I Speak English

"Practice Makes Perfect"

16 September, 2011

I introduce myself

Filed under: I introduce myself — csa1 @ 23:33


How are you? (synonyms) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juKd26qkNAw





Pour enrichir sa culture générale

sur l’immigration aux USA:


- Regarder et écouter le plus souvent possible les infos (BBC)

- Regarder des Film en VO ex the Social Network, Very Bad Trip,…

soustitrés en français (au début)

puis en anglais


enrichir son vocabulaire:mémoriser

2017 – Fake news : false often sensational information disseminated under the guise of news reporting.

2016 - Brexit: Noun meaning “the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union”.

2015 - Binge-watch: Verb meaning “to watch a large number of television programmes (especially all the shows from one series) in succession”.

2014 - Photobomb: Verb meaning “spoiling a photograph by stepping in front of them as the photograph is taken, often doing something silly such as making a funny face”.

2013 - Geek: Countable noun meaning “someone who is skilled with computers, and who seems more interested in them than in people”.


Faire des fiches :

En grammaire, chaque fiche sera thématique : verbes irréguliers en anglais, liste de pronoms, d’adverbes, de prépositions, de noms usuels selon les situations (à la maison, au travail, dans la rue, dans un magasin, etc.),expressions idiomatiques anglaises, faux-amis, mots de liaison, etc.


Il y a des expressions qu’il faut absolument mémoriser. Pour cela, pas de recette miracle, il faut les retenir et savoir les utiliser.

Ces mots indispensables sont les « mots grammaticaux », ils regroupent :

  • Les déterminants,
  • Les prépositions (at, in, to…),
  • Les conjonctions (and, but, as soon as…),
  • Les auxiliaires (be, have, do, must…),
  • Les pronoms (I, you, mine, their…).

Ces « mots grammaticaux » sont le socle de la linguistique anglaise, il est indispensable de les maîtriser pour poursuivre sa formation en anglais.

Heureusement, les « mots lexicaux » en anglais sont bien plus faciles à mémoriser. Il ne s’agit plus de les apprendre par cœur, mais d’appliquer des règles grammaticales simples.

  • Les mots transparents : il existe des milliers de mots transparents entre notre langue maternelle et l’anglais (collection, economy, essential, dance, parent, etc.)
  • Les préfixes : tout comme en français, la langue anglaise utilise les préfixes pour changer le sens d’un nom. Après = post, Contre = anti, Autour = peri, etc.
  • Les suffixes : comme pour les préfixes, les suffixes en anglais (hood, er, less, able…) servent à former un nom, un adjectif et même un verbe. Exemple : Adjectif + en : short = court / short(en) = raccourcir.

Quelques expressions idiomatiques :

1)Something easily accomplished, as in I had no trouble finding your house-a piece of cake. 

Les doigts dans le nez

2)“be wrapped in fur”. Sera le dindon de la farce

3) “will be one sandwich short of a picnic”. Qu’il aura une araignée au plafond

4)“nutty as fruitcake” :Il aura une araignée dans le plafond

5)“make a mountain from a molehill”:en faire tout un fromage

6)“To squeeze the rich until the pips squeak” :Presser comme un citron


7)“To let someone whistle for his money” :Payer en monnaie de singe


8)“To rub salt in the wound” :Tourner le couteau dans la plaie


9)“To have a stick (or poker) up one’s ass” : Etre collet monté


10)“To go for broke” : Jeter son dévolu


lire beaucoup en englais : ebooks en ligne


Vous pouvez aussi faire des fiches sur l’histoire du monde anglophone, classée par pays.

Ex la liste des monarques britanniques qui ont marqué leur temps:

voir le lien :




You start a new school year

The teacher will probably ask you to introduce yourself:

My name is …

I’m sixteen …

I live in …

My home phone number is …

I’ve got … brothers and … sisters/ I’m an only child

My father is  a…/an engineer; he works in …

He drives me to school every day

and tells me about his own experience.

