GELT is closed until 01/11/18

Things are still on hold here at GELT. Now that I’ve moved country, I’m now moving city. I expect to be back 01/11/18. I hope you’re all having a wonderful October, it is my favourite month! 🎃🖤

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Grace is going on holiday😎🌞🌊🍍🍸

I am going to be away from Saturday 25th August to Saturday 8th September, 2018.

During this time, I will not be checking any of the ‘Grace English Language Teaching’ platforms or social media accounts very often, if at all.

Feel free to ask me questions as usual and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Some items, such as ‘word of the day’, may be set up to publish automatically. Please do not see these and think that it means I am ignoring your tweet or message! I will respond to you!

Thank you for your support 😊

Grace

Guest Post from Anna Kokkali: Top 3 Apps to Learn English

“Top 3 Apps to Learn English”
Language apps have been the latest trend for learning a new language. Those apps arose since technology has been developing in such a fast pace. They have changed the way people learn and retain a new language.
The best part of apps like KnowbleReader, Open Language, Busuu, is that you can constantly improve, immediately, from the comfort of your house or office. What is more is that many of them are with minimal cost, or even for free. They give everybody who downloads them the opportunity to kickstart their language learning journey easily and with little hassle.
Let me introduce you to three language apps that I personally find really useful for learning the English language.

 

    1. KnowbleReader: KnowbleReader is a Google Chrome extension that will transform the learning process into a fun and interesting journey. KnowbleReader is different from a usual English learning app because it gives you access to recent news articles from all around the world that fit your level of English.
      While you’re reading, you can translate unknown words immediately to the language of your preference.  It’s then possible to take small tests to practice what you have learned so far.
      KnowbleReader  is a nice way of expanding your knowledge, increasing your vocabulary and get familiar with terms that are used in the business world as well. At the same time, it’s a way of staying informed about what is happening around the world in your field of interest, whether it is sport, science, entertainment or something else.. You will learn words in their real context which will provide you with a better understanding of how the words are used. The extension is free and accessible to everyone. It will take only a couple of minutes to install it.

    2. Open Language: It is an app that aims to facilitate the way of learning English, especially if you have a busy schedule and not enough time to dedicate to studying. This application is organised and user-friendly.

 

Depending on the level and formality of English you want to learn, you can choose your topic accordingly. For example, there is the possibility of learning “English for making a reservation”, or “English for a fine dining.”

 

However, you might need to expand your knowledge on business issues and therefore you can choose topics such as: “English for Business Analysis Reports” or “Interview Skills.”

 

You will also receive some exercises to practise what you have learned so far and spot your weaknesses.

 

When it comes to cost, Open Language lets you  try courses for free to understand how the application works and see if it suits you. To purchase the full membership the price is 30$/month. The application is available for iOS and Android.

 

  1. Busuu: Busuu gives you the opportunity to set your own, manageable goals. Depending on the level of English, users have the option to select the lesson they want to start with. Busuu provides specific sections for vocabulary and grammar, but also includes a section where users can have casual conversations in order to put in use what  they have learned so far. It indicates the correct way for speaking the language and how to correctly use what you have learned so far in the other sections.

 

The application is available on App store and Google Play. It is for free to download, and different subscription fees depending on the subscription that someone selects.

 

The aim of these language apps is to facilitate the process of learning a new language, and to make it more interesting and fun.

 

For many people, learning a new language might seem like a time-consuming process, which looks like a burden. But these apps make learning English a breeze, even if you use them for just a few minutes a day.

 

Don’t forget to log in everyday, browse around new content, take tests, read more articles and play around with the app to discover new possibilities and features. Of course, it is not valid to say that there is one way of learning which suits everyone. However, I would suggest combining different methods, that most suits your personality and your way of thinking so you will end up doing the most efficient one.

 

In the end, it takes time to learn English. It’ll probably take years to perfect it, but small actions have a dramatic impact, and a little practice every day goes far. By using tools like these apps listed above, learning English becomes a second-nature. Learning becomes easily integrated into your daily life and will become an adventurous and enjoyable process. You’ll start to pick up all sorts of English words just from reading online news. Good luck in your English learning journey!

About the author:  Anna is 25 years old from Greece. She is working for KnowbleReader, an application designed to help English language learners improve by providing online news articles in English, as a product / digital marketeer and currently living in Amsterdam.

