• Ching Man Chan

    Moving from Shenzhen, China, a bustling, industrial city of 7 million people to the quaint countryside of Helena, Montana, has been an adjustment in many ways for 16-year-old Ching. “He’s a bright, respectful, and motivated student,” says Ann, his online English teacher. Ann taught Ching daily English classes through LOI English from April to June. […]

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  • The Best 101 Ways to Learn English Online

    There are a lot of ways to learn English online these days. How do you choose the best? Which ones will actually teach you? LOI English has been helping people learn English online for 7 years now, and we’ve seen a lot of things you can do. We’ve got a list of 101 different things […]

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  • Passive Voice Can be Mastered in 30 Minutes or Less!

    Do you often struggle with the passive voice and need to be reminded when and how it is used?  Take 30 minutes out of your busy day to practice, and afterwards, you’ll feel like a master.  Let’s get started! First, take a look at this short grammar video with review questions about the basics of passive voice. […]

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  • Listening Exercise: Debate or Debacle?

    debate  noun —— a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something debacle noun——a great disaster or complete failure (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) U.S. presidential elections always get a little ugly.  Attacking the opponent often gets in the way of answering important questions and talking about real plans. This year, however, feels unlike any other.   Each […]

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  • Listening Exercise: If You Liked the Last Post…

    You’ll love this listening practice!  Remember the amazing short film about the sheriff?  Hopefully by now you’ve commented on that post with a creative short story of your own.  Today, we’re going to take a look at the motivation behind making that film.  Then, you’ll practice your listening skills by answering the following comprehension questions. […]

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  • Are You Making These 5 Common English Mistakes?

    If you are taking classes with LOI, your English level is probably improving quickly.  Hopefully you are feeling more comfortable and fluent each day.  Sometimes, though, it can be hard to break the habits of our native language, and we make errors like the ones we’ll discuss today.  We’re going to take a look at […]

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  • Heart-Wrenching Writing Practice

    I love animated short films.  They are not just for children, especially this one.  They often have little to no dialogue, so they serve as great writing prompts.  This one might make you feel certain emotions, which also helps inspire us to write.  Many of my students tell me they need to improve their writing, […]

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  • Today You’ll Learn Contractions in Only 10 Minutes!

    When I went to the US for Thanksgiving, it didn’t take long for me to get sick of the cheesy Christmas ads on TV.  Maybe I just needed to get in the holiday spirit, and this commercial by Wes Anderson helped.  No matter which holidays you do or don’t celebrate, we can probably all agree […]

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  • Back to Basics: Review Present Simple and Modals

    I don’t know if you’ve heard, but a new season of BBC’s Planet Earth has started, and it’s amazing.  So, in the spirit of great David Attenborough documentaries, our listening exercise today is a clip from another one of his incredible shows-Africa.  Before we watch the clip and complete the exercises, let’s review some basic grammar concepts: […]

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  • Listening Exercise: Practice Those Pesky Prepositions

    The other day, I was speaking with a student about what makes prepositions so difficult.  First of all, there are just too many!  Second, English learners very commonly substitute or omit them.  Some of you might agree that you understand prepositions during an English lesson, but when it comes to real-world situations, you forget which […]

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  • Tense Review: Present Simple, Present Perfect, Future, and Past Simple

    Often, when I am learning a language, I understand the tenses when I focus on them one at a time.  Then, when I have a conversation, I get confused because we use more than one tense at a time in real life.  If this also happens to you, you’ll like today’s mini-lesson.  First, we’ll do a short […]

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  • Master Conditionals in 5 Days or Less!

