• Business Geniuses in Prison?

    Normally when I think of prison in the United States, I think of a violent, dangerous place where not much good happens. The TED video we’re using for this English listening exercise challenges my ideas of what prisons and prisoners are, and also challenges most people’s beliefs for what they could be in the future. This listening […]

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  • Need More Reasons to Learn English? Listening Exercise

    If you’re learning English, you probably have a couple good reasons. You probably need it for work, or to get a new job, or to get into a university. Or, you anticipate needing it for one of these reasons in the future. Chances are, you’re not just doing it for fun (although that’s not a […]

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  • Taking English Classes with Rockstars

    Assembling a team of English teachers isn’t easy, especially when you are focused on quality, experience, certification and that extra something, je ne sais quoi.  LOI English is lucky to have a talented team of teachers. If you are already an LOI English student then you know that our teachers are great at teaching English but did […]

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  • What Brazilians Hate Hearing

    LOI English has many lessons that discuss cultural differences, from how they can affect our business negotiations to simple things like saying hello. Today I was discussing the cultural difference regarding age and independence. The typical age for someone in Spain to move out of the family house versus the United States and why this difference exists. When […]

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  • Listening Exercise: Can you ride THIS bike?

    Can you ride a bike? Most people can, but I bet you can’t ride the bike in the video below. This video is of a fascinating brain experiment and listening exercise. We can learn a couple of things from this experience. 1. You are never too old to learn something new, including a new language. […]

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  • American English or British English: Divided By A Common Language?

    Biscuits or Cookies? By Peter Ball Have you ever asked yourself ‘Did I just walk on a colorful sidewalk, or have I just walked on a colourful pavement?’ Well, if you have then you are probably noticing (and getting confused by) the differences between American and British English. At LOI we have staff from both […]

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  • Learn the Inifinitive or Gerund in 5 days

    Do you still have problems with the gerund or infinitive forms? Take 5 days and finally master this tricky English grammar bit. All English verbs (except for modals and other static verbs which do not have gerunds or participles) make the inflected form in -ing regularly. Thus go makes going, read makes reading, fail makes failing, […]

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  • Listening: How Books Make A Difference

    Here is a listening exercise about immigration, reading, and hope. It seems appropriate with the current immigration situation in Europe. At LOI English we have lessons that discuss your interests and things that are important in our society, our world at the present moment. LOI English loves to have lessons that are meaningful for the […]

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  • Listening: Jane Goodall and Chimps

    This is a wealth of great listening. I love all these audio, in fact it took me so long to write this blog because I got caught up in listening to them all. I finally after a really long time settled on the Jane Goodall listening. I thought this was a good listening exercise for […]

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  • 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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