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The Independent   December 10, 2013

Ditch French and German lessons for Mandarin, says David Cameron as his visit to China draws to a close

David Cameron has thrown his weight behind efforts to prioritise the teaching of Mandarin in UK schools. The Prime Minister, speaking on the last leg of his visit to China, urged them to...

The Independent   December 9, 2013

Play's the thing: Globe Theatre wants learning Shakespeare to be fun, not a chore

The days of pupils sitting in rows reciting Shakespeare plays in the classroom may be numbered. Instead, teachers are being encouraged to use interpretive dance and drama to bring the Bard's words to life. These include using...

St Georges   November 18, 2013

Business English Common Mistakes

Business English common mistakes should be eliminated, so that...

St Georges   November 17, 2013

Steve Jobs Presentation Skills - VIDEO Business English

Steve Jobs Presentation Skills - something to marvel at. His keynote speeches were like a concert or a show, rather than the CEO of a big corporation speaking at an AGM. He elevated the art of public speaking to a new level with his own unique style. Can you imagine...

Financial Times   October 30, 2013

Who Owns English in a Global Market

Are the rules set by people who grew up speaking the language or those who learnt it later?

The Guardian   October 30, 2013

For Who the Bell Tolls: One Man's Quest for Grammatical Perfection by David Marsh -
Book Review


The New York Times   October 23, 2013

Test Yourself | E.L.L. Practice

When have you ever seen a magician perform? What tricks do you remember? How do you think the magician did those tricks? Tell a partner what you saw.

The Financial Times   October 20, 2013

Fluent in English, Greek, French, Italian and dollars

Sir, On the subject of being bilingual or multilingual (Letters, October 17 and October 18) in response to Michael Skapinker's column ("Mystery of acquiring another language", October 17), the language...

The Financial Times   October 19, 2013

Ultimate Test for the (almost) Bilingual

Sir, While agreeing with Michael Skapinker ("Mystery of acquiring another language", Comment, October 17) that some people do appear able to learn languages more easily than others, and that the reason remains something of a mystery, I would add two further complications to the story.

The Financial Times   October 18, 2013

Dinner for Eight Mother Tongues

Sir, Michael Skapinker ("Mystery of acquiring another language", October 17) quotes an expert on bilingualism: "When you meet people who tell you they speak four or five languages fluently ... don't take this claim very seriously." The expert has clearly never visited...

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Every week we publish a business English tip concerning different aspects of business English. Topic areas include writing, speaking, listening, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, exams as well as general English. Just click.

October 14, 2013: Methodology for Learning New Vocabulary

Here are some methods you can use to learn new vocabulary.
When you see a new vocabulary item (new word), always ask these questions:

Is it positive, neutral or negative?

Beautiful is a positive word
Ugly is a negative word
Negotiate is not positive or negative, so it's neutral

Is it formal or informal (casual)?

Cool is a casual word
Negotiate is a formal word

Is it a vocabulary item or an Idiom?

What did you do? (uses vocabulary)
What did you get up to? (uses an idiom / idiomatic phrase)
Negotiate is not positive or negative, so it's neutral

Does the word have a prefix or suffix that you know? (may give you a hint)

Prefix: Unhappy, unfriendly ('un' often a negative prefix)
Suffix: Careless, thoughtless ('less' often a negative suffix)
If you see a new vocabulary item, such as 'undisciplined', you can take a guess that it may be a negative word from looking at the negative prefix, even if you do not know what the word means.

Is it a noun, adjective, verb or adverb?

Can the word be used only as a noun?
Can the word be used as both a verb and an adjective?
Can the word by used as an adverb?

Which context / situation should the word be used in?

'Negotiate' is a strong verb for formal business situations, such as negotiating a contract with a client.
'Negotiate' should not be used in social situations like two friends arguing over paying for drinks at KTV.

Create your own example, preferably about your life,
to demonstrate (show) understanding of the new word; this makes it easier to remember.

I negotiated my salary package with the HR Manager.
I negotiate the delivery date and price with our clients.


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