The Active and Passive Voice in Sentences

I admit there is a sentences/grammar theme this week!…

In Monday’s blog post we looked at subjects and objects in sentences and on Wednesday we looked at sentences with two (double) objects. If you missed either of these you can still read them by following the links below:

https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/sentence-subjects-objects/

https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/sentences-with-double-objects/

So what is active and passive about sentences? 

You can work out the active and passive voices of a sentence by using the subject and object. 

The subject is active, they are actively doing the verb. For example: 

“Grace cleans the office every Friday afternoon.” 

Subject: I
Object: My/the office

Grace is actively cleaning. Put simply, the active does the action.

If I say:

“The office is cleaned by Grace every Friday.”

My/the office is still the subject, it is still having an action done to it. It is the passive participant of the action. 

You can spot the passive voice by the fact that it has be/by-verb + past-participle:

“The office is cleaned by Grace every Friday.”

With me? Test yourself with these:

Which part or voice in each of the following sentences is active, and which is positive?

I will put answers at the bottom of the post. 

1. I posted the letter on Tuesday. 

2. She walked her dog three times a day. 

3. The car is washed by my husband every Saturday morning.

Confused? Send me a message on Twitter @GraceEnglishLT

ANSWERS:

1. Active = I/speaker. Passive = the letter 

2. Active = she. Passive = the dog

3. Active = my/the speaker’s husband. Passive = the car.

Sentences with Double Objects

On Monday 26th March I posted a blog post explaining the differences between the subject and the object in sentences. 

If you missed it, you can read it here: 
https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/sentence-subjects-objects/

Now I would like to discuss something a little more complicated – double objects!

What on earth am I on about? 

A sentence can have two objects – one direct and one indirect. 

Let’s take the sentence: The man sent a letter. 

We can immediately see that the verb in question is ‘to send’

In my last blog post we covered that the main noun/pronoun [person/animal] DOING the verb [action] is the subject i.e. the man

And we said that the noun/pronoun having the verb DONE TO THEM, is the object i.e. the letter

But it isn’t always that simple!  

Let’s now take the sentence: The man sent a letter to his mother. 

Now we have 2 objects: the letter and the man’s mother. 

Direct objects are nouns/pronouns that are having an action done to them, for example, the letter is being sent – the letter is a direct object. It is directly receiving the verb action of being sent.

Indirect objects are nouns/pronouns that are affected by the verb action, they are the recipients of direct objects. So the man’s mother is the indirect object, she is receiving the direct object. 

Let’s take another example: The girl gave her friend her class notes. 

We can quickly see that we have:

The verb: ‘to give’
The subject: The girl 

Now let’s think – which object is direct and which is indirect? ‘Her friend’ comes before ‘class notes’ in the sentence, does that mean her friend is the direct object? Which object is receiving the verb action? Which is a recipient of the direct object? 

Direct object: The direct object is the object which is receiving the verb. The class notes are being given, the verb ‘to give’ is being done to them, so the class notes are the direct object.  

Indirect object: Her friend is receiving the class notes. Therefore, her friend is the recipient of the direct object [class notes] and is the indirect object. 

With me? See how you get on with these practice sentences:

Can you identify the verb, subject, direct object and indirect object for the following sentences? 

Sentence 1: The woman buys the car for her family. 

Sentence 2: The teacher marks homework for her students. 

Sentence 3: The boy purchased some flowers for his mother. 

How did you get on? [Answers at the end of this post] 

A quick note!

There are some rules.. 

  1. Subjective pronouns [pronouns which are the subject] are NEVER direct objects. 
  2. Examples of acceptable objective pronouns [pronouns which are the object] are: ‘us’, ‘them’, ‘you’, ‘me’, ‘him’, ‘her’ 
  3. Do not confuse direct objects and subject complements [if you’re not sure what a subject complement is, see the paragraph below]
  4. Only action verbs can have direct objects, linking verbs can not [linking verbs examples: was, are, is].
  5. If the verb is a linking verb, the subject complement is the word which answers the question of “who” or “what”

What is a subject complement? 

A subject complement is a phrase or clause which is used after a linking verb  and complements the subject of a sentence by describing or renaming it. Let’s take an example: 

I forgot to bring my lunch to work today. I was very happy to find free sandwiches at the meeting. 

