se débrouiller dans une langue mais manquer du vocabulaire spécifique à l’immobilier.

Donc, cette article est pour vous si vous désirez apprendre un peu sur le langage de l’immobilier en anglais !

SEARCHING FOR A HOUSE OR AN APARTMENT

Are you looking for a new home? What kind of home are you looking for? Perhaps a house? Or maybe an apartment? Did you know: in British English (BE) people often use the word flat to mean apartment.

We are currently looking for an apartment, even though we would prefer a house. However, houses are much more expensive than apartments. Renting a house can be very pricey, particularly if you’re looking for something downtown or in a more up-market neighbourhood. Or, maybe you’re looking for something in the suburbs?

So, do you want to rent, or buy? How many bedrooms are you looking for? We’re looking for a 3 bedroom apartment with a large balcony or back yard. Also on our list is a bathtub, our current flat doesn’t have one, it only has a shower and I miss taking hot bubble baths!

Here are some other things you might be looking for in your new home:

  • A/C or air conditioning la climatisation
  • Utilities – heating, water, etc. Are they included? Chauffage, eau…
  • Furnished, semi-furnished, unfurnished (meublé ou non meublé)
  • Short-term, long-term rental
  • Year built (année de construction)
  • Square footing – in the US and in Canada, real estate is measure in square
  • feet (pieds carrés).
  • Hardwood floors plancher de bois franc
  • (Private) patio/balcony/terrace
  • Ensuite laundry (in the unit, or is it in the communal laundry room?)
  • buanderie, locale pour la laveuse/secheuse
  • Apartment complex (collection of buildings and amenities that make up the « résidence » ).
  • Bachelor, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, etc. les pièces – une chambre, deux, un studio, etc.
  • Open concept kitchen cuisine américaine
  • Home office, office space bureau, coin bureau
  • Multi-level, duplex, penthouse (top floor apartment)
  • Cityscape, landscape (the view – la vue)
  • Close to all amenities, convenient location (proche des commerces et infrastructures)
  • Downtown, suburbs (les banlieues – style américain)
  • Have I missed anything? Let me know!

Cherchez-vous actuellement un appartement dans un pays anglophone? Est-ce qu’il manque de choses sur la liste dont vous avez besoin ? N’hésitez pas à me le dire, je les ajoute !

Vous cherchez des cours d’anglais ? Contactez-moi pour qu’on en discute 🙂 !