    Trying to learn all of the English conditionals at once can be a daunting (and confusing!) task.  So, I suggest splitting up the following 5 mini lessons over 5 days.  That way, you can let your brain digest the information and maybe even get a chance to use your new knowledge in a conversation that day.  If you need a […]

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  • Your Guide to Past Perfect

    Past perfect can be a difficult tense for English learners, especially in conversation.  The goal of today’s lesson is to make it easier for you.  Hopefully it will be the confidence boost you need to use past perfect the next time you’re talking about more than one action in the past!  Don’t forget to schedule a […]

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  • Listening Exercise: The Incredible Ghost Shark

    The wildlife in the deep ocean never ceases to amaze me.  It seems that we have so much to explore and discover.  It’s also dark, mysterious and pretty creepy down there.  I recently stumbled across this video of a species captured on film for the first time.  As you watch the clip about this strange Rat Fish, […]

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  • New Year’s 10 Day English Challenge

    As we begin a new year, we might reflect on the past year and look forward to the next one.  For many people, this means thinking of what they would like to do better, or something they want to accomplish in 2017.  I’m a fan of small, achievable goals for my New Year’s resolutions.  So, I […]

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  • Learn the Difference Between Past Continuous and Past Simple

    Recently, I was teaching a class, and my student asked me to explain the difference between past simple and past continuous.  While I was explaining this to her, we realized that the difference isn’t always obvious.  As usual, the best way to learn is to practice with real-life examples.  So, today we will learn the grammar, […]

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  • Take 5 Minutes to Improve Your Fluency

    I always love watching OK Go’s music videos.  In their latest one, they turn a 5 second clip into a slow motion video for their song, The One Moment.  As you enjoy the video, I invite you to sing along with the lyrics below.  Singing is a great way to improve English fluency because of the […]

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  • Listening Exercise: Growing 40 Kinds of Fruit on One Tree

    Recently, one of our talented LOI instructors posted this helpful lesson about the use of gerunds vs. infinitives.  If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend doing so before this listening exercise.  Afterwards, take a look at the video.  Each blank contains a gerund or infinitive.  After filling in the blanks in the comments section, write the reason for using the […]

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  • Listening Exercise: A Trick to Help You Sleep!

    We all know that sleep is important, and we should probably be getting more of it.  For a variety of reasons, many people don’t get the ideal 8-hour night’s sleep.  Maybe you don’t have the time, maybe you like to stay out late, or maybe you just have trouble falling asleep.  On the other hand, maybe […]

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  • In the Spirit of Staying Positive: Election Humor and 9 Common Phrases

    It has only been a few days since The Donald became President-elect Trump.  (We don’t have to call him President Trump just yet!)  Maybe you were shocked and horrified, like me.  Maybe you were one of the people who knew it would happen.  Maybe you’re celebrating.  The scary thing is that since Tuesday night, there […]

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  • What Have We Done? Present Perfect and Climate Change

    You have probably heard about Before the Flood, a documentary starring Leonardo DiCaprio, UN Messenger of Peace (and Titanic’s handsome king of the world).  If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend streaming the film for free here on youtube. I don’t know about you, but I left the film feeling a bit depressed about how […]

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  • Don’t Confuse These Words!

    I recently wrote a post about common mistakes people make when learning English.  It got me thinking about many words that are commonly confused for English learners.  Maybe it’s because the words look alike or sound alike, but often they have completely different meanings and could sound a bit silly.  We don’t want to sound silly when […]

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  • Idioms and a Magic Roundabout

    I recently spent time in Medellín, Colombia, where a roundabout in the road meant driving into a clustered mess of cars, darting out when you see your exit and hoping for the best.  However, in Swindon, England they really hit the nail on the head.  It seems that adding more circles to a roundabout would only make […]

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  • The World’s Deadliest Garden

    How could such a beautiful garden be so poisonous?  Fun fact for all of you Harry Potter fans out there-Alnwick Castle is Hogwarts in the first few movies!   Today, we’ll first review some differences between British and American English.  Then, take a look at the short video, and practice your listening skills with the […]

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  • Have You Been Learning English With LOI? 30 Exciting Minutes of Present Perfect Continuous

    Have you been improving your English with LOI lately?  Maybe you’ve been working on the fun New Year’s 10 Day Challenge.  Or, you might have just completed this great tense review, and you’re ready to learn more.  Whatever your motivation, we’re here today to learn the present perfect continuous tense.  First we’ll learn when and why […]

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