Subject: I/me/the speaker 
Verb: ‘to forget’ 
Direct object: My/the lunch
Indirect object: Work. If this confuses you think of if I had said “I remembered to bring my lunch to work today” or “I took my Mum to work today”. Work is receiving the result of the verb action on the direct object.
Linking verb: Was
Subject complement: Answers the questions “What” in response to the use of the linked verb “was”. I/the speaker was happy to find free sandwiches. So “happy” is the subject complement. 

Let’s try another one:

My student forgot to do their homework. They are unhappy about having to do it at lunchtime instead. 

Subject: My/the student
Verb: ‘to forget’
Direct object: Me/the teacher
Indirect object: The/their/the student’s homework
Linking verb: are
Subject complement: Unhappy

Still with me? Test yourself with this one: 

Can you identify the verb, subject, direct object, indirect object, linking verb and subject complement for:

I accidentally locked my car keys inside my car. I was thrilled to find a spare at home. 

How did you get on? [Answers at the end of this post] 

For more practice check out my ‘Double Object Verb Matching Worksheet’ and ‘Double Object Reordering Worksheet’ found at:

https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/double-object-verbs-matching-worksheet.pdf

https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/double-object-verbs-reordering-worksheet.pdf

 

Feeling confused? Send me a Twitter message @ GraceEnglishLT

 

Answers to example/test questions: 

Sentence 1: The woman buys the car for her family.
Verb: ‘to buy’
Subject: The woman

Direct Object: The car
Indirect Object: Her family. 

Sentence 2: The teacher marks homework for her students.
Verb: ‘to mark’
Subject: The teacher

Direct Object: The homework
Indirect Object: Her/the students

Sentence 3: The boy purchased some flowers for his mother.
Verb: ‘to purchase’
[this is another way of saying ‘to buy’]
Subject: The boy
Direct Object: The/some flowers
Indirect Object: His/the boy’s Mother.

I accidentally locked my car keys inside my car. I was thrilled to find a spare at home. 
Verb: ‘to lock’
Subject: I/me/the speaker
Direct object: My/the keys
Indirect object: My/the car
Linking verb: Was
Subject complement: Thrilled

Sentence Subjects & Objects

 

If you recently downloaded my verb tense guide, you will have seen that part 4 gives examples of sentences in each verb tense and colour codes which part is the verb in question, but also the subject and the object. A preview of my verb tense guide part 4:

subject object

In the above preview, ‘S’ is the subject [in red] and ‘O’ is the object in green. 

Okay, so what is this all about? 

The subject is the person/animal DOING the verb. 

The object is the person/animal having the verb DONE on it/them. 

So using the example given above:

I am/the speaker is the subject, they are walking [verb] the dog. 

The dog is the object because they are having the verb [to walk] done to them, they are being walked.

Some more examples: 

The man is dancing on the table 

Subject is doing the verb on the object

 

The woman is washing the car 

Subject is doing the verb on the object

 

The dog is licking the horse 

Subject is doing the verb on the object

 

With me? What if I write the sentences differently? 

The horse is being licked by the dog. 

Even though the horse is now first in this sentence, it is still the object. The horse is being licked by the dog. So the verb [to lick] is being done by the dog [the subject] and on the horse [the object]. 

The horse is being licked by the dog

 

Is there a way I can spot this? 

Yes!  

Pay attention to the verb:

The dog is licking the horse.  

The horse is being licked by the dog.

If something is being “verbed” i.e. being licked, that verb is BEING DONE to them. If an action is being DONE on them – they are the object.
If something is verb-ing they are DOING the verb. If they are DOING the action on something/someone else – they are the subject. 

 

How can I check that I understand? 

Take a look at the GRAMMAR section of my ‘free worksheets’ for some activities:
https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.wordpress.com/downloadable-worksheets/

Still confused? Send me a message on Twitter via @GraceEnglishLT

Verb Tenses Guide & Worksheets

Hi all! 

As many of you are aware, the English language has 12 verb tenses:

  1. Past simple
  2. Present simple
  3. Future simple
  4. Past perfect
  5. Present perfect
  6. Future perfect
  7. Past continuous
  8. Present continuous
  9. Future continuous 
  10. Past perfect continuous
  11. Present perfect continuous
  12. Future perfect continuous 

Now, if these confuse you, or you have no idea what I’m talking about – DON’T PANIC! 

