American sports can be confusing to immigrants and international students alike. Especially unique is the highly developed system of athletics at U.S. colleges and universities. One of the premiere conferences of American universities is the Big Ten. Alan shares some curious facts about those 14 (mostly) Midwestern schools, including a look at their famous mascots.
One of the harder English sounds to make is the 'th' sound. Alan gives tips on the two different pronunciations for this tricky American English pronunciation.
When politicians artificially redraw voting districts to guarantee their political advantage, democracy suffers. Alan gives an overview of gerrymandering, gives simple examples, and explains why it's unfair.
Is your organization inclusive? Is it equitable? We use a bleacher analogy to illustrate these concepts and to show the difference between them.
Walking the beach at dawn, an old man notices a young girl tossing stranded starfish from the shore back into the ocean. A simple tale with a profound message. (Retold here with new images.)
How do English learners make their speech more fluid and natural sounding? By linking adjacent words together. Alan gives some examples.
English learners tend to confuse these two words: Lend and Borrow. Learn their meanings here, and see examples of how to use them properly.
An old man is walking the beach at sunrise and notices a young girl flinging washed-up starfish back into the ocean.
Do you use words like these: I’m, you’d, she’ll, who’s, didn’t, won’t, they’ve, we’re? If so, you're using contractions. This is a very normal way of speaking American English. Alan tells why and gives examples.
Alan tells why it's better to advocate for Acculturation of immigrants to the United States. He shares historical (and practical) reasons for us to stop talking about Assimilation of newcomers here.
In this grammar lesson, Alan talks about the third and final group of modal verbs: the ones related to the meaning of Requirement. You simply must watch this video!
In this grammar lesson, Alan talks about the second group of English modal verbs, that related to Ability. Learn about the variations in meaning with these expressions: can, can't, could, couldn't, probably able, should be able, may be able, and more!
In this short video, Alan gives students examples of modal verbs that communicate possibility. This might be just the grammar lesson you were looking for!
Learners of English often try so hard to pronounce words correctly that they over-pronounce them and end up sounding like robots. Join Alan for some tips on pronouncing English words smoothly and naturally.
One common confusion in English is misusing the verbs Lay and Lie. Even native speakers can get them wrong. Follow these simple rules so you don't end up with egg on your face!
Our learners are shocked to learn that American English has three different ways to pronounce 't'! Listen closely to hear the differences.
Microaggressions happen every day in the workplace. They are behaviors and words by mostly well-intended people who do not know they are offending co-workers from non-dominant groups (like people of color, women, LGBTQ folks, people with disabilities, older workers, and others). Here we talk about the cumulative effects of microaggressions and how to guard against them to create a respectful work environment for all.
Most international students are shocked to find that the past tense (-ed) in English has three different pronunciations. Alan gives examples and explains why it's important to get this right.