Showing Archived Posts

Top Posts of 2012 #3: The Cultural Nuances of Language

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Saturday, December 29th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

In the few days before 2012 ends and 2013 begins, we’ll be looking back at some of our top posts from the past year, starting with number five and counting down to number one. If you missed these articles the first time around, now’s your time to see why we’ve found these particular pieces so […]

Crafting Your Art of English Fluency

by Sava Mounange-Badimi - Posts (2). Posted Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

When I came to the United States, I was barely fluent in spoken English, although on paper I seemed competent in the language. In fact, it turned out the English I had learned over the course of my middle and high school years was quite different from American English. When you’re not comfortably fluent in […]

Tags: , Posted in Learning English

The Best Advice I Ever Got for Writing in English: ‘Treat the Professors Like Idiots’

by Sunny Peng - Posts (5). Posted Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I will never forget my very first conversation with an American. He was an employee at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. I was a new arrival, highly exhausted after almost 20 hours of flight. Upon landing I found myself overwhelmed by homesickness, and very badly wanted to find a telephone to call my parents. I […]

Why the TOEFL is More Important Than Just One Test, and How That Can Help You Succeed

by Shree Raj Shrestha - Posts (5). Posted Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Editor’s note: Shree is currently in the process of applying to study in the U.S. for the fall of 2013. He’s agreed to take us with him on that process, recapping each step as he accomplishes it, and filling us in on what he did right and wrong so we can learn from his mistakes. […]

TOEFL Might Just Be the Last of Many Hurdles: Jawad’s Story

by Guest Post - Posts (70). Posted Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

“I have always asked myself why people have made borders. Is it right that because my grandfathers lived in this land, it is mine and no one else has the right to live in it? Why do people want to get away from each other and differentiate themselves from one another? For example people say: […]

Do You Know the Meaning of These Words in Your Favorite Christmas Carols?

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Many of you, including our own blogger Nick, have suggested using American songs as a way to practice English.  Well, the holiday season is filled with classic Christmas carols that are great for just that purpose. Some Christmas carols have been around so long that they use beautiful archaic language like “hither and thither,” which […]

Only in America Moments, Plus Lots of Advice from International Students

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

You might remember last year we had a blast recording and sharing a few phone conversations where the bloggers compared notes from their year in the States. If you haven’t listened to those, check ‘em out.  They were lots of fun: Pete and Repeat are on a Boat…and Other Adventures in American Culture In fact, they […]

Doing a Language Exchange When You Can’t Meet a Native Speaker: Germain’s Story

by Guest Post - Posts (70). Posted Monday, December 5th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Germain is from Benin and is studying in France at Supméca-Paris for a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  As part of his studies, he is required to do a number of internships, and his current internship has brought him to a university in America for a semester.  He contacted me a few months before […]

Tags: Posted in Learning English

From Zimbabwe to America: Learning to Adapt and Overcome

by Simbarashe - Posts (7). Posted Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 at 9:00 am

“Remember to keep warm when you get there. America is a cold place. And to call us daily. Don’t forget us.” These very words were the ultimate installment in a long series of many, many snippets of well-meaning advice from aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, cousins, passers-by, cousins of those passers-by, and anyone else who had […]

Battling with Language in the Far-Away Land of Minneapolis

by Promise Okeke - Posts (5). Posted Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 8:56 am

Am I the one? Am I the Promise who promised himself his Nigerian accent was not going to take a slip? I never would have believed I could so easily twist my tongue in an American twang. But let’s go back to the beginning. You might be asking, “How has the experience been so far?” […]

Just Because You Passed the Test Doesn’t Mean it Will Be Easy

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

In this video, by a student in San Diego, international students talk about their biggest struggles when they first arrived in the U.S. For most, it was keeping up with English. If you like “kelzosaurus”‘s video, she has another on making friends, and one on culture as well.

Tags: , Posted in Learning English

Building Skills and Friends Through Language Exchange

by Chris Wong - Posts (9). Posted Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 at 9:34 am

This summer I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of months in Taipei, Taiwan studying Mandarin Chinese at the International Chinese Language Program. It was a great experience and probably one my best summers ever – meeting new people, exploring a new place, and really improving my Chinese through intensive study. Some of my […]

Tags: , Posted in Learning English

Singaporeans Weigh in on What it’s Like to Study in America

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 at 9:54 am

There’s a great discussion happening on Quora between a group of Singaporeans discussing what it’s like to study in the U.S. A lot of what they talk about we’ve discussed before, such as trying to fit in but maintain your home culture, or being in a minority ethnic group for the first time.  But these […]

Annoying, Infuriating, or Facts of Life, You Should Still Know These Americanisms

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Over the past few days, the BBC has been ranting about what writer Matthew Engel called “ugly and pointless” ways American usage differs from British English. They even collected a list of 50 American words and expressions that Brits find annoying, irritating, and even infuriating. It includes things like: “Can I get a … ” […]

Tags: Posted in Learning English

Some of Your Funniest English Mistakes

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Last week we shared a post from VOA intern Matthew Kopfer, who talked about common mistakes Russians make when learning English, and why some of them are very funny to Americans. Since then, some of you have shared your own funny mistakes, or ones you’ve heard your friends make. Sure, no one likes to make […]

Tags: , Posted in Learning English

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