I have written a free guide to explain them all, found here:
https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/a-guide-to-the-12-english-verb-tenses1.pdf

To download your FREE copy simply open the link then right click and ‘save as’ 

If you would like to practice and test yourself, I have uploaded 2 NEW WORKSHEETS today:

  1. https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/verb-tense-word-search-1-regular-verbs.pdf 
  2. https://graceenglishlanguageteaching.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/verb-tense-word-search-2-irregular-verbs.pdf

MORE GRAMMAR WORKSHEETS COMING SOON!

Love them? Hate them? Confused – send me a Twitter message @GraceEnglishLT 

Guide sneak peek.png

GELT is changing!

Hello!

I hope you are all having a wonderful 2018 so far!

I am changing how GELT works – I will be keeping current online/Skype students, but I will not be taking any more online/Skype students on for 2018.

Instead I will be offering:

  • One-to-one, face-to-face teaching in Brighton only, at normal lesson rates
  • Weekly group chat MeetUp drop in sessions in Brighton/Hove only, these will be at £5 per person – more details to come soon
  • Free lessons via videos – keep your eyes peeled for updates on where to find these!
  • I will be running online monthly Q&A sessions on Twitter
  • I am in the process of creating a purchasable course, consisting of videos and materials

Some of these will take longer to set up than others – so be sure to keep checking my website, Twitter and Facebook for updates! 🙂

If you wish to be kept up to date with developments, please contact me via the contact form on the website, or email me at: graceenglishlanguageteaching@gmail.com

I am also taking even more teaching courses, to be as best a teacher as I can be!

UK History Halloween Special: British Murders

Us Brits have long had a morbid curiosity for the macabre, and our history is full of it. In this Halloween special, I will give a short glimpse into where it all began, with accounts of some of our earliest infamous murderers…

To begin, a little foray into the history of grave robbing. Approximately 200 years ago, grave robbing was becoming a problem for the recently deceased… Just when you finally thought you might get some peace and quiet, some body snatcher would come along and dig you back up again to, quite literally, sell you for science. Which, while assisting in the development of modern medicine, was somewhat rude! These grave robbers, body snatchers or ‘resurrectionists’ (Book recommendation: a novel by James Bradley, ‘The Resurrectionist’) had stumbled upon a gap in the market – while the number of medical and anatomy schools was increasing, the number of public executions (the usual, and only legal, place to acquire a body for medical science) was decreasing and we hadn’t quite mastered the art of refrigeration. You see the problem… So, for a fee, a body could be acquired by alternative means and delivered under darkness via a back door. The fresher the cadaver, the higher the fee…

“What was it like to enter a Victorian mortuary?
It was a room in a hospital likely to look out upon an internal courtyard, so that members of the public couldn’t see in. Its windows would be rubbed with soap or tallow to obscure the view, but natural light was preferred. In the centre of the room would stand a stone table, without a rim or drain: any fluids ran off it to be soaked up by the sawdust on the floor.
Sometimes there was a secret chamber above the fireplace, where a dubiously acquired corpse would be lifted, via hooks and pulleys, to evade any investigation. The notion that medical students needed to hone their skills by dissecting corpses caused great distress, and in previous centuries had been condemned by the Church.”
Taken from: Lucy Worsley, ‘A very British Murder’, page 197.
(Book & TV recommendation: I 100% recommend this book, along with the corresponding TV show of the same name.)

Burke and Hare: Edinburgh, Scotland (1828) – Anatomy Murderers 

Burke and Hare[1]

For Burke and Hare, spying on funerals and digging up corpses was just too much effort. Why would you spend your evenings sneaking around in the dark and digging up merchandise, when a far simpler solution was at hand? 
The career choice of ‘Anatomy Murderers’ began to form in their minds when one of Hare’s elderly tenants made the mistake of dying whilst still owing Hare £4 in rent – naturally, the only solution the pair could see to regain this loss was to weigh down the old man’s coffin with tanning bark and sell his body to Edinburgh University for £7.10, a tidy profit for their troubles. This made being an elderly or unwell tenant in Hare’s house a rather risky affair, and when a second tenant wasn’t dying of natural causes quickly enough, the pair suffocated him and got him down to the University for their fee.
Unluckily for Burke and Hare, although lucky for Hare’s tenants, no further illnesses struck the property, so they decided to investigate other means. Now, fresher is better (more money) and all that planning, spying, waiting and digging is a tiresome, messy business. So instead, Burke and Hare wandered the poorest communities and lured back drunkards, prostitutes, the elderly and the disabled. They suffocated, forcefully overdosed and broke the backs of at least 16 victims, in just ten months. Selling them onto Edinburgh University for between £7 and £10 a piece.