He is very strict with me and teaches me to respect myself

and respect others.

He wants me to have ambition and good school results.


My mother is a nurse…/… unemployed but she does plenty of housework

She is a super mum: she cooks delicious dishes,

I love her tasty cooking, particularly her brownies.

I ‘m crazy about music, especially reggae  and gospel music.

I play the guitar and I try to practise every day.

I love bèlè rhythms too because they are part of our tradition.

I enjoy drawing and painting every now and then.

I belong to a basket-ball club called the “Lucky Fellows” and we have won our last three matches.

I do not like school, I find it a little boring.

I would have preferred more cultural activities such as making a film, a music hall or a play

we would perform at the end of the school year.

  I’m crazy about films : I go to the cinema with my mates

every fortnight at Madiana.

The last movie I saw was “Case Départ”,

it’s about a serious issue : slavery, but the film-maker

presented it in a very humorous way;

which has never been seen before, since some people think

you shouldn’t laugh   with such an important topic.

I’m fond of reading too

and right now, I’m reading a book about

Sept.11th written by a historian,

Nicole Bacharan entitled :

September 11th, the Day of Chaos.

She is a specialist of  U.S. politics

and she wrote that book with a journalist, writer and  chief editor

called Dominique Simmonet.

They give a detailed account of the tragic events

that almost shattered the very heart of the power.

At school, my favourite subject is English/Spanish… because …

I dislike  Mathematics/Literature … because …

I have/don’t have lunch at the school canteen/ at home.

In the morning,…

I usually go to school by car/I sometimes walk to school when…

In the evening, …

I go home by bus…/ I walk home…

My best friend is …/ He …/him / She …/her…/ We … together… Our … Us …Each other …

  I’ve got a pet. It’s a dog/puppy/cat/kitten/tortoise/rabbit/horse/mare …

I don’t have a pet / I haven’t got a pet.

I fancy travelling/ I’ve been to St-Lucia / Dominica / Trinidad and Tobago …

But I’ve never been to Australia /…

I’m sure you can find plenty of other topics to deal with



20 November, 2017

How to improve your essays

Filed under: Z Writing — csa1 @ 22:28


Steps to follow

1. Highlight the keywords in the essay question

2. Make sure you understand them (if possible, use the ”Wh” techniques : Who, What, Where, Why, When – and How)

3. Rephrase the essay question

4. Define the purpose of the essay

5. Prepare a Concept-map / Spidergram : use circle and lines (just as we do in class and associate vocabulary, concepts, ideas, arguments, examples linked to the topic (the more time you spend, the more and better ideas you may be) : Find counterargument, Explain the problem, define the purpose. Don’t censor yourself and don’t pay attention to the grammar/spelling… ”Don’t get it right, just get it written”

6. Classify the ideas by order of importance and select the best ones for your essay, get rid of irrelevant ideas or the ones that you cannot support with arguments or examples

7. Organize your ideas in the outline Check the order of paragraphs within each section

8. Write the conclusion on the draft paper (follow the diagram)

9. Write the introduction on the draft paper (follow the diagram)

10.Write the essay on your answer sheet

11.Proofread your essay by paying a special attention to the common errors listed in your journal

Most Common Mistakes in your Essays Structure

• Lack of thesis statement (what we call in French : ‘problématique’) : the basic question that could sum up the debate

• Lack of Structure in the essay/ No Outline : You have to write the outline on your draft paper. There should be 2 paragraphs minimum in each main sections of your essay and try to have the same number of paragraph in each one.

• Lack of Structure in each paragraph : 1 paragraph → 1 idea → reason(s)/argument(s) → support(s)/example(s). You should direct your essay and that you can support with arguments and not just mention a fact. Example: “Wearing uniforms at school is bad.”

• No Evidence : The objective of your essay is to prove something through arguments and examples .

• Repetition : Each paragraph should have a different focus (≠ ideas and arguments).