William Palmer: Rugeley, England – The Victorian ‘Prince of Poisoners’ 

“The greatest villain that ever stood in the Old Bailey.”
Charles Dickens on William Palmer in ‘The Demeanor of Murderers’.

William Palmer[2]

As the local doctor, William Palmer should have been an upstanding and trustworthy member of the community. Which many may have considered him to be, until it was discovered that he had poisoned 15 people including his wife, four infant children (the eldest making it to 2 and a half months, the youngest just 7 hours), his own brother and his mother in law!
As with Burke and Hare, Palmer’s motive was money. He insured his relatives, poisoned them with strychnine (traditionally used for killing rodents), noted their death as being due to “convulsions”, pocketed any additional cash on the body – as with a friend who had the misfortune of visiting Palmer’s home while in possession of a large sum of cash, and gambled the insurance money away on a horse racing addiction. His motives for killing his own children are also thought to have been financial, although admittedly not for insurance money, but rather so that he didn’t have to pay to feed them.

Constance Kent: Road (now Rode), England (1860) – The Rise of the British Whodunnit

WHODUNNIT

In the 1860s, Detectives were still new to England (see my blog post on Thursday 6th October 2017 on ‘Jack the Ripper and the Victorian Policeman’ for further information on the Victorian British Police force). Not only were detectives new, and not entirely trusted, but society was still unfamiliar with the notion of a female murderer – let alone a female who had murdered a child, a child who was her blood relative. (Book Recommendation: ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House’ by Kate Summerscale. It is an in-depth look into The Constance Kent Case and the rise of the British detective.)

Constance[3]

Constance was one of the ten children of a wealthy Home Office Factory Inspector, Samuel Saville Kent and his wife, Mary Ann Kent. In 1852, her childhood was rocked by the sudden death of her Mother, Mary. Constance’s father went on to marry Constance’s former governess, Mary Drew Pratt with whom he had a further five children – including the murder victim, Francis Saville Kent.
Constance had an intense dislike for her stepmother due to her mistreatment of her Mother – it is thought that her father had not waited for the death of his first wife before bedding his later second wife and that the second Mrs Kent was verbally condemning of the first Mrs Kent. It is also considered that both her father and stepmother showed a preference for the younger, second Mrs Kent’s children.
On the night of June 29th 1860, four year old Francis was removed from his bedroom and later found wrapped in his nightshirt and blanket down the outdoor toilet, with several stab wounds to his chest and hands and his throat slit to the point of almost being decapitated.
Cue the perplexing whodunnit situation – it must have been someone within the family home, but who, when, why and how?
The Police attempted a conviction on the boy’s nursemaid (and Mr Saville Kent’s lover), Elizabeth Gough, who had been sleeping in the same room as young Francis – she was arrested twice but released without charge.  On July 16th Constance was arrested, “but released without trial owing to public opinion against the accusations of a working class detective against a young lady of breeding” (Road Hill House Murder by Susanne Ross). The case collapsed and the family moved to Wrexham in North Wales, sending Constance off to a French finishing school in the process.
However, five years later, Constance confessed to the murder, claiming that it was an act of revenge against her stepmother and served 20 years in prison.
Many suspect that Constance was not guilty, but acting as a shield for someone else. Some suspect that the murderer was in fact her father, who after being interrupted in his coitus with the nursemaid, killed the child in a fit of rage. Others suspect it was to cover for her beloved brother, William Saville Kent – with whom she had a close sibling relationship, and lived with in Tasmania following her release from prison.

So whodunnit? We will never know…

References for images:
1. http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1900368_1900369_1900364,00.html
2. https://www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/custom/HeritageTrail/rugeley_town.html
3. http://murderpedia.org/female.K/k/kent-constance-photos.htm