• No Introduction or no structure in the introduction (see Diagram) : For argumentative essays : see diagram. A person should be able to guess the essay question just by reading the introduction. For dialogues, you need to draw an introduction (Who, What, Where, When)

• No Conclusion or no structure in the conclusion (see Diagram) • Opinion given in the introduction : the objective of the essay is to

• Lack of Transition : Add a simple sentence introducing the idea at the beginning of each paragraph. Draw a transition between each of the main parts also so that the statements flow smoothly from one another

• No polite phrases in letters or emails : you just need to learn them !

Essay Format

- Essay question not specified before the essay : make sure you always mention which essay question you have chosen when two are offered. Make sure you know whether you have to answer one of them or both !

- Wrong type of essay : determine whether it is a letter/an email, an argumentative essay, a sequel of a story (a narrative essay), a diary entry, a dialogue…

- No wordcount : it is compulsory (you’re allowed to go within a 10% margin)

- Essay Set-up : Skip 1 or 2 line(s) after the introduction and before the conclusion and skip a line after each paragraph and before and after the transition

Style/ Vocabulary

- Long sentences : KISS rule : keep it short and simple

- Incorrect Abbreviations : Don’t use abbreviations as if you were chatting with friends (‘CU in Agadir 2mrw’)

- Informal Vocabulary : In order to write an argumentative essay, you have to use formal language instead of informal / colloquialism (that is used in a conversation)

- No link words : Learn a couple of them. Avoid starting a sentence with ‘and’ and ‘but’. Check the document ‘structurer son discours’

- Incorrect word usage : To give an example, do not use ‘like’ but : for example, for instance, such as… and try not to mention the essay, the paragraphs or the parts (e.g. ‘in my essay’, ‘this essay will discuss’…)

- Imprecise words : avoid ‘bad’, ‘good’, ‘important’…

Spelling/Grammar/Punctuation Mistakes

- General mistakes : make sure you check the « avoiding mistakes document »

- Tenses (« S » for the 3rd person simple present, irregular verbs, past in narrative essay : the same tense is used throughout the essay…)

- Modal auxiliaries + verb w/o to

- Subject and Verb Agreement : proofread to avoid that type of mistake

- Pronoun and Noun Agreement : proofread to avoid that type of mistake ü Plural form : « S » at the end and learn irregular plural forms

- Adjectives : adjectives precede the noun they modify, No « S » at the end for the plural form

- English syntax : learn the rules and proofread to avoid that type of mistake

- Punctuation Problems : Read through your essay one time just for punctuation

- Wrong Capitalization : for example : capitalize the letter ‘i’ when referring to yourself


My Errors Journal

Record the errors you make in your own writing.

When you proofread your essay, pay a special attention to them

Categories         /            Error                 /            Correction                   /                     How I will avoid this error in the future



Diagram of an argumentative Essay with 2 parts & 3 sections each


Start with a general statement about the topic (background information & capture reader’s interest)

Rephrase the essay question – in your own words – Present your outline clearly


1ST PART : For the ideas that are less significant according to you

1st paragraph : 1 idea (the “weakest”/the most obvious one you have)→ argument(s) → example(s) : literary work / quotation / movie / personal anecdote…

2nd paragraph : 1 idea (average one) → argument(s) → example(s) : literary work / quotation / movie / personal anecdote…

3rd paragraph : 1 idea (the strongest/the most significant one) → argument(s) → example(s) : literary work / quotation / movie / personal anecdote…


2ND PART : For the ideas you believe in

1st paragraph : 1 idea (the “weakest”/the most obvious one you have)→ argument(s) → example(s) : literary work / quotation / movie / personal anecdote…

2nd paragraph : 1 idea (average one) → argument(s) → example(s) : literary work / quotation / movie / personal anecdote…

3rd paragraph : 1 idea (the strongest/the most significant one) → argument(s) → example(s) : literary work / quotation / movie / personal anecdote…


Summarize what you have said in your essay

Give a final insight / Open up the topic